Enjoying the world’s largest colony of penguins at Punta Tombo in a truly beautiful natural environment –where the steppe, the red rocks and the turquoise sea are a fantastic contrast- is undoubtedly a wonderful, unique experience.
We invite you to start your tour at the great Tombo Centre, followed by the paths that are distributed among the penguin nests –within an animal protection framework of which you will be part during the visit.
The Chubut’s system of Protected Natural Areas consists of eleven areas which were created in order to protect biodiversity, the different environments and the attractions located in this province and where visitors will enjoy unique experiences.
Punta Tombo is a protected natural area created for the conservation of its significant colony of Magellanic penguins in order to ensure benefits for present and future generations.
Chubut System of Protected Natural Areas
The Protected Area Punta Tombo is a narrow, rocky strip which extends over 2 mi (3.5 km) towards the open sea.
Due to its wide beaches, gently sloping to the sea, penguins can get on land in order to build their nests, that is why, visitors can watch the constant going to and coming from the sea of these birds –a behaviour that increases during the morning and the evening when it is cooler.
The Tombo Center, a piece of architecture which facade was conceived and designed as a continuation of the landscape frame, has an interior design that takes visitors on a ride from the seabed to the surface and the coexistence of penguins with the local fauna, as experienced by these friendly animals.
If you are going to meet them in person, be sure to capture their essence... Once you have gone through the Centre, you will be ready for the expected encounter!
After going across the Tombo Centre, you will better understand the life of the Magellanic penguins and discover the wildlife that coexists with them.
In every hall, you will find information, photos and artistic works, which will make your visit a unique and incomparable experience.
You will enjoy a space which is in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape and while walking through the halls, you will experience emotions and feel the desire to preserve the local nature.
Once you arrive at the Protected Area, you will find a large parking lot and the path that leads you to the Entrance Fee Booth. This admission charge allows you to visit the area but in addition, it is basically used for the conservation of our fauna.
From that moment, you will be in front of this great complex, including bathrooms, the “Dome of the Winds”, the wonderful Tombo Centre, the Gift Shop and the Restaurant.
From there, you will be taken by shuttle bus to the beginning of the paths.
The Tombo Centre is a management support tool which works as a regulator of the number of people who visit the path, adjusted for its load capacity. Including the Tombo Centre in the tour means a change in the type of visit to the PNA.
This change not only tries to reduce human disturbance on the footpath going through the Magellanic penguin nesting area, but also improves the quality of the visit.
Inside the centre, you will find information about the area’s history, models, videos and everything necessary to fully enjoy the experience in direct contact with wildlife.
The pathway will not only allow you to be really close to the nests but also to see the penguins crossing the path, going to and coming from the sea.
That is the reason why, in some parts of the path where the animal traffic is higher, there are footbridges in order not to bother them on their way to and from the sea.
Visitors should always stay within the limits of the paths and walkways, according to the instructions of the rangers and the signals.
Opening times and the way in which the visit is organized are set according to the birds’ behaviour and to their life cycle.
For this reason, transfers between the Centre and the nesting area will only be available at certain times. Please check them on the information poster.
There will be field assistants to inform you at different parts of the path and in the Centre. Visitors will be divided into separate groups during the tour through the path, stopping at specific points.
While visiting Punta Tombo, you are entering a Chubut’s Protected Natural Area. The admission fee that you pay goes to the conservation of Chubut’s biodiversity.
Therefore, you become a nature protector.
Please do respect the rules of this site.
We are all ‘owners’ of the beauties that you will find and appreciate here.
Take care of our nature!
The Tombo Centre is a management support tool which works as a regulator of the number of visitors to the path, adjusted for its load capacity.
The footpath is a linear trail and there are two walking routes: the short path (2,132 ft [650 m]) and the long path (2 mi [3.5 kms]).
Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) are marine flightless birds which live in colonies, are well-adapted for swimming and are found in temperate and cold climates.
It is the most abundant seabird and has the widest range of distribution in Patagonia.
Penguins are seabirds which live both on land and in the sea. On land, they reproduce, incubate the eggs and it is where their chicks are born and change their feathers, whereas they return to the sea in order to feed and to migrate along the sea coast.
The name would possibly refer to the penguin fat ('penguigo' in Spanish and 'pinguis' in Latin).
In addition, it is thought that it may have come from two Welsh words meaning ‘white head’.
The most agreed-upon explanation is that ‘penguin’ was used as a name for the now-extinct Great Auk (Alca impennis) from the Northern Hemisphere, which the modern-day penguin resembles and for which it was mistaken.
It is distributed in 63 colonies throughout the Argentine Patagonia and Punta Tombo is the largest one.
Their black and white plumage serves as camouflage to predators. When penguins are in the water, their plumage camouflages them from being seen from below against the bright light coming through the water’s surface. From above, their black backs help them blend in with the darker ocean waters below them.
They have very short, densely packed feathers which provide them an excellent insulation from the cold.
Males are slightly larger than females and have longer and broader bills.
They mainly prey upon: anchovies, hakes, mackerels and squids.
Adult males have a mean weight of 5 kg and reach sexual maturity at 4 or 5 years.
They can live up to 30 years
It is the average height for both sexes.
They can reach speeds up to 15 mph swimming underwater.
Males begin to arrive at Punta Tombo, returning to the same nests used in the previous season.
A few weeks later, when females arrive, male penguins fight each other for both nests and females.
Females lay two equally sized eggs with a similar weight. They are off white in colour with bluish green strains.
Chicks usually hatch 4 or 5 days apart
The first chicks are born covered by a gray down.
Then, they develop their waterproof plumage.
It is a period of growth, there is a lot of activity on the beach. Gulls and skuas start lurking around the penguin chicks.
The chicks leave the nest, start moulting their plumage and make their first sorties into the water.
Juvenile penguins, born on the previous season, return to the colony and spend nearly two weeks on land in order to moult their adult plumage.
After changing their down into a juvenile plumage, chicks start learning to swim and to keep clean their plumage.
Individuals begin to leave the colony occupied nests in the summer season to live for six months in the water to return the following season.
They are feeding at the sea, reaching latitudes near the southern Brazil.
Patagonia consists of more than an exotic, natural concept, a beautiful landscape of contrasts, diverse climates or free and protected animals.
Patagonia is a place to breathe, it has to be seen and felt to be believed, and a deep emotion will grow inside you. Nobody can tell you about it! Patagonia has to be experienced!
In our region, residents and visitors are permanently travelling around this area and Trelew is its centre.
It is the geographical centre, cultural center, centre of knowledge, tourist centre and economic centre.
Trelew is a tourist city par excellence, which has many alternatives and is the regional distribution centre.
It is a real commercial centre in the region due to the numerous stores, the shopping and the casino.
The great number of qualified hotels and restaurants in the city will allow you to enjoy the natural region offering many cultural options.
In addition, there are many tourist circuits from Trelew, either full-day, half-day tours or a package tour, offered by the different travel agencies of Trelew.
Trelew is a tourist city par excellence, which has many alternatives and is the regional distribution centre.
Trelew is a real commercial centre in the region, not only for its heavy and light industry but also for its great number of stores, the shopping and the casino.
There are many tourist circuits from Trelew, either full-day, half-day tours or a package tour, which are offered by the different travel agencies of Trelew.
In these tours you can enjoy nature tourism, as well as culture and adventure.
The most important activities are Punta Tombo, which can be combined with a visit to the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio (known by the acronym MEF) in Trelew where is exhibited the world's biggest dinosaur ever discovered, with the different expressions of the Welsh culture or the proximity to the sea (just 15 miles [25 kms]).
You can use the city as a starting point to visit other places nearby, such as Playa Unión and the Port of Rawson, where Commerson's dolphin watching tours are available all year round, or so as to travel throughout the whole region, enjoying all the tourist attractions including the whale watching boat tours and scuba diving from Puerto Pirámides or from Puerto Madryn. Moreover, you can take Trelew as a starting point to visit the different Protected Areas of sea lions and sea elephants and to do many other activities that will make your visit a unique experience.
Ideal location for all the main tourist attractions.
37 miPuerto Madryn
12 mi Gaiman
18 ml Playa Unión
99 mi Puerto Pirámides
74 mi Punta Tombo
|Rates per passenger in Argentine pesos||International||Argentinian citizens||Chubut residents|
|Adults (passenger older than 12 years old)||$250.-||$100.-||$50.-|
|Juniors (passenger between 6 to 11 years old)||$130.-||$50.-||$30.-|
|Child (passenger between 0 to 5 years old)||Free of charge||Free of charge||Free of charge|
|Pensioners and Retired Visitors older than 60 years old||$250.-||$50.-||$30.-|
There is a general rate but discounts are made according to the place of residence of each tourist, thus, visitors will be requested to present some form of identification (ID, driving license or other) in order to enter the area.
It is important that each individual carries the corresponding identification due to the fact that the rate is per person.
The following table shows the rate to get into the Protected Natural Area Punta Tombo including the aforementioned discounts.
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