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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. Enjoy convenient transportation from your hotel.

Highlights

  • Magdalena Island penguin tour by boat from Punta Arenas
  • Travel across the Strait of Magellan in a powerboat
  • Observe legions of Magellanic penguins along the shore
  • Learn about the penguins’ habitat and breeding cycles at a lighthouse exhibit with your guide
  • Cruise by Isla Marta to see more wildlife, depending on weather
  • Snack, entrance fees and transport from city meeting point to pier included
  • Pickup from your Punta Arenas hotel

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas

Marvel at the Magellanic penguins on the island!

After pickup from your Punta Arenas hotel, 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.

Customer Reviews

Andreas W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Very nice trip, only place where you get so close to the penguins. Crew was nice, coffee and cookies were offered. We also were taken to Isla Martha to see the sea lions.

Evangelia S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

The tour was very good. We had chosen the hotel pick up, the driver was on time and we were comfortably transferred to the agency. After checking in, they transferred us to the pier and the trip started. It lasts for roughly 3hours, we visited the Magdalena island penguins colony and due to the good weather conditions we travelled to the Martha island and saw some sea lions, more penguins and seals. The tour guide was very well informed and answered all our questions. Pretty good information about the penguins year round life and habitat. Very much satisfied!

David N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Overall this was a great trip. Would only be better if there was more time on the island. We had an hour.

We were picked up at our hotel at 6:20 AM, driven 5 blocks to the office. We did some paperwork, then boarded busses at 7AM for a 30 minute drive to the dock. The boat must have left the doc around 8AM. The water was calm so the ride was fine. The boat was comfortable, seemed safe, and the crew was amiable. We had one hour on the island. We went another half hour to Santa Marta Island to see the sea lions, but did not get off the boat for that. Santa Marta Island is about a half hour going away from the dock, so the ride back was about an hour. We were on land around 11AM, and in our hotel at 12:10.

Penguins were everywhere on Magdalena Island. Several people had huge cameras, but they were not necessary since the penguins were often within 10 feet or less of us. You need to stay on the trail, but the penguins cross the trail all the time. If you get too close, they will peck your shoes. Be sure to spend some time watching the penguins as they enter and exit the water - they look pretty silly. We also saw baby sea gulls that were cute.

The sea lions were far away so the views of them on Santa Marta Island were quite distant and not as impressive.

Overall a 5 star rating for the fantastic views of the penguins. A fun and memorable morning.

Günther S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

very interesting, the guides were very well prepared. The ship was more than ok

Carolyn F E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Seeing the penguins was FABULOUS. You really do get up close and there are THOUSANDS of them. I highly recommend this trip, even if you don't do well on boats. I get sea sick really easy...and I know it, but I wanted to see these penguins. I got sea sick AND saw these beautiful creatures. Well worth it!

Murali B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Experience of a life time. Very well organized tour.

Joseph M

4 star rating: Recommended February 2017

Found the tour organisation a little chaotic in terms of knowing which busses to board, where we were going and how to get back. Departure peer is about 30 mins drive from Punta Arenas, crossing conditions can vary from everyone sitting on the boat's roof to everyone being confined indoors, and temperatures can be down to zero. Visit to the penguin island didn't feel long enough, even though walking the loop of the island and light house need only take 15 minutes, we could have done with more than an hour, especially towards the end when the penguins started getting friendly and coming to meet us. The boat then sales slowly around a fur seal island but doesn't stop there before returning to the peer. This activity starts early but is finished by midday, it is however the best thing you're likely to do in Punta Arenas, though it might lead to sea sickness as there's more than an hour of sailing and it can get choppy.

Charlotte W

4 star rating: Recommended April 2016

booking through the internet was a breeze with instant confirmation
local pickup was right on time
group size was just right
enthusiastic cruise staff and guide

Yimin C United States of ... 

4 star rating: Recommended April 2015

Good.

David L

4 star rating: Recommended March 2015

Fun day! Coffee and cookies a nice, unexpected treat.

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