One of the things I had looked forward to most about visiting the southern tip of South America is of course the penguins! From Punta Arenas, Chile there is an easy day trip by boat to Islas Magdalena and Marta in the Strait of Magellan. And you can see there the Magellanic penguins and cormorants and sea lions up close and personal! For me, the best part was walking around the island and having the penguins come right up close to check me out, especially the curious baby penguins.
And on these islands, the penguins are the bosses, so if they want to walk across the pathway, then all traffic is held for them! I loved to see their wing flapping and play fighting and mating calls, and all their funny behaviors that I could see up close. Visiting the penguins here is so much better than at a zoo, because here they are in their natural habitat, living their normal lives and we get the opportunity to just watch and admire. Their lives are uninterrupted and this way we really do get a peek in to how they are when no human interferes.
They live on these islands for only a few months each year for their breeding season, cutting your window for visiting short. It’s best to go December through February. During this breeding season you can see lots of little baby penguins, still sporting their fluffy baby feathers. It’s pretty adorable, check it out!