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“Enchanting South America”

Chiloe Island Penguin Colony
Ranked #14 of 71 things to do in Isla Chiloe
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Amelia Island, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Enchanting South America”
Reviewed December 27, 2013

More often than not, we have traveled "by the seat of our pants," making decisions about where to go, what to see, on the fly. But for our first trip to Chile, we instead worked with Enchanting South America to not only make recommendations on the places that would best match our interests, but also to ensure that every last detail was taken care of. Unlike other trips when we've spent hours and hours doing research (only to find that some online representations are more accurate than others), our travel consultants and coordinators at Enchanting South America made this trip 100% effortless!

Our outing to the penguin colony on Chiloe Island was a perfect example. Our guide arrived at our hotel at the designated hour, and spent the time while driving to Chiloe and Punihuil not only telling us about the island's history and culture, but stopping along the way to point out some noteworthy sights -- from old wooden churches to the local agri-business of seaweed harvesting, to a unique species of duck along the shoreline.

His recommendation for a place to have lunch at Punihuil was exceptionally good! But nothing could have been comparable to the experience of being wheeled through the surf on something that resembled a large baggage cart to our small 18-passenger boat, then navigating the rocks and surf to see the penguin colony up close and personal.

This excursion was but one of a half-dozen others recommended and coordinated by Enchanting South America. They hit a home run every time!

Visited November 2013
2 Thank Mallenkaufman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lethbridge, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great English Guided Tour to Chiloe Penguin Colony”
Reviewed December 11, 2013

My husband and I greatly enjoyed our tour to the penguin colony with ChiloeAustral Tours (tucked away upstairs in the Feria Artisan Building in Ancud). We had no prior booking and our trip was basically planned to suit our interests and timing - made more enjoyable by our guide - Luis - a very professional young man - who was able to give us the tour in English (not at all the norm). Luis was able to give us information on the flora and fauna as well as the history and mythology of the region. Not only were we happy to be able to see the penguins but also got some interesting insights into the local culture. It was a very worthwhile afternoon and to be able to make the most of it I would highly recommend that you request Luis to accompany you on your tour.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank ShellieKienzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fanastic Day!!”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Though there was a lot left to be desired on the travel to the beach at Punihuil (a "river" crossing in our ultra-sub-super-compact rental), the day itself was one I will remember for the rest of my life.

Despite a warning against the trip from a waiter in Ancud (he said it was too early to see any pens), we made the trip... a few weeks before the start of "Penguin season", as we were told. We were rewarded with dozens of penguin sightings, as well as a playful otter...animals I have only seen in zoos.

Not only was the drive from Ancud especially rewarding with scenery, but was highlighted with 4$ King crab empanadas prior to the ~45min boat tour that cost ~$10-12 (USD). Raincoats were provided and needed due to the spray. The sea was a little on the rough side, so taking clear pics in-focus was challenging. Out of over 100 pics, I have about 4 good penguin shots and the tail of the otter.

I would highly recommend this if you are going to be on Chiloe. I would recommend knee-high rubber boots to walk across the river unless you have a high-clearance car or truck (or a rental, heh). The crossing on the way back was no problem, so the "river" must be tidal dependent???

We went on Sept 20. Per the waiter, it is better to wait until October. We went to the first house thing for our tour, and had to wait between surf to load in the boat. I saw another group further down that had the opportunity for an elevated cart to climb in the boat all at once.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank Matt N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northbrook, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Guide -Andres Oyarzun G. Patagonia Southerland Expeditions - Chile”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Ruben was an outstanding, knowledgable, and experienced guide for Chiloe Island, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt area. He met us at the airport and guided us on a wonderful 3 day adventure and took us back to the airport. He could not have been more helpful and we really appreciated the depth of his knowledge about the area, volcanoes, penquins, plants, animals, forest, etc. He made it a great adventure and we were so glad we selected him to be our guide. He had a comfortable and newer SUV and knew other guides to check on weather and best timing and conditions to see penguins. I would recommend spending the night at Anchud and following his advice on accomodations, restaurants, etc. Every suggestion was thoughtful and I wish I would have known to trust his suggestions more when I was planning the trip. He paced the trip very well and planned things to meet our abilities. His English is very good and we thoroughly enjoyed his company and efforts to make it a great experience. The area is beautiful and I highly recommend a visit. I don't think the internet info on Chiloe Island displays some of the beautiful areas we saw very well. Andre's knowledge of the area, wildlife, and beautiful views were very helpful.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Chicago3905
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amman Governorate, Jordan
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Beatyful nature”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We went from Castro to Ancud and then from Ancud it was a Minibus to a junction in the middle of nowhere on the Western Coast of Chiloe. Once we got of we had to walk another 2 km which we enjoyed very much, also because we where lucky with the weather. You arrive the beach and the Penguin Colonies are on ilands a few hundred meters of the beach, you can see them with a binocular. They offer boat trips for 5000 pesos per person to get close to them but we decided not to join. At the end of the beach you can climb up stairs to reach a "mirador" from where you have a beautiful view over the whole beach and you can enjoy observing the colonies without disturbing them. We also had a nice show from a large bird (don't really know what kind it was but huge) flying around us and kind of enjoying the attention given by us, a personal flight show.

We recommend to go there but weather should be nice.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Walter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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