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Fantastic trip with great fun.....wonderful guides, good food, adorable penguins and beautiful scenery.... a must-do if you are in Ushuaia. Highly recommended.
This was a terrific tour! We saw many penguins up close and experienced the beautiful scenery of Tierra del Fuego. The guides were a lot of fun, very friendly and knowledgeable. After paddling in the Beagle Channel in chilly and gusty winds the guides prepared a delicious lunch while we warmed up and sipped wine in the hut! Thanks for making our short stay in Ushuaia a wonderful experience.
This was a really well-organized tour with two great guides. Spanish was their primary language, with the lead guide also speaking English. The entire tour was in English as all 6 tourists spoke English.
To start, the tour company went out of their way to ensure we knew our pickup time--to the point they drove over to our rented flat and left a letter under the door the evening before.
The tour started about 8AM with just 6 people. This made for a small group and only one canoe. We started by driving about an hour in the van to our launch point. We canoed for about 2 hours before landing at a small island on Harberton Ranch. This alternate stop from the regular tour was well worth the extra paddling effort. We spent about 30-45 minutes on the bay and watched two penguins goofing off in the water.
Then motorboat ferried us to Gable Island where the company had a small hut. While we warmed up around the stove, the guides were out back grilling lunch (fish or beef). They provided plenty of water, wine, Coca cola, and snacks while we waited.
After about an hour-long lunch, we hiked across Gable Island for a little more than 2 hours. The hiking was easy with little changes in elevation and a well marked trail. There weren't many animals to see, but we passed beaver dams and heard plenty of birds.
Afterwards, the motor boat ferried us to another island Magellanic penguins have colonized. While this tour company was not authorized to land, the boat made shore, and we were as close as10 feet to some of the penguins. According to the guide, Harberton ranch allows certain companies exclusive access to various parts of the ranch, and while walking on the penguin island was not allowed we were still close enough for some great photos and videos.
We spent about 30 minutes with the penguins before taking the boat to the ranch homestead and catching our van for the 90-minute ride home. The van dropped everyone off at their respective hotel/accommodations.
This was a fun tour, great scenery, great food and the guides were incredible! This one day made our entire 18 day trip to Argentina worthwhile.
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