Tour to see penguins and sea lions in Ushuaia, an experience sailing through the islands of the Beagle Channel
Ushuaia is located in a valley surrounded by mountains, glaciers, lagoons, forests and breathtaking landscapes. These scenarios are formed between the Andes mountain range and the Darwin mountain range, a set of mountains that surround a good part of Ushuaia and the final part of the Argentine Patagonia. The second mountain range is named in honor of the iconic English naturalist Charles Darwin, who in 1831 made an expedition to different countries around the world. In the voyage that lasted more than 4 years, he passed through this part of Patagonia aboard the HMS Beagle, collecting fossils and examples of the local flora.
Penguinera Tour: Beagle Channel
It is on the main shore, bordered by the Beagle Channel, which starts the access to the port and the starting point for the navigation that goes to the “Lighthouse of the End of the World”. This is one of main tours for those who visit Ushuaia, being possible to see an infinity of colonies of birds and sea lions resting peacefully on small islets. Also known as the Beagle Strait, this is basically the last navigable channel that joins the Atlantic and the Pacific in a continuous path, surrounded by beautiful mountains and islands.
During the southern hemisphere summer, it is also possible to sail to Martilho Island (known as Pingüinera), a stop to see several colonies of Magellanic and Paupa Penguins on this maritime expedition. During the tour, the small animals seem to pose for photos, enchanting tourists.
How to take the tour?
This tour can be taken aboard the Canoe catamaran, which offers two daily departures from the main port (during the morning and afternoon). The ticket office is located right next to the port and Tourist Information Center. To guarantee your availability on the boat and see the departure confirmation, it is best to book a day in advance.
The catamaran is extremely heated inside and even offers a snack bar on the boat. It is possible to buy coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer and small treats during navigation. Everything is extremely prepared for the cold climate of Patagonia, where visitors can enjoy the trip in comfortable armchairs with panoramic views.
Penguin Island Tour in Ushuaia
During the journey, passengers are guided by 4 attractions that are concentrated along the Beagle Channel to see up close the variety of animals that live through the strait. The first stop is the “Isla de los Pájaros”, a small island where a great variety of southern birds is concentrated. If you're lucky, it's still possible to see humpback and orca whales parading through these icy waters.
On “Isla de los Lobos”, the second stop of the tour, a concentration of sea lions vie for a small space on an island in the middle of the channel. Navigating a little further, you reach the Farol do Fim do Mundo and then the Bridges Archipelago, with a quick disembarkation on the beach to get to know a little about how primitive peoples lived in this isolated region.
THE Martillo Island, popularly known as penguinera, is an extra stop on this route, available to be made only during the summer. On this boat tour, visitors arrive at the famous stop to see the penguins up close, where some of the largest colonies in Patagonia are located. To preserve the local habitat, there are a limited number of daily visitors. This is an attraction available during all times of the year, recommended for all ages.
When to take the Penguin Island Tour?
If your trip is in autumn or winter, get ready to have the experience of sailing in sub-zero temperatures. The low thermal sensation is only noticed in the external areas of the boat. Don't forget to bring a shirt, scarf, gloves and hats, as these accessories are extremely necessary to enjoy even more navigation on the Beagle Channel.
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