Southern Right Whale breaching off the Valdes Peninsula by Marie-France Grenouillet.
Of Argentina’s 15 or so endemics four occur in this region; Chubut Steamer Duck, Patagonian Canastero, Sandy Gallito and Rusty-backed Monjita (virtually endemic). (The country's other endemics most of which occur in the northwest are Bare-eyed (Moreno’s) Ground Dove, Cordoba and Olrog's Cinclodes, Steinbach’s Canastero, White-throated Cachalote, Salinas Monjitas, White-browed Tapaculo, Yellow-striped Brush Finch, Tucuman Mountain Finch (virtually endemic), Monte Yellow Finch, Carbonated Sierra Finch and Cinnamon Warbling Finch.)
Magellanic Diving Petrel, Hooded Grebe (mainly Nov-Jan), White-throated Caracara, Snowy Sheathbill (mostly Nov-Dec), Magellanic Oystercatcher, Magellanic Plover, White-bellied Seedsnipe, Burrowing Parrot, Magellanic Woodpecker and Yellow-bridled Finch. Also a chance of Gentoo and King Penguins, Spectacled Duck, Black-throated Huet-huet and Canary-winged Finch.
Lesser Rhea, Magellanic Penguin (mostly Sep-Mar, with young from Dec), Black-necked and Coscoroba Swans, geese including Ruddy-headed Goose, ducks including Torrent Duck, grebes, Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel, Black-faced Ibis, Chilean Flamingo, Andean Condor, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Aplomado Falcon, Two-banded Plover, Rufous-chested and Tawny-throated Dotterels, Blackish Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, Hudsonian Godwit, Grey-breasted and Least Seedsnipes, Dolphin Gull, Chilean and Brown (Antarctic) Skuas, Great (Magellanic) Horned Owl, Ringed Kingfisher, Chilean Flicker, miners, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, cinclodes, canasteros, Black-crowned Monjita, ground tyrants, Chocolate-vented and Spectacled Tyrants, Many-coloured Rush Tyrant, Austral Negrito, White-tipped and Rufous-tailed Plantcutters, sierra finches and Long-tailed Meadowlark.
Killer Whale (see above), Southern Right Whale (Jul-Dec, mostly Sep-Nov), Southern Elephant Seal, Southern Sealion, Dusky Dolphin, Guanaco, Vicuna, Patagonian Cavy and Patagonian Mara. Also a chance of Commerson's Dolphin, and Large Hairy and Pink Fairy Armadillos.
Perito Moreno Glacier One of the most accessible and spectacular glaciers in the world, in the appropriately named Glacier National Park.
A huge Magellanic Woodpecker by John Foster.
The best time to look for Killer Whales hunting sealion pups is usually the second half of March when the highest numbers of pups are on the beaches, preparing to go to sea for the first time. The adult sealions are usually present from December to March. The numbers of Southern Right Whales usually peak between September and November which partly coincides with the period mid-October to mid-December which is the southern spring and best time to look for birds. Magellanic Penguins are usually at their rookery on Punta Tombo from September to mid-March and their eggs usually hatch at the beginning of December.
Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
Birds of Argentina by M Pearman (Two volumes). Helm, due 2017.
Birds of Argentina and Uruguay: A Field Guide by T Narosky and D Yzurieta. Vazquez Mazzini Editores SLR, 2003.
Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica by M R de la Pena and M Rumboll. Collins, 1998.
Birds of Chile by A Jaramillo. Princeton University Press, 2003.
Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006.
The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).
Where to watch birds in South America by N Wheatley. Helm, 1994.
Don’t know which country/countries to visit in South America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.
Many trip reports, some for Southern Argentina, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Southern Argentina. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Southern Argentina' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Southern Argentina include the following.