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In the hottest months of the year, Isla Martillo is the home of two species of penguins, Papúa  and Magallánico. They come to reproduce, and the youngest ones to change their plumage. These young penguins are rather ugly and have missing feathers. The island is full of nests, which are holes in the sand surrounded by plants. I had never thought I could see so many penguins on a landscape like this.
Papúa and Magallánico
Papúa and Magallánico
Nest
Nest

It is pretty cool to get close to these animals, they stare at you very curious. We must move slowly and crouch to go closer, otherwise they might get scared. And it takes only one to make the colony run away. I was so excited taking pictures that I threw myself on the ground, and only a few moments later I realized there was poop everywhere. I smelled really bad and stayed like this for hours until I returned to the hotel.

Lying on the sh...
Lying on the sh…

The ones with reddish orange bill (Papúa) stood still, blinking and not minding our presence.

Papúa
Papúa
Isla Martillo is 56 miles from Ushuaia on ruta 3, you should buy the tour in a travel agency. One option is to catch a boat in Ushuaia, pass by some islands and arrive in Isla Martillo without getting off. Another possibility is to do what I did: I went to the nearest port and caught a motorboat; it took only 15 minutes.
Magallánico
Magallánico

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TAKE NOTE

Agency: PIRATOUR is the only one allowed to land on the island, and they operate in a small house on the coast next to Oficina de Turismo. All these small houses sell tours.

ESTÂNCIA HARBERTON has the nearest port to the island. Founded in the 19th century, it holds historical objects and pictures. There is a pub and a beautiful landscape of the countryside.

Pack winter clothes, the cold wind and the humidity in the canal can ruin the trip. Gloves, hood, hat, scarf… even in the summer.[/box]

 

Magallánico
Magallánico

Translated by Lúcia Maciel
English teacher
Contact: luciamaciel@territorios.com.br
© All rights reserved. Pictures and report 100% originals. Photos by Leandro Gabrieli and Roberta Martins, video by Guilherme Mainieri.

Author ro martins

Advertiser, tourism content generator, Territorios’s creator, photographer and travel guide. From the last 12 years, reports her travel experiences focusing on culture and ecotourism on her award-winning blog (Best Content Travel Blog at FITUR Madrid 2017).

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