Patagonia is a bucket list item for many in Sudamerica (South America to us gringos) with multi-day hikes to lakes, mountains, and glaciers being a must. El Chaltén, El Calafate, and Torres del Paine are all popular stops but the distances are huge and the prices are hefty. I decided to skip them all. The landscapes are somewhat a Banff or Jasper and I wanted something I couldn’t find at home. I wanted penguins.
Originally I thought I’d have to head all the way to Ushuaia where there’s nothing further South than Antarctica, but some intense penguin Googling determined that a peninsula mid-Argentina held the jackpot. Punta Tombo (accessed from Puerto Madryn) has the largest penguin colony in the world outside of Antarctica. I was excited.
According to Google, penguin season ends in March and I was heading there with just one week to spare. Do the penguins up and leave on exactly April 1st? I didn’t know…it was risky…but I thankfully arrived just three days before the penguin reserve closed.
Punta Tombo was epic. Being the end of the season there were barely any tourists and everywhere you looked you saw penguins. Pictures cannot accurately convey the quantity of these things…it was penguin overload. But here you go:
Patagonia: I Came For the Penguins.