PATAGONIA : Orca and wildlife observation

Patagonia

This stay in Argentina Patagonia takes place on the best time to observe the attacks of the orcas of Valdès, when young sea lions are being weaned from their mother and play recklessly in the shallow waters or along the beach… orcas are on the lookout, offering to photographers a scene of extraordinary animal life during the first part of this trip. In the second part of the journey, you will discover animal colonies on isolated islands where you will have a lot of photographic opportunities. The programm of this complete journey allows you to share with an international group your love of nature and wildlife.

It’s a breathtaking adventure that we offer to experience in the land of orcas, at the Valdes Peninsula, a world known place where international top filmmakers and photographers are found waiting for the perfect shot of a hunting scene by the world famous Orcas of Peninsula Valdes.

In collaboration with scientists of Punta Norte Orca Research station (PNOR), and with advices of a member of Dr. Ingrid Visser team, this expedition brings you to observe the unique and exceptional hunting behavior of this area orcas. Nowadays up to 13 resident Orcas showcase their sophisticated hunting skills as they pursue young sea lion pups playing on the beaches.

The second part of the trip, further south on the coast, will allow you to observe, in addition to wildlife above, a large amount of other animal species, such as various bird species, armadillos, skunks, dolphins, Patagonian foxes…
All nature and wildlife observation lovers will return amazed by the many species encountered during this trip.

Day 1 : arrival in Patagonia
2 hours transfer from Trelew airport and installation in your accomodation in Puerto Piramide, where you will stay for the first week.

Day 2 to 9 : Observation of the orcas of Valdes
Early every morning you will have about one hour transfer to join the PNOR scientists at the observation point in Puerta Norte. You will stay at the station from three hours before the highest tide until another three hours after high tide.

Observers strationed along the coast scour the ocean with binoculars untill they saw the orcas. Then they report to the PNOR receiving details of the location of animals by radio.

Each day, the goal is to observe the orca when it uses its spectacular hunting technique to catch one of the sea lion pups, technique called “intentional stranding” by scientists.

More thansea lions and orcas feeding their pups, you will observe different other animal species such as foxes, armadillos, various sea bird species, and turkey vultures.
During this part of the trip, other activities like snorkeling with sea lions, kayak excursion or cycling in the peninsula are scheduled and organised depending on the weather.

Day 10 : Puerto Piramides / Camarones
For the second part of the trip, you will continue further south, near the protected natural area of Cabo Bahias. On the way, you will stop at Trelew to visit the Museum of Paleontology “Egidio Feruglio”, then you will go on to Camarones, a sleepy but picturesque fishing town, where you will stay for the next two nights. End of day free to your accomodation.

Day 11 : The Cabos dos Bahias reserve
In the heart of this reserve, you will discover a colony of penguins. This protected area is without a doubt one of the most surprising natural area of the bay of Camarones, with its breeding area featuring more than 80 0000 Magellanic penguins.
Also guanacos, maras, armadillos, foxes and darwin ostriches can be observed.

Day 12 : In Darwin’s footprints
You will continue your journey 550km southwards on to the Rio Deseado, following Darwin’s footprints ; the young naturalist set foot here for the first time on the 23 december 1883, and went back a lot of times after this first visit.
Here you will observe many sea birds, such as skuas, Scoresby gulls and cormorants.

Day 13 : Ria Deseado
You will walk in Darwin’s footprints and take boats to sail on the Rio Deseado. You will have the opportunity to see a lot of sea birds and have a stop on the Bird Island where you can observ a lot of colony of sea gulls, cormorants and penguins.
While you are cruising the Ria Deseado you will also stay on the lookout for the Commerson’s dolphins, sometimes also called skunk dolphin or panda dolphin because of its black and white colourings. It is one of the smallest of all whale and dolphin species in the world, growing to around 1.5 metres and is only found in two geographically separate areas in the Southern hemisphere : in Patagonia and in the Kerguelen islands.

Day 14 : The island of the Rockhoppers
This day will be the opportunity for an expedition to the island of the Rockhoppers ( a kind of penguin differenciated by a tuft of feather on each side of the head ) for a closer look of this bird present in sub-antarctica islands.
The island and its surrounding waters also provide an ideal habitat for Magellanic penguins, elephant seals, fur seals, skuas, cormorants, Commerson’s dolphins and Peale’s dolphins.
Also scheduled this day, the discovery of the remains of an eighteenth century sea lion factory and the visit of the centenary lighthouse, which will remind you the history of this paradise.

Day 15 : Exploring the estuary
You will observe a colony of red-legged cormorants from land. The rest of the day is free at your own leisure.
Boat trips, visit of an “Estencia” or of a big cattle ranch, are possible during your free time.

Day 16 : Leaving Patagonia
Unfortunately it’s time to leave your paradise. Transfer to the airport in the early morning.

22/03/2014 TO 05/04/2014 – SOLD OUT
05/04/2014 TO 19/04/2014

Price for less than 35 : from 3190€ per person
Price for more than 35 : from 3490€ per person

Included in Price :
• International and national flights
• All transfers between the sites during the whole stay.
• Eight days of orcs observation and research in Punta Norte
• English speaking guide
• Eight night in 4 persons cabanas, including breakfast
• Four nights in communal chalet with communal kitchen ( without breakfast )
• Two nights in basic four person chalets, including breakfast
• One snorkeling excursion with sea lions
• One kayak trip.
• One cycling trip.
• All excursions as stated in the program.

Not included in price :

• National Park entrance fees (about 50 USD)
• Food and drinks except breakfast stated in « included in the price »
• Staff and guides gratuities
• Personal expenses
• The insurances ( cancellation, support… )
• Real costs of the stay due to any change of flights

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