Though I saw some pretty incredible scenery throughout my time in Argentina and Chile, visiting an island full of penguins was THE highlight. The island we visited is actually a private island, so you can only visit with a tour company. We visited with Piratour and got to ride in a very interesting vehicle from town.
Once we made it to our destination, we had a short educational stop at a museum full of marine animal remains. The owners of the island and the land surrounding it have collected the remains of animals that wash up nearby and have them on display. The museum was really interesting to walk through, though it had a very distinct smell.
I enjoyed seeing all the kinds of animals that visit the area, including whales!
We then boarded a small boat and set out for the penguin island. We got off the boat and immediately saw TONS of penguins just hanging out. Most of the penguins we saw were Magellanic penguins, which can be seen below. The penguins visit the island every year to lay their eggs, sit on their nests, and raise their babies.
I even got to witness some penguin yoga.
Oh no! A penguin with no head!
Check out the grumpiest penguin I have ever seen!
Some of the penguins were very curious. I like to imagine the two in the middle checking out something interesting among the seaweed and rocks.
The penguin island wasn’t home to just penguins. Check out the cute babies below!
We also saw a few Gentoo penguins and one King penguin. The King penguin is the one in the middle of the picture below with the yellow on the side of its head. He barely moved the whole time we were there to conserve energy. Apparently its very rare for King penguins to visit the island. There was a woman on our tour that just got back to Antarctica and she didn’t even see a King penguin there!
It was interesting to see how differently the Gentoo and Megellanic penguins create their nests. The picture below shows the Gentoo penguin nests.
The one Gentoo penguin shown below was stealing parts from the other penguin’s nests to add to his!
The penguins certainly picked a beautiful island to raise their families on.
Megellanic penguins create nests in the ground.
There were holes/nests as far as the eye could see!
And THE highlight of the entire trip and the entire time on the penguin island was when I got to see the cutest little fluffy baby penguin pop its head out of its nest. Seriously, look how cute!
The sun began to set as we left the penguin island. It was a very memorable last day exploring Ushuaia and its surroundings.
What has been your all time favorite animal encounter during your travels? Visiting the penguin island is definitely in my top 5. I think my #1 is when I got to adopt an elephant for the day in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
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