Best time to travel to Chile

Penguin Safari in Chile

Along with cute Chilean penguins you can see their friendly cohabitants including sea lions and lots of birds

Best time: late September–March

Penguin Safari
Penguin Safari
Penguin Safari
Penguin Safari
Penguin Safari

Penguins live mostly in southern Chile around Punta Arenas, but also in lower numbers on the north coast. The two most widespread kinds of these cute flightless birds are the Magellanic and Humboldt species. Penguin watching season ​lasts from late September until the end of March with the most popular season being Chilean summer in December and January. At this time, ​one might get the chance to spot their offspring. Though penguins are the main attraction, one may also encounter other wildlife including sea lions and an abundance of birds including gulls, cormorants, kelp geese, and steamer ducks.

Practical info

When is the best time to go to Chile to see penguins?

The right time to visit Chile for penguin watching is from September end to March end. The most popular months are December and January, which is the Chilean summer and the penguins' breeding season, with a chance of seeing penguin offspring. It's best to plan your trip during peak season, starting mid-December to the end of February, to see these beautiful birds. This will also help you to ensure the best travel experience while also providing you with ample time to plan for transportation, accommodations, and the penguin safari tours. Show more

Where can you view penguins in Chile?

The southern region of Punta Arenas is the best location to watch penguins in Chile. You can find two widespread species of penguins - Magellanic and Humboldt, which are black and white, with a black band and black and white body, respectively, amongst others along with various species of birds and sea lions. Isla Magdalena, accessible from Punta Arenas, is one of the best penguin viewing spots, along with the Seno Otway Penguin Colony located north of Punta Arenas. Show more

Which penguin species are common in Chile?

Chile is home to two widespread penguin species - Magellanic and Humboldt. Magellanic Penguins are black and white with a black band across their chest, while Humboldt Penguins have black and white bodies. They can be observed in their natural habitat in locations such as Punta Arenas and the north coast of Chile. The captivating beauty of these birds is an extraordinary sight to behold. Show more

Can you see any other wildlife during a penguin safari in Chile?

Penguins are the focal point of Chilean Patagonia, but they are not the only wildlife you may come across during your penguin safari tour. Sea lions are a frequent sight, basking in the sun on rocks. Several bird species such as cormorants, kelp geese, steamer ducks, and gulls can be spotted. Additionally, in the presence of luck, the awe-inspiring sight of whales leaping out of the water may be witnessed, which is an experience that is difficult to forget. Show more

How far in advance should you book a penguin safari tour in Chile?

To guarantee a good experience and ensure adequate arrangements for transportation, accommodation, and penguin safari tours, it is advisable to begin booking penguin safari tours at least a month in advance. Nonetheless, since the peak season is from mid-December to the conclusion of February, it is also essential to book 3 to 6 months ahead to avoid disappointment, given the limited capacity of most tours. The benefits of booking early include better pricing, deals, and other discounts that can significantly fix your budget constraints. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin