At the King Penguin Colony at Bahía Inútil (Useless Bay), Tierra del Fuego, Chile

King Penguin Colony at Tierra del Fuego

New Tour: King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) at Tierra del Fuego

Overview

 

This is truely quite a sensation!

There is a new colony of King Penguins establishing at Tierra del Fuego - and, guess what, we are happy to take you there!

King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are usually only found on subantarctic island, such as remote and difficult to access South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Observing them in Tierra del Fuego, therefore, is a very unique oportunity!

For quite a while now, we have been hearing rumours and in some occasions believed-to-be-true stories amongst some of the local elders that a long time ago there once was a king penguin colony at Tierra del Fuego. Today, a group of about 45 king penguins seem to be reestablishing right at the same spot. The true status of the colony is not known at this moment. Nevertheless, we believe that this is a very good sign for a recovering ecosystem.

Let us go out to observe, spread the word and protect these magnificent seabird in their natural habitat!

On top of this, the King Penguins seem to be there year-round.

 

With this tour you will directly contribute to the protection of the King Penguins at Tierra del Fuego.

 

Note:
At this moment, not much is known about this new colony and the behavior of the penguins. If you know more than we do, please let us know.

 

 

Book this full-day tour to the King Penguin Colony at Tierra del Fuego now!

 

Detailed Itinerary

 

Every day at 8:00 a.m., we pick up all participants from their hotels or simply meet at our down town office in Punta Arenas. Be prepared for a loooong road trip - distances and therefore traveling time in Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego are huge. You have been warned! The drive through the Patagonian Pampa takes you at first about 2 hours Northeast of Punta Arenas to Primera Angostura, the first narrowing of the Strait of Magellan, if you would sail into the Strait from the Atlantic. On the way, stop at San Gregorio. Once a flourishing estancia, today it appear to be a ghost town. Later, cross the Strait of Magellan by ferry from the South American mainland to the island of Tierra del Fuego. From here, the only way is South. The landscape in the northern part of Tierra del Fuego is similar to that on the mainland, dominated by the vast, windswept Patagonian steppe. Roughly another 2,5 hours drive later, we reach the King Penguin Colony. Spend about one hour at the penguin colony. There is no infrastructure at all at the penguin colony at this moment. Join your guide to approach the penguins on foot. We will keep a fair distance, not to disturb them - penguins first! After a while, the penguins tend to forget about us visitors (or they might simply not care about our presence) and usually come closer on their own - sometimes as close as 20 meters, sometimes a bit closer, but again: we'll let them decide! After a great experience and high quality observation, we return to Punta Arenas to arrive at about 10:00 p.m. - sometimes even later!


 

Important:

Experience tells us that some travelers underestimate the huge distances in Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego. For this reason it is very important that you understand what it takes to visit the King Penguins at Bahía Inútil in Tierra del Fuego.

 

 

Book this full-day tour to the King Penguin Colony at Tierra del Fuego now!

 

What's included?

 

Tour Includes

  • Transfer from/ to your hotel or our down town office

  • Ferry tickets across the Strait of Magellan
  • Entrance fee to the Future King Penguin Park: CLP 12,000 (about USD 24.- pp*)

    This fee will help to build basic infrastructure including fences to protect the penguins from natural predators like Patagonian Foxes (which were introduced to Tierra del Fuego and are therefore not native to the island), potentially from stray dogs, but also from potential human misbehavior. This entrance fee will therefore allow for a long lasting establishment of this king penguin colony - and this is what it's all about!

  • English speaking tour guide

 

Additional Costs

  • Lunch (please bring your own)
  • Optional tips to your tour guide and/ or your driver

 

* USD value is merely references that are based on the exchange rate on September 05, 2013, USD 1.00 = CLP 508.56.

 

Book this half-day tour to the King Penguin Colony at Tierra del Fuego now!

 

Departures & Prices

 

Regular Departures

Our full-day tour to the King Penguin Colony at Tierra del Fuego departs every day from September 01, 2013 through April 30, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. and outside this time frame on demand.

 

Important

Although, this tour is mainly a road trip, we have to cross the Strait of Magellan twice. The ferry sails almost always. Nevertheless, delays may occur due to weather conditions that may result in a very late arrival back in Punta Arenas. If you're not willing to take the chance, please consider our tour to the Penguin Colony at Seno Otway, which can be reached by land and our tours are therefore independet of weather conditions.

 

Price

CLP 55,000 per person (about USD 108.- pp*)

* USD value is merely references that are based on the exchange rate on September 05, 2013, USD 1.00 = CLP 508.56.

 

 

Book this full-day tour to the King Penguin Colony at Tierra del Fuego now!

 

Wildlife Options


Of course, the main goal of this full-day tour is to observe King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), but there's much more to see...

 

Other species you may observe during this trip include

  • Guanaco (Lama guanicoe); the wild ancestor of the domesticated llama; fairly common in the Patagonian steppe and on Tierra del Fuego
  • Ñandu (Pterocnemia pennata); a large flightless bird similar to the ostrich, also called Darwin's Rhea or Lesser Rhea; fairly common in the Patagonian steppe, but does not inhabit Tierra del Fuego
  • South American Gray Fox (Lycalopex griseus); a species of the "false" foxes, which is actually closer related to wild dogs than to foxes, also called Patagonian Fox

  • Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus); a bird of prey often seen perched on trees and fence poles; very common

... and if you're somewhat lucky:

  • Chilean Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia), also called Black Dolphin, only found off the coast of Chile

  • Commerson's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii)

... which may be observed during the ferry crossing from the Patagonian mainland to Tierra del Fuego.

 

  

Book this full-day tour to the King Penguin Colony at Tierra del Fuego now!

 

Tour Profile

Duration: 14 hours

Tour Members: SIB

Departure: daily at 8:00 a.m

year-round

Level: Learn more about our activiy levels

Regular Tour,
possible for everybody

Learn more about our activiy levels about our activity levels

Photo Gallery

King Penguin at Bahía Inútil (Useless Bay), Tierra del Fuego, Chile

Binoculars Drawing