Penguins in Patagonia
Penguin tours of Patagonia’s Chilean regions are great ways to see the tuxedoed birds up close in nature.
There are two main places to see penguins in Chilean Patagonia: the Seno Otway Penguin Colony and Magdalena Island.
Seno Otway is a great place to see penguins by land. It is an hour’s drive from Punta Arenas and can be done as a self-drive tour or a guided tour with a company.
Magdalena Island is a great place to see penguins by sea. Penguin tours in Patagonia’s Chilean islands are a real treat. You can take a 2-hour ferry ride to the island and explore on foot with a guide or on your own. Like Seno Otway penguin tours, you can arrange your trip through a company or go independently.
If you are pressed for time or are heading north to Puerto Natales or Torres del Paine National Park, Seno Otway is a great choice. It is on the road north from Punta Arenas, and makes a great stopping point to break up the drive.
If you have lots of time and want to combine a penguin tour with a ferry ride through the Straight of Magellan, Magdalena Island is a good choice for a penguin tour of Patagonia’s Chilean region.
Penguins in Patagonia
Penguin tours to Patagonia’s Magdalena Island are popular with people visiting Chile’s southern region.
Tours to Magdalena Island are offered by a lot of companies in Patagonia. Most of them have penguin tours that leave from Punta Arenas in the morning and return in the afternoon, or leave in the afternoon and return in the evening.
Tours take 5 hours at a minimum and cost around US$110 per person.
Penguin tours to Patagonia’s Magdalena Island involve a 2 hour ferry ride from the mainland to the island. Once on the island, visitors spend an hour on a guided tour of the penguin colony before taking the ferry back to Punta Arenas.
You can also do a self-guided penguin tour. Make sure to check ferry times before you travel, and be sure to have cash on hand for the park entrance fee.
Whether you go with a guide or on your own penguin tour of Patagonia’s Magdalena Island, make sure to wear layers and carry binoculars.
Seno Otway Penguin Colony
Penguin tours to Patagonia’s Seno Otway Penguin Colony are a popular activity for people visiting Chile.
Tours to Seno Otway are offered by many different companies. Most of them have full-day or half-day penguin tours that leave from Punta Arenas. The average cost is around US$30 per person.
Half-day penguin tours to Patagonia’s Seno Otway usually involve an early start and an hour or two at the colony before returning to Punta Arenas. Full-day tours usually depart later, but involve a lunch break and a longer visit to watch the penguins.
You can also do a self-drive penguin tour. There is a parking lot in front of the colony, and the road from Punta Arenas is well marked (head north and take a left at the large green “Pinguineras” sign).
Whatever you choose for your penguin tour of Patagonia’s Seno Otway Penguin Colony, make sure to bring warm clothes and binoculars. Keep in mind that the penguins are most active on the shore in the morning and the late afternoon, so plan your visit accordingly.