The incredible Southern Right Whale in Patagonia
Let us talk about the whale, our whale in the area. The Southern Right Whales are a member of the baleen whale family. Many baleen whales will take in large amounts of water then strain it back out through specialized plates in their mouths known as “baleens.” The krill are trapped inside by the baleen and then are swallowed. However Southern Right Whales are different in that they are skimmers – they swim through clouds of krill with their mouths open, removing the krill from the water as they pass.
These are social animals, whales are quite curious and playful when it comes to being around humans. They have been known to try to give boaters and kayak rides on their backs. They’re also known to happily interact with Dolphins and other whales. They move slowly, and swimm around 5 -6 km per hour… It`s an average speed.
Southern Right Whale females become sexually mature around the age of 9 years old. They will give birth every 3 to 4 years. The breeding season lasts from the middle of July through August when they come to the area of Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdes. First months, the show in the Doradillo area is awesome! The female will become surrounded by many males. She will roll onto her back to keep her genitals up out of the water and out of the reach of the males until she is ready. This is not always so successful since the male’s penis is 12 feet long and maneuverable.
The males, while not outright fighting, will push and shove each other around to gain access to the female. When she is ready the female will give multiple males access. The males produce a gallon of sperm . The pregnancy can last for over a full year. The calf weighs 1,500kg at birth
Southern Right Whales: When to see this incredible animal?
Whales are maybe, the highlight attraction in the area of Peninsula Valdes and Puerto Madryn. Of course, these incredible animals arrive to the area in some specific months. Take a look to the season to enjoy whales. The first specimen arrives in June, and mother and carf can be seen in the area of Doradillo, very close to the coast. It´s an amazing show of nature. During June and July, and sometime in August, they are in this area, and also in Peninsula Valdes, but from September to middle December, the best place to enjoy whales is Peninsula Valdes. This colossus can be seen in Puerto Pirámide for example, a small village in the Peninsula when you can overnight.
The first thing you need to know is that all the time during whale season, it`s possible to see these incredible animals along the coastline or just minutes in a short navigation. You can see mothers with heir calves! Amazing isn`t it? Well, but when you need to go there to enjoy this incredible show of nature? Well, in general season to enjoy whales in Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdes goes from beginning of June until middle December. It`s the large photo, but there are different periods during this season that are important. Why? Because sometimes the whales can be seen better from Puerto Madryn and beaches located close to the city, and sometimes it`s better to go to the Penisula Valdes. First period in the season, it`s June, July, August and September… the Right South Whale prefer to stay in the southern bay, called Golfo Nuevo, and it`s the best season to watch the whales from Puerto Madryn and beaches like Doradillo, where mother whale and her calf will delight you just few meters from the coastline. Yes… and it`s amazing. Finally, from last days of September to middle December, the whale prefer to stay in the north gulf, and can be seen better from the Peninsula Valdes.
When to see the whales and the carves?
The best season to see whales and carves on the local beaches close to Puerto Madryn is from middle June to the last days in September.
The Whale Watching activity
There is only one place in Argentina to really get a good whale experience, and this is around the Peninsula Valdes and Puerto Madryn. At times in the season, it is even possible to wander along the shoreline and have young whale mothers with their calves only twenty feet away in the water! In this section, we have endeavored to run through the main seasons and the main places to stay in the region for the best experience.
Generally speaking, the season for the whales starts from the beginning of June and runs through until December, when they start to move off again. Within this period, there are also a couple of distinct periods when they can be better seen from either the Peninsula or from Puerto Madryn. Basically, the earlier in the season the more the whales are congregating in the southernmost bay of the Peninsular and so are right outside Puerto Madryn. From around September, the whales head around the peninsular to base themselves on the northern bay, and thus it is better to stay in one of the Estancias on the Peninsular.
Once in the Peninsula (and there are many option of excursions to visit Peninsula Valdes from Puerto Madryn), and from Puerto Pirámides you can take a cruise of your own accord, a submersible boat trip lasting 90 minutes, where you can see the whales even closer to their natural habitat. The boat trip ends back at the Puerto Pirámides dock, where you'll have free time to eat lunch. Then we'll take you back to your hotel in Puerto Madryn. It´s an amazing experience!