Isla Martillo

By Admin | Last Updated November 21, 2019

It is small penguin island in the Beagle Channel. It is situated in the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. The Penguin Island along with Gable Island, is a part of Estancia Harberton. In Yaghan language it is known as ‘Yecapasela’.

It is surrounded by the waters of the South Pacific Ocean and the beagle Channel. It is bounded on the west by Gable Island, towards the northwest by Petrel Island, to the north by Chata island and to the south, by the Chilean islands of Martillo and Navarino.

The climate of the Island is sub-polar oceanic or wet Patagonian type. Strong winds predominate the island. The Island has typical flora and fauna suited to the chilling temperatures.

Martillo Island is home to Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. These birds throng the place, between September to April.

Quick Facts of Isla Martillo

Isla Martillo It is an Argentine Island in Tierra del Fuego province.
Location Between Big Island of Tierra del Fuego and Chilean Navarino.
Surrounding Ocean Pacific
Length 1800 m
Shape of Island Hammer Shape

Gable Island and Penguin Rookery with Canoeing (Ushuaia)

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Interesting Facts

  • From Estancia Harberton, it is a 15-minute boat ride on the Beagle Channel.
  • The place is home to Gentoo and Magellanic penguins from September to April.
  • It is one of the three Magellanic Penguin rookeries in Tiera del Fuego.
  • You will be able to view other birds, as well. The penguins share their habitat with quite a few cormorants, petrels, vultures and terns.
  • In spite of cold temperature throughout the year, alga grows aplenty and there are submerged forests of cachiyuyos.
  • Martillo island was a part of dispute between Argentina and Chile, over its ownership. It was called Beagle Conflict.
  • The conflict was solved by the Treaty of 1984, when Argentina was handed over its sovereignty.

Top Attractions

  1. You can literally walk with the penguins. You can see almost 1000 nests in rookeries.
  2. There is a small colony of nine breeding Gentoo Penguin couples.
  3. You can spot several mammals and marine life in the surrounding waters, like leopard seals.
  4. You can spot Atlantic King penguins and Yellow-capped penguins.

Reaching Isla Martillo

You can drive from Ushuaia via the National Route N.3. followed by Complementary Route J and finally Estancia Harberton.  It is a 15-minute boat ride from there on the Beagle Channel.