Puerto Madryn is a town on Patagonia’s east coast. Founded by Welsh immigrants in the 1800s, this town put itself on the map as the place to see some of nature’s coolest marine life. But that’s not all — here are five things to do in Puerto Madryn.
- Witness the incredible marine life
Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Puerto Madryn is to get up close with the area’s unbelievable wildlife. Located just 48 miles from Puerto Madryn is Valdes Peninsula, an immense wildlife reserve and UNESCO World Heritage site. Punta Delgada beach houses an enormous elephant seal colony from August to November, when the females give birth. At Punta Norte beach, you’ll find a nesting colony of Magellanic penguins. They’re a curious bunch and are generally utterly unperturbed by human visitors.
If you stay near Puerto Madryn, you might be able to do some whale watching from El Doradillo beach during calving season (June–December) when the whales come very close to shore.
- Hit the waves in more ways than one
If watching whales from the shore isn’t enough, why not join an organized whale-watching tour? These expeditions can last anything from a speedy one-hour jaunt to a half-day trip. And if that’s still not close enough, you can take advantage of Puerto Madryn’s exceptional diving opportunities. As well as shipwrecks to explore, you’ll have the unparalleled experience of diving with sea lions and elephant seals, as well as possibly being lucky enough to encounter some whales. If you’re looking to do a bit of surfing, head to Playa Union, a beach around an hour from Puerto Madryn.
- Discover the town’s landmarks
One of the top things to do in Puerto Madryn is to tour some of the city’s landmarks. There are several statues, one commemorating the Welsh settlers and another the Tehuelche people. Plaza San Martín has the city’s oldest buildings, and not far from there you’ll find Chalet Pujol, a natural history museum that boasts unique neoclassical architecture.
- Learn about the sea and how it’s shaped coastal life
The Natural Science and Oceanographic Museum offers an insight into Puerto Madryn’s history, highlighting how the Welsh settlers integrated with the natives. There are also displays of fish, invertebrates, birds, sea mammals, and cetaceans.
- Refuel with traditional Argentine dishes
You won’t go hungry with Puerto Madryn’s selection of top-quality restaurants. You can even take cooking classes if you fancy something different. One thing you must try is the traditional asado, or barbecue. Argentinians are experts at grilling meat to perfection — and don’t forget to top off your meal with some authentic chimichurri!
Although the wildlife is undoubtedly the area’s biggest draw, this town will give you more than cute penguin photos. With its diverse history, tasty food, and so many things to do, you’ll be thinking about Puerto Madryn long after you’ve left.