Seeing Penguins in Punta de Choros

I’m back to share some travel posts!  Thanks so much for all of the lovely congratulations on my last post.  We’re so excited!


When my brother came to Chile in February for twelve days, I gave him a choice of “North” or “South

Of course, in a country as long as Chile, that still opens up so so many options for travel but it’s the question that most Chilean adventures begin with.  I sent him a few screen shots of what I meant by North or South, and he picked North.  In the last almost two-and-a-half years of living in Chile, Carlos and I always tend to pick South.  That’s where we’ve climbed mountains, gazed at the bluest lakes and the lushest green.  So, I was more than happy to explore a bit more of the North, and that’s just what we did.

We did head far North into the Atacama Desert, and I’ll be sharing that in some upcoming posts.  But, before that, we went to a place which I can only describe as The Caribbean in Chile, look…DSC00327DSC00329We went to Punta de Choros, which is a fishing village on the coast and about 7hrs north of Santiago.  It’s famous for penguins.  Penguins?  Yup, penguins live in the desert so we had to go and find out!  We drove for almost two hours from where we were staying in La Serena and bumped into some Vicuñas on the way (a relative to the llama)DSC00325When we arrived in the small fishing village, I was so surprised to see the clear colour of the water and the white sand.  That just isn’t what you think of when you think of Chilean beaches.  With a huuuuge coastline, Chile has all sorts of beaches, but I didn’t know they had this type. With the inviting water and the beating sun, it was easy to imagine diving in, until we dipped our toes in and remembered that yes, this is The Pacific Ocean, and it’s freeeezing!  That didn’t stop some children fully immersing in the water, but dipping a toe in was enough for me!

The best way to see Punta de Choros is by boat as you get to see the islands and the wildlife that live there.  The sea breeze was lovely as we set off for our two hour trip.DSC00344DSC00345DSC00346DSC00330DSC00341Before long we arrived to see the islands and were greeted by some sleepy sea lions.DSC00333And, the Humbolt Penguins.  The fact that these penguins are here means that it has become a penguin reserve, meaning the penguins are protected.  My first time seeing penguins in the wild.DSC00337DSC00338The boat then went away from the island to look for whales and dolphins.  Sadly, we didn’t see either of the two but we had two groups of friends who went a few days later and saw both, so: next time!

Once back on shore, we wandered along the soft sand taking in the views.DSC00362DSC00388DSC00351DSC00372And planning that we could stay in those domos in the distance next time.  I googled them, and they look so amazing inside too!DSC00355We then hopped in the car and drove a further ten minutes up the bumpy road to discover a hidden treasure which only a handful of people were enjoying.  This looked like Punta de Choros but without the boat trips, meaning it felt that bit more peaceful. Playa Las Tacas was just stunning.DSC00380DSC00378DSC00377DSC00376DSC00384

Punta de Choros: the place where penguins live in the most unlikely surroundings!

Marcella xx

41 thoughts on “Seeing Penguins in Punta de Choros

  1. Awww I love the sea lions! They are beautiful!! I would love to see penguins in the wild. I think they are such good looking animals. 🙂 The Chilean beaches look very pristine and unaffected!

  2. Gosh, how beautiful! I feel like if I just saw one of these photos with no context, I would assume they were taken in Europe or the Caribbean. So pretty! And omg wild penguins come onnnn! So cute! Chile is such an exotic spot and one I hope to visit someday!

  3. I hope to make it to Chile and the Atacama Desert later this year so I’m waiting to read your post about the desert. I love penguins and get to see them quite often in New Zealand. I have not seen Humboldt penguins so maybe when I’m there.

  4. So cute! I do like penguins a lot (not quite as much as S does though). I’d have trouble choosing between north and south – both sound like they have so many things to discover! I’m glad you had good family time 🙂

  5. Oh, I would love to see penguins in the wild. I thought your brother was going to pick south but in a country with so much variety, it is hard to decide. Seven hours north of Santiago? That is far (like going to San Francisco for us). But, what a beautiful place! #WanderfulWednesday

  6. I definitely would not have thought to see penguins in Chile, it reminds me of the coastal penguins in South Africa. Reading your post made me think of the movie Happy Feet and how they should come out with a Part 3 that tells the story of dancing penguins who live in warmer terrain since I associate penguins with living in the freezing cold. Can you imagine the cultural music and tap dancing combined? (I should copyright that idea haha) Such an awesome boat tour and so cool that you got to share the experience with your bro!

  7. When you said your brother chose North, I was thinking “ok, no way – penguins only live in the South!” but how wrong I was! Unbelievable beaches and amazing wildlife photography as usual 🙂 Looks like such a fun area to visit… I love seeing more corners of the country I never knew about. Personally I do swim in the Pacific from time to time (even though I’m from an island near Canada) because I’m desperate for an ocean swim 😉

  8. You look so happy here!!! And those clouds – somehow you always capture the most beautiful clouds in your photos. This looks like such a fun little trip.

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