The Valdés peninsula, on the Atlantic coast north of Trelew, is known for whale-watching (in the bay near Puerto Madryn), and also penguins, sea lions and elephant seals. The best time of year for southern right whales is July to October (March and April for killer whales). Valdés is also one of the few places where you have a good chance of seeing the Patagonian hare (mara), especially if you stay at one of the estancias on the peninsula itself.
Our preferred accommodation
Estancia/Ranch - Punta DelgadaA family run estancia 7km from Punta Delgada, and one of the first sheep ranches established in 1880 by Spanish settlers. It has a lovely sitting room with an open fire place, typical furnishings, lots of books and excellent views out across the farm. There is a small dining room with an amazing selection of wine and the food is very good.
Beach hotel - Puerto PirámidesA smart, beach-front hotel in the centre of the village with a good restaurant. There is a Spa room upstairs with a pool and treatment rooms, and several very comfortable sitting areas around the hotel for reading and relaxing. The outside bar is great for a drink to watch the sun go down.
Inn/Posada - GaimanOn a 53 hectare farm just 6km from the town of Gaiman in the green Chubut valley. The original house dates from 1879 and has been lovingly converted into guest accommodation. Meals are home-cooked using local produce and a peaceful river runs along the back of the garden. The sitting room is full of interesting books about the local area and Patagonia in general.