Patagonia, Monday, July 06, 2015

Penguins at Punta Tombo

One of the most visited sites on the Patagonian littoral where thousands of tourists arrive every year to see the Magellanic penguin continental colony.

Our destination: Punta Tombo. Dwelled by the famous Magellanic penguins from September to April, this is the site they choose to make their nests, mate, incubate their eggs and feed their offspring. All this natural process is a wonderful and tender show.

We left Puerto Madryn heading south along National Route 3. After having covered 70 kilometers, we took Provincial Route 1, which led us to Punta Tombo along a gravel road that travels a distance of 107 kilometers. Obviously, this kind of road forces drivers to be extremely careful, as it is very dangerous to speed up.

Reaching this location and watching these marvelous animals running from one side to another in search of their offspring and their nests is a thrilling experience. Animal nature is shown openly and that is a great thing.

  • The Magellanic penguin continental colony

    The Magellanic penguin continental colony

  • Thousands of tourists

    Thousands of tourists

  • A wonderful and tender show

    A wonderful and tender show

  • Animal nature is shown openly

    Animal nature is shown openly

  • A breathtaking environment

    A breathtaking environment

  • Spacious sandy beaches

    Spacious sandy beaches

  • Magellanic penguin

    Magellanic penguin

The venue where the penguin reserve is located used to be part of estancia La Perla and was donated by Luis and Francisco La Regina. The main purpose of this place is to protect one of the most important seabird colonies in Argentina and the largest continental Magellanic penguin colony.

The animals co-exist within a breathtaking environment. The scenery is unique. A 3-kilometer-long and 600-meter-wide rock formation may be seen getting out to sea. It is covered by sand, clay and gravel and it is surrounded by spacious sandy beaches. The soil is teeming with nests where the penguins carefully deposit their eggs and then raise their chicks.

In silence, we watched the colony’s activity. Some penguins dug their caves, others fought for their territory, in turn, and the continuous murmur of the bleat (the penguins’ voice) dominated the surroundings. Unlike other bird species, both the male and the female defend the nest and feed the chicks with fish such as small anchovy and squid.

The male penguins are a little larger than the females and their beaks are longer and wider. They weigh approximately 4 or 5 kilos and they reach their sexual maturity when they are five years old. The females lay two eggs (in general early in October) and, after 40 days of incubation shared with the male, the chicks are born.

Of course that there are other seabirds at Punta Tombo: grey and dolphin gulls, skuas, imperial and rock shags, snowy sheathbill, steamer duck and several petrel species.

Punta Tombo, a place in the world no one should fail to visit.
Read complete Outing... Pablo Etchevers / Eduardo Epifanio

See more points of interest in Puerto Madryn

Useful Data

Recommendations: Do not stand on the penguins’ way, as they may try to peck at you. Do not put the lens of your photo camera in front of the penguins’ head; they will certainly peck at it and break it. Help preserve this experience in nature carrying the waste you produce back to the city. Try not to leave traits of your presence in this site. Do not disturb the fauna, and remember that these animals have chosen this habitat to comply with an important part of their lives cycle. Travel 70km along National Route 3 leaving from Puerto Madryn and then take Provincial Route 1. Travel 107 km along the rubble road until Punta Tombo is reached.

Contact: All Peninsula Valdes
Martín Fierro 85 - L.5 (9120) Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina Tel: +54 280-4453712 Cel: +54 280-4698165
E-mail

You may be interested

Interpreting Nature on the Valdés Peninsula
We highly recommend that you visit this Museum and Interpretation Center either before or after any kind of animals watching in Península Valdés Natural Reserve in order to get a clear idea of the natural environment you are in.

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InterPatagonia - Touristic Information about Puerto Madryn, Patagonia, Argentina: Tours and Activities
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