Patagonia is home to so many incredible animals, but one of our favorite creates that we can find in Southern Argentina are penguins! We’re calling all penguin lovers of the world to discover these black and white flightless birds in their natural habitat.
We’ve pulled a list together of our three top spots to see Magellanic Penguins in Argentina.
- Punta Tombo
Punta Tombo is the place to go if you want to see more penguins than you can possibly imagine! That is because Punta Tombo is a reserve that holds its claim to fame as one of the largest magellanic penguin colonies in the world. Each year hundreds upond hundreds of penguins are born here. These feathered friends can be seen here only during nesting time because they spend the rest of the year in Brazil. So if you’re a penguin lover, be sure to head down to this massive penguin paradise sometime from the start of September until the end of April.
In Punta Tombo, you will find yourself literally waddling alongside the penguins as you walk through the paths in this penguin reserve. You will see baby penguins and parent penguins, but make sure to watch where you step because magellanic penguins dig holes in the earth for their nests.
The best way to get here is by coming from Trelew, which is about an hour and a half drive away.
2. Peninsula Valdes
If you love penguins, but want to see other animals the Valdes Peninsula may be a better choice for you. Peninsula Valdes is a UNESCO World Heritage site focused on the conservation and preservation of different species of animals – especially marine mammals. Depending on the time of year, a variety of different Patagonia animals can be seen, including the southern right whale, the spectacular black and white orca, along with elephant seals, several varieties of dolphins and thousands of penguins. In fact, this park is known for whale sightings, but also offers incredibly diverse landscapes from salt flats to sand dunes to rolling hills and massive pasturelands, making it the home of all sorts of animals both on the land and in the sea. About an hour’s drive outside of Puerto Madryn is the Valdes Peninsula. Here you will also find yourself steps away from penguins, but you might not have a chance to literally walk with them. Most tours will stop at a lookout point where you are separated from the penguins by a small fence, which makes it easy to still get your picture perfect penguin (and you) shot.
You’ll be amazed by not only the penguins, but the incredibly blue water and green grass as you are surprised by wild animals at every stop throughout your journey in this naturally raw park. Because wild animals are wild, be sure to pay attention to the calendar to see what animals will be more likely to be spotted based on the time of the year.
Technically, just outside of Ushuaia, but you’ll have to travel to “the end of the world” to see penguins in one of our other favorite spots: Martillo Island and Harberton Estancia in the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego. This day tour is especially unique because there is only one tour company that can bring people to literally walk with the penguins on the island and you’ll be with a group of twenty people or less because of how special this penguin colony is.
On the tour, you’ll be with a guide the whole time who will take you to Estancia Harberton and give you a little history of the city of Ushuaia and you’ll be invited to visit a special museum on the grounds of the estancia where you will learn a little bit more from scientists that live at the research station and give tours of the marine life that have been known to live in the area. If you’re interested in learning a lot and seeing penguins while being at the very end of the world, this might be the best spot for you to see penguins in Patagonia.