Argentina: Kayak among whales and penguins at Peninsula Valdes

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

The Peninsula Valdes nature reserve is a remote mix of mud flats, cliffs and stony beaches so rich in wildlife that UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1999. In these waters off the east coast of Argentina, southern right whales thrive and orcas snack on sea lions and baby elephant seals.

Travel outfitter Adventure Life organizes five-day sea kayaking and camping trips that take travelers to see penguins, sea lions, elephant seals and, of course, whales -- up close. The trip starts and ends in Trelew, Argentina, and spends two nights camping at El 39, a beach where southern right whales are studied. A day of whale-watching at Puerto Piramides is included.

When: The tour is offered year-round. The best time to see wildlife is September through January when it’s summertime in the Southern Hemisphere.

Price: $1,305 a person, based on double occupancy; single supplement varies by season. (Add an estimated $690 a person for round-trip flights between Buenos Aires and Trelew.) The trip price includes two nights at a hotel, two nights camping, 10 meals, private guide for four days, gear rental and camping gear. The trip is customized and can accommodate beginning to experienced kayakers. International airfare is not included.

Info: Adventure Life, (800) 344-6118