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Getting Here and Around
Madryn is just small enough to walk around in, and many hotels are on or near the 3½-km-long (2-mi-long) Avenida Alte. Brown—often referred to as La Rambla—which runs alongside the bay and has a wide pedestrian walkway. Renting a bicycle is great way to reach the EcoCentro and (if you're feeling fit) the Punta Loma nature reserve. Otherwise, to get to either of these, to El Doradillo beach north of town, and to Península Valdés and Punta Tombo you'll need to either rent a vehicle, travel with a tour, or take a remis. Mar y Valle also run two to three daily bus services between Puerto Madryn's bus terminal and Puerto Pirámides on the Península Valdés.
For those flying in and out of Trelew, Transportes Eben-Ezer operates a shuttle service direct to any hotel in Puerto Madryn (35 pesos). The buses are timed to leave after the arrival of each Aerolíneas Argentinas flight. They fill up fast, so call ahead to book your seat. There are roughly hourly services between Puerto Madryn and Trelew and Gaiman with 28 de Julio. Andesmar and Don Otto connect Puerto Madryn to Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Río Gallegos, and Puerto Montt in Chile.
Puerto Madryn is a useful base for exploring nearby wildlife sites such as Península Valdés and Punta Tombo. If time is tight, or you don't feel like driving the several hundred kilometers to get to either, consider taking an organized day tour. The regular services offered by the many agencies around town vary little in price and content. Try to book a couple of days ahead if you can, although mid-week many companies accept bookings the night before the tour leaves.
Note that the English spoken by most guides ranges from amusing to downright unintelligible, so read up on the area first. Drinks, snacks, and meals are never included: bring plenty of your own along, and be prepared to spend a long, long time on your minibus.
Standard tours to Península Valdés typically include a stop at the visitor center, a whale-watching boat trip (June through December), and a visit to two other wildlife spots on the peninsula. Time is often tight, and tours can feel more like working through a fauna checklist than getting close to nature. All companies can drop you off in Puerto Pirámides on the way back if you've decided to stay there overnight.
Day trips to Punta Tombo stop off at Rawson for dolphin-watching (not always included in the tour price), then continue south to the penguin reserve where you get a scant hour or so. They usually return via Gaiman (with a visit to a Welsh teahouse) or Trelew (to see the dinosaur museum). Most companies are happy to drop you at the Trelew airport on the way back if you have an evening flight.
Botazzi is the only Madryn-based tour operator with its own whale-watching boats—their tours to Península Valdés are slightly more expensive than those of other companies, but they guarantee you 1½ hours on the water. Nievemar and Miras del Mar are two other reliable operators—the latter's Punta Tombo tours are particularly good value. If you're after a more personal experience, talk to Causana Viajes, who create custom special-interest trips.
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