Book with us
or Cancel
Book with us

King Penguin Colony

and birding the steppes of Tierra del Fuego


Duration: 2 days 1 night

Includes: Private transportation and Guide services, ferry tickets, King Penguin Colony fee, Hostel night in Porvenir, and meals (B,L,D).

Doesn't include: Travel insurance, tipping, and anything else purely personal nature.

Dates: All year round (Departure from Punta Arenas)  — Bookable Now!

We'll visit

Continental Patagonia

Tierra del Fuego

Strait of Magellan

King Penguin Colony

Primera Angostura

We'll see

Austral Negrito  —   Lesser Rhea  —   Flying and Flightless Steamer Duck  —   Magellanic Horned Owl  —   Patagonian Yellow-finch  —   Coscoroba and Black-necked Swans  —   King Penguin  —   Magellanic Plover

There are two species of penguin with reproductive colonies in Patagonia, one of them belong to the family of the bigger penguins on the world, Aptenodytes where we can find Emperor and King Penguin. This species has their main reproductive colonies in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, but there is a small beach of rocks in the bottom of a massive bay in Tierra del Fuego, that provides food and good shelter for a incipient group of King Penguin, that has been settled and give for the first time newborns the 2015-16 season, this is a unique moment to come and spot this creatures that are getting bigger and bigger as colony every year.

In this tour, we will visit the most accessible colony of this penguin on earth, a group around 100 adults, and 10 chicks this season, not comparable with the 10.000 individuals that you see in South Georgia, nevertheless the same beauty and deleite for your eyes, even if you're not a birder.

Starting from Punta Arenas, we take the ferry to cross the Strait of Magellan heading to the mythical Island of Tierra del Fuego (The Land of Fire), a place full of nature and epic histories. We go out on the upper deck to look for, Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel, Southern Fulmar, Magellanic Penguin, Magellanic Diving-petrel, and more…

Once arrived in the island, we drive for 120 km, to the colony where we will stop in different landscapes scanning the Fueguian steppes and looking for Upland Goose, Ashy-headed Goose, Black-faced Ibis, Austral Canastero, Short-billed Miner and Chilean Flamingo among others.

We spend the night in the small and quiet village of Porvenir.

In the morning, we head to the salty lagoons near the city, where a unique family can be found!

Notes: “The Magellanic Plover is no plover; in fact it is the sole member of the family Pluvianellidae. It is a small shorebird with a short and peg-like bill, dove-gray plumage, and curious behavior. It often stomps on wet mud to liquefy it, and then moves in quick circles and pecks at food that is brought to the surface from this behavior. When the young are fed, they secrete a crop milk not unlike that of doves. The odd look of this bird, the bill shape and the behavior have caused it to be classified as part of various groups through time. It was at one point thought to be a sandpiper due to the turnstone-like bill and patterns of the downy young. At other periods it was suggested to be an odd dove due to the crop milk, and soft “dove like” look. Molecular data clarifies that it is indeed a shorebird, but that it does belong in its own family and that its closest relative may be the Sheathbills (Chionidae). The Magellanic Plover breeds only in southernmost Patagonia, in both Chile and Argentina.”
- NeotropicalBirds, Cornell

After we look for them in the salty lakes, we keep driving towards the northern boundaries of Tierra del Fuego, to cross one more time the Strait of Magellan in it narrowest area, where normally we found Comersons`s Dolphin.

During the rest of the day we drive back to Punta Arenas in the windswept steppe of eastern Patagonia.