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Chilling with the penguins of Isla Magdelena

Isla Magdalena, an island near Punta Arenas in southern Chile, has one of the biggest colony of penguins in the world. The penguins favor this island because they have no predators there and food is abundant.

A boat leaves everyday from Punta Arenas and the boat ride itself is much fun considering you are navigating one of the most well know strait in the world: The Magellan Strait!

Once on the island you can walk around on a path that goes all the way to a lighthouse; the penguins aren’t very afraid of humans but generally avoid getting close to people. It seems I was the exception that day considering that with my poncho I looked like a penguin.


Penguins are the funniest animals I had the chance to encounter; they have a most memory that doesn’t seem to outlast 3-5 seconds. Penguins act in the most strange and random way and often start running in a direction until they lose their balance and fall. The males often make very nice nests using anything they can found on the island and in the sea around them. One of them even tried to steal my poncho (the bastard!) but I still love them.

I wish everyone will get the chance to experiment a natural encounter with penguins in their life!


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Adult tickets for the Isla Magdalena ferry are ~$50 and children ~$25. You can   buy them straight from the COMAP office. If you’re visiting in high season it’s worth checking into reservations, as they do regularly sell out.

isla magdelena pinguins


My name is Paco and I traveled more than 70 countries in the past 10 years. Currently trying to balance traveling to new places, working and being the father of a beautiful little girl.

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