With a population around 50,000, Puerto Madryn is one of the fastest growing cities in Argentina. While it was originally founded by Welsh settlers, little remains of that Welsh heritage today. Instead, it has become a major tourist destination for visitors looking to enjoy the beaches, wildlife and outdoor activities of the nearby Valdes Peninsula.
How to Get to Puerto Madryn
Cruise ships dock about four miles from the center of town. Taxis are metered and are the best way to get into the city if you are not participating in a shore excursion organized by your ship.
One Day in Puerto Madryn
Visiting Puerto Madryn is really more about exploring the surrounding area than the city itself. It is the jumping off point for excursions to the nearby Valdes Peninsula, a wildlife sanctuary for birds and marine life. Visit sea lion colonies, spot sea elephants, drive past guanacos, foxes, armadillos and ostriches or hop on a boat to go whale watching. If you enjoy snorkeling or diving, head to Punta Pardelas Beach, one of the best scuba diving areas in the country. Hiking or biking are also great ways to spend a day on the Peninsula.
Another option is to join an excursion to the Punta Tombo Penguin Reserve, about two-and-a-half hours from Puerto Madryn, to get an up close view of Magellanic penguins and llama-like guanacos.
If you’d like to get a feel for the area’s Welsh roots, arrange a trip about 90 minutes out of Puerto Madryn to Gaiman, one of the few villages in the area to still maintain Welsh traditions.
If you do decide to stick around town, you might start your visit with a stroll along Almirante Brown Boulevard. Enjoy a variety of cafes, shops, beach activities and sweeping ocean views. Then, climb up to the Tehuelche monument for even better views of the entire area. Learn more about the flora and fauna of the region by visiting the Ecocentro, the Provincial Oceanographic and Natural Sciences Museum or the Paleontological Museum.
The local language is a form of Spanish known as Castellano. While the official currency is the Argentinian peso, US dollars and Euros are widely accepted. Money can be changed at banks around the city and ATM's are available throughout town as well. Credit cards are also generally accepted, but it may be difficult to cash traveler’s checks.