Breathtaking wildlife encounters on our Patagonia holiday
This post is a contribution by happy travellers Gemma and Andrew who planned their Patagonia holiday through Sumak Travel. This was their third trip with us, and we were thrilled to be able to provide them with a personalised adventure, again! In Andrew’s words:
As our plane circled high above the curving contours of the River Plate, little did we know what magical adventures were awaiting us below. From the vibrant markets and colonial buildings of the San Telmo neighbourhood, to the rolling expanses of the Patagonian plains, we were captivated by these incredible places. First, a few days to decompress, and soak up some Buenos Arian culture -and Malbec- before heading down to Peninsula Valdes. There, we saw Southern Right Whale mothers and calves enjoying each others’ company in the shallow nursery waters of the Golfo Nuevo. While based in the area, we met with yet another amazing guide (every guide we have met through Sumak has been brilliant), Marcos!
Wildlife encounters in Peninsula Valdes
Over the next few days Marcos took us on some magical road trips. First, to a penguin colony – we could have sat for hours watching them waddling around. The reason that they are so clumsy on land is that they have a film over their eyes. This gives them 20/20 vision underwater for hunting, but means that everything is a bit blurry on land. They often bump into rocks, bushes, each other, and on one occasion, me! We were even lucky enough to see some of the couples warming their eggs in their nests. They didn’t seem remotely threatened or upset by the interruption.
Next we went to an Elephant Seal colony. We were able to get very close to the animals (but all the while keeping a respectful distance). Bull Seals need to be seen to be believed, they are massive! The ladies in their harem are about 1/10th the size, which makes your eyes water when you consider what they spend most of the time doing.
Finally, we hopped on a boat to go and play with the teeny tiny Plata dolphins. I’m very aware of the risks of too much nature tourism, but this was a small boat. It only went out once per day, and the dolphins genuinely seemed to enjoy swimming in the wake. They pulled off some spectacular tricks! But the highlight was when we saw a Mum and Dad with their even tinier baby- who was having a whale (or should that be dolphin) of a time.
The breathtaking Tierra del Fuego
The two other highlights to mention were Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego National Park. Ushuaia is near the southernmost tip of Argentina, and it really feels like a frontier town. It was here that we went for a trek in some unique forest, saw beavers, and then went for a canoeing trip around Lapataia Bay. And when it seemed like this couldn’t be any more perfect, a gentle snow fall enveloped us!
Then Tierra del Fuego. One word…WOW! This really is the middle of nowhere, in the most wonderful way. A gorgeous hotel with a big lake instead of a back garden, and lots of warm nooks and crannies inside to hang out, to read, or gaze at the awe inspiring scenery through one of the big windows.
In our three trips with Sumak Travel – to Costa Rica, Peru & Colombia, and Argentina & Chile – Sumak and their partner organisations have given my wife and I a lifetime of wonderful memories. We will be forever grateful to them for providing a professional service in an incredibly personal way. Throughout our Patagonia holiday, we were never part of a large tour group, and often it was just us and the guide.
We are already planning our next big Sumak Travel adventure to Brazil in 2020!
Muchas Gracias and Pura Vida to Felipe & the Sumak Travel team!
Did you like this content? Do not forget to subscribe to our quarterly, informative newsletter to receive updates directly into your inbox.
- Dolphin and whale-watching in Marino Ballena National Park, Costa Rica
- Community-based Tourism in Argentina – Traveling Through Beautiful Salta Province
- Whale-watching in Colombia – Exploring the Pacific Coast
- Visiting the Huasco Coast – Whale-Watching in Chile
- Trekking in Puerto Williams: the Southernmost City in the World
- Patagonian Adventures with the Mapuche