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Our most recommended Isla Martillo Birdwatching

Ushuaia: Penguin Watching Tour by Catamaran

1. Ushuaia: Penguin Watching Tour by Catamaran

Start the tour in the local tourist dock and board a modern and comfortable boat. Set sail and cross the wide Ushuaia Bay until you reach the Beagle Channel through Paso Chico. Then, navigate around the Bird's Island where you can appreciate species of the Tierra del Fuego's seabirds such as skuas, black-browed albatross, steam ducks, cauquenes, cook seagulls, and gray seagulls. After that, reach Sea Lion Island which also belongs to the Bridges Archipelago and is inhabited by 2 different species of sea lion. Arrive at the Les Eclaireurs (The Illuminators) Lighthouse where you will find imperial and rocky cormorants colonies. Hear the story of the collapse of the SS Monte Cervantes in 1930. Next, continue sailing East into the wonderful landscapes of the Beagle Channel surrounded by stunning mountain ranges. Admire both Puerto Almanza on the Argentina coast and the Puerto Williams Naval Base on the Chilean coast. After that, head onwards to Martillo Island, also known as Penguin Island where you will have the opportunity to observe a colony of Magellanic and Papua penguins in their natural habitat. Make the return journey back to the dock, where your tour will end. 

Ushuaia: Walking with Penguins Experience and Marine Museum

2. Ushuaia: Walking with Penguins Experience and Marine Museum

Meet your guide in the port of Ushuaia, then admire scenic views as you travel by bus and boat to Martillo Island on the mystical Beagle Channel. Visit the famous Harberton Ranch, which was founded in 1886 by the Anglican missionary Thomas Bridges, and learn about the history of the location. Then it’s time to explore the island, home to a colony of Papúa (Gentoo) and Magellanic penguins. Wander along the island’s many nature trails as you get up close and personal to these friendly and charismatic penguins. Take photos and admire the penguins in their natural habitat, which they also share with other birds including cormorants, petrels, vultures, and skúas. After a 1-hour walk across the island, head back to the ranch and enjoy some free time to explore the historical buildings and the Marine Mammals and SeaBirds Museum. At the end of the experience, return to the city and relax whilst marveling at the beautiful landscape that unfolds along the way.

From Ushuaia: Penguin Watching Tour by Catamaran

3. From Ushuaia: Penguin Watching Tour by Catamaran

Climb aboard a catamaran in the tourist Port of Ushuaia, and journey towards the center of the Beagle Channel to get panoramic views of the coast and wilderness of Patagonia. Experience one of the world's most remote regions from a different perspective, and admire the most important buildings of Ushuaia, such as the Maritime Museum in the former prison. Discover the site of the End of the World Museum and see the city's industrial area. Get breathtaking views of the Olivia and Cinco Hermanos mountains in the background. Then, sail southwest on your approach to Isla de los Lobos, and get views of the sea lions in their permanent natural habitat. Next, visit an island where Magellanic Cormorants and Imperial Cormorants go to breed. Continue to Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse in the archipelago of the same name. Having reached the farthest point of your journey, look for the wreck of the SS Monte Cervantes passenger liner that sank in the remote waters in 1930. Once you reach Martillo Island, spend some time viewing and photographing the penguins while listening to your guide's narrative about their biology and behavior. After returning to the port, we will take you back to your hotel in the center of Ushuaia.

Ushuaia: Gable Island and Penguin Colony with Canoeing

4. Ushuaia: Gable Island and Penguin Colony with Canoeing

Join this active excursion to take part in the most comprehensive day tour of Tierra del Fuego. In addition to Gable Island, visit the Harberton Ranch and the penguin colony on Martillo Island. Leave Ushuaia toward the east until you arrive at Lasifashaj River. There, preparations will begin to paddle inflatable canoes along the river and the Beagle Channel. You will be provided with rubber boots, trousers, and life jackets to paddle downstream and to the sea in the Beagle Channel. At the sea, you will see wildlife, including a variety of seabirds and maybe even some sea lions. Then, arrive at the Harberton Ranch and take a motorboat towards the Isla Martillo. From the boat, you can see penguins at their breeding site. Continue on your motorboat to the main attraction of the day, the huge Gable Island, where a hot lunch awaits you with Patagonian wine, soft drinks, and mineral water. Next, hike to explore this wonderful island along beaver dams, through the forest, and along the marine coast until you reach the boat that will take you back to Puerto Harberton. Then, take the bus to Ushuaia.

Frequently asked questions about Isla Martillo Birdwatching

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What people are saying about Isla Martillo

Great trip. Guide spoke both Spanish and English. They made sure at the various sites everyone got a chance to take a good look and pictures. The photographers might be annoying to some people, but they help make sure everyone gets a chance to have a good picture, so they make it more inclusive for everyone.

great experience walking on the island to see the penguins. the tour at the marine museum was also very informative. highly recommend. (if you can book the tour and pay in person in pesos it would be much better because I really overpaid with the exchange rate.)

Really great experience! You get a full hour on the island to walk amongst the penguins and you get to see a lot while there. Tours guides are very informative and kind.

Wonderful experience, small group made the trip. Penguins up close. Various activities, boat row around fun with group, however rather pointless. Recommend.

Very good mix of activities, and the lunch tasted amazing !