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Located off the coast of Valparaíso, Cachagua is a small island with a large colony of endangered penguins. This protected natural environment is uninhabited and off limits to visitors. However, visitors may circumnavigate the island on a fishing boat or by canoe for a close-up look at these waddling creatures.
Penguins live not only at the South Pole but also on Isla Cachagua, a tiny rocky islet of 150 by 300 metres in central Chile. The island is located on the Costa Esmeralda, north of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. This is a paradise for sea otters, dolphins, sea lions and sea birds, such as the endangered Peruvian pelican. But the main attraction of this rocky islet, nicknamed ‘Penguin Island’, is the noisy colony of over 2,000 Magellan and Humboldt Penguins.
The Humboldt Penguin is named after another great explorer, 19th-century German scientist Alexander von Humboldt. This endangered penguin species lives along the coast of Peru and Chile, where the cold Humboldt Current brings large schools of anchovies and sardines. The animals breed in holes filled with guano (bird manure), but the extraction of guano has caused a large part of this natural habitat to disappear. The number of Humboldt Penguins has reduced to only 50,000.
“Rent a motorboat for a penguin excursion”