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Ruta Provincial J, Argentina

Walk with Penguins on Martillo Island

Originally added by John Maurizi

Don't miss a chance to explore a Magellanic Penguin rookery at the end of the world!

There is only one company that has a permit to go on Martillo Island, while all the other tours take people to shoot photos from a boat. The company that has the permit is Pira Tour. We paid $100 usd (it was a little less because we drove ourselves one hour to Harberton. It was so worth it!!! If you don't do anything else while in Ushuaia, please don't miss this experience! 

From the Acatushin Museum where you can park, you board a small boat that takes about 20 people to Martillo Island which is a rookery for Magellanic Penguins. You get to spend about one hour on the rookery. You are permitted to walk around the island along makeshift paths marked off with rope. While you cannot touch the penguins, the penguins wander about and intermingle with people on the path occasionally. In January, the adult penguins are tending to their offspring.  They typically have two young and you can see their dependence and obedience to the parent.

While I was on the island I also found a few Gentoo Penguins and a King Penguin.  Keep an eye out for the Great Skua that is constantly on the hunt to snatch up a young penguin.

Pira Tours in located on the pier at San Martín 847 (9410) Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego.  You must purchase a ticket before going to the island. They can provide a ride from Ushuaia or they will give direction to Harberton.

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Photography
Scenic
Wildlife

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Updated information

The cost to go to Martillo Island is now $165. Pira Tour now drives you from Ushuaia. Still a great experience.

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