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Puerto Madryn Travel Guide

Stunning Argentina animals and more in Puerto Madryn

The city of Puerto Madryn became a tourist destination thanks to the nearby wildlife sanctuary Peninsula Valdes. However, it is a fine enough place itself, with a lively tourist street scene and activities for everyone. Make sure to have a look at our special Puerto Madryn Tours!

 

Peninsula Valdes, Sea Wildlife Tour 15-Day Classic Patagonia Tours Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn, Calafate & Bariloche
Puerto Madryn Tour to see Argentina Animals and Whales Torres del Paine National Park Excursions and Tours See penguins on Puerto Madryn Tours with Say Hueque

 

Ecocentro

Julio Verne 3784, Tel. (0280) 488 3173/74/75/76. This marine life interpretative center is a masterpiece of interactive displays that combines artistic sensitivity with extensive scientific research. The building itself is equally impressive. Bring your binoculars: whales may be spotted from here.

Puerto Madryn Tours with Say Hueque Argentina JourneysMuseo Oceanografico y de Ciencias naturales

Domecq Garcia y Menendez 9120, Tel. (0280) 445 1139. Lovely oceanographic museum located in the historic house “Chalet Pujol” which is built in 1915. The explanations are in Spanish and geared to youth science classes, but it’s visually informative and creatively presented. You should also walk up to the cupola for a beautiful view on the port.

Historical Site of Punta Cuevas

Museum “del Desembarco” Boulevard Brown 3600. About 3 km from Puerto Madryn, walking south along the coast road, next to the El Indio statue. When in 1865 a ship with 150 welsh left Liverpool coming to the new world escaping from the English oppression, they arrived here. The first few months, however, life here was difficult and not quite the idyll they had believed it would be. Initially they lived in caves close to the sea, many of which can still be seen today (cave in Spanish is cueva, that is where the name of this area comes from). In this place there is the Museo del Desembarco, where you can learn more about the welsh arrival in Argentina.

If you are welsh you might even be interested in the international forums celebrated here once a year about the welsh immigrants in Argentina.

Churreria Quemehuencho

R.S. Peña 212, Tel. (0280) 154404016. They say you haven’t been in Puerto Madryn if you didn’t have a stop here. Excellent place to try mate, the Argentinean National drink (if you are a beginner pour sugar on it until you get used to the bitter flavor) and eat the best churros from town.

Relax on the beach on Puerto Madryn Tours by Say HuequePlaya Parana

Ten kilometers north of town. A popular beach with locals, great option if you come during hot days. Even luckier if you get one of the warm currents that locals say flow in this direction a few days a year, when the waters turns warm.

Playa El Doradillo

Twenty km north of the town.This is probably the best beach to see whales from the beach side. The water close to the coast is so deep that they can come within 20 meters of the shoreline.

Barrio Sur

An interesting and picturesque neighborhood. Quite streets ocean direction and vanguard architecture and with some nice restaurants. It is a good option for a relaxed walk around and to see how Madrynenses live. The area is defined by Boulevard Alte. Guillermo Brown and Av. Julio A. Roca.

Eating at the best restaurants on Puerto Madryn ToursOur favorite restaurants!

Placido

Av. Julio Argentino Roca 506, Tel. (0280) 445 5991. The most expensive but prettiest from the town. First-class gourmet style dishes with beach front views. Menu includes sea food, pasta and Patagonian lamb. Delicious!

 

Cantina El Nautico

Av. Julio Argentino Roca 790, Tel. (0280) 447 1404. Dishes for everyone’s tastes and budgets. It is the most traditional with being more than thirty years in town.

Vernardino Club de Mar

Boulevard Brown 860, Tel. (0280) 4474 289. Good food in a modern decorated restaurant– wooden deck in beach style. They also offer beach activities like kayaking, diving, bike rentals, and many other activities.

Try traditional Argentina Food on Puerto Madryn Tours

Margarita

Roque Sáenz Peña 27, Tel. (0280) 447 0885. Pizza, grilled fish and roasted meat are served in this alive pub. Good ambience if you want to go out for a couple of drinks.

Taska Beltza

9 de julio 445. Very good service, the chef and owner of the place, advises you personally to choose the dishes. The food is good in general, but the homemade desserts are delicious It is a small place, away from the center. Interesting choice.

Churreria Quemehuencho

R.S. Peña 212 Tel: 154404016. They say you haven’t been in Puerto Madryn if you didn’t have a stop here. Excellent place to try mate, the Argentinean National drink (if you are a beginner pour sugar on it until you get used to the bitter flavor) and eat the best churros from town.

Important

Please, note although we update information every year, during high season some new restaurants open and some others close, so please, always check before going for a meal with the reception of your hotel.

Go on a Patagonia Adventure in Puerto MadrynDirections 

As almost all cities in Argentina, the cities are measured in blocks where each block is around 100 meters. As well as that most of the time distances are measured in blocks rather than in miles or kilometers.

 

Calendar

Puerto Madryn can be visited all year round, but the wildlife living in this area isn’t around all year. Like the whales, they arrive late June in the bay of Puerto Madryn and stay until mid-December. Whereas, the penguins are settling down during the Argentine spring and summer from October until April. The sea elephants and the sea lions are permanent residents and can therefore be spotted all year round.

 

What to do if you get sick?

When you are in need of medical assistance you can always contact your tour operator or the reception of your hotel to ask for a list of recommended doctors.

Otherwise, there are several hospitals in the city, both private and public, which you can visit by yourself without any appointment.

We recommend this hospital:

Hospital Zonal Puerto Madryn
Gómez 383, Puerto Madryn
0280 445-1240 

 

Useful telephone numbers

Calling from Puerto Madryn: pay phones operate with chip cards or change (5, 10, 25, 50 cents and AR$1). You can make either short or long distance calls. Direct International Dial-Up: 00 + country code + area code + number.

Calling Puerto Madryn: the international prefix for Argentina is 54 and for Puerto Madryn is 2965. For example, to reach the 4555-5555 in Puerto Madryn when calling from abroad, dial: 54-2965-455-5555.

Emergency numbers:

– Police: 101
– Fire Department: 100
– Medical Aid: 107

 

Helpful

A little basic Spanish always comes in handy when traveling to Puerto Madryn. But the tours offered to this destination are also available in English. As well as that waiters in restaurants are able to speak a little bit of English so they can help you with the translation of the menu. Street vendors on the other hand don’t speak any English.

 

People

The people of Puerto Madryn are known as easy going and relaxed people. Since the village is situated directly on the sea, all the inhabitants’ life is influenced by it. Many inhabitants work as sailors or mariners, or they are working in the bay to make it as comfortable as possible for the swimming wildlife.

 

 

Peninsula Valdes Whale watching in Patagonia, Argentina

Clothing

Depending on the time of the year different clothing is necessary. During the summer months (October to April) it is usually warm during the day and therefore light summer clothing is recommended. However, we do suggest you to bring a warm sweater or jacket to wear at night, since nights can get cooler.

In the winter months (May to September) the temperature drops to an average of 1 °C (34 °F) in June and July. When traveling to Puerto Madryn in these months you should bring warm winter clothing like a coat, a hat, gloves, thermal underwear, warm boots and a scarf.

Use layers! Under shirt, short sleeve T-shirt, long sleeve T-shirt, sweater, jacket. It is the best way to make sure you won’t be cold, but also that you won’t be too hot to keep moving!

 

Entrance fee to the National Park

Around Puerto Madryn are two national parks. Parque Nacional de Punta Tombo and Parque Nacional de Península Valdés. Both parks only accept cash payments in Argentine pesos. Credit or debit cards are not accepted.

 

Swimming with Sea Lions on Puerto Madryn ToursAnimals

Puerto Madryn is the place where you can spot a large range of wildlife. The tour guides can bring you as close as possible to spot penguins, whales, sea lions or sea elephants. How does less than 3 meters away sound? You will even get wet if a whale jumps right in front of you!

 

What not to forget

Carrying sun block during your tours is very important. Even when it’s cold and windy we recommend you to use sunscreen since you are still receiving lots of sunlight- and UV!

 

Eating

Whereas Argentina is famous for their steak, Puerto Madryn is an exception and distinguished by fish and seafood dishes. At the end of the day, plenty of fish boats return to the harbor with fresh fish and seafood, like salmon, kingfish, and sea basses, tosupply the nearby restaurants.

 

Airport

Puerto Madryn has an airport but still most of the flights arrive to Trelew, 65 km south. Be ready for this one hour driving upon arrival.

Puerto Madryn Tours & Excursions

Argentina for Adventurers Peninsula Valdes Whale Watching Wildlife of Argentina Tour
Patagonia Tours, takes you to trekk amazing locations Peninsula Valdes Whale Watching Tours in Argentina See Argentina Animals on Puerto Madryn Tours

 

Yellow Submarine (The Semi-submersible)

It whale watching was always an enriching experience prepare yourself to leave an unforgattable  one on this semi-submersible that allows to observe the whales immersed in their world, so close that it seems like diving with them. The combination of the submarine watching the whales submersed in their habitat.with the panoramic sights from the outdoor upper deck will undoubtedly lead to a once in a lifetime experience! Duration: Half Day – duration of the boat trip 1hour and 30minutes. Included: Crew, bilingual guide, semi private transfer in/out to Puerto Piramides.

 

Peninsula Valdes Whale Watching is spectacular

Doradillo

Enjoy one of the most wonderful experience in the world: Wacth Franca Whales in its natural context, without any forced contact with the human race. This place is chosen by these marine mammals for mating and birthing. Sailing from Puerto Pirámides admire the Southern Franca Whales, the absolute highlight of Atlantic Patagonia. With a knowledgeable guide, navigate the deep azure waters of the bay and encounter these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, watching them froam the coast or walking along the large extension of beach. Duration: 2hs (going through 38 Km. approx).

Punta Loma

Visit the first Reserve of Marine Fauna of all the Patagonian coast; a place where the beautiful colonies of Sea lions live together with the colonies of Cormorants of Black neck, among other marine and terrestrial birds, reptiles and mammals that makes this place a fascinating natural scenary and an ideal place to enjoy native fauna in their natural habitat, in one of the best-kept-secret area. Walk through a trail to see and interpret the flora typical of the region to complete this journey to through Patagonian nature. Duration: 2.30hs (going through 34 Km. approx). Note: Valid from June up to December.

 

Snorkel with sea lions on Puerto Madryn Tours

Snorkeling with Sea Lions

Embark on an adventurous journey into the rich Patagonian fauna coast, sailing along the inmense sea to the seal colony at Punta Lomo Puerto Madryn. This unique experience of interacting with the stable sea lions colony of more than 900 wolves, brings one and all closer to the natural treasures of Argentina’s coastline. Duration: 3hrs (45 minutes under water). Minimum age: 7 years old. Valid from July 15th to December 31st.

See Argentina Penguins in Puerto MadrynBasic information

Distance from Bs As

1400 km         

Are there banks, ATM’s?

There are many ATM machine in Puerto Madryn and different banks.

Internet?

Yes there is internet available.

Phones?

Yes, there are several phone centers downtown. If you want to make long distance calls we recommend you to buy a phone card. These can be bought in the phone centers or kiosks and it is cheaper than calling from your hotel. 

Is the water drinkable?

Yes. But since it is a deserted place, water (mainly during high season when the population increases) is not enough. So, water cuts during summer can be frequent.

 

Money

Argentina’s unit of currency is the peso, which has held steady at about nine to one against the US dollar (but this rate could change quickly). Notes come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. One peso equals 100 centavos; coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos. The $ sign in front of a price is usually used to signify pesos, so this should be the case unless otherwise marked.

Don’t be dismayed if you receive dirty and hopelessly tattered banknotes; they will still be accepted everywhere. Some banks refuse worn or defaced US dollars, however, so make sure you arrive in Buenos Aires with pristine bills. Casa Piano (a well known Cambio) will probably change your older or written-on bills, but they will discount a 3% of the value.

Sadly fake currency has become more common. So look for a clear watermark or running thread on the largest bills, and be especially careful when receiving change in dark nightclubs or taxis. If you hesitate ask to change it for another note.

Due to local restrictions for buying US dollars for locals, if you change money on arrival to Argentina, you have to keep the receipt. In case you want to change your left over pesos on the way back to your country, you will have to show the first receipt.

Banks

Argentina trips to the city of Puerto MadrynAll banks are opened during the morning from 8/9am till 1pm. Only several banks are opened during the afternoon and closing times can vary.

Regarding money exchange, some banks might have longer lines and more limited opening hours but may offer better rates, as well as more security regarding fake notes. CajerosAutomáticos (ATM) are everywhere in the city, but they dispense just Argentinean currency.

There might be a limited amount per transaction, depending on the bank, but you can always do more than one transaction at the same ATM.

Be aware of transaction fees. To avoid having a fistful of large-denomination bills, withdraw odd amounts like 290 pesos.

Credit Card

Many tourist services, larger stores, hotels and restaurants take credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard, especially for big purchases. Be aware, however, that some businesses add a recargo (surcharge) of up to 10% to credit card purchases; ask ahead of time if this is the case. Some lower end hotels and private businesses will not accept credit cards, and tips usually can’t be added to credit card bills in restaurants.

Traveler’s Check

Traveler’s checks are very impractical in Argentina, even in the capital Buenos Aires it is hard to change them. In Puerto Madryn you might be lucky if you can use them at the fancier hotels, a few banks and cambios. Stores normally don’t except them.

If you do decide to bring some, we recommend you to get them in US dollars.

Eating Out in Puerto Madryn RestaurantsTipping

Tipping is not compulsory but it is greatly appreciated throughout South America, especially in the service industry.  If you are satisfied with the services provided by your Destination Host, tour guides and drivers, then we recommend rewarding their hard work by tipping. In general, we suggest a tip of around US$20 – 25 a day for guides and US$ 5 -10 for drivers.

When tipping Hotel & Restaurant Staff, tips are generally 10% of the total bill. If you stay a couple of days in the same hotel, a tip of $3 – 5/day for the maid service is recommended. For porters, US$2-3/time/room is appropriate.   

 

 

Puerto Madryn Tours of the city and whale watching

Dangers and Annoyances

Puerto Madryn is not too touristic, and a small and calm city. Even though it is far from dangerous it is still advisable to be conscious and careful; don’t flash any wealth, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Since it is not a large city, the center has limited stores. There are several supermarkets and you can buy clothing for the trips they are offering but besides that there are not many options. 

Look for Panda Dolphins on Puerto Madryn Tours

 

Lonely Planet

“The gateway to Península Valdés, Puerto Madryn bustles with tourism and industry. It retains a few small-town touches: the radio announces lost dogs, and locals are welcoming and unhurried. With summer temperatures matching those of Buenos Aires, Madryn holds its own as a modest beach destination, but from June to mid-December the visiting right whales take center stage. From July to September, these migrating whales come so close they can be viewed without taking a tour – either from the coast 20km north of town or from the town pier.

The sprawling city is the second-largest fishing port in the country and home to Aluar, Argentina’s first aluminum plant, built in 1974. A sheltered port facing Golfo Nuevo, Puerto Madryn was founded by Welsh settlers in 1886. Statues of immigrants and Teheulche along the shoreline pay tribute to its history. The Universidad de la Patagonia is known for its marine biology department, and ecological centers promote conservation and education.” Read more

 

Rough Guide

“Sprawling along the beautiful sweep of the Golfo Nuevo, Argentina’s self-styled diving capital, PUERTO MADRYN, is the gateway to the ecological treasure-trove of Península Valdés; indeed, the superb Ecocentro, just east of town, makes a great introduction to the area’s abundant marine life. Though Puerto Madryn was where the Welsh first landed in Patagonia in 1865, little development took place until the arrival of the railway from Trelew two decades later, when it began to act as the port for the communities in the Lower Chubut Valley. With the explosion of tourism in recent years, Puerto Madryn has undergone rapid growth, and the town’s small permanent population swells exponentially during the summer months.” Read more

 

Fodors

“From the middle of September through March, up to half a million penguins live in the Area Natural Protegido Punta Tombo, the world’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins and one of the most varied seabird rookeries. From the park entrance, a series of trails, boardwalks, and bridges lead you 3.5 km (2¼ miles) through the scrubby landscape where the penguins nest to the sea. The quizzical creatures seem unafraid of humans, and peer up at you from under the bushes where, between September and November, both males and females incubate eggs, often right beside the trail. Look for the bald vertical stripes on the penguins’ abdomens: they pluck out feathers so the eggs can sit warm against their skin. Come December, the ground is teeming with fluffy gray young, and the adult penguins waddle back and forth from the sea to feed them. They may move comically on land, but once you reach the rocky outcrops overlooking the water you’ll see how graceful and powerful these creatures become whenthey enter the water. You may also spot guanacos, seals, and Patagonian hares in the reserve, as well as cormorants and a host of other seabirds…” Read more

 

Footprint

“The sight of a mother and baby whale basking in quiet waters, just a few meters from your boat is an unforgettably moving sight. Not, perhaps, what you expected to see after travelling for days in the wild unpopulated open plains of Patagonia. But the whole Atlantic coast hosts huge colonies of marine life, and there is no region quite as spectacular as Península Valdés. This wide splay of land stretching into the Atlantic from a narrow isthmus enclosing a gulf of protected water attracts an astonishing array of wildlife which comes to breed here each spring, most famously the southern right whales. The small breezy town of Puerto Madryn is the best base for exploring the peninsula, though there are Estancias on Valdés itself. Just to the south, Trelew is worth a visit for its superb paleontological museum, and to reach the old Welsh pioneer villages of Gaiman and Dolavon further west. If you’re heading south by road, consider stopping off at historic Carmen de Patagones, a quaint Patagonian town. Patagonia’s fine estanciasstart here, with riding and sheep mustering at La Luisa.” Read more

 

Frommer’s

“(..) A laid-back city of 70,000, Puerto Madryn’s population boom came in the mid-1970s. Until then, the city had only 6,000 inhabitants, but the Aluar aluminum factory completely changed the town when it opened its doors here in 1973. Now, there are tile, fish, and ceramic factories on the outskirts of town. Tourism, too, is booming. And Aluar is still expanding. In fact, Puerto Madryn is now one of the fastest-growing cities in Argentina. Mostly used by foreign visitors, the coastal street, Avenida Roca, is lined with restaurants, bars, and hotels. Locals tend to patronize establishments at least 1 block inland. The wide beach is great, with frequently calm waters that make swimming possible from mid-December to mid-March. I also recommend that you take 30 minutes to stroll to the tip of the Old Dock for a great view of the area. The streets a few blocks inland are buzzing with locals. Here you’ll find inexpensive clothing stores, and cafes and bars catering more to residents than to tourists. Very few visitors take the time to walk around here, but it’s worth meandering in the residential neighborhood for at least an hour. With the bay shimmering in front, there’s an easygoing and relaxed feeling about Puerto Madryn, and you may want to spend an extra day relaxing here, before continuing your journey.” Read more

 

Wikitravel

“The city of Puerto Madryn is in the north east of Chubut Province in the Patagonia region of Argentina on the shores of Gulfo Nuevo, a large, deep water bay of the Atlantic Ocean.” Read more

 

Time Out

“A desolate-looking place, the three-kilometer-long, sand and gravel covered Península Valdés, is home to the world’s largest Magellanic penguin colony. Over half a million penguins arrive here to breed every year between September and March, when the weather gets warmer: building their nests under bushes or in small burrows. A booth at the entrance provides information about the designated paths and use of the special viewing areas so as not to disturb the penguins. The reserve is also home to guanacos, choique and seabirds such as cormorants and petrels…”

Check out the Argentina Penguins on Puerto Madryn ToursGeneral Information

Why is it called Puerto Madryn?

Founded in 1865 with the arrival of 150 Welsh immigrants, Puerto Madryn was named after Sir Love Jones Parry, Baronet of Madryn and one of the best-known dwellers of this city in the Welsh country.

Economy

The main drive behind the economy of Puerto Madryn isthe aluminum factoryAluar which was established in 1974. This is the only aluminum factory in Argentina and provides the entire domestic demand for aluminum. As well as that it employs 1700 people from the area.

Next to the aluminum production, fishing and tourism are important aspects of the economy. Tourism is very popular in this area because of the beaches and their clear water,the diving opportunities, and not to forget island Valdés which is attracting a lot of tourist because of their whale watching tours. 

Elevation

17 m.

Population

80,000 approx.

 

Puerto Madryn Tours show you Argentina animals

History

In 1865 when 150 Welsh arrived at the coast of Patagonia, Puerto Madryn was found. The settlement of the city started in 1886, which was an important year. A railway track between Puerto Madryn and Trelew was built and Welsh, Spanish and Italian immigrants were hired for the construction. Due to the railway, the city became the entrance and the exit of the Welsh colony. Until the end of the 50s and the beginning of the 60s the harbor together with the railway track experienced major growth. But the growth didn’t last forever. At the beginning of the 60s the tax exemptions in this field of business were removed which had as a consequence that a lot of maritime enterprises disappeared, and eventually the Patagonic Railway got closed. More and more jobs were disappearing and people decided to emigrate and leave the region. The activities which had fostered the growth of the city were no longer there. However, there was a new chance of work since the aluminum plant was established. From the 70s on the city again experienced extreme growth, the new plant attracted families from different parts of the country and even foreigners to Puerto Madryn.

News, Articles and more…

Here is a selection of interesting, useful, fun and informative articles that we love reading and sharing with you.

Argentina Penguins on the beach in Puerto Madryn

 

Things to Do in Puerto Madryn, Argentina

 By Lauren Miller, USA Today

“(..) Puerto Madryn has some of the best whale-watching anywhere. From June to mid-December, tourists from all over the world come to the city to catch sight of whales in the waters of Golfo Nuevo, where the water is warm. The whales come to the area to breed. Tour companies run excursions along the coast to view southern right whales, and the huge mammals also come close enough to land at El Doradillo beach for sightings from the shore. Whale tours last from an hour and a half to a half day and venture out toward the Valdés Peninsula where visitors might also see baby whales…” read more

 

Surrounded by Thousands of Penguins in Punta Tumbo

By Jonathan Duke, The Huffington Post

“I never thought I’d see penguins in the wild, and I’d certainly never thought I’d see them while wearing shorts and a t-shirt. But, as was explained to me later, there’s such a thing as warm weather penguins. This particular species is the Magellanic Penguin who’s habit ranges from the Strait of Magellan in the south to as far north as Rio de Janeiro.

I was in Puerto Madryn, smack in the middle of the penguins’ range and very close to one of their largest breeding colonies. With its cool sea breeze and small town feel, Puerto Madryn was a welcome break from the hustle and heat of Buenos Aires. This would be my base for exploring the surrounding wildlife reserves of Peninsula Valdes and Punta Tumbo…” read more

 

Planning a trip to Puerto Madryn

The Argentina Travel Blog by Say Hueque

“When planning a trip to Puerto Madryn you will no doubt be eager to indulge in the large range of wildlife that you are able to see roaming around this famous Patagonian port. There are creatures here that you probably have never seen before. Yet you don’t just ‘see’ them, in Puerto Madryn you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal any strange creature that you may come across; be it whale or sea lion, elephant seal or penguin…” read more

 

Diving with Sea Lions – Puerto Madryn, Argentina

By Wandering Trader

“This is one of the coolest experiences that I have ever had. I’ve never scuba dived in my life and these guys were just kind enough to let me go full fledged scuba with about 5 minutes worth of training. Puerto Madryn is a mecca for any animal lover and whether you want to get up close and personal with Penguins at Punta Tombo, whales in Puerto Piramides, or even sea lions in Punta Loma, everything is within a short drive. I was lucky to have been one of the three people on the boat.

Sometimes there are ten or twenty sea lions that are curious that come out to play and other times there are just a handful. Either way you should still plan to do this unique experience, it’s one of my favorite Argentina Attractions. We had a great time and I would highly recommend that you try it if you are ever in Puerto Madryn, Argentina…” read more

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