Isla Martillo

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 πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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 AcatushΓΊn Museum – an awesome place with heaps of information on marine mammals and birds in the area.

One of the famous flag trees on Harberton EstateΒ 
Harberton Estate is quite scenic with views of the Beagle Channel

Then it was time to take the boat to see the penguins… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Our boat awaits…

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 welcoming committee hanging on the beach…

The guide moved us on, and then we saw them…!Β  a group of about 20 Gentoos… and…… a lone King Penguin…?!?! Yes, I kid you not – an actual King Penguin… just one though… πŸ™ Here’s hoping that his friends from Antarctica come and join him soon or else he finds his way back home…

Our first glimpse of the gentoo penguins and the lone king penguin
Gentoo adult and young…
Gentoos hanging out
Singing gentoos
Mr King Penguin wonders why all the other penguins around him look a bit funny πŸ˜‰
King Penguin deep in thought

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…

Mum hangs out with her 2 chicks
Young chicks with an unusal hair style…

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…

A gentoo penguin runs up the beach to fare us adios!

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