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Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas, Chile
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icon4 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds


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.
  • Magdalena Island penguin tour by boat from Punta Arenas
  • Observe legions of Magellanic penguins along the shore
  • Cruise by Isla Marta to see more wildlife, depending on weather
  • Snack, entrance fees and transport from city meeting point to pier included
After pickup from our meeting point in Punta Arenas, ride in your comfortable minivan to the picturesque pier; climb aboard an awaiting powerboat and speed over the sea to the Strait of Magellan. Observe the water for the protruding fins of wild dolphins then arrive at the small and serene Magdalena Island.

Also known as Los Pinguinos Natural Park, the protected reserve has been a breeding site of Magellanic penguins since 1982. Gasp as you lay eyes on thousands of penguins crowding the shore, squawking and frolicking happily in their natural habitat.

Disembark and follow your guide down a cordoned-off trail that meanders around the island; delight in the curious nature of the penguins, which are sure to cross your path as you stroll. Observe hundreds of penguin burrows and gain fascinating insight into the mating habits and behavior of the birds; keep an eye out for swooping cormorants and Andean seagulls during the hike.

Ascend to the island’s highest elevation and enter the historical lighthouse, home to interesting exhibits regarding the rich ecosystem of the enclave. Refresh and revitalize with warming coffee and sweet biscuits before boarding your boat for the shore back to the mainland. Capture fabulous photographs of sea lions and elephant seals lounging on the shores before returning to Punta Arenas main square Plaza Muñoz Gamero where your tour will finish.
Pass By:  
José Nogueira 1255
Dress warmly and get ready to join this tour which will start at a meeting point in Punta Arenas and then travel with the rest of the group to the pier. Remember that you have to be at 06:30am at the meeting point located in José Nogueira #1255, Punta Arenas. Climb aboard a large powerboat and head north for about 40 minutes on the Strait of Magellan. If you’re lucky, you may glimpse panda dolphins leaping out of the choppy grey waters.
Stop At:  
Isla Magdalena
Arrive at the small and rocky Magdalena Island, also called Los Pinguinos Natural Monument, a protected nature reserve and park since 1982, and a breeding site for Magellanic penguins. Even before the boat docks, you’ll see thousands of penguins crowding the shores and hear their squawking. During the summer, approximately 120,000 penguins occupy the island. Disembark and spend about an hour here with your guide, keeping to the designated trail roped off for visitors. These curious birds, about 2 feet (61 cm) tall, will cross your path and may approach you, but you'll be instructed not to touch or feed them. On either side of the trail, see hundreds of burrows in the ground, about a foot (30 cm) in diameter, each populated by a pair of penguins. Watch penguins pop in and out of the holes, where eggs are laid, and others excavate new burrows by flinging aside heaps of dirt with their webbed feet. Your guide may point out cormorants and Andean seagulls on the island as well. Reach the highest point on the island and enter a lighthouse, which houses exhibits explaining the penguins’ habitat and breeding cycles, the history of the strait and the rich ecosystems of nearby islands.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Isla Marta
Then warm up with coffee and snack on biscuits (provided) before leaving the island. On your way back, if the weather permits, your captain may pass by Isla Marta, where you can snap shots of sea lions and elephant seals lounging on the rocky outcrop.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Punta Arenas
After a marvelous morning with penguins, your tour will end in Punta Arenas at the same meeting point in the morning (José Nogueira #1255, Punta Arenas).
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas?
This activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas.

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Traveler Tips

  • "Didn’t get to see the sea lions, I get the impression that nobody gets to see them, the water is “always too rough”, if you are easily sea sick, do not take this tour!" See review
  • "No taxis, Ubers or other vehicles were available to get us from the ship to the tour office and starting point (8 kms) away." See review
  • "This was about 5 hrs total time and worth every penny!" See review


65 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Nice trip, shop for the best price
, Mar 2020
Interesting trip. saw lots of penguins close-up on the short island walk. Watched sea lions on shore from the boat for about 15 minutes, also interesting. Our seating area was somewhat cramped but tolerable. We heard some people on the trip paid about $40.00 less per person than we did. Not sure how we could have gotten that price. Overall, worth doing.
Need contact information
, Mar 2020
Tour itself was great. Our guide Sebastian and driver Placido were knowledgeable and helpful. Tourboat crew were also excellent. We saw sea lions, cormorants at Isla Marta and lots of Magellanic penguins on Isla Magdalena. Our problems were prior to beginning the tour. We were on a cruise ship that arrived in port at 6:15 am. No taxis, Ubers or other vehicles were available to get us from the ship to the tour office and starting point (8 kms) away. We managed to flag down a nice person who drove us in. We tried to phone all the telephone numbers that were provided by both Viator and the local company but there was no answer at either number. This is very poor customer service and problematic. We could have easily missed the entire tour. Proper contact information should be provided and possibly more information if customers are arriving on a cruise ship.
Penquins and Sea Lions
, Feb 2020
Fantastic! The boat ride was excellent and being among the Magellana Penguins was GREAT! The excursion was as described.
Exactly as advertised.
, Jan 2020
If you want to see penguins, go on this trip. It’s a simple boat ride to the island and hike around, with penguins everywhere! Glad I did it. They cross your path, waddle up to you, pose for selfies, etc. and i was back by 1pm. Lovely morning.
Amazing tour!
, Jan 2020
It was amazing to see the penguins up close and to be able to photograph them! We got to spend 1 hour with penguins! It was amazing experience. Guide/driver were very nice. This was about 5 hrs total time and worth every penny!
Remarkably Average Tour (Amazing Island)
, Nov 2019
Instructed to arrive @10am, on bus @11:30 and weren’t on boat until 12:30, was 6.5hrs (not 4)... lots of wasted time, but host was cool... wish we could have went for a hike in the wasted time. Island was awesome! Didn’t get to see the sea lions, I get the impression that nobody gets to see them, the water is “always too rough”... if you are easily sea sick, do not take this tour! Was very average
Horrible customer service. Frustrating / dishonest.
, May 2019
Trip was cancelled by provider. They promised refund. I called Viator. Was kept on hold a very long time. They connected me with provider in Puntas Arenas on 3-way phone. Was promised refund. Never received refund. Called back. Kept on hold again for a very long time. Received no refund, but a lot of run around. Would not use this agency. Horrible experience.
Awesome to see the Penguin's but company that ran tour was poor.
, Mar 2019
OK let's be fair. The Island, people and tour guide was a 4 star. BUT! Be prepared for a slow long tour that lasted well over hours and should have been no more than 3 hours. A waste of several precious hours that would have been better spent. First, they drove the boat at 10 khr to save fuel rather than get us there early to spend more time with Penguins. Second, it Took more than an hour to get off the boat. They had to ferry us back to pier. Third, they drove back at. 5 khr with people sitting on top of the boat looking for whales??? Needless to say no whales. Forth, passengers were late for return flights as the tour said it would be four hours not 5 1/2. Look into another tour maybe they will be better. At $160 is was at best a 2 star tour.
Great experience, tour guides were...
Sara L
, Mar 2018
Great experience, tour guides were professional and friendly, on time, would recommend to anyone.
Really well organised tour. Crew...
, Jan 2018
Really well organised tour. Crew were great. The penguins were amazing - able to be really close. Would have liked a bit more info on the penguins- do they stay as couples throughout season? How many eggs laid etc. Had a hot drink back on board which was very welcome but was unannounced so did not know reason why there was queue to get back on.

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