Punta Arenas, Chile
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Approximately 5½ Hours
Begin with a motorcoach transfer to a city pier and board a boat to cross the famous Strait of Magellan. You will be plying the same waters as Sir Francis Drake and Charles Darwin.
Upon arrival at Magdalena Island, declared a Natural Monument in 1982, you will see one of the largest penguin colonies in southern Chile and get acquainted with the unspoiled habitat of penguins, cormorants and many other birds. A substantial colony of Magellan penguins nests and breeds here. These penguins return every year to this spot between October and March to lay eggs and raise their young. They bury their eggs in sandy burrows and under shrubs; most of the chicks will have hatched at this time of year. The animals are naturally curious but untamed; they will scamper into their burrows or try to reach the water if approached too quickly.
A snack pack is provided.
After ample time to observe the birds, it is time for the invigorating walk back to the catamaran and the navigation back to Punta Arenas, where your coach will be waiting to take you back to the pier. You will have about one hour on the island to observe the curious and entertaining penguins before returning to Punta Arenas.
Do not attempt to touch the penguins, as their strong beaks can inflict serious wounds. Since this is a wildlife reserve, visitor facilities and restrooms are not available. Walking is on mostly flat, marked pathways with approximately 30 minutes on uneven terrain. Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes. It is essential that you wear warm, layered clothing to fully enjoy and participate in this excursion; outer layer should be waterproof and windproof. Bring gloves, a warm hat and a scarf. Seasonal migration, which is somewhat unpredictable, can affect the operation of this tour from March to April. The ship will liaise with the tour operator before arrival in Punta Arenas and, if penguins are no longer present, participants will be invited to substitute an alternative shore excursion