Marta & Magdalena Islands

Magellanic Penguins and Sea Lions – Half Day Tour – “Small Boat” Option

The penguin colony on Magdalena Island is the only penguin colony of Magellanic Penguins near Punta Arenas.

Los Pingüinos Natural Monument is located about 20 miles Northeast of Punta Arenas, right in the middle of the world-known Strait of Magellan and protects the islands Marta & Magdalena.

Magdalena Island is home to some 120,000 Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus), being the larges penguin colony in Chilean Patagonia. Marta Island protects about 1,000 South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens).

Where as the sea lions live there year-round, the penguins are migrating birds that come to Patagonia every year from mid September to mid April.

*This tour is the one with the “small boat”. The “small boat” goes to the the penguin colony at Isla Magdalena as well as to the sea lions at Isla Marta. If you “only” wish to see Magellanic Penguins, take a look at the tour with the “big boat”/ with the ferry, which will “only” take you to Isla Magdalena, but is also a bit less pricey.

7:00 a.m.: departure and a short shuttle transfer from the center of Punta Arenas 15 miles North to Laredo Bay. From here you go aboard a small boat for about 40 passengers. Takes around 60min to Isla Magdalena, where you have about 1 hour (the limit set by the park rangers) to walk amongst thousands of penguins. The path leads on a slight slope up to Magdalena Island Lighthouse. Back on board of the boat, you continue another 15min North to Marta Island to observe the sea lions. You won’t go on land here, but cruise back and forth on the coast a few times to observe these marine mammals.  Usually some of the sea lions come very close to the boat to check it out, as they are quite curious. It’s always the question who’s observing whom?! An hour boat ride later, you’re back on the Patagonian mainland and hop on the shuttle transfer to the center of Punta Arenas, where you arrive roughly around noon.

Tour Includes

  • Transfer from down town Punta Arenas to the pier and back
  • Entrance fee to Los Pingüinos Natural Monument
  • English speaking tour guide on board (not during the transfer from town to the pier and back)

Additional Costs

  • Optional tips to your tour guide, the boatmen and/ or your driver
  • Food not included. Bring your own snacks.

Regular Departures

This half-day tour to the islands Marta & Magdalena departs every day in High Season (from October to mid-April or when the penguins decide to migrate). Get in touch with us to assure.

Price for Regular Departures

USD 112 p/p


Please keep in mind that this excursion depends on the weather conditions. This basically means, if it is too windy, the tour can be canceled – safety first!

Although the focus of this half-day tour is on observing Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) and South American Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens), other animals that you may see on this tour include:

  • Cormorant (Phalacrocorax magallanicus)

  • Chilean Skua (Stercorarius chilensis)

  • Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus)

  • Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), also called Dominican Gull; very common

… and if you are somewhat lucky:

  • Chilean Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia), also called Black Dolphin, only found off the coast of Chile

  • Commerson’s Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii)

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