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Penguins

Buffalo, New York
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21 posts
196 reviews
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Penguins

Planning a trip to chile. Can't decide whether to fly to puerto varas to see Chiloe penguins after Torres del Paine or go to Magdalena isle to see the penguins there.

Next onto Atacama desert.

Suggestions would be great.

Thank you

Lunenburg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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3,768 posts
6 reviews
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1. Re: Penguins

Hi Buff!

It isn't in Chile, but the grandest penguin site in the world, considering accessibility, weather, experience, and number of birds, is at Punta Tombo, Argentina. Punta Tombo is an hour's drive south of Trelew and of Rawson, Chubut province. Rangers told us that over half a million of the birds visit during a season.

You can drive there. In austral summer, days at Punta Tombo are almost always sunny with the mercury in the 70s F. (It's in the comparable latitude to Buffalo!) Best of all, you can walk along a mile-long trail close by hundreds of penguins, with thousands more in sight scattered across the campo. How close? One of the penguins came running up to me and bit me, in the hand between my thumb and index finger!

Magdalena is an island, of course. You can reach it by ferry boat from Punta Arenas, but not always at your convenience, and you're subject to cancelations amid the often blustery winds in the Strait of Magellan. At Otway, on the Pacific coast north of Punta Arenas, we found surprisingly few birds, even in January. This under iron gray skies at Otway with showers and more windy weather.

In contrast to the Roaring Forties, we found the Atacama the closest thing I'll ever see to a flight to Mars. The desert is utterly bone dry, far drier than the sagebrush deserts you might see in the North American southwest. Nothing can grow, unless someone brings water. Debris and litter never get hidden in vegetation either.

Happy travels!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Singapore, Singapore
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4,337 posts
98 reviews
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2. Re: Penguins

i second Punta Tumbo.. never see so many penguins in my life and they are everywhere and next to u.. have I not been to Punta Tumbo I would have visited the one near Puerto Varas..

cold north
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353 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Penguins

Did you need protectors for your shoes? What did you use and where did you buy them? Thanks

Lunenburg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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3,768 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Penguins

Shoe protectors? For what purpose?

Do you mean for protection against penguin guano? You can't enter a place with so many birds and not expect to step in some. We didn't find the slightest difficulty, though. When a penguin leaves droppings, they're mere smears of liquid, not solid pellets.

I wouldn't attempt to do this walk in bare feet. Or even sandals, though we saw others who did. But there's nothing for which you need extraordinary protection.

I live in a part of the world with plenty of seagulls. A walk in Punta Tombo is no more hazardous , guano-wise, than a seaside stroll along the harbor front in Halifax or Lunenburg. Indeed, I'd say it's more sanitary than St. Mark's Square in Venice.

David

cold north
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353 posts
13 reviews
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5. Re: Penguins

Thank you! By the way, we loved Lunenburg. We had the BEST EVER lobster sandwiches at the Salt Deli (Or something like that!)

6. Re: Penguins

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