The reason many people travel to Patagonia is to see the penguins. Today I was off the Veendam and on a catamaran to Magdalena Island where about 170,000 penguins live for the Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve excursion. It’s about an hour and a half ride from Punta Arenas to the island but very smooth and comfortable. They provided a boxed lunch of ham and cheese sandwich, orange drink, breakfast bar, bottle of water and best of all, a chocolate bar. So we had two meals in our box, one for each direction.
Once landed we only had an hour on the island and that sped by while hiking up the hill to the lighthouse and taking photos of the little guys. The Magdalena penguins grow to about 2 feet in height. It is almost hatching season in December so we missed that but did see some eggs in the little bunkers. I am hoping to return to the island before we head home to see the chicks.
It is one of those places where you just keep shooting photos knowing full well you are taking too many shots because as they say, they all look alike to us. But they are just so darn much fun to watch you can’t help yourself. I think they may think the same of us because they certainly aren’t afraid of us. The island itself is quite barren and lacking vegetation, at least in early November.
Meet a few from the group in the photos and if you get the chance, visit them when you are in the neighborhood.
Guests at the Magdalena Penguin Reserve.
Joanne Gardner is Veendam’s future cruise consultant.