Puerto Madryn, Argentina
The gateway to Patagonia and one of Argentina’s best-kept secrets, Puerto Madryn has been growing in prominence among Royal Holiday members and tourists around the world. Often considered “the national capital of diving,” the city’s proximity to the Valdes Peninsula, with its wide variety of flora and fauna as well as its considerable natural beauty, makes it one of the top ecotourism destinations in the world. The water of the Nuevo Gulf and the city’s several sandy beaches make for an excellent summer holiday, while the city’s location close to all the wonders of Patagonia make it an ideal home base for the Royal Holiday member looking for adventure year round.
The Royal Holiday affiliate in Puerto Madryn is the Australis Yene Hue Hotel & Spa, a four-star resort that provides Royal Holiday members with oceanfront views and easy access to everything the town has to offer. With both studio and ambassador accommodations, it’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. The on-site spa includes all the treatments and services necessary for real relaxation, while the resort’s heated swimming pool, in-house restaurant and bar, and well-equipped gym make it a truly comfortable experience. Located a mere block from the beach, it’s also the ideal hotel for the Royal Holiday member who wants the shortest walk to the ocean.
Founded by Welsh immigrants in 1865, Puerto Madryn’s rustic coastline and crystalline waters have been drawing visitors for many decades, though its main claim to fame comes from the wildlife that call the region home. The right whale, a species that makes the waters off Puerto Madryn its winter home, flocks to the region beginning in June. Royal Holiday members hoping to join in the whale watching will want to either join one of the tour boats, which congregate at Puerto Pirámides, or hike to El Doradillo Beach, where whales often wave at their shore-bound audience. In 1999, UNESCO named the Pinínsula Valdés a World Heritage Site, and every visitor to Puerto Madryn will want to take a trip to the peninsula’s outer limits, where all manner of marine mammals thrive, including elephant seals, sea lions, and orcas, as well as a number of bird species and other animals. Royal Holiday members hungry for more natural beauty can join one of the easily accessed tours to Punta Tombo Natural Reserve, a well-known gathering place of Magellan penguins and one of the best-preserved glimpses of Atlantic Patagonia’s rough beauty.
While Puerto Madryn generally focuses its tourism efforts on its natural beauty, Royal Holiday members looking to learn more about the city itself will find a wealth of opportunities. A trip to the Municipal Museum of Art and historic tours of the original settlement at Punta Cuevas will satisfy those hungry for more information on the city’s fascinating past, while scientific exhibitions at Ecocentro Madryn and the Oceanographic and Natural Sciences Museum put the city in its natural context. Of course, at Argentina’s diving capital, many Royal Holiday members will want to enjoy the incredible experience of exploring the Puerto Madryn coast underwater. Those who are interested in escaping the beach for a day or two can seek out any number of agrotourism groups, which explore the surrounding countryside to sample its culinary and cultural traditions.