Penguins

Humans have always loved penguins, but never so much as since they became the darlings of the media a decade ago, animated with the voices of Hollywood actors, and celebrities in their own right as the stars of the 2005 Oscar-winning French documentary, La Marche de l'Empereur. This new-found fame has made plenty of travelers want to include penguins in their itineraries. In the western hemisphere, you’ll find penguins on two continents, South America and Antarctica.

PENGUINS LARGE AND SMALL

Placing penguins into your South America trip is easy. Penguins don’t roam much north of the Equator, and the further south you travel, the more you’ll see. If you are list maker or a birder, you may want to see as many different species as possible. Those penguin-watchers should travel to Antarctica and better yet, select a tour that also visits the sub-Antarctic Islands and the Falklands, since some species find these warmer climes more to their liking. Doing so will better your chances of seeing Chinstraps, Macaronis, Rockhoppers and Gentoos. In all, it may be possible to see seven species of penguins during your Antarctica tours. In South America, on the other hand, at most you are likely to see one or two species. Humboldts, for example, stay between southern Chile and northern Peru.

WARMER THAN YOU THINK

Like us, many penguin species travel to get out of the cold. Humboldt penguins come to breed on the wildlife-rich Paracas peninsula where many people visit during their travel to Peru on tours to one of the country’s biggest attractions, the mysterious Nazca Lines. You can even see penguins on Galapagos Island cruises, although most penguin fanatics are looking for the species that inhabit colder regions. To see penguin species that migrate, encountering them is a matter of timing. Galapagos penguins have no reason to leave home, so visitors are almost certain they to see the species during their trip. You’ll encounter the most during the breeding season between May and January. Galapagos penguins prefer the waters around some islands better than others so make sure you choose an itinerary that travels to some of these locations if penguins are important to you. We offer trips and tour extensions to many places where penguins may be observed. If you time it right, you may encounter penguins during your South America tours in Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay or Brazil. Sightings are most common in Northern and Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

LET’S TAKE A WALK

For close-up views, you can’t beat the Punta Tumbo Reserve on the Valdes Peninsula, an hour south of Buenos Aires by air. It protects South America’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins, where over half a million penguins come each year to breed. They start arriving in September, give birth by November and stay until about mid-March. While keeping a respectful distance, here you may walk among thousands of them. Some of our Patagonia tours stop at Punta Tumbo. Magellanic rookeries are also located in the Strait of Magellan and further east in Tierra del Fuego National Park.

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN

Alas two penguin viewing experiences you won’t have. The Emperor’s nesting habits captured in the French film take place during the coldest of Antarctic temperatures, a period without Antarctica tours. Neither will you see the tallest of the penguins, of human height, which is among the 40 varieties that have gone extinct.

View our Penguins trip and tour options below:
7, 8 & 10 days $2,595
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $3295
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,795
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
Mountain Biking & Hiking, Amazon Whitewater Rafting , Galapagos Islands , Sea Kayaking & More...
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,185
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,425
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
Mt. Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre, Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Los Glaciares National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier
Torres del Paine National Park, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Cape Horn, Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre, Perito Moreno Glacier
10 Days $4195
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
7, 8 & 10 Days $3,395
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
13 Days $4,595
Buenos Aires, Punta Tombo, Valdes Peninsula, Tierra Del Fuego, Perito Moreno Glacier
8 & 10 Days $3,295
Wildlife, Biriding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7, & 10 Days $2895
Wildlife, Penguins, Birding, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $3,595
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
Torres Del Paine, Amalia Glacier, El Brujo Glacier, Calvo Fjord, Montonas Fjord, Burnal Glacier, Penguins
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,450
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,450
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $3,595
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
7, 8 & 10 Days $3,295
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
Wildlife, Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking, Sierra Negra Volcano Hike, Biking
6, 7 & 10 Days $3,950
Wlidlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $7,290
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $3,950
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $4,700
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $6,395
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
11 - 22 Days $6,799
Glaciers, Icebergs, Penguins, Whales, Kayaking, Camping, Hiking, Photography
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,420
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
22 Days $8,495
Tierra del Fuego, Perito Moreno Glacier, Torres del Paine National Park, Bariloche, Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre, Osorno Volcano
10+ Days $3,545
Galapagos Islands , Amazon Jungle , Wildlife , Birding, Snorkeling , Hiking
11+ Days $3,500
Cotopaxi National Park, Papallacta Hot Springs, Otavalo Market, Galapagos Islands Cruise, Wildlife & Snorkeling
Lima and Cusco, Peru, Machu Picchu and Inca Trail, Galapagos Islands , Hiking, Rafting & More......
Machu Picchu, Galapagos Islands, Mountain Biking, Snorkeling, Hiking, Galapagos Wildlife, More....
Wildlife & Birding, Snorkeling & Scuba Diving, Sea Kayaking & Mountain Biking , Luxury Tented Accommodations
Amazon Jungle Lodge, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu, Galapagos Island Cruise
7, 8 & 10 Days $3,095
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
11 - 22 Days $10,500
Kayaking, Camping, Diving/Snorkeling, TrekkingClimbing, Skiing/Snowboarding, Hiking/Snowshoing, Stand-up Paddle Boarding, South Georgia Crossing, Penguins, Glaciers & Icebergs, Zodiac Cruising
6 - 22 Days $4,995
Glaciers, Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Kayaking, Camping, Punta Arenas to Antarctica Flights
10-23 Days $6,500
Camping, Kayaking, Hiking/Snowshoeing, Diving, Icebergs & Glaciers, Penguins, Whales
6, 7, & 10 Days $3,295
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking , Snorkeling
7 & 9 Days $4,095
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $7,650
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
Glaciers, Icebergs, Penguins, Whales, Hiking
7 & 9 Days $4,765
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
Myths and legends in Chiloe Island, Lake District, Llanquihue Lake and majestic Osorno Volcano
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,395
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
Cusco, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu, Galapagos Island Cruise, Wildlife
6-16 Days $4,695
Punta Arenas to Antarctica Flights, Hiking/Snowshoeing, Kayaking, Penguins, Whales, Icebergs & Glaciers
10 Days $5,495
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling
10 Days $4,500
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
7, 8 & 10 Days $3,150
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
12 - 22 Days $14,680
Glaciers, Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
12 - 22 Days $14,980
Glaciers, Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
6, 7, & 10 Days $3050
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,250
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,250
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,495
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6 - 10 Days $4,695
Glaciers, Icebergs, Penguins, Whales, Kayaking, Hiking, Snowshoeing
6, 7, 8 & 10 Days $3,595
Wildlife, Birding , Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
7 & 8 Days $3,495
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
11 - 32 Days $7,950
Glaciers/Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Kayaking, Camping, Diving, Helicopter Touring, Photography, Mountaineering
6, 7 & 10 Days $3,125
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $3,395
Buenos Aires , Trelew, Punta Tombo, Valdes Peninsula, Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego National Park, Perito Moreno Glaciar
Fitz Roy , Glacier National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier, Tierra del Fuego , Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires, Cerro Torre
Buenos Aires , Ushuia, Tierra Del Fuego , Perito Moreno Glacier, Fitz Roy , Cerro Torre
Patagonia Lakes District , Torres Del Paine , Bariloche, Perito Moreno, Fitz Roy , Cerro Torre
Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Patagonia Lakes District, Osorno Volcano , Puerto Varas
Iguazu Falls , Bariloche, Patagonia Lakes District, Osorno Volcano, Buenos Aires, Santiago
6-10 Days $3,595
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 - 34 Days $5,950
Glaciers, Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Mountaineering, Kayaking, Camping, Diving, Photography
11 - 19 Days $11,295
10 Days $5,095
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, HIking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $3,995
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
7 & 9 Days $4,295
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
11 - 23 Days $6,495
Glaciers, Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking, Kayaking, Camping, Photography
7 & 8 Days $4,395
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,795
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
14 - 34 Days $13,500
Glaciers, Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking
10 Days $7,550
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $2,650
Wildlife, Birding , Penguins , Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $5295
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $4,895
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 &10 Days $3,195
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, HIking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
10 Days $5295
Wildlife, Snorkeling, Kayaking , Hiking, Penguins
7 & 9 Days $3,495
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling
10 - 20 Days $5,460
Glaciers, Icebergs, Whales, Penguins, Hiking