Peninsula Valdes Self-Drive Safari

The Valdes Peninsula is a wildlife lover’s paradise. Get up close and personal with Elephant Seals, Sea Lions, Magellanic Penguins, Southern Right Whales, Dolphins and Orcas with the freedom and flexibility of self-driving. This is the classic way to experience the Valdes Peninsula and is one of our most popular trips. You can combine this with ‘Classics’ in other parts of Chile and Argentina to tailor your 2-3 week holiday. Please enquire for further details.

5 Days

Peninsula Valdes Self-Drive Safari - 5

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Drive towards the Valdes Peninsula which will take you through the desert-like Patagonia plains onto the Peninsula National Reserve
  • A free day in Puerto Primides to whale watch, go scuba diving or drive to see what wildlife this area has to offer
  • A chance to explore Puerto Madryn , drive in 4x4 vehicles to Punta Loma , a sea lion site
  • Head back to Trelew but in the morning perhaps visit the world-acclaimed dinosaur museum or perhaps drive down to Punta Tombo to see the largest penguin colony in South America 

Start from Trelew and end at Trelew

Landmarks visited on Peninsula Valdes Self-Drive Safari

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and drive from Trelew to Puerto Madryn

Upon arrival at Trelew airport you'll pick up your rental car and drive towards the Valdes Peninsula. This route will take you through the dry, almost desert-like scrubland of the Patagonia plains and on to the Valdes Peninsula National Reserve which extends out into the Atlantic Ocean.

You'll be staying in Puerto Madryn, the pretty town which is both the gateway to the Valdes Peninsula and a wildlife destination in it's own right. See penguins and whales with a walk along the long sandy coast, and then soak up the welcoming atmosphere at the port by evening. You'll also be able to appreciate the sunset over the bay from your comfort of your hotel, which offers excellent views of the Golfo Nuevo.

Accommodation: Hotel Dazzler, Puerto Madryn

Day 2: Explore the peninsula, reaching Faro Punta Delgada 

Begin the day exploring the north of the Valdes Peninsula, with visits to San Lorenzo and Punta Norte. The trail at San Lorenzo gives you plenty of opportunities to watch the prancing, discussions and disputes of the penguins which inhabit the area's largest Magellan penguin colony. You will also see Guanacos, Maras (Patagonia hares) and Rheas. Then continue along the coast to the Punta Norte Wildlife reserve, famous as the site where orca/killer whales have developed an extraordinary hunting technique for ambushing sealion pups at high tide, momentarily beaching themselves in the process.

Into the afternoon, you'll drive south along the coast past Caleta Valdes to see more wildlife, ending up at Punta Delgada, on the Golfo Nuevo, where you can find the largest colony of elephant seals on the peninsula. The night will be spent at the iconic Fara Punta Delgada, a former naval lighthouse which now operates as a luxury lodge and restaurant. The drive to Punta Delgada is 66km - just under 2 hours drive. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Fara Punta Delgada Hotel

Day 3: Marine life/seal colony in Punta Delgado, and choice of excursion

The hotel is home to it's own Elephant Seal colony which is not to be missed if you're staying between late June-September. Spend the morning getting up close with these giants of the sea, and take the opportunity to see the diversity of marine life to be discovered at the beaches of Punta Delgado (year-round).

In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion offered from Punta Delgada. You'll be able to choose and arrange this with the hotel guides beforehand, with options such as guided treks and horse riding through the cliffs.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Fara Punta Delgada Hotel

Day 4: Southern Right Whales in Puerto Piramides and Puerto Madryn

Drive to Puerto Piramides in the morning for a whale-watching boat trip into the Puerto Piramides Bay. This sheltered bay provides protection for the female Southern Right Whales to raise their calves, and during the breeding season (June to December) there are dozens of whales around the bay. These huge, incredible creatures come very close to the boat, meaning you really do get to experience their sheer size.

Head back to Puerto Madryn in the afternoon and see yet more Southern Right Whales from the southern coastline, crossing sand dunes, ravines and country paths en route to Punta Loma, a sea lion site.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Dazzler, Puerto Madryn

Day 5: Departure to Trelew

Today you head back to Trelew airport to drop off your rental car and catch your onward flight. 

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $0 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.

The price based on Standard hotels is $729 per person

The price based on Superior hotels is $840 per person

The price based on Luxury hotels is $977 per person

Prices valid until 30/04/2018


  • 2 nights accommodation at Puerto Madryn
  • 2 nights accommodation at Punta Delgada
  • Meals stated
  • 5 days medium car rental (Chevrolet Prisma or similar) with insurance (excesses do apply) with 800km allowance
  • Airport pick up surcharge
  • Hotel & car hire taxes
  • Trip Notes & Route Maps & hotel maps


  • Any optional activities mentioned in the itinerary above
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Flights
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?