Magellanic Penguins of Punta Tombo, Argentina (January 12, 1993)

by Lynn & John Salmon <>{

A highlight from our 1993 Trip to the End of the World were the half million penguins on the loose at Punta Tombo.

We went bumpity bump in the Scuzio (our nickname for the Fiat Spazio we rented) for 2.5 hours over 110 km of dirt road to get to Punta Tombo from Trelew. The car rental agent warned us that it was a very bad road, but it was far better than the "good" roads we experienced in Chile.

Punta Tombo did not disappoint, and we put aside any fears that the penguins may have all "gone fishing". We parked and spent the next 3 hours observing the Magellanic penguins coming and going around us. One half million penguins summer along this stretch of beach at Punta Tombo. They head north to spend their winters in Brazil. There are clearly marked pedestrian trails for people to stay in, but these are completely ignored by the penguins, some penguins even dig their nests and set up house in the middle of the paths.

The penguins are not very concerned about people and just carry on with their business. Many of the penguins are asleep in burrows or standing under scrubby bushes watching the passing parade of humans and other penguins. There were many young penguins standing around chirping for attention but not getting much of it. The young are distinguished by their uniformly gray coloration and (apparent) lack of oil on their feathers.

Read more in our travel log: A Trip to the end of the World

Photos from Punta Tombo, Argentina - a half million penguins

Return to our A Trip to the End of the World adventure.

Lynn & John Salmon <>{