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If you are just joining our South America journey, you may not know that I LOVE Penguins !!
All my life I've had a fascination with them, which prompted us to book this Southern South America cruise. At this point, we'd already b
een on two excursions, this cruise, where we saw penguins in their natural habitat. This excursion topped the other two combined.
Penguins Grand Finale
Day 11 we arrived in Puerto Madryn, Argentina early in the morning. The meeting time for our excursion was 7:15 AM, which meant we had to get up really early to shower and have breakfast.
One good thing was that this wasn't a tender port, so additional time didn't have to be allowed for that.
The distance traveled was 140km from the pier. We made a rest stop about an hour after leaving the ship. Along the way, our guide pointed out some of the wildlife and the bus driver stopped when he could for us to take pictures. We saw, Choiques (large flightless birds), domestic Llamas, Guanacos (related to camels and wild ancestors of domestic Llamas), and armadillos. The last 30km of the trip was on a dirt road.
Penguins at Punta Tombo Nature Reserve
Thousands of Magellanic Penguins return to the shores of the reserve each year. From September through March they spend their time courting, mating, and hatching a brood of chicks. By April, both mature and young penguins are ready to migrate to warmer climates.
Just imagine you are with us as we arrive at the reserve.
About Magellanic Penguins
These are the largest species of warm-water penguins. They have a white chin-strap marking, a pink line at their lower jaw, and a black bill. They are a noisy bunch, especially the "babies" who greeted us with squawks and shrieks.
We meandered along the trail stopping to observe and photograph these cute penguins in thier natural habitat. It was quite windy, so we opted to only go about half-way along the trail which was flanked by the sea on one side and the burrows on the other. One could visit the lighthouse to view an exhibit. We decided we'd rather enjoy the ppenguins that look at an exhibit.
Our intention was to observe the penguins enjoying themselves for as long as possible. In fact, we were the last ones to return to the ferry. The guide told us we had to leave, otherwise we could have stayed there all day.
Do you like Penguins?
We highly recommend adding a Southern South America cruise to your bucket list. The season is short (January - March) so you'll probably need to plan it for next year at the earliest. I don't like to do much promotion in our blog, but Princess Cruises has an Anniversary Sale through the end of February which includes itineraries in South America. You might consider booking now to take advantage of the extra onboard spending money.
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