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Whalesound – Research Centre for Whales

Whalesound has been researching the ocean fauna of the Magellan Strait since 1999. The organisation’s base is on the island of San Carlos III, where humpback whales gather annually, between December and April, in search of food and mates. During this season, Whalesound also offers excursions for tourists on its expedition vessel, providing a unique opportunity to experience whales really close-up. Accompanied by scientific researchers, visitors are brought almost within touching distance of these peaceful giants of the ocean, travelling by inflatable zodiac boats. With a little bit of luck, you will not only witness the humpbacks descending into the deep and coming up for air, but also catch a glimpse of a mighty tail fin emerging from the water – a superb photo opportunity!

  • Tour Description
  • Included Services
  • Gear
  • Notes
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Day 1– Punta Arenas – San Isidro lighthouse
Transfer from Punta Arenas to the century-old, most southerly lighthouse on the American continent: San Isidro lighthouse with the Faro San Isidro guest house. The lighthouse is visited and a short stroll provides a first introduction to the local environment. Evening meal and accommodation is at the guest house.

Day 2 – Whale watching

Breakfast is followed by departure on the motorised vessel Esturión, heading for the island of San Carlos III. To get as close as possible to the whales and other ocean fauna, you will transfer to inflatable zodiac boats. After your unique encounter with the gentle giants of the sea, you will be taken to the camp ground at Carlos III Island. You can go on a short stroll into the surrounding area, including a visit to Whalesound’s research station. Lunch is served at the camp ground. Afterwards, there is another ocean-going tour to spot whales and sea birds, before you return to Carlos III Island, where you will overnight in comfortable domed tents.

Day 3 – Whale watching and Santa Ines Glacier
In the morning, heading off again for whale watching.
Those who wish may explore the area around Rio Batchelor on a hike where they can also see penguins, sea lions and cormorants. Lunch at the camp. In the afternoon you go on navigation to Santa Ines glacier which is majestically piling in front of you as a huge ice wall calving into the sea. After this unique experience, you return to the camp and stay the night.

Day 4– Whale watching and Return to Punta Arenas
After breakfast, you go on a last little whale watching tour. Lunch at the camp or on board. Then return to Punta Arenas.

Full board
Listed excursions
Warm clothing and raingear is essential as well as good hiking boots and sunscreen.
Life wests are provided.
The camp does not have private bathrooms but there are three bathrooms for five Domo-tents (double room).
Besides this 3.5-day program, there are also packages with a duration of 2 or 4 days, as well as a canoe expedition available.

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