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 18 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 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.
Reviewer: Cheryl McFadden
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!
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.
Reviewer: s kargman
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: Marlene Korenycky
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.
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.