Two miles to the north-east of Punta Arenas, the Los Pingüinos National Park is comprised of two small islands; Marta and Magdalena, which are in the middle of the Magellan Strait (named after one of the world's most famous explorers, the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan who served under the Spanish King, Charles I in the 16th century). More than 100,000 penguins migrate there each year to lay and incubate their eggs. Marta Island also lodges more than 1000 sea lions, cormorants, skuas, Austral seagulls, Antarctic pigeons and sea elephants. When taking the boat to the islands, travellers are also likely to see Austral dolphins.
There are strict regulations in place protecting Marta Island and its animal inhabitants. As such, it is not possible to visit the island itself but there are boat tours that circle it - allowing tourists to see the wildlife and take photographs from a distance. On Magdelena Island, it is possible to get off the boat and walk around but visits are limited to one hour. Tours are available from Solo Expediciones or from the port in Punta Arenas.