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Puerto Deseado, Argentina - Penguin Capital Of South America

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Map location: Puerto Deseado, Argentina
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Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman - November 2021   » View Photoset (65 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 12yrs!
In the heart of the Patagonia is a hidden gem with a well-kept secret - Puerto Deseado, the penguin capital of South America! Located off the main route south (route 3) out to the east 2hrs from Fitz Roy, Puerto Deseado (a port town) is often overlooked by travelers. Puerto Deseado is surrounded by a beautiful area of coast with a lot of nature to enjoy with the highlight being the wildlife on Penguin Island.

Coastal Road & Sights

In Puerto Deseado there is a coastal road you can drive (or walk) along and see remote beaches, caves, rock formations and wildlife like birds, flamingos, penguins and armadillos. Visit Lions Beach, Lions Cave, Lions Rock, Cavendish Point, Foca Point and many other points of interest on this drive. There are also great views of the area at many positions along the road.

Penguin Island Boat Excursion

The great Penguin Island excursion in Puerto Deseado is a fantastic and unbeatable experience! If you are a fan of penguins, then this is the place to come and see them up close and personal. Not only penguins, but also seals, sea lions, birds and large fish. Penguin Island (Isla Pinguino) is around 20kms south-east of Puerto Deseado. The cost for the boat excursion is around $80-$100USD depending on whether you pay by cash or by card. Penacho Port (Puerto Penacho) in the bay of Puerto Deseado is where the boat excursion to Penguin Island leaves from on Saturdays (you need to check if they go on other days, possibly they do at peak season). In the morning of the tour, in the bay around Penacho Port you are likely to see dolphins and the tonina overa, a large black and white fish. They like to play and swim with the boats. It takes just 50mins to an hour to reach Penguin Island from Puerto Deseado. The view of the iconic clock tower in the city is good from the boat as you head out. After a very fun ride out to the island you will be greeted with the sight of the lighthouse at the top and then you will see hundreds of sea lions and seals on the front beach, penguins on the rocks and the white rocks. From here the guide will lead you around the island and you will get to see 2 different species of penguins, both with very different personalities. The island is a lot of fun to walk around but you have to be very careful not to stand on the nesting wildlife sometimes. That's how close you can get. I'm sure the rules will be changed in the future and there will be less freedom. Amazing views of the terrain, island and coastline at every angle! On the other side of the island live the 2nd variety of penguin found here and there are absolutely thousands! They are not scared of humans at all and don't seem to mind a few people sitting on the rocks watching them. We spent quite some time walking around Penguin Island, watching penguins and also had a food break. Watch out for that big green escua bird and their nests. If you get too close they will dive at you! As you leave Penguin Island, you will pass islands packed with seals, this is the place where they breed. It's quite a sight to see all their faces together in a bunch all wondering who we were! From here a group of tonina overa fish may follow the boat for some distance back to Puerto Deseado. Enjoy!

     

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Puerto Deseado, Argentina:

Cristian's Airbnb Apartment, Puerto Deseado, Argentina - Large Photo
Cristian's Airbnb Apartment, Puerto Deseado, Argentina (November 2021 - 3 nights) - I was lucky to meet Cristian after walking around Puerto Deseado for an hour looking for a place to stay but not finding anything. At $30USD for a beautiful and spacious apartment with heating, a kitchen, wifi, tv, hot water and a comfortable double bed. Close to shops and a bakery. Much better than staying at a hotel. Contact Cristian directly via Whatsapp on +5492974000138. Recommended!

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Puerto Deseado, Argentina - Penguin Capital Of South America. In the heart of the Patagonia is a hidden gem with a well-kept secret - Puerto Deseado, the penguin capital of South America. A beautiful area of coast with nature to enjoy with the highlight being the wildlife on Penguin Island!