Whale Watching from the Beach

We hired a car in Puerto Madryn (see Renting a Car) and drove to a whale-watching spot just outside the town called Las Canteras. To get there you need to head north from Puerto Madryn and follow signs for El Doradillo beach. The road there is made of gravel, so it is quite slow-going and very bumpy! I had read that the best time to see the southern right whales is at high tide, however we had limited time and so we could only go later in the day.

This was the best photograph I got of a southern right whale. Taken from the beach.

We eventually saw some whales, but they were quite far away. We could see the spray of water as they surface to breathe and occasionally a glimpse of tail was visible. It was a bit disappointing, but was expected given the tides. We decided to drive further along the same road towards the peninsula, thinking that we might see some more along the way. As we were driving along we did see a whale from the car, and this one was much closer. We quickly stopped the car and ran down on to the beach, where we had an excellent view.

Later on that evening we were back in the hotel and my husband was in the gym which looks out over the bay. All of a sudden there was some commotion out to sea, and there was a whale splashing about very close to the town beach! We went out onto the beach and watched it for about 20 minutes as the sun was setting. Earlier on it had been quite windy and the waves were choppy. At this time the sea was very calm and so it was much easier to see the whale. I would definitely recommend staying a hotel on the seafront, with a sea view if you can get one, and then you can keep an eye out for whales from your room!