Magdalena island, Chile
Distant 35 km (22 mi) from Punta Arenas, the charming capital of the Chilean Patagonia, this is one of the most incredible penguin colonies in South America. There are more than 120 thousand magellanic penguins that, from October until March, use the 1,576 km² of Magdalena island to put their eggs in nests dug in early spring. The couple takes care of the young until the beginning of autumn, when they migrate to warmer waters.
The total time of the tour is of approximately three and a half hours, but on the island tourists stay only one hour and can’t leave the 800-meter path marked between the pier and the lighthouse. It seems a short time and a lot of restriction, but since penguins are always crossing the trail to and from the sea, the approach is frequent and, in addition, many holes are very close to the trail. The rest of the time is spent sailing through the Strait of Magellan and observing, from the boat itself, the sea lions of Marta island, which together with Magdalena island, is part of the Natural Monument Los Pingüinos.
Apesar dos pinguins serem a grande atração, a ilha também serve de abrigo para centenas de gaivotas.