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The Penguin Burrows Of Otway

Explore > Chile > Punta Arenas > The Penguin Burrows Of Otway

The Penguin Burrows Of Otway

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Journey out of town to see the caves where the Magellanic penguins build their nests!

Punta Arenas, founded in 1848 at the shores of the Magellan Strait, is definitely a town with "European" character. Penguin colonies and immense farms, as well as a usually cold and windy climate, will be experienced here on the southernmost continental town of South America.

This tour includes:
- Round trip transportation from the cruise ship pier
- Scenic drive
- Observation of Magellanic penguins in their natural habitat
- Lots of great photo opportunities!

Your half-day adventure begins as you depart from the cruise ship pier and travel about 50 miles northwest, following a road that crosses a huge sheep farm before bordering Otway Bay. Here, you'll be offered magnificent views of snow-covered mountains and Riesco Island, one of the largest islands in Chile.

As we continue to drive along the shores of Otway Bay, be sure and keep an eye out for flights of wild geese, as well as rheas (large flightless birds related to ostrich and emu), that may be seen on the way as part of the Chilean Patagonia's rich fauna.

Upon arrival at the reserve, we'll trek to see the burrows that the Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus Magallanicus) dig in the sandy southern shoreline. To get close to the penguin caves, you must be able to walk at least one mile each way over an uneven path. You'll also cross one bridge with wooden steps and a handrail on one side.

Named after Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, Magellanic penguins typically live 25-30 years and always come back to the place where they were born for mating season. They usually have 1 or 2 offspring, and both the male and female penguins take turns watching and feeding the little ones. Get your camera ready to catch this "threatened species," up close during this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

- Please note that air-conditioned vehicles cannot be guaranteed.
- During the spring months, the penguins are teaching their youngsters to swim and may be difficult to observe.
- Please note that the area has seen a gradual decline in penguin inhabitants and they are more active in the afternoon when they return from hunting.

- The path to the penguins is not suitable for wheelchairs.
- This tour is available from November through March 31st, and is subject to the road conditions.

Days offered: 7 days a week

  • 02:30 PM, duration: 4 hours Sorry, this time is not flexible for the 2015-2016 season.