Tourism Ireland

Penguins in Patagonia

by Erich Martin

Apr 6, 2019

© Paweł Opaska | Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

On World Penguin Day, April 25, begin planning a South American trip to make Mr. Popper jealous.


Patagonia is at the southernmost tip of South America. It is sparsely populated in terms of locals, but is a destination that makes the bucket list for thousands of travelers. The unique region provides everything from hiking to watersports to nature, all with a stunning backdrop.


World Penguin Day is the perfect opportunity to start planning a trip to this region — after all, Patagonia is home to an eclectic gathering of penguin species.


There are four distinct species of penguins living in Patagonia. No matter what time of year and depending on where you travel within Patagonia, it is possible, and even likely, to run into the birds no matter what you are doing as long as you’re in nature.


Magellanic Penguins live up to their namesake and are migratory. In the winter months, they travel north toward Peru and Brazil. Flocks of these penguins can number in the thousands, so keep an eye out.


King Penguins are similar, at least in appearance, to Emperor Penguins. These sleek birds live in dense colonies along steep, rocky shores.


Gentoo Penguins live in loose, sparse communities. They are related to Chinstrap and Adelie penguins and live off a diet of krill, squid and other crustaceans.


Humboldt Penguins live in burrows dug into guano, boulders, sea caves and sometimes just in a little hole in the ground. Sometimes, Humboldt Penguins can be seen in overlapping breeding grounds with the Magellanic Penguins.


There are plenty of reasons to visit Patagonia, but seeing some penguins in the wild would certainly be at the top of my list.


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