Magdalena Island Tours

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When Magellan passed through his eponymous strait bound for Chile for the first time, he cruised past the tiny Magdalena Island. Today, travelers make it a point to stop at this scenic island just northeast of Punta Arenas to explore the rocky shores and observe the huge colony of Magellanic penguins at their critical breeding site.
 
The Basics
Magdalena Island is a designated national nature reserve and one of the most popular natural attractions near Punta Arenas. Most visitors choose to visit on a day trip from the Patagonian city; a typical tour includes boat transportation to the island and time onshore to observe the colony of some 120,000 penguins. Tours often include a circumnavigation of nearby Marta Island, where visitors can spot sea lions, elephant seals, cormorants, gulls, and Chilean dolphins.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Magdalena Island is a must-visit for animal lovers, photographers, and families traveling with kids.
  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
  • Dress in warm layers, as it can get chilly on the island even in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.
  • Camera tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks are not permitted on the island.
  • Boat trips to the island usually depart from the Punta Arenas pier, though some tours include hotel pickup and drop-off.
 
How to Get There
Magdalena Island is accessible by boat, with tours departing regularly from the main pier in Punta Arenas. If you’re not taking a guided tour, there’s also a public ferry to the island that leaves from the Tres Puentes ferry dock, about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from Plaza del Armas.
 
When to Get There
Due to the extreme Antarctic climate, the island is only accessible to visitors between December and March.
 
Magdalena Island Lighthouse
Many travelers miss the park’s interpretive center, housed within a historic lighthouse built in 1902, after making a beeline straight for the penguins. But, the historic structure is well worth a few minutes, thanks to its exhibits about the island and its waddling residents.

Location
Address: Chile
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2 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Shore Excursion: Magellan Penguins Natural Reserve in Magdalena Island from Punta Arenas

Get in touch with Chile’s ‘wild side’ during this 4-hour shore excursion to the penguin reserves found on Marta and Magdalena Islands. Marvel at more than 150,000 penguins, along with thousands of Cormorants, Austral seagulls, Antarctic pigeons, dolphins and more during the visit to these two wildlife habitats. A port pickup upgrade option is also available.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$133.40 USD
See Details
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$133.40 USD

Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas

Marvel at thousands of playful penguins in their natural habitat on a morning tour of Magdalena Island from Punta Arenas. Cruise past stunning seaside scenery as you venture to a picturesque and protected nature reserve to observe the incredible creatures. Gain insight into their physiology and behavior with a knowledgeable guide and embark on a hike to a legendary lighthouse. Weather permitting, sail to the shores of Isla Marta to witness sea lions and elephant seals splashing in the sea.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$160.00 USD
See Details
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$160.00 USD


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