Summits of Patagonia Photo Expedition

King Penguins of Tierra del Fuego (2-day add-on for Patagonia). Offered Oct 1- April 30.

The King Penguin (Aptenodytes Patagonicus) is the 2nd largest and perhaps most beautiful of all penguin species. On Tierra del Fuego exists perhaps the most accessible colony of them anywhere in the world. The trip involves taking a ferry from Punta Arenas across the Straits of Magellan to the Island of Tierra del Fuego and then traveling by 2 hrs by road to a small private reserve where a growing population of about 100 individuals reside. Apart from the penguins we will see plenty of foxes, guanacos, birds of prey. Sometimes sea mammals and birds like the Black-browed Albatross are seen while crossing the Straits of Magellan. Because of the unique 18 month breeding cycle of the King Penguins, there are members of the colony present at any time of the year. This trip makes for a wonderful add-on to any of our Patagonia tours. While on Tierra del Fuego we will spend one night either in the small fishing port of Porvenir or at a remote fishing lodge located further to the south. On our return to Punta Arenas we will make a stop at the historic ghost town of Estancia San Gregorio. Price: $895 *includes 2 nights accommodations, all meals, ferry and ground transportation.

    Day 1 - Across the Straits of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego

    We catch the early Ferry from Punta Arenas to Tierra del Fuego. During the 1 hour crossing we will see a variety of sea birds and, with some luck, perhaps some porpoise that will often come to src the Ferry's wake. After arriving to the fishing village of Porvenir, we continue south by road for 2 hours to the Reserva del Pinguino Rey, a private reserve within a large estancia. Along the way twe often encounter foxes and guanacos, geese and perhaps Chilean Flamingos in some of the small ponds. Once at the reserve we will spend 2 to 3 hours photographing these glorious creatures before we continue on to our night's lodging at a remote fly fishing lodge further to the south.

    Day 2

    Today we begin our journey back to Punta Arenas. However, we will first stop to visit a nearby Ibis rookery. From there we may choose to return to the penguin reserve depending on how well we did the day before or to devote our time to photographing other subjects. We will take an alternative route back to the mainland which will take us by some lagunas that are often filled with flamingos. Our crossing of the Straits will be at La Angostura which is the narrowest point of the Straits of Magellan with the crossing taking only about 20 minutes. Once back on the mainland we continue south and make a short stop at the historic Estancia San Gregorio ghost town whose old buildings and relic ships make for great subject matter. We arrive back to Punta Arenas late in the afternoon where we will check into the well appointed Cabo de Hornos Hotel.

    Day 3 - Depart Punta Arenas

    Today you will check out of your hotel and transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your flight home or continue on with the next leg of your Patagonian adventure.