Given our love of penguins and our determination to see as many of the 17 species of penguins as possible while we are in South America – it was time to visit Isla Martillo (Martillo Island) on a day trip from Ushuaia for another penguin extravaganza 🙂 🙂
Isla Martillo is special as it’s the ONLY place – without a huge detour to Antarctica or the South Atlantic Islands – that you can see GENTOO PENGUINS!
Isla Martillo is an island in the Beagle Channel, but as with most land in Argentina, it’s privately owned… yep, some lucky person owns an island with penguins on it! But lucky for us, the owners of the Harberton Estate – where Isla Martillo is located – allow people to visit the Estate and the penguins 🙂 🙂
Our journey to Isla Martillo started by minibus from Ushuaia… once inside the grounds of Harberton Estate, we had a short stop to look at the ‘flag trees’ – shaped like flags on a pole because of the wind… then we continued to the Acatushún Museum – an awesome place with heaps of information on marine mammals and birds in the area.
Then it was time to take the boat to see the penguins… 🙂 🙂 🙂
On arrival at the island, we were greeted by a big group of Magellanic Penguins… we have seen these lots of times before, and we were still excited to be near penguins again….. BUT where were the gentoos???
The guide moved us on, and then we saw them…! a group of about 20 Gentoos… and…… a lone King Penguin…?!?! Yes, I kid you not – an actual King Penguin… just one though… 🙁 Here’s hoping that his friends from Antarctica come and join him soon or else he finds his way back home…
After hanging out with the gentoos and the king for a while, it was time to head to the nesting area of the magellanic penguins… the young magellanics were at a different age to others we’d seen…
The hour on the island with the penguins went way too quickly, but hey at least we got to see the gentoos one last time before we clambered aboard the boat…