Penguin Colony at Punta Tombo

Magellanic penguins sharing a moment

Far down the Atlantic coast in Argentine Patagonia exists one of the most incredible sites in the region: Punta Tombo. This tiny protected area (less than a square mile) is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in Latin America. A boat tour of Punta Tombo embarks from the fishing village of Puerto Rawson, which is located about 31 miles (50 km) south of Puerto Madryn. The trip down the Patagonian coast is rife with marine life sightings, too. From the deck, it's not uncommon to see black-and-white Commerson dolphins, which are regarded as the smallest dolphin species in the world. 

The tour continues to the aforementioned penguin colony. Exact estimates of how many Magellanic penguins live here vary, but at one point it was home to over a million. The population might hover near that figure even today, as everywhere you look you'll see countless penguins. It's even possible to explore the area on foot amongst these cute, waddling critters. It's prohibited to touch the penguins or otherwise engage with them, but it's perfectly fine to snap photos. 

Tours that Include Penguin Colony at Punta Tombo

Mt. Fitz Roy near El Chalten
Map of Classic Argentine Patagonia - 13 Days
Classic Argentine Patagonia - 13 Days

This 13-day tour of Argentina's far south covers the classics. Starting in Buenos Aires, you'll fly to Patagonia for a range of outdoor activities and wildlife. On the itinerary are two national parks: Tierra del Fuego (rivers and ancient settlements) and Los Glaciares (glaciers and iconic mountains). There's also whale watching and a visit to South America´s largest Magellanic Penguin colony for the ultimate photo ops.

A whale breaching near Puerto Madryn
Map of Wildlife & Nature in Argentine Patagonia - 15 Days
Wildlife & Nature in Argentine Patagonia - 15 Days

This 15-day tour in Argentine Patagonia hits the highlights between Puerto Madryn in the north to Ushuaia in the south for a range of outdoor activities and wildlife. On the itinerary are two national parks: Tierra del Fuego (rivers and ancient settlements) and Los Glaciares (glaciers and iconic hikes). There's also whale watching, snorkeling with sea lions, and a visit to South America's largest Magellanic Penguin colony.

Magellanic Penguins in Punta Tombo
Puerto Madryn Adventure - 5 days

Experience the wildlife of Argentina on this 5-day adventure. Begin your adventure in the cosmopolitan capital city of Buenos Aires. Next, head south to Puerto Madryn, a seaside community in Patagonia famous for its diverse ecosystem featuring many unique birds and marine mammals. Here, you'll take in the stunning scenery and wildlife while visiting a penguin colony and going a whale watching excursion.

A colony of sea lions on a beach south of Puerto Madryn
Argentine Culture & Wildlife Adventure - 7 days

Experience the wildlife of Argentina on this 6-day adventure. Begin your adventure in the cosmopolitan capital city of Buenos Aires, and learn all about Argentine culture and history on a full-day walking tour. Next, head south to Puerto Madryn, a seaside community in Patagonia famous for its diverse ecosystem featuring many unique birds and marine mammals. Here, you'll take in the stunning scenery and wildlife while visiting a penguin colony, going a whale watching excursion, and snorkeling with sea lions.

Exploring Argentina's Wildlife & Culture - 12 Days
Map of Exploring Argentina's Wildlife & Culture - 12 Days
Exploring Argentina's Wildlife & Culture - 12 Days

This itinerary is ideal for those interested in getting the full Buenos Aires experience while also discovering the famed natural wonders of Argentine Patagonia. Begin in the cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires, where you'll bask in the sights and tastes of the city while enjoying your city tour, cooking class, and tango show. Next, head south to Puerto Madryn, a seaside community in Patagonia famous for its diverse ecosystem featuring many unique birds and marine mammals, like whales and penguins. Here, you'll enjoy whale watching and snorkeling with sea lions and penguins before heading back to Buenos Aires where you'll learn all about gaucho (cowboy) culture on a working Argentine estancia (ranch).

Whale breaching near Puerto Madryn
Map of Buenos Aires & Puerto Madryn Adventure - 8 days
Buenos Aires & Puerto Madryn Adventure - 8 days

Experience the culture and wildlife of Argentina on this 8-day adventure. Begin your adventure in the cosmopolitan capital city of Buenos Aires. Take in the city's sights and sounds on a full-day bike tour. Then, head just outside of the city to experience gaucho culture, and enjoy some traditional Argentine asado. Next, head south to Puerto Madryn, a seaside community in Patagonia famous for its diverse ecosystem featuring many unique birds and marine mammals.

Whale breaching near Puerto Madryn
Experience the Wildlife of Puerto Madryn - 6 Days

Experience the wildlife of Argentina on this 6-day adventure. Begin your adventure in the cosmopolitan capital city of Buenos Aires. Next, head south to Puerto Madryn, a seaside community in Patagonia famous for its diverse ecosystem featuring many unique birds and marine mammals. Here, you'll take in the stunning scenery and wildlife while visiting a penguin colony, going a whale watching excursion, and snorkeling with sea lions.