Tierra del Fuego – King Penguin Colony

A visit to the King Penguin colony on Tierra del Fuego from Punta Arenas is a whole day trip. We went with a tour operator and started our trip from the port in Punta Arenas on a ship headed acorss to the Porvenir. This was a short journey across the Strait of Magellen where we were lucky enough to spot three whales.

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Before heading for lunch we visited a the museum of Porvenir. We saw lots of information about the lifestyles of the indigenous people followed by the evidence of colonisation and artefacts from Spanish, British, French and German people all coming and making Tierra del Fuego home for a period of time in history. 

After a quick stop for lunch in one of the local eateries (yummy!) we then headed to the town square which was on the piece of land used by the original indigenous tribe as the center of the area too. From this local tribe sadly the last members only actually died out around 50 years ago.

We were back on the road again heading south towards a King Penguin colony which had established itself about 9 years ago.

Before we reached the colony we spotted a lake where some flamingos were feeding. We jumped out to get a closer look.

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It was amazing to finally see king penguins. At this point I had only seen them on TV on in a book, their colours are amazing.

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It was easy to see why they had been called king penguins, not just for their size, but they have a regal air about them. Heads held high.


It was amazing to see them stretch up almost like a human.




Also spotted this guy among the bigger birds,  really reminds you just how different penguins are compared to other birds.


On the road back home we visited a wool processing building which had been in use since the 1940s, this was originally setup by a British firm so all the equipment was from London. It was like stepping in to the past. Most modern wool producers now use modern techniques, however some families with a smaller flock still do it the old fashioned way. The guide showed us how the sheep would be sheared and how the wool would then be processed and sorted in to different grade.

After visiting the wool processing place we headed back home via another ferry where we were lucky enough to see some commerson/panda dolphins swimming alongside the ship. No photos as they are speedy little things but these are the guys borrowed from google!