During this full day excursion, we will explore the vast wind-swept Patagonian steppes along the shores of the mythic Magellan Straits, in southern Chile. Among our target species will be interesting shorebirds including Magellanic Plover, Two-banded, Tawny-throated and Rufous-chested Dotterels, and Least Seedsnipe. Chilean Flamingos, Black-necked and Coscoroba Swans as well as thousands of waders such as Wilson’s Phalarope, Baird’s and White-rumped Sandpipers will be common at the roadside wetlands while we explore and enjoy of the beauty of this ‘big sky’ open country. We will also bird the shrubby slopes and moorlands in search for specialties such as Austral Canastero, Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Chocolate-vented Tyrant and the stunning Black-throated Finch. There is a great chance that we will see all the southern Chloephaga geese species, including Upland, Kelp. Ashy-headed and the local and endangered Ruddy-headed Goose.
Day trip from Punta Arenas, Chile
Full day trip (10-12 hours) from Punta Arenas, Chile • Available from September through May.
Detailed Itinerary and Activities
We have a great and exciting birding day ahead, while exploring the productive grasslands and coasts located north of the city of Punta Arenas. Your guide will pick you up at 7am at your hotel; right after, you will be birding along the rocky shores of the Magellan Straits where you will see Imperial and Rock Cormorants, Chilean Skua, Dolphin Gull and South American Tern. We will inspect the productive wetland of Tres Puentes just outside town; this place holds a great variety of waterfowl including Crested Duck, Chiloe Wigeon, Red Shoveler, Yellow-billed Teal and Yellow-billed Pintail; South America Snipe usually is spotted here while performing its characteristic flight display.
Driving across the vast and seemingly bleak grasslands, we will see typical birds of the steppe such as Lesser Rhea, Cinereous Harrier, Magellanic Oystercatcher and Correndera Pipit. One of the main targets of today’s outing is the odd-looking Magellanic Plover which occurs in some brackish ponds nearby. The sole member of the Pluvianellidae family, this wader is one of the highlights of any birding trip in Patagonia and we will learn a big deal on its natural history. We will spend considerable time driving back roads and scanning for interesting and well-camouflaged species, including Tawny-throated and Rufous-chested Dotterels, Two-banded Plover and Least Seedsnipe. Interesting passerines also occur here also and we will look for specialties such as Common Miner, Austral Canastero, Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Chocolate-vented Tyrant and the stunning Black-throated Finch. The steppe seems like a fairly modest ecosystem; however holds a rich array of mammals too including Guanaco, Southern Grey Fox, Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk, Patagonian Hairy Armadillo, among others.
Back to the Magellan Straits, we will look again for waterbirds like Silvery Grebe, Chilean Flamingo, Coscoroba Swan, Silver Teal, plus Red-gartered and White-winged Coots. Upland, Ashy-headed and hopefully the scarce Ruddy-headed Geese will be spotted in the area during our visit. A long and rewarding birding day in which we will discover several of the specialties and endemics of southern Patagonia.
Dates & Rates
Day Tour: This trip is available on a daily basis from September until May • Trip duration: 7am – 5-7pm.
Meet/Depart: Daily departures from Punta Arenas, Chile.
Duration: 10-12 hours | Pick-up time at the hotel / Punta Arenas port at 7am.
|No. of guests||2||3||4||5||6|
|Price per person (USD)||$298||$257||$199||$166||$143|
What the trip includes/excludes
The above prices are per person in US Dollars. All payments are in US Dollars.
The trip price includes: Private transportation and guide services during the tour, packed lunch and mineral water. VAT of the tour is also included.
The trip price excludes: Tipping, travel insurance, a la carte dishes, alcoholic drinks, and anything else of a purely personal nature.
To book this tour, please complete the online registration form and pay a deposit of US$ 100 per person. Full payment of the tour fee is due 30 days prior to tour departure.
Notice of cancellation can only be accepted IN WRITING from the person who signed the booking form and takes effect on the day such noticed is received by us.
Refunds are made according to the following schedule:
– If cancellation is made 120 days or more before departure date, the deposit less US$ 50 is refundable.
– If cancellation is made between 120 and 60 days before departure, the deposit is not refundable, but any payments covering the balance of the fee will be refunded.
– If cancellation is made fewer than 60 days before departure date, no refund is available.
This policy and fee schedule also applies to pre-trip and post trip extensions, as well as any transfers from one tour to another. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.