Best of Puerto Madryn: Punta Tombo Reserve

PMY-100 | Puerto Madryn, Argentina | See Special Notes

from $199.95*

*Price displayed in US Dollars unless otherwise noted; excursions priced in other currencies may be available on select voyages only. Prices are based on the amount Princess typically charges for each excursion, but your price may vary by voyage date and departure time.

Tour at a Glance

You will visit:

  • Punta Tombo National Reserve Punta Tombo National Reserve

You will see:

Moderate Includes meal

Excursion Length:
Approx. 7.5 hours

Max. Group Size: 40

Tour Overview

Wildlife biologists and conservationists come from around the world to experience Punta Tombo, the world's largest nesting colony for Magellanic penguins. With this moderate full-day tour, it's easy to experience this tiny peninsula where nearly 400,000 penguins gather each year to breed and usher in a new generation.

Bear witness to this astounding natural phenomenon as you explore the trails and linger at the thoughtfully positioned observation points with your experienced guide. Punta Tombo's penguins start porpoising ashore in September and soon are marching to burrows in long columns, bowing, getting acquainted, courting, contesting for territories, and mating for life. The female lays her eggs in October and the young hatch in November. With two nurturing parents foraging at sea and taking turns with their care, chicks thrive and start fledging in January. After taking to the sea on their own by May, the chicks don't return until they themselves come back to nest a year later.

Arguably the most important habitat for bird species on the Patagonian coast, Punta Tombo hums with the fascinating activities of these charismatic birds. Watch as they preen their feathers, nuzzle their chicks and bray like donkeys. Aptly nicknamed the "jackass penguin," they received their better-known name from their first sighting by one of Magellan's sailors in 1520.

Like all penguins, Magellanic Penguins have tightly packed feathers and fat to keep them insulated from the cold. To cool off during the heat of the South American summer, they shed feathers around their bill. When they get too hot, they pant like dogs and stand with their flippers extended to catch a breeze. Here are a few other interesting facts you're likely to learn about the reserve's charming residents: they dine on small fish, crustaceans, krill and squid; swim at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour; and can live up to 30 years in the wild.

Complete your adventure with a scenic 2.5-hour drive back to your ship across the rugged Patagonian steppe.

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Detailed itinerary

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Special Notes


Penguins begin to leave the colony in March. This tour may be cancelled due to the timing of the annual migration.

Transportation in Puerto Madryn utilizes basic transportation which are not to the same standard as touring coaches in the larger metropolitan areas. Buses will not be air conditioned and roads may be rough and dusty.

Tour space is extremely limited; additional space will not be available once the tour is sold out. Passengers should reserve early.

Wildlife watching is not guaranteed.

Child Price:

12 years & under only

Number of Steps/Walking Distance:

See detailed itinerary for information about walking distance

Wheelchair Accessibility:

See detailed itinerary for information about wheelchair accessibility

Camera/Video Restrictions:

See detailed itinerary for information about camera restrictions

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