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Bright, mysterious, and adventurous, Argentina has plenty of amazing places to visit, but have you ever thought about visiting the world’s largest Magellanic penguin colony?
Then, we recommend you learn a little more about Puerto Madryn in this post, the best place to see penguins in Argentina.
The Punta Tombo Nature Reserve
The Punta Tombo nature reserve, in Puerto Madryn, is the best place to see penguins in Argentina, and one of the largest and most numerous continental colonies of Magellanic penguins. It is home to more than half a million penguins that you will fall in love with just by looking at them.
The Punta Tombo Nature Reserve was created in 1979 by a decree of the province of Chubut, with the purpose of protecting the diverse fauna and flora of Argentina.
The ticket to see the Magellanic penguin of Punta Tombo
Let’s start from the beginning. The ticket price is AR$ 550 for those over 12 years old, US$ 9 approximately. On the other hand, children under 12 years old have a 50% discount. Admission is free for people with disabilities who can bring a certificate.
However, please note that payment is by cash only, so be sure to bring cash. For ease of payment, you can pay in dollars, euros or Argentine pesos. The excursion to Punta Tombo from Puerto Madryn for penguin watching includes a local guide who will help you buy the tickets.
Route to Punta Tombo nature reserve
The route is approximately 3 km, taking into account the round trip. The level of difficulty is considered easy. We recommend that you carry only what you need for the day, to avoid carrying unnecessary weight.
The trail takes about an hour and a half to cross between more than half a million penguins that live there. There is a trail that takes you to the beach where the largest concentration of penguins in Argentina is found.
Seeing all the penguins together there is a spectacle. You will walk among the penguins and see them playing, feeding, swimming, hanging out, and taking care of their babies.
The natural reserve is very well maintained. As soon as you arrive at the entrance you will receive bilingual advice (English – Spanish). And above all, they will talk to you about what is or is not allowed inside the nature reserve. We warn you that you are not allowed to take a penguin home.
It is worth remembering that you are not allowed to touch or interact with the animals, and also to always keep a safe distance. There are wildlife wardens everywhere to ensure everyone’s safety.
In case you’re wondering if the Punta Tombo nature reserve is suitable for wheelchair users, don’t worry! The reserve has a short 650-meter trail of wooden walkways for passengers in wheelchairs or with any kind of walking difficulty.
The main attraction of the Punta Tombo Nature Reserve is the possibility of seeing the penguins of Argentina up close, but not only that, but you will also see other species such as maras, guanacos, or rheas (birds exclusive to South America). You can also visit Isla Escondida in Chubut, a beach where local fishermen and elephant seals coexist.
When is the best time to see penguins in Puerto Madryn?
The Punta Tombo nature reserve is open from mid-September to mid-April, the penguin season in Argentina. The rest of the year the nature reserve is closed. If you have the opportunity to visit Puerto Madryn from November onwards, you may have the chance to see the babies being born.
We definitely recommend that you take advantage of the trip to do more excursions in Argentina. If you want to see more penguins, on the minitrekking to Perito Moreno you may also encounter colonies of these curious animals.
How to get to Puerto Madryn to see penguins
There are many ways to get to Puerto Madryn from Buenos Aires. If you plan to get to Puerto Madryn from Buenos Aires the cheapest way you should choose the train or bus, which costs between 27 € – 80 € and lasts about 25 h.
Short on time and need to get to Puerto Madryn super fast? The fastest way to get to Puerto Madryn from Buenos Aires is to take a flight + bus which costs between $ 55 – $ 270 and takes 4 h 53 min.
With all these options and already knowing Puerto Madryn, do you dare to see penguins in Argentina? Have you already seen them somewhere else in the world?