The Peninsula Valdes, down on the southern Atlantic shores of Argentina is an absolute must-see for wildlife lovers, a particular haven for marine mammals, birds and other Patagonian species. This vast promontory and the deserted coastline around it owe their place on the World Heritage List to a great variety of coastal species. The waters around the Peninsula are especially famed for the endangered southern right whales that arrive to give birth and raise their calves from June to November, peaking in October. Orcas can occasionally be spotted from December to April as they attempt to beach themselves to try and feed on seal pups on shore. Head to one of only a small handful of ranches to hike along its coastal trails or take to a small boat for whale-watching from Puerto Madryn.
There are also thousands of Magellanic Penguin nesting around the Valdes Peninsula, present October to March, with a particularly large colony at Punta Tombo. South of the Peninsula lies Gaiman, which retains the language and culture of its original Welsh settlers. Further south still lies Bahía Bustamante, a remote seaside village surrounded by nature and encompassing a wide diversity of seabirds and marine mammals. This former canning plant is a private property that sprawls over 200,000 acres and feels like it is in another world, so removed from civilisation are you. From magnificent beaches of white sand and crystal-clear water framed by dark red rocks it spreads inland, to moonscapes of great deserts and petrified forests.