Full Day from Punta Arenas
Operated between December to April
Subject to local weather conditions
FULL REFUND IF TRIP CANNOT BE OPERATED
The Marine Park
You may, as a result of travel logistics, find yourself in Punta Arenas. Consequently, you may be thinking how best you can use your time here. For example, if you have two nights available, then a whale watching trip is a great experience to add to the many others you will enjoy during your trip to Patagonia. Therefore we can suggest this, very long, full day excursion that will take you into one of the remotest, pristine places on Earth at the southern-most tip of the American continent. Moreover, you will enter the “Francisco Coloane” marine park, whereupon an amazing variety of marine and bird life is to be found. For example, Humpback whales, sea lions, cormorants, dolphins; native forests; glaciers and clean air!
Francisco Coloane Marine Park
The area of sea that contains the feeding ground for the Humpback whales is called “Francisco Coloane” Marine Park. Above all, this channel of water is home to a large biodiversity of marine live. However, it was as a consequense of a decision to study of whales from a base located on Carlos III Island that then created the need to give some kind of protection to these creatures. As a result, this area of water was formally allocated the status of a marine park in 2003. As a result, it is now also a tourist destination.
The marine park covers 67,000 hectares of sea and is southeast of Carlos III Island. Most importantly, this island is located in the Strait of Megellan, on the Pacific side of the Chilean coast not too far west from Punta Arenas. Most importantly, because of its remote location the area is totally prestine, wild and natural where Patagonia can be experienced in its true form: raw. That is to say, that within this part of the world are many native, forested islands, hanging glaciers. On the other hand there are large glaciers that come down from the peaks to meet the sea. Moreover, there are narrow channels and plenty of marine fauna, including Humpback whales, and on occasion Sei and Mink whales, as well as dolphins.
It is a place where the wind can howl, mist touches the low-level mountain tops, clean, fresh air enteres the lungs, dolphins pass by to say “hello”, the chirp of birds break the natural silence, ancient trees cling to steep island sides and diving whales gently break the water’s surface. Consequently, if this is what you would like to experience, let us include this magical activity in your Patagonia itinerary.
Considering that the navigation to the marine park takes several hours, plus time there, and several hours to return it is a long day. For example, the full day will last between 12 to 14 hrs, and pick-up is at the unsociable hour of 04:00hrs. Therefore, you need a previous good nights’s sleep.
Check-in is at an office in the centre of Punta Arenas at 05:00hrs, two blocks from the central plaza of the city. Most importantly, we will book you in to a hotel close to the check-in office. However, after check-in you will be taken by bus to the embarkation point, which is about 50km (1hr) west of Punta Arenas, whereupon boarding is at around 06:00hrs. Moreover this is also the time of the sunrise over the Tierra del Fuego – which is a beautiful sight. Following the sunrise the navigation will be along the western end of the Magellan Stretch, passing an historic Chilean fort called Bulnes, which was also the location of the first settlement of Punta Arenas (Sandy Point).
Approximately two hours after the boat “sets sail”, that is to say between 07:30hrs to 08:30hrs you will pass the southern-most point of continental South America called Cape Froward. As a result you will see the lighthouse, which marks the spot. In addition, you will see native flora and forests coming down to the sea, hanging glaciers and generally beautiful landscapes. In other words, what you see is pretty much what the first explorers saw too, not much has changed.
Then between 10:00hrs to 13:00hrs the boat will enter the marine park called “Francisco Coloane” within which are Humpback Whales diving for food. Moreover there are Magellan penguins, sea lions and sea elephants in the water, or on coastal rocks; austral dolphins, cormorants and albatros amoung the variety of sea birds.
After a long day at approximately between 17:00hrs to 19:00hrs the trip ends back in Punta Arenas.
Did you know that each Humpback whale has its own, distinct markings on its tail fin? For example, like a human with finger prints, the indvidual markings on the tail enable reasearchers to identify the different whales. Consquently, there are many pictures of the tails of Humpback whales as they dive for food. Most importantly, make sure you are ready to snap your own iconic picture of a whale as it dives for food and flips its huge tail in the air!
Above all, the excursion will involve a long time on board a fast-speed, covered zodiac into the marine park. Therefore you will need to stay the previous night and the night after the excursion in Punta Arenas. For this reason we will include two nights in your Patagonia itinerary and also book your hotel.
Within the cost of this excursion will be included the return road transfers, the navigation, guide, breakfast and lunch. However, it is worth noting that meals will be served when on the boat, therefore if you suffer from sea sickness this may not be the excursion for you.
Clothes to Bring
Considering that in Patagonia there are “four seasons in one day”, in other words the weather constantly chnages, you need to be prepared. For example, you will need to have a warm, waterproof jacket, warm under garment like a fleece, then an under garment, gloves, warm hat, lip balm, sun glasses, sun block cream, waterproof trekking pants and trekking shoes or boots. In conclusion, the same clothes you will need for any Patagonia activity. In addition, because you are on the water, the temperature may feel colder than it you were on land.
To sum up, this is a rare opportunity to not only experience Patagonia from the sea, but also enjoy nature in is most natural and raw form. Therefore, if you are able to make it work so you can stay two nights in Punta Arenas, then this is a worthwhile itinerary to incorporate into your overall Patagonia plan.
Summary of the Itinerary
05:00hrs – Check-in at the office, located at José Nogueira #1255, Punta Arenas
05:15hrs – Transfer to the Carrera Bay for embarkation. This is arounf 50km south from Punta Arenas.
06:00hrs – The boat “sets sail” for the first part of the navigation along the legendary Strait of Magellan, observing the beauty of Tierra del Fuego, passing by Fort Bulnes and then the Light House “Faro San Isidro”.
07:30hrs – We pass by Cape Froward, the southern-most point of the American continent and, effectively, the point where the Pacific meets the Atlantic.
10:00hrs – 15:00hrs – Will be when our boat will be in the “Francisco Coloane” marine park, whereupon, if we are fortunate, we expect to see whales, penguins, cormorants, petreles, sea lions, sea elephants, albatros’s and maybe some orcas. Also, there will be a visit to see the glaciers on the Santa Ines island.
15:05hrs – 18:00 – We will be returning to Punta Arenas.
Send Us Your Enquiry
Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!). How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)
VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.
Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.