The Penguins of Punta Tombo Nature Reserve
Puerto Madryn, Argentina
- Penguins: Witness the spectacle of over a million Magellan penguins as they dig burrows, nest, mate, incubate their eggs, feed their young, and squabble over territory.
- Punta Tombo: Marvel at the vast numbers of other wildlife, including Kelp gulls, dolphin gulls, skuas, cormorants, Patagonian hares, and the llama-like creatures called guanacos.
- Visitor Center: Learn everything you'd like to know about the Patagonian ecosystem and the magnificent variety of plant and animal species at Punta Tombo.
About this Puerto Madryn tour
What is it about penguins that makes them so lovable, so fascinating, and so much fun to watch? Is it their non-confrontational appearance? The Charlie Chaplin waddle? It may be that, in a lot of ways, they're a lot like us. And you don't have to be a wildlife expert to see how. You just have to watch them a little while.
Between September and April, somewhere between one and two million Magellan penguins – named after the Portuguese explorer, who was the first European to spot them – head down the coast for an annual vacation that's all business: the business of making new penguins. Punta Tombo is their all-inclusive resort, with a never-ending seafood buffet and beautiful beaches to play on – beaches so exclusive that humans are roped off from the parts they like.
Depending on when you visit, you could see them fighting over the best real estate, digging out their burrows, chatting with the neighbors, plunging into the surf, or keeping an eye on the kids, They're teaching them what they need to know to survive in a less-than-hospitable corner of the world: the arid east coast of Argentine Patagonia. Eventually, the fluffy-feathered little chicks return as adults and pass on their knowledge to the next generation.
Not that much different from us.
The really cool thing about Punta Tombo is that there are trails that take you right to the edge of the colony – and since Magellan penguins are fairly curious and even playful creatures, you can get in some penguin-person quality time in. Contact is strictly prohibited, but they generally find you as amusing as you do them.
Although they sometimes argue about who takes out the trash
Feeding the kids, nest improvement, tidying up the burrow – unlike species that have very defined male and female roles, Magellan penguins tend to share parental duties. And they're monogamous – more so than humans, by some accounts. In 2012, researchers at Punta Tombo identified two that had remained faithful for 16 years – roughly the equivalent of a 50-year marriage.
Please proceed pier side and look for our GoBe Representative with your name on a sign. Staying in a hotel? Meet in the lobby/reception area of your hotel (if confirmed prior with the GoBe Crew). Your guide will be holding a sign with your name on it.
Please bring a boxed lunch and beverages with you. For the safety of the penguins, you must never touch or bother them, as this is a special area devoted to preserving this species and its natural habitat. Transportation is not of the same standard as in the larger cities. Vehicles will not be air conditioned and the roads may be rough and dusty.
This tour involves approximately 2 miles of walking over uneven and wooden paths, and is not wheelchair accessible.
Private Tour, Full Day, Wilderness/Wildlife
English, French, German, Spanish
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
100 countries, 915 cities… limitless possibilities
All our tours are offered by expert local guides & operators
Head off the beaten path with our unique tours & activities
You can rely on our team of travel industry experts
Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.
Have you been on this experience?Write a Review
Write a Review
Fields marked are required.
Please enter your review.