Penguins are thought to be the stars of Antarctica, and while it’s the place to travel to see the birds, it’s not the only place where you’ll find them. They’re social and often feed, swim and nest in groups. During the breeding season, some species form large “rookeries” that will include thousands – always a good time to travel to see them. We’ve put together a list of various regions around the planet to travel to that are home to these adorable waddlers – this is one for your bucket list!


If you travel to the southernmost area of Antarctica, the continent of glaciers and ice, you can see groups of more than 595,000 Emperor penguins! You can also catch a glimpse of the Adélie variety, the ones who look like they’re dressed in tuxedos, the most populous population in the world, as well as the Chinstrap (named for the narrow black band under their heads), and Gentoo (who have white straps across the top of their heads).

Antartica penguins

Photo: Giuseppe Zibordi via Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand

New Zealand is one of our favourite green travel destinations. There are several different types of species that are unique to New Zealand: the blue penguin – the world’s smallest, the crested penguin – known for their brush-like feathers on their heads, the yellow-eyed penguin – who, of course, have distinctly yellow eyes and a stripe that runs around the back of its head. There are also the Rockhoppers – who have distinctly spiky yellow eyebrows. Travel to Auckland and the Antipodes Islands to spot them- this will be an unforgettable encounter!

New Zealand penguins

Photo: JJ Harrison via Wikimedia Commons


Interestingly enough, they can also be found in the warm country of Peru (good news if you’re looking for a warm travel getaway)! Unlike most who would rather seek out glaciers and ice, the Peruvian Humboldt can be found nesting on the islands and around the rocky coast since they have a unique taste for the tropical weather and would rather breed in areas like the hot deserts! Unfortunately, in recent years the population has been declining, mostly due to over-fishing, climate change, and ocean acidification.

Peru penguins

Photo: Bernard Spragg via Flickr

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos islands has its very own star: the Galapagos Penguin! They can easily be recognized by a thin white line around their face. This tiny population (about 1,000) of waddlers loves the water, warm weather, and hopping around on the rocks. They can be found on the westernmost islands of Fernandina and Isabela. The Galapagos is a fantastic travel destination and now you have one more brilliant reason to go.

Galapagos penguins

Photo: Anita Ritenour via Flickr

South Africa

If you travel to Boulders Beach in South Africa, you will be surrounded by African penguins! Not only are these distinct to this country, but they are the continent’s only distinct species. Don’t miss Boulder beach when you travel to Cape Town – it is the only place in the world where one can get up close to them. Others that may be found in this area are the black-footed penguins (mostly found in Simons Town, not far to travel to from Cape Town).

South African penguins

Photo: Joachim Hube via Wikimedia Commons


Travel to the southernmost tip of Argentina (and surrounding islands) to see the Macaroni penguins – named after the outrageous yellow feathers they have on their heads, can be found in bunches in this part of the country. They are super easy to spot thanks to their colorful hairdo! If you travel to Argentina, make sure you spot these gorgeous babies.


Photo: Liam Quinn via Wikimedia Commons

Chiloe Island, Chile

Another species that prefers the warm temperature rather than the cold are the Magellanic penguins, found on Chiloe Island. They are the only migratory species, and by winter time they can be spotted far north by Brazil (another great excuse to travel to Brazil!). Its body shape is adapted for swimming, and its flippers function as paddles which enable them to move through the water rapidly. Also, if they get too hot, they can extend their flippers upward to create a breeze. If you want to travel to Chiloe island, the continent’s fifth-largest island and Chile’s largest, travel southwest from Puerto Montt towards Pargua, and take the ferry across the Canal de Chacao.

Magellanic penguin

Photo: Michaël CATANZARITI via Wikimedia Commons

This is green travel at its best! Love these adorable babies? Why not share the story on Facebook?

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