Penguins on the Isle of Magdalena

Isle of Magdalena

Exploring the Penguin Colony on the Isle of Magdalena

It is a rare privilege to witness how penguins live and breed. In the isle of Magdalena, you can see thousands of penguins. They are staying in one place and enjoying the company of their fellow penguins.

Isla Magdalena

Penguin colony on Isla Magdalena in the Strait of Magellan. Photo by Kfbs06 / CC BY-SA 3.0


Unusual Ambiance

Magdalena has a unique landscape where you can enjoy the ambiance of the crystal sea, the rolling hills and the thousands of penguins. Magdalena is located in the southern end of the Patagonia region of Chile. This place provides easy access for people who want to travel to Antarctica.

This place has been a breeding place for more than 100,000 Magellanic Penguins. These penguins are native to the Falkland Islands. The Penguins are named after the famous Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan who successfully traveled around the world.

Viewing the Colony

Tourists who visit this place need to walk and follow the marked trail. It is about 850 meters long. The trail takes you to the Penguin Colony on the Isle of Magdalena. Before you start walking, you have to pay a small fee. It will be used in order to help preserve the penguin’s habitat.  

There is a light house that you will encounter once you start walking. This light house serves as an Environmental Interpretation Center. If you climb up the light house, you will enjoy seeing the amazing panoramic view of the different cliffs and the sea.

There are also many other aquatic wildlife that you will stumble upon once you are headed to the Penguin Colony on the Isle of Magdalena. Sea lions, sea wolfs, cormorants, and the Overas Toninas dolphins are some of the animals that you will see along the way.

How to Get There

In order for you to reach the isle of Magdalena, you need to take a ferry ride from Punta Arenas. Riding the ferry will give you the opportunity to go through Magellan’s strait, which was the same route where the Explorer went through and discover the region.

Unfortunately since the island is a protected national monument, there are no lodging houses, shops or restaurants nearby. It advised that you should brings lots of food and water if you are planning to travel to Magdalena.

Best Time to Go There

The best time to travel to the Penguin Colony on the Isle of Magdalena is on December to February. During this period the Penguins are staying in this area because when April comes, they will leave and venture to the coastal waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. However, these Penguins return to the Island during September and October.

Even though the island is less traveled by tourists, it is still advised that you should book ahead of time.  Vehicles are very limited this is why most travel agencies prefer tourists to go in groups. If you are planning to travel alone, you should always remember to call ticketing services in the area in order for you to have a ticket going to the island and coming back.


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