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Isla Magdalena v. Seno Otway Penguins!

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We are heading down to Puerto Natales and do not have time to stay in Punta Areans before kicking off our TdP hiking trip. We would like to rent a car in Natales and drive down to either Seno Otway or all the way down to Punta Arenas to meet up with the trip to Isla Magdalena.

I am wondering if anyone has insight on which would be better for us to do. I know that either way its going to make for a long day, but I can't come all this way and not go see the penguins! Has anyone done this in a round trip from Natales in a day? Does anyone have an opinion about which of the two is better? I thought Seno Otway would be closer to Natales but maybe the difference in distance isn't really worth it if Isla Magdalena is better.

Thanks for your help!

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    I might be too late for you...but I visited both places in early December of this year. From what you write, I would suggest Seno Otway, as it is a bit north of Punta Arenas and requires only a 45 minute ride (one way) from the main road to access. It's also wide open in terms of the timing of a visit. Isla de Magdalena requires 2 hours plus each way by boat (depending on the seas), and leaves only at 3:30pm three days a week. [Note that there is another, smaller boat to Isla de Magdalena, the "fast boat" that goes every day, but I personally would have little interest in being in a zodiac in the middle of the Strait of Magellan, especially after getting pitched around in 10' swells in the big boat.]

    The upside to Seno Otway is that you have it mostly to yourself and there is no time limit (Magdalena is a semi-structured one hour visit, and it can sometimes be a bit shorter if you are looking at rough weather). The obvious disadvantage to Seno Otway is that it is a much smaller colony and a much less dramatic landscape (the colony on Isla de Magdalena is more than ten times larger, and the penguins are literally everywhere).

    Both are extremely worthwhile trips, and they are different enough to do both if you have time...but driving five hours R/T and sailing for five hours R/T at a fixed time would be my second choice.

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