Argentine Patagonia: Punta Norte and Orcas

Orcas at Punta Norte

Orcas at Punta Norte (pnor.org)

Every year around the month of March a group of ocras (also known as killer whales) does something amazing: they throw themselves on the beach of Punta Norte to capture sea lions. These orcas located off the coast of Peninsula Valdés in Northern Patagonia in Argentina comprise the only pod (family group) in the world to use this unique hunting tactic.

Adventures Within Reach can organize private departures to view this natural spectacle. The beach at Punta Norte is the only location in the Peninsula Valdés Fauna Reserve where travelers can have the opportunity to see the orcas during one of their high-tide attacks.

The area around the actual attack channel is restricted to professional photographers who have obtained a permit, however guests who stay on Punta Norte obtain similar access to the beach. Due to the remote location of Punta Norte there is only one lodging options that will allow travelers to view the channel where the orcas attack the sea lions. The Estancia La Ernestina is an active sheep ranch and one of the ranchers takes guests on private nature walks during their stay. The ranch has been run by the Copello family since 1907 and includes 6 rooms for guests.

For the best chance to see one of the orca attacks travelers should plan to visit during the month of March when sea lion pups begin to venture alone into the ocean. AWR recommends a 4-day/ 3-night stay at Estancia La Ernestina. Guests can relax in the remote location, watch the beach for orcas during the high-tides, go on a series of nature walks to view penguins and elephant seals, and visit other areas of the Peninsula Valdés when traveling to and from Punta Norte.

The price for a 4-day/ 3-night itinerary is $ 1260 (per person based upon double occupancy for March – April 2012). The price includes private transfers between Puerto Madryn and Estancia La Ernestina, full-board at Estancia La Ernestina, and guided nature walks at Estancia La Ernestina.

We also recommend visiting Peninsula Valdés from September through December. Other activities include whale viewing and sea kayaking trips.

Contact us for quotes and other itineraries!

Links:

Estancia La Ernestina

Punta Norte Orca Research

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