Patagonia Penguin Adventure

A penguin enthusiast's dream - spend time observing and photographing four of Patagonia's penguin species (King, Gentoo, Southern Rockhopper and Magellanic) in less than 2 weeks, with expert guides and all logistics and accommodations covered from start to end.

13 Days

$5,998

Patagonia Penguin Adventure - 13 - $5,998

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Visit Isla de los Pajaros and be amongst Magellanic Penguins , then sail past an island with a South American Sea Lion colony. 

Take a boat trip to reach Penguin Island and spend time watching Rockhopper penguins and you may even see feeding sea birds and dolphins 

A drive to the city of Camarones, a fishing town dedicated daily to guarding the entry to one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the Chubut province, Cabo dos Bahias

Visit the Peninsula Valdes nature reserve which holds the largest population of Souther Right Whales in the world

See the King Penguin Colony of Bahia Inutil

Start from Buenos Aires and end at Buenos Aires

Landmarks visited on Patagonia Penguin Adventure

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Departure from city of origin


Day 2: Buenos Aires

Arrival to Buenos Aires, group transfer to the Hotel. Spend the afternoon touring the most vibrant city in Argentina and seeing the highlights of Buenos Aires.

Accommodation: Buenos Aires


Day 3: Puerto Deseado

Fly to Comodoro Rivadavia, upon arrival drive South to Puerto Deseado. Check in to the Hotel for 3 nights. In the afternoon you will take a boat trip to view the tiny Commerson's dolphin, the nesting Red-legged Cormorants (40% of the population of this species of cormorant in Patagonia nests here).

You will then disembark at Isla de los Pajaros to snack in amongst Magellanic Penguins and nesting Blackish Oystercatchers. You'll sail past an island with a South American Sea Lion colony. Other marine birds you may see are Snowy Sheathbills, several species of gulls, terns, skuas and giant petrels.

Length of excursion: 3.5 hour drive

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Puerto Deseado


Day 4: Isla Pinguino National Park

Today's boat trip is a little bit longer, out of the Inlet to reach Isla Pinguino (Penguin Island) where you will spend plenty of time watching Rockhopper penguins as well as Magellanic Penguins, skuas are the main predators, Upland geese and shorebirds stop at the island and you may see feeding sea birds and dolphins when sailing to the island or back to mainland.

The Southern Rockhopper penguin is the smallest of the crested penguins, you will watch them come out of the sea and hop from rock to rock at a very close distance. A nearby smaller island has nesting South American Terns and a colony of South American Sea Lions. If the wind catches up Black-browed albatrosses will fly close to you. The views of the coast will be recognized by those participants who are familiar with Conrad Martins drawings that illustrated Darwin's voyage.

Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch

Accommodation: Puerto Deseado


Day 5: Van Noort Hill

This is a boat excursion that takes approximately 6 hours to a spot halfway up the estuary from Puerto Deseado followed by a hike up a hill to a lookout point. During the nautical part of the excursion, tourists may see small penguin and cormorant rookeries and be accompanied by some Commerson's dolphins.

Passengers may disembark on the beach where the Hoorn, the smallest ship of a private Dutch survey expedition commanded by Willem Schouten accidentally caught fire while undergoing caulking and was abandoned in December 1615. Schouten, a partner in the survey venture, continued south with the Eendracht, the remaining vessel of the expedition, and shortly thereafter discovered Cape Horn, the southernmost promontory of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago that marks the southernmost passage between the Atlantic and Pacific. It was a stormy day with poor visibility, and Schouten didn't realize that the promontory was on an island; he thought it was the end of the continent.

Length of excursion: 6 hours by boat

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Puerto Deseado


Day 6: Camarones

Drive North to the city of Camarones. Near the city of Camarones was the home of the very first Spanish settlement in what today is known as Argentina. In 1535 Simon de Alcazaba y Sotomayor founded the city of Caleta Hornos, lasting only a few weeks. Today Camarones is basically a fishing town, dedicated mainly to guard the entry to one of the most beautiful Nature Reserves in the Chubut province, Cabo dos Bahias.

From here to the south there are over 100 islands, home to more than 13 species of seabirds and 2 species of marine mammals that find these waters full of food to provide to their chicks and pups.

Length of excursion: 7 hour drive

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Camarones


Day 7: Cabo dos Bahias, Puerto Madryn

Visit the incredible nature Reserve of Cabo dos Bahias, on the coast of southern Chubut Province. Dedicate the morning to explore these volcanic rocks pushing through the sedimentary basements, home to a large Magellanic Penguin colony.

After enjoying a box lunch at the Nature Reserve you will drive north to Puerto Madryn. Upon arrival, you may have some time to explore the city and the beach of this magnificent city on the shores of Golfo Nuevo.

Walk a short distance for a fresh sea food dinner. Mussels, clams and scallops are gathered locally.

Length of excursion: 4 hour drive

Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Puerto Madryn


Day 8: Peninsula Valdes

Today there is a visit one of the most abundant Nature Reserves in Patagonia, Peninsula Valdes. This Provincial Nature Reserve holds the largest population of Southern Right Whales in the world, visiting the coast between May and beginning of December.

Along the coast there are also several colonies for different species of sea birds such as Magellanic Penguins, Dominican Gulls, Terns, Cormorants and many shorebirds visit the sandy beaches of this World Heritage Site, declared by UNESCO in 1999. Southern Sea Lions, Elephant seals and the occasional Orca are some of the marine mammals you may see. Depending on the time of your visit you may choose to travel to the North or South of the Peninsula in order to observe and enjoy the wildlife present in the area.

The southern end of the Peninsula is home to a large population of Southern Elephant Seals, mainly found in Sub-antarctic islands. Guanacos, Maras, Rheas, Foxes and many other terrestrial wildlife are very common on our visits here during our long journeys on the typical Patagonian gravel roads.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Puerto Madryn


Day 9: Ushuaia

Fly to Ushuaia, time permitting visit Tierra del Fuego National Park to discover the sub-Antarctic beech forest with the different ecosystems -evergreen forest, deciduous forest, peat bog. You will walk several short trails looking at birds, indian middens, at different fungi; all this in the only National Park in Argentina where you can find the forest in contact with the sea.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Ushuaia


Day 10: Harberton

You'll start early today heading East for Harberton Ranch, the first ranch on the Island of Tierra del Fuego, given to the Anglican Missionary Thomas Bridges in recognition of his work. Once you arrive you will take a short boat trip to Hammer Island or Isla Martillo where Magellanic penguins and Gentoo penguins nest. Gentoo penguins do not burrow into the ground as Magellanic Penguins do, they build a nest with rocks. They have orange bills and head patches of white feathers which are individually distinct. Their feet range in color from pink to orange to red. The small colony on this island has been increasing and some austral summers a few King penguins have come to the island to molt.

Enjoy a home-made lunch with incredible views and finally visit the Acatashun Museum, an amazing collection of whale and sea mammal skeletons.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Ushuaia


Day 11: Rio Grande

Depart the southernmost city in the world to head North, crossing three different mountain ranges, viewing Lago Escondido and Fagnano to reach a transition zone where low deciduous beech is the only tree present and finally it gives way to the grasslands of the Northern part of the Island. You can try and find a few special birds such as Magellanic Plover, an endangered Goose and we may find herds of guanacos.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Rio Grande


Day 12: King Penguin Colony

Today you leave early in the morning in order to clear Argentine and Chilean customs and reach our very special destination of the day, the King Penguin colony of Bahia Inutil. King penguins have a marked auricular and brighter orange patch than emperor penguins; they are slimmer and have a bare tarsus. It has one of the most unusual annual cycles of any of the penguins. It takes 14 months to rear one chick. Chicks are covered in brown down and fast during the winter months. Return to Rio Grande for an evening flight to Buenos Aires.

Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch

Accommodation: Buenos Aires


Day 13: Buenos Aires

Explore the city on your own and enjoy this free time in the capital of Argentina. Perhaps visit the Colon Opera House, the MALBA art museum or any of the other attractions of the city. In the afternoon transfer to the international airport for your flight back home.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Start date Price (pp)
January 2019
6-Jan-2019 $5,998* Provisional Date

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $5,998

The price of $5,998  USD is per person based on double occupancy 

There is a single supplement of $828 USD added for those who request single accommodation 

Includes

  • 11 nights accommodations at 4 hotels or lodges with breakfast and taxes included.
  • Private transportation throughout the tour
  • Services of local English speaking naturalist guide from November 27th until December 7th and his/her expenses and flights.
  • At Buenos Aires you will have an English speaking local city guide.
  • National park and nature reserves entrance fees
  • Meals mentioned and detailed in the itinerary
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary, the order may be altered according to weather conditions Several boat trips: to Isla Pinguino, on the Ria Deseado; on The Beagle Channel to Isla Martillo

Excludes

  • Internal and International Flights
  • Tips to drivers, local guides
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?