Exclusive Penguin and Seal Estancia
On this exclusive tour from Puerto Madryn, you will see Magellanic penguins closer than you ever thought possible, and Southern Elephant Seals can be spotted occasionally from a lighthouse.
Departing the pier in a group of no more than 12 guests, you will drive southeast with your bilingual guide. You will travel for approximately one hour over gravel roads to reach the Punta Ninfas lighthouse, where the first stop will be to see elephant seals. Get ready for a glimpse into the Golfo Nuevo eco-system at this strategic place where you can spot elephant seals from above the cliff, and, if you are lucky, sea lions and killer whales.
You'll then drive to the northern sector of the estancia, where a Magellanic penguin protected colony exists. You will be driven as far as possible, until you have to walk, as there are nests along both sides of the road. Continue walking until you reach the private beach, where you will learn about the ecosystem of this Golfo Nuevo's special place. You will also be able to see a South American tern colony. Sometimes sea lions, cormorants, giant petrels and other animals can be spotted as well.
Finishing the safari activities, you will head to the estancia's main lodge, where the barbecue is waiting for you in the quincho area. There are washrooms and a relaxed atmosphere to rest a little. After your grilled lunch, you will drive back to the pier.
Weather, groups mobility, or other unforeseen circumstances may affect how much of the estancia can be visited.
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.
Reviewer: Joan Schacht
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: Guy Davis
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.
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 !!!
Reviewer: Aussie nomads
Fantastic organisation. All arrangements were first class