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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Ushuaia’s Magellanic Penguins

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Penguins are cool. The way they walk and talk make me laugh. I've walked with penguins in South Africa (upcoming post) but these are a different breed.

The Magellanic penguin is named after the explorer who "discovered " them. Yeah that Magellan. I know they would have been discovered eventually, but he gets the credit for documentation.

I was on a trip to the Argentina side of Patagonia and my first stop was at the "end of the world", Ushuaia. From there I took a boat excursion to the island of Isla Martilla. There are 3 species of penguins on this island: the King penguin, the Gentoo, and the Magellanic. I only saw the most predominant

species of the Megallanic.

This particular penguin is abundant with no concern of extinction. They breed on this island and throughout southern Patagonia in the summer time. I was there in December, which is their summer, so I was able to participate in this viewing.

The male is monogamous, mating with the same female each year. In the winter months they migrate north as far as Brazil, but return each summer to breed. Upon return the male seeks their old nest while the female awaits his call signaling he's found it.

There are tours that take you to the island where you disembark and explore by foot, but since I had already had an up close (way cooler) walk with the Penguins near Cape Town, South Africa, I chose the more casual encounter by boat only.

The boat tour was fairly steep in my opinion. As of this writing it's about $150 for a boat viewing only. Expect to pay an additional $100+ if you choose a tour that stops on the island for penguin walking. I prefer the way cooler free walk with the penguins I had in South Africa (future post). Not just because it was free, but it was so unique with no tourists there!

I'll try not to bore you with too many words here. After all, like me, you're here for the penguins!

As the boat approaches the island the little fellas come into view.

They were everywhere. Mostly on the beach, but also walking on the banks and swimming in the waters. I would estimate around a hundred give or take

Got to have at least one selfie with them.

You can see this is a popular attraction. I'm not big on tours, but sometimes it's the only way to experience an event.

Doesn't this picture just make you want to go pat one?

I think we spent about 45 minutes for this viewing, then back through Beagle Sound to Ushuaia. It was nice being in the cool air of these southern most waters in their summer time. Having a viewing like that in the end was a bonus

This was an event I would not repeat but have no regrets having done once. As I mentioned already, there are better places to go to interact with penguins.

I'll leave you with a few cool videos. Many times I try to narrate my videos, but, as you'll see, it was too windy to hear much.

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Sep 22, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

He was and he was a hoot


Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Sep 18, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I really enjoy penguins they have such a neat look and walk. Very unique animal. They bring me back to watching Batman on T.V. The Penguin was such a cool character.

Sep 18, 2023
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I loved that Batman character. I think he was played by Burgess Meredith?

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