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Excursiones Pinocho

Puerto San Julian, Argentina

Excursiones Pinocho
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MikeLondonSE13 wrote a review May 2019
London, United Kingdom8005 contributions429 helpful votes
17/1/19 We three British middle aged guys were half way through our month in Argentina exploring Patagonia again after twelve years. We had seen penguins on our original visit but as we were in a town for a couple of nights where there is not much to do we decided to take a tour which is rare for us. We had just finished a lunch at the nearby Naos Restaurant and decided to try out the tour. We went to the small shed to enquire and the rate was not written up so when they said 980(£20) each we thought it a bit steep and made up for ‘peak’ season. We thought though that since we were there and not planning to go any further south then we may as well bite the bullet. There was no other competition to keep the prices down. We took up the offer and were told we had to wait for a minimum number of people to book the trip. Luckily another couple of groups were willing to join and pay for the tour so we had enough. The young woman in charge organised us all and liaised with the captain. She was quite chatty and friendly being very interesting and interested in her holiday job. Our details were written down (passport numbers) and we were provided with life jackets which was reassuring just in case anything happened. We all went down the beach, past the derelict boats to their big boat. We all managed to climb into the boat via a small ramp and off we went across the bay. The ride was quite smooth with a bit of spray and occasional swell and bumping depending on our speed. At various times the boat slowed down as our hostess spotted certain birds and the rare dolphin (it was not dolphin spotting season as they were shy whilst breeding) which was a bonus. We reached an island with hundreds of penguins wandering around the beach. Surprisingly we approached the beach, the ramp was lowered and we were advised to wander amongst the penguins carefully as chicks were present. We did wander and it was spectacular being amongst the carefree birds which did not try to escape from us giants. The chicks were cute obviously and photo opps were had by all. Huge flocks of seagulls nearby were also an attraction as they swirled around our heads, presumably warning us off their own broods nearby but never making contact. This was worth the £20 itself and far better than our 2007 trip where we just watched penguins close up from a road barrier by a cliff where the colony was (but that was free). In good time we got back on the boat and were then taken to another island where a huge flick of guillemots were camped with their chicks on a huge platform of their own guano to keep the, above the high tide. Apparently the populations were so big and the guano so desirable by humans’ mining it that it is now a rare sight. We were definitely not allowed to disturb this colony! We returned back to the kiosk, thoroughly sated and happy. Our hostess had been wonderful and pointed out where to drink and eat in town from the boat (the large building, ex department store, Argensud Cultural being THE place for happy hour). We actually met her (with previous trip customers) and an Argentinian family that was on our boat. The dad ran the largest National Park in Argentina (Los Glaciares) and was also impressed by the trip!
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Date of experience: May 2019
1 Helpful vote
thereviewist09 wrote a review Feb 2017
Berlin, Germany1 contribution3 helpful votes
Really great experience! - 90-100 minutes trip (incl. 20x20 minutes by boat) - very nice englisch - & spanish speaking guide. Very professional and authentic. - we saw little dolphins on the way; guides search with you and get the boat as close as possible - about 30-40 minutes on an island full of penguines. absolutely amazing! - stop close to a second island with commodores (birds) - paid about 650 Pesos per person. We think it was really worth it We can totally recommend this trip and the agency!
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Date of experience: February 2017
2 Helpful votes