Exclusive Penguin and Seal Estancia
Puerta Madren Argentina
February 08, 2023
It was good. It was a long ride to the ranch for lunch. The penguins were great. It was so wonderful to walk among them. I heard from other people from my cruise ship that they did not get to walk among the penguins but instead had to walk on a raised wooden deck type walk way. They also just had a packed lunch from the Norwegian Star ship.
Reviewer: Sherry Ifft
Not to be missed!
March 03, 2019
A long, bumpy drive but totally worth it! Our guide Rita Quero was excellent! Excellent English, friendly and informative. A lesser known Estancia than Punto Tombo but there is no lack of penguins, less tourists (just 3 of us), shorter drive and I believe a much better experience! From the edge of the preserve it is an easy, leisurely walk an a flat dirt road. The penguins are everywhere! Many walk right down the road and you have to step to the side to let them pass. It was SO COOL!!!! At the beach you see them swimming and going in and out of the water. Here you can sit and watch the penguin activity all around you. Back at the Estancia we were served a delicious lamb lunch. One correction to the Shore Excursions description - you do NOT need to lay on the ground or crawl! Rita is not sure why they printed that. The excursion of a lifetime and not to be missed!
Reviewer: Cheryl McFadden
Exclusive Penguin and Seal Estancia Review
January 18, 2019
Very poor buses; no air conditioning and poor seats. The Elephant seal viewing was a bit disappointing as all of the males were away feeding. They knew going in this would be the case! Penguins made up for it though! You got as close to them as you were able. Almost like in a nursery.
worth every minute
January 14, 2019
This is a L O N G ride from the ship. Once off the paved highway you'll be bouncing about somewhat on a gravel road. The scenery is boring up until you witness your first wildlife. We saw many different species on the way to the estancia. After this it was a shorter drive to the penguin rookery. Only way to describe this, amazing. The birds are fearless of people & because we were not tied to a massive cruise ship tour, the rookery was not crowded with people. we were able to stay quite some time with the birds. Learned many of the plants there were used by natives for medicinal purposes and had a wonderful adventure. this is one tour you should not miss.
Reviewer: s kargman
Penguins and Seal Estancia
January 07, 2019
Highly recommend this tour. Our guide was informative and very personable.. We were taken to a ranch for an amazing asado. The penguins were amazing and great to watch up close and personal. It was a picture perfect day.
Reviewer: Marlene Korenycky
One of the best excursions we've ever done
April 02, 2018
Great excursion! We went on 02Jan. It's a 1-1.5hr drive on dirt road so it was bumpy, but much closer then the other colony. There were only 4 guests in the van that could hold ~15. We stopped along the way when guanacos, falcons, rheas were spotted. The 1st official stop was the elephant seal colony, which you look down at from a cliff. We had binoculars & thought it was great watching them swim/sunbathe. Then we went to the estancia where we walked ~20 min to the sea, passing penguins/babies & their burrows the entire way. At the end we had an entire beach of penguins to enjoy all by ourselves for ~30 min. After walking back to the estancia we had an incredible lunch- grilled vegetables, grilled lamb, salad, plenty of wine. Can't compare that to the bag sandwich that other excursions offered. It might have been the best excursion on our once-in-a-lifetime trip. We would consider going just to stay at the estancia, sort of like a bed-&-breakfast, if we ever make it back to Argentina.
Tour was as promised
February 22, 2018
Our small group was only 4 people. After a long ride we arrived at the Estancia for a nice BBQ lamb dinner. Only issue was it took so long and due to a late arrival by the ship the Penguin viewing was cut short. We saw numerous nesting pairs of Magellanic Penguins. There were only 4 seal elephants that only viewed from a high cliff.
Reviewer: Joan Schacht
February 21, 2017
I was the only one who had signed up for this tour and I was impressed they still ran it. The penguin colony was half as far as the larger one the cruise ship excursion to, but was very nice. The driver pointed out horses, gauchos, and birds on the way to the Estancia. Once at the Estancia, the knowledgeable guide drove me in a restored old jeep to the edge of the nesting area. We then walked to the beach while passing penguins and nests an arm's length away. We took as much time as I wanted and then returned to the Estancia for a wonderful lunch with guests of the Estancia inn. A great time.
Reviewer: Guy Davis
Close to Nature
January 31, 2017
This excursion well exceeded our expectations. Our guide and our driver went well beyond what was expected in order to give us the most wonderful and closest encounter we could ever have hoped for. All the while they taught us about these amazing creatures,their habits and tried to instill a true respect for this unique species. It is well worth the cost to sit on a beach surrounded by hundreds of curious penguins who bore no fear of us and passed just feet from us. I'd love to do it again !!!
Excellent. You need to be there!!!!
March 29, 2016
Fantastic organisation. All arrangements were first class
Reviewer: Aussie nomads
Long Drive But Worh It!!
March 17, 2016
The experience seeing the Penguins so close was truly amazing. Our guide was so friendly and knowledgable. The meal they provided at the end was Delicious. Such a good time.
Reviewer: Christine Cruiser
Excellent penguin outing
March 14, 2016
Group of 18, so much better than 40! Included English speakers and Spanish speakers, not such a good plan. Should have been 2 separate tours. Gaston was an excellent guide. The estancia was beautiful, food cooked out on open pit, empanadas to die for. Penguins were a bit of a hike away, but easy walk with the Penguins nests along the path! Highly recommend this tour.
An amazing day
February 28, 2016
A once in a life time experience. There were only 2 of us on the tour and we had a great day with our guide and than family living on the Estancia. Sitting on the beach watching penguin antics for about an hour was a thrill of a life time. We ate an amazing lunch with the family and our guide.
February 17, 2016
We thoroughly enjoyed the up close and personal experience. The ride was long but we learned many interesting facts during the ride and did get to experience the wide open and arid areas where local estancia's covered 1000's of acres. We saw a lot of wildlife while on the ride - Rheas (amazingly), Guanacos (related to llamas), gray fox, maras (crossover between rabbit and deer), turkey vultures, and eagles, although we missed the armadillos. At the lighthouse high on a cliff, we saw far below us, several elephant seals basking on the beach and swimming in the surf. At the penguin protected area we got to walk among 1000's of Magellanic Penguins for over a mile on the way to the rocky beach where we sat and relaxed as we watched them walk by us as they headed to the water to frolic in the waves. Surprisingly to us they make their nest in the scrub bushes along our mile walk. We saw babies in the nest and plenty of adults and were able to get within feet of them. It was a long walk but on a nice road path. Then we went to the estancia - (El Pedral) and had a wonderful lunch with the family and guests. This was also a highlight with the personal touch and eating a wonderful lamb meal with the family! The estancia was back about 2 miles in a shallow valley and was beautiful with pool, tennis courts in a wonderful shaded area. An Excursion you shouldn't miss!! This was best excursion on our Antarctic Cruise!!
Reviewer: Gray Eagle
Best excusion ever
March 08, 2013
Well run limited number of people (a positive) knowledge guide not inexpensive, but worth the cost!