Exclusive Penguin Rookery at Punta Tombo Reserve

8.5 hours | Puerto Madryn | P M Y - 1 5 0
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$ 269.95
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Points of Interest

  • Punta Tombo National Reserve
  • Gaiman
Includes meal, Moderate activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Wildlife biologists and conservationists come from around the world to experience Punta Tombo, a large 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.

This moderate, half-day tour continues to the quaint Welsh town of Gaiman. The first settlers arrived in 1865 to found the "New Wales" and the town now entices visitors by serving a classic Welsh tea in a typical Welsh home loaded with charm.

You can't help but enjoy this tantalizing tradition. Sip black tea and savor a selection of sandwiches and pastries including the Welsh-style cream tart and apple pie served with buttered bread and various home-made fruit jams. The most representative component is typically the "torta galesa" a kind of fruit cake which is a happy blend of Patagonian and Welsh design.

Based on the original Welsh bara brith, or speckled bread, the settlers made use of the various ingredients that families would pool together in times of shortage. Because this cake could last longer than other sweet delicacies, it proved ideal in times of hardship. Thus replenished and refreshed and sent on your way with a souvenir or two purchased to remind you of your visit, you'll complete your adventure with a scenic drive back to your ship across the rugged Patagonian steppe.

Special Notes:

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

Tour space is extremely limited; additional space will not be available. Passengers should reserve early.

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.

Wildlife watching is not guaranteed.

Child Price:

12 years & under only

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Depart from ship and drive to Punta Tombo

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation
Transport Capacity:
15
Travel time:
02:30

Visit Punta Tombo

Time at site:
02:00
Free time at site:
120
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
No
Walking distance:
2500
Steps:
15
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video restrictions:
No
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

Drive to Gaiman

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation
Transport Capacity:
15
Travel time:
01:00

Visit Gaiman

Time at site:
01:30
Free time at site:
60
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
No
Walking distance:
100
Steps:
1
Wheelchair accessible:
Yes
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video restrictions:
No
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

Re-board your transportation and return to your ship

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation
Transport Capacity:
15
Travel time:
01:30