The old saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words has never been more true than with respect to our incredible trip to Peninsula Valdes. A tiny peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean from Patagonia, Peninsula Valdes is a true gem and an experience our family will never forget. We stayed as the only guests at Loreto Lodge where we treated like family. This estancia is located directly on the peninsula and so immediate access to all of the many sights is quick and easy which enables long days of adventure.
I can’t possibly recommend this trip highly enough. Our visit began with an amazing hordeback ride riding among maras, guanacos and, of course, sheep up to the beach where you can both see and hear the whales.
The next day began with a hike across the ranch. We then drove across the peninsula for a morning boat ride where the kids got to snorkel with a colony of sea-lions. We passed a number of whales nursing their calves and then we settled into a cove for a little fishing contest. Once we caught our lunch, we headed back to the ranch for an Asado.
After lunch we headed across the penisula to see the penguins nesting. A huge advantage of staying on the peninsula itself is that the penguins nest on private land, which Loreto has access to. So instead of having a lot of people crowing into an area with a few wlidllife, we were very few people strolling through a ton of wildlife. Naturally we conducted ourselves in a manner so that we wouldn’t disrupt them, but the penguins were fairly non-plussed by our arrival. The elephant seals couldn’t have cared less.
After a delicious dinner of local shrimp and scallops, we collapsed into bed. The next day we began the day by kayaking amongst the whales along a beautiful and totally empty beach. We had to be careful not to run directly into the whales. The sound of them breathing could be heard all the way from the beach and to hear it up close was totally magic. Ernesto (aka Ernestcito) and Ale took the kids out by themselves while Michele and I enjoyed a magical hike along the beach and up the dunes. We then took the kayaks while the kids enjoyed a bit more snorkeling along the beach.
After eating the salmon we caught for lunch, Michele stayed in to inspect her eyelids while I took the kids to Ale’s father’s sheep farm to watch a sheep shearing in the traditional way. We then clambered down to the beach where we climbed the immense dunes and watched the sunset, bringing an end to another spectacular day.
Sunday began with a quick morning horseback ride and then tearful hugs goodbye. A really special place to which I hope to return some day soon.