Top Ten Chile Classic Adventures

Play with Penguins

It's like going to a huge formal ball, and Punta Arenas is hosting the party. Of course, these penguins are permanent guests who stay dressed up all the time. The largest city in Chilean Patagonia is near two Magellanic penguin colonies. You can head out to the Otway Sound colony, about a 45-minute drive from the city; the larger colony on Isla Magdalena, an island in the Strait of Magellan, is two hours away by ferry. At the peak of the breeding season (January and February), you can expect to see hundreds—if not thousands—of birds, and even more on Magdalena.

Besides the countless seabirds and dolphins en route, the Magdalena trip has the added bonus of a historic lighthouse that now serves as a visitor center on an island that's a warren of penguin burrows. While neither trip is strenuous, any walk in the roaring Patagonian winds can be a workout. Otway trips leave every day, but Magdalena trips no more than two or three times a week.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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