Continental South America’s largest penguin nesting ground, Área Natural Protegida Punta Tombo has a colony of more than half a million Magellanic penguins and attracts many other birds, most notably king and rock cormorants, giant petrels, kelp gulls, flightless steamer ducks and black oystercatchers. A strict management plan requires rangers to accompany visitors on rookery visits.
Trelew-based travel agencies run day-long tours. If possible, come in the early morning to beat the crowds. Most of the nesting areas in the 200-hectare reserve are fenced off: respect the limits and remember that penguins can inflict serious bites. If you can get a group together, it may be worth renting a car in Puerto Madryn or Trelew to visit.
Punta Tombo is 110km south of Trelew and 180km south of Puerto Madryn via well-maintained gravel RP 1 and a short southeast lateral. Motorists can proceed south to Camarones via scenic but desolate Cabo Raso.
Guests park at the Centro Tombo and shuttle to the rookery. Shuttle frequency depends on demand, but it’s greater in the morning.