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Magdalena Island Tours

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.

Tours & Tickets

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Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas, Punta Arenas, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas

4.5 star rating: Recommended 21 Reviews

Experience your own ‘March of the Penguins’ on Magdalena Island during a morning tour by boat from Punta Arenas. After cruising across the Strait of Magellan, ...  Read more

Location: Punta Arenas, Chile
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $160.00
Shore Excursion: Magellan Penguins Natural Reserve in Magdalena Island from Punta Arenas, Punta ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

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

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 7 Reviews

Sail through the Magellan Strait to Isla Magdalena and Isla Marta, both of them form the Natural Monument Los Pinguinos, which protects more than 120,000 ...  Read more

Location: Punta Arenas, Chile
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $133.40

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