Chiloé Island: Penguin colony and mudflats
The waters surrounding the island of Chiloé are the home to the newly discovered Pincoya Storm-Petrel, a must-see for pelagic fans! On our tour Chiloé Island: Penguin Colony and Muflats we’ll have opportunity on both our ferry crossings from the mainland to the island and back to spot this poorly-known species.
On the northeast corner of the island you’ll visit a penguin colony both the Humboldt and Magellanic Penguins breed together. To see them close-be we’ll embark on a short boat tour circling the rocky outcroppings where they have their burrows. On the boat ride we’ll also be able to find Kelp Goose, Flightless Steamer Duck, Blackish Oystercatcher, Red-legged, Guanay, Neotropic, and Magellanic (Rock) Cormorants, as well as a good change of Marine Otters swimming around.
The extensive mudflats on the islands, produced by large tidal differences, see 30% of the world’s population of Hudsonian Godwits during the austral summer. These birds undergo a mind-blowing migration over the Pacific, making a non-stop flight from Alaska to Chiloé. These same mudflats are also a great place to find groups of Black-necked Swans, the lovely Snowy-crowned Tern, Black Skimmers (a subspecies that migrates from Amazonia!), and perhaps a few Chilean Flamingoes.
In the grassy fields along the roads we should find numerous groups of Black-faced Ibis. While our main target in the forest edges will be the Slender-billed Parakeet, a Chilean endemic usually easy to find in the north of Chiloé Island.
Chiloé Island: Penguin Colony and Mudflats can easily be combined with your tour to the Valdivian Rainforest near Puerto Montt.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
This tour can be booked any day throughout the year.
- Humboldt and Magellanic Penguin colony
- The newly described Pincoya Storm-Petrel
- Extensive mudflats brimming with shorebirds
- Relaxed pace. Short boat ride and easy short walks.
Ease of Birding
- Most species are easy to see. Species found at the penguin colony are very reliable, as are most shorebirds. Pincoya Storm-Petrel may require some luck.
- Transport: SUV for 1-3 people, minivan for 4-6 people
- Pick-up/drop-off at your hotel in Puerto Montt/airport/port
- Boat ride around penguin colony
- English speaking guide with birding equipment
- Snacks (fruit, nuts, cereal bars, water)
- eBird checklists for the day’s stops
CHILOÉ ISLAND: PENGUIN COLONY AND MUDFLATS
Starting time: pick-up at your hotel in Puerto Montt around 6:30 a.m. Note that starting may vary slightly depending on time of sunrise.
See map insert for an overview of the route and main hotspots visited during the tour.
Ending time: drop-off at your hotel in Puerto Montt around 5:30 p.m.