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penguins

Orange county, Ca
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186 posts
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penguins

Any penguins anywhere in Argentina in the first week in April?

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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1. Re: penguins

There will be penguins at Punta Tombo near Puerto Madryn.

Atenas, Costa Rica
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2. Re: penguins

mhoney,

Magellan penguins are the ones found here in Northern Patagonia.

Last year Punta Tombo was open until Easter.

Usually the penguins leave the area sometime in early April.

Orange county, Ca
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3. Re: penguins

thank you, there are several of us getting a group together from the cruise ship and we were really looking forward to seeing the penguins. We will be there on April 8th. Maybe a few straglers will wait for us...

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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4. Re: penguins

Hi Orange Co.

It looks like things may be a close call as to whether the penguins leave before you get there.

Magellanic penguins nest at Punta Tombo, in Chubut province, Patagonia, about two hours drive south of Puerto Madryn and three hours north of Comodoro Rivadavia.

We visited in February, and I found it the grandest spectacle of any of the places we traveled in Argentina (and our list includes a tour of the Pink House in Buenos Aires and the panorama of Mount Aconcagua, so I assure you that we're dealing in genuine superlatives!).

Punta Tombo consists of a two mile hike over a well-groomed trail, from the parking lot to a cliff overlooking the penguin beach. We saw literally thousands of penguins dotting the campo, as far as the eye can see. The penguins waddle more than a mile inland searching for nesting sites and other things of interest to penguins. Then you reach the vista overlooking the beach itself, with hundreds and hundreds more penguins, some standing around, some swimming, some coming out or going in.

As you walk the trail, a lot of the penguins are standing right there along your way. They aren't afraid of people. You could touch them (officially you're not supposed to, but the penguins don't seem to mind). Your traveling companion can even crouch down next to one, because they pose for photos!

I've seen penguin sites in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Nothing elsewhere prepares you for the penguins at Punta Tombo.

The only hiccup is that you have to do all this in season. It's said that the penguins arrive in September and leave for the winter in April. As to the dates, I don't know. And I don't whether the birds leave en masse in one grand exodus, or drift away a few at a time over a period of days or weeks. I'd e-mail Punta Tombo if I were you for the best guess on whether any will be left when you arrive.

Happy travels, and let me know if I can help further!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Lunenburg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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5. Re: penguins

P.S.

I just saw your second installment, that you'll be coming from a cruise ship in Puerto Madryn.

It's a minimum of two driving hours from Puerto Madryn to Punta Tombo. We drove ourselves in a rental car. I am certain that no faster mode of surface transportation is possible.

With an absolute minimum of four hours needed for driving and back, and likely not less than two hours to see all of the penguin areas (unless you sprint), your cruise ship may not leave enough time.

I'd check with the cruise line right now to see if they have any suggestion whether Punta Tombo is practical for cruise ship guests. It would be a crying shame to miss it!

David

Orange county, Ca
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6. Re: penguins

hi, we are in Puerto Madryn from 8-5. The cruise ship is offering a tour to Punto Tomb for $160.00. I figure timing wise we should be ok doing it on our own with a private company. Just hope the penguins are still there!!

Atenas, Costa Rica
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7. Re: penguins

One of the last posters was not sure how the penguins leave Punta Tombo.

They pretty much leave en masse, all within a few days.

The park rangers decide when to close Punta Tombo for the season based on the amount of penguins in the park.

The drive to PT from Madryn is 2 hours by car and figure nearly 2.5 by tour bus.

$160 per person for the tour is very high!

If you do book the tour on the ship I suggest you find out what happens if Tombo is closed.

This year on the pier at Puerto Madryn you will find 3 different groups of tour companies competing for your business. If you go with one of them be sure to ask about the vehicle you will be traveling with and any other questions that come to mind.

Another option would be to contact tour providers directly in Puerto Madryn and see what they can offer you.

Orange county, Ca
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8. Re: penguins

hi David, my husband is in a wheelchair, is that 2 mile walk feasible if I push him? Also thanks for tips on those two sites in Buenos Aires. We are there for 12 hours at the end of the cruise. Might have missed these sites if not for your suggestion.

Atenas, Costa Rica
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9. Re: penguins

mhoney,

The majority of the trail at Punta Tombo is gravel so I think it would be very difficult to travel whole way to the beach area pushing a wheel chair.

There is a wooden walkway circuit fairly near the parking area but you must first travel along a gravel path to reach it.

Another item to note at this time of year the penguins are congregated at the beach area and its quite possible there will be few or no penguins along the wooden path.

Sorry for the news but at least you know before getting there.

Orange county, Ca
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10. Re: penguins

thanks for the road conditions. I'll first find out if there are ANY penguins at the end of the road before we attempt it. I've pushed him through the pyramids of Egypt and the roads of South Africa so if there is something to see, I'll give it shot. The worst scenario is we have a beautiful drive out there from the city and he stays with the driver and I hike in with the rest of the group. Just hoping for nice weather...