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Penguin Colony of Otway Sound (Seno Otway)
Penguin Colony of Otway Sound (Seno Otway)

Penguin Colony of Otway Sound (Seno Otway)

Punta Arenas, Chile

The Basics

The Otway Sound penguin colony is one of the most popular wildlife attractions near Punta Arenas in Patagonia. Most travelers opt for a guided tour or shore excursion to see the penguins here. The average tour takes three to four hours including travel time (round-trip transport is typically included), and the best time to go is in the afternoon, when you can see the hardworking adult penguins returning from their fishing expeditions to share their bounty with their young families.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The penguin colony of Otway Sound is a must-see for nature and wildlife lovers.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.

  • Dress in warm layers and tote a hat and gloves, as it can get chilly here year-round.

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How to Get There

Otway Sound is located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of Punta Arenas. A good gravel road connects Punta Arenas with Puerto Natales, which is the gateway to the penguin reserve. Ferries geared toward tourists (so allow for plenty of time and money) make the trip, stopping at beautiful destinations en route.

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When to Get There

The penguin colony of Otway Sound is open from October to March. The penguins typically lay their eggs in October and start hatching fuzzy gray chicks by late November. Most visitors arrive in November and December, eager to see the baby penguins.

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Magdalena Island

Also accessible from Punta Arenas, Magdalena Island is home to a much larger penguin colony (more than 100,000 strong). The island can be reached only by boat, making it more difficult and expensive to visit than Otway Sound, but worth the effort for serious penguin lovers.

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