Pumalín Park is an enormous area of limited development and active conservation in Chile’s center. Its designation in 2005 as a nature sanctuary has granted it additional protection to secure its ecological values and prevent development. It effectively serves as a nature belt, allowing birds, animals, and plants to spread in all directions and access the sea uninterrupted. We went ashore at this beautiful reserve in the morning, going on both short and long walks to discover some of the endemic species. Afterwards we stopped briefly at the small coffee shop nestled in the shoreline and then went back on board for a fantastic lunch and afternoon at sea. Regaled with a lecture from the photography team on board and our Global Perspectives guest speaker, we sailed south, towards tomorrow’s adventure.
National Geographic Explorer
Waking in the protected harbor of San Juan de Salvamento, we began our operations for the day in true Patagonia weather: a bit cloudy with strong winds. We took our Zodiacs to the landing to visit the “Lighthouse at the End of the World.” After a winding hike through low southern beech trees, we crested the top and were treated to a view of the cliffs below and an ever-present fog hanging just above our heads. After lunch, we sailed back to pick up a few researchers we had dropped off in Isla de los Estados a few days prior. The conditions looked favorable, so we were able to make a short Zodiac cruise to see steep cliffs with nesting rockhopper penguins.