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Isla Magdalena – Meet Over 200,000 Penguins in Patagonia

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Isla Magdalena – Have you ever thought about visiting an island that is filled with beautiful and adorable penguins? 

If you are a penguin fan like me, you’re in for a very unique and heartwarming experience! 

Hundreds of tourists visit Isla Madgalena every year to watch and interact with thousands of penguins.

What’s more?

These penguins aren’t afraid of humans. So, you can take your time on the island befriending these little guys. 

About Isla Magdalena

Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island, also known as Isla Magdalena, is a small island in the Strait of Magellan, Chile.

It’s only 2 hours from Punta Arenas, the largest city in the Magellanes Region of Chile. 

In 1982, Isla Magdalena became a declared national monument, Monumento Natural Los Pingüinos. 

The reason for this was to protect and conserve the penguins, gulls and other seabirds.  Over 120,000 Magellanic penguins flock to Isla Magdalena’s Monumento Natural Los Pingüinos every year.

Patagonia Adventure Isla Magdalena

Water surrounding Isla Magdalena

The Patagonia Adventure is the perfect family adventure.

Apart from the hundreds of penguins that grace this island, there is also natural beauty that can be admired. 

During your Patagonia Adventure, you can also take a boat tour to sight some sea lions, dolphins and whales. 


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Best Time to Visit Isla Magdalena

The penguins start making their way along the Patagonian coast in September to breed. They stay here until around mid-March.

The females lay two eggs in October and both males and females take turns to incubate and care for the chicks. The eggs usually hatch in December. 

So, if you’d like to witness the hatching of the eggs and see the newborn penguins, then December and January are the best months!

Fluffly penguin chicks


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Afternoon Tour Isla Magdalena

ship and penguins on Isla Magdalena

If you’d like to spend your afternoon exploring Isla Magdalena and all that it has to offer, then there are several afternoon tours that you can book. 

The island is also only accessible by boat or large cruise ships. Check out Magdalena Island Tripadvisor for tours and their prices. 

What you will experience in the tour:

  • during the tour, you can walk among the penguins, observe their behavior and also hang out on the beach. 
  • while strolling down the pathways of Isla Magdalena, you will also have a professional guiding you throughout the tour. 
  • get a chance to view other wildlife during your afternoon tour.
  • get the opportunity to hike to the legendary lighthouse of Isla Magdalena. 
  • another famous tour is the Comapa Isla Magdalena 4 pm ferry tour. 

Please note that fishing and disturbing the animals is also strictly prohibited during your visit. 

Visiting Torres del Paine National Park

Turquoise lake in Guanaco in Torres del Paine National Park

When booking your tour to Isla Magdalena, ensure that this national park is also on your list to visit!

Torres del Paine National Park is also known as el Parque Nacional Torres del Paine.

It was declared an eight world wonder in 2013 and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore and sight one of the most beautiful corners of the world! 

It’s icebergs, rivers, massifs and turquoise lakes are an enchanting sight. You will also get to see guanacos, rheas and pumas. 

Guanaco in Torres del Paine National Park


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Is Isla Magdalena Worth It?

If you are still not convinced whether a trip to Isla Magdalena is worth it or not, let’s take a look at the pros and cons: 

Pros

The pros of visiting Isla Magdalena are getting to experience the penguins are their best which makes it the perfect trip for animal and nature lovers!

Apart from this, you will also get to see other wildlife in their natural habitat – which makes a visit to Isla Magdalena a truly unique and unforgettable one. 

You will also enjoy the sightings of stunning dolphins diving their way while you’re on the boat. If you’re one for history, then you will also enjoy the historic Isla Magdalena Lighthouse.

Isla Magdalena Lighthouse with penguin standing in front

Cons:

The weather is unpredictable and it can be very severe. You can experience all four seasons in just a single day. 

It can be sunny, then it will start to rain and then get windy. You will need to prepare yourself by carrying enough clothing during your visit. 

Unfortunately, you don’t get to plan your schedule for the tour. You don’t have the flexibility to plan or stay as long as you want. 

Tours to Isla Magdalena is only permitted for a short time. The time starts ticking once you leave the boat.

If you’re an introvert and don’t want to be around people, then a public boat is not advisable. Around 220 people board the boat. 

If you want some quiet and less of a crowd, you will need to book a private tour. 

Santiago to Isla Magdalena: How to Get There

There are several methods of transport that will allow you to get from Santiago to Isla Magdalena. 

You can also view the map to give you an idea of where you are headed. 

The cheapest way to get from Santiago to Isla Magdalena is by bus or car ferry.

However, it can take around 40 hours to get to Isla Magdalena. The distance is 2164 km!

If you don’t spend those long hours traveling in a car or bus and would rather spend a little extra money, then the quickest and best option for you is to take a flight from Santiago to Island Magdalena which only takes around 3-4 hours. 

Isla Magdalena Accommodation

Scenic view of Punta Arenas with Magellan Strait in Patagonia, Chile

There are some pretty good accommodation options to choose from in Isla Magdalena.

Let’s take a look at a few of them:

Hospedaje Isla Magdalena

Hospedaje Isla Magdalena is located in Punta Arenas. It also has couples and family rooms. 

You can also enjoy some peace and quiet in the garden and on the terrace when you need some time out. 

A continental breakfast is also available at this hotel and free WiFi throughout the property. 

Hotel Diego de Almagro Punta Arenas

This hotel is located in the Southern points of Chile and on the coast of Magellan Straits. This hotel also has it all!

Enjoy some of Chile’s splendid cuisine and international cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant. 

You can also spend some time relaxing in the hot tub and sauna. And let’s not forget the pool when you need to cool down. 

Hotel Rey Don Felipe

This hotel is situated in the heart of Punta Arenas and it offers a homely experience. It has also got a restaurant and a bar. 

You can enjoy a day at the spa and each private room comes with deep soaking bathtubs. Which makes it another perfect hotel to enjoy some time out. 

When you’re in need of some adventure and fun, feel free to make a booking for hiking and skiing!

How Much Does it Cost?

A tour to Isla Magdalena can cost anything between CLP $3000 – $75000. This is equivalent to around $5 USD to $90 USD. 

Accommodation can also cost anything between $50 – $100 per night depending on which hotel you choose to book.


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