MANOMET Partnership Tour

ARGENTINA & CHILE with Manomet: Birding Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego



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From: $4,950 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Rio Gallegos, Argentina. (RGL)


6 - 10 Participants


3 spaces available


This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of ARGENTINA & CHILE with Manomet: Birding Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego

  • Private partnership tour for Manomet Inc.
  • Dr. Rob Clay of Manomet will join the leadership team
  • Visit major shorebird research sites with local & guest leaders
  • Fantastic bird & wildlife watching experiences!
  • Biggest Magellanic Penguin Colony – 500,000+
  • OPTIONAL: Antarctic cruise extension!

Description of ARGENTINA & CHILE with Manomet: Birding Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego

South America’s southern tip of archipelagos known as Tierra del Fuego provides the wintering grounds for many palearctic migratory birds. The vast coastal estuaries and the Strait of Magellan on the border of Argentina and Chile are particularly important for wintering shorebirds. These remarkable marathon-migrators have traveled nearly 10,000 miles from the high-arctic of the Northern Hemisphere to winter almost near the Antarctic in the Southern Hemisphere! Here they can full advantage of the huge buffets exposed by the changing tides! Globally important shorebird hotspots at Rio Gallegos (Arg), Bahia Lomas (Chi), and Rio Grande (Arg) are some of the most outstanding locations to see Hudsonian Godwits, Baird’s and White-rumped Sandpipers, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstones, Red Knots, and many other shorebirds gathered by the thousands. Beyond the shorebird spectacle, Patagonia also offers exceptional opportunities to observe interesting birds such as Lesser Rhea, Kelp Goose, Magellanic Oystercatchers, Flightless Steamer-Ducks, Least Seedsnipe, Short-billed Miner, Austral Canastero, and the scarce Magellanic Plover. Penguins colonies are another highlight where King, Magellanic, and Gentoo gather to breed during the austral summer.

This 11-day tour partnership tour was specially designed for Manomet Inc, and we will travel south through the Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia regions visiting some of the World’s most important shorebird sites at the very southern tip of South America. Along the way we are sure to see hundreds of incredible birds and many other interesting wildlife, as we wind through the archipelagos both on land and by boat!



Rob Clay is Vice President of Flyways for Manomet, where he leads the Latin American team of field scientists as well as the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network’s Executive Office. He has been active in migratory bird conservation in the Western Hemisphere for more than 20 years. A native of the United Kingdom, his interest in Neotropical birds and conservation began during an undergraduate expedition to Paraguay in 1992, which led to Ph.D. studies of manakins in Costa Rica and Panama.

Rob joined Manomet in 2014 to lead the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) Executive Office. Previously, Rob worked for BirdLife International as Senior Conservation Manager in the Americas where he led the development of conservation programs for a wide variety of migratory birds and globally threatened species. He was instrumental in building BirdLife’s Southern Cone Grasslands Alliance, a coalition of cattle ranchers, government agencies, research institutions, and conservation organizations working together in the South American Pampas grasslands.

Through his role at BirdLife, Rob worked closely with WHSRN staff and site partners over the years. He also served on the WHSRN Hemispheric Council, and is a past Chair of the Waterbird Conservation Council, and former Vice President of the Heron Specialist Group (Heron Conservation). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative, the Steering Committees of the Pacific and Midcontinent Shorebird Conservation Initiatives, the Americas Steering Committee of the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative, and a Conference of the Parties Appointed Scientific Councilor for Birds to the Convention on Migratory Species.

In 1997, Rob helped found Guyra Paraguay – now the country’s leading conservation NGO, and he has called Paraguay home ever since (except for two years in Ecuador). Rob and his family live in Asunción, where he conducts regular monitoring of shorebirds at the Asunción Bay WHSRN site.

Length of Tour


Brief Itinerary

Day 1. Group arrives at Rio Gallegos, Argentina. Intro birding Rio Gallegos estuary.

Day 2. Rio Gallegos estuary & drive to Punta Arenas, Chile.

Day 3. Full day birding around Punta Arenas, Chile.

Day 4. Drive to Cerro Sombrero near Bahia Lomas, Chile.

Day 5. Bahia Lomas & drive to Rio Grande with a stop at King Penguin colony.

Day 6. Full day around Rio Grande, Argentina.

Day 7. Full day San Sebastian Bay, Argentina.

Day 8. Morning around Rio Grande & drive to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Day 9. Full day at Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.

Day 10. Boat trip at Beagle Channel to penguin colony.

Day 11. Morning transfer to Ushuaia Airport, Argentina. Option to continue onto the post-tour Antarctic cruise!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Jan 22. Group arrives at Rio Gallegos, Argentina. Intro birding Rio Gallegos estuary.

Group arrives during the morning to Rio Gallegos on early morning flights from Buenos Aires (AEP). We recommend the Buenos Aires (AEP) to Rio Gallegos (RGL) flight on Jan 22nd with Aerolineas Argentinas AR1800 (08:40am-11:55am).

After meeting with the bus and guides, we will visit the Rio Gallegos estuary WHSRN site and interpretation center. According to tide conditions, some of the mudflats near town will be visited during the rest of the day where we will get our first migratory birds, such as White-rumped Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit, Sanderling, and see resident birds like Great Grebe and Kelp Gull. Night at Rio Gallegos.

Day 2, Jan 23. Rio Gallegos estuary & drive to Punta Arenas, Chile.

During the morning we will spend time checking shorebirds again at the estuary. At midmorning we start driving toward the international border crossing from Argentina to Chile, checking birding hotspots on the way and hopefully having excellent views of Lesser Rheas, Upland and Ashy-headed Geese, and many other awesome birds! The full drive today will total ~6 hours. During the afternoon we’ll arrive at Punta Arenas on the coast of the strait of Magellan. Night at Punta Arenas

Day 3, Jan 24. Full day birding around Punta Arenas, Chile.

We will spend the morning near town. Then, after a short drive, we will visit some salty lagoons in search of the scarce Magellanic Plover. Other birds possible today are Austral Canastero, Long-tailed Meadowlark, and Gray-hooded Sierra-Finch. On freshwater lagoons we may find Black-necked swans, Chiloe Wigeon, Crested Ducks, and much more! Night at Cerro Sombrero.

Day 4, Jan 25. Drive to Cerro Sombrero near Bahia Lomas, Chile.

Today we will cross the strait of Magellan on a ferry offering good views of Black-browed Albatross, Southern Fulmar, and Southern Giant-Petrels as well as Rock and Imperial Cormorants. From there we will reach the Bahia Lomas (another WHSRN site) which can be absolutely loaded with wintering shorebirds, especially many thousands of Hudsonian Godwit in addition to great numbers of Whimbrel, Red Knot, White-rumped and Baird’s Sandpipers! Night at Cerro Sombrero.

Day 5, Jan 26. Bahia Lomas & drive to Rio Grande with a stop at King Penguin colony.

Morning at Bahia Lomas, exploring mudflats and expecting great flocks of Hudsonian Godwits! Then we will continue south stopping at a massive King Penguin Colony just before we cross the border back to Argentina to reach Rio Grande. Our total driving today will be ~3 hours including another border crossing back into Argentina. Night at Rio Grande.

Day 6, Jan 27. Full day around Rio Grande, Argentina. 

Full day visiting Rio Grande’s coastal hotspots, where many Ruddy Turnstone and Sanderling feed. We will visit the Interpretation Center there, and in the afternoon move to the vast grasslands west of town in search of Twany-throated Dotterel, Patagonian Yellow-Finch, Magellanic Oystercatchers, Common Miner, Austral Negrito, Chilean Swallow, Correndera Pipit, and also have a second chance for Magellanic Plovers. Night in Rio Grande.

Day 7, Jan 28. Full day San Sebastian Bay, Argentina.

North of Rio Grande, the great mudflats San Sebastian Bay hold many thousands of Hudsonian Godwits in addition to Two-banded Plovers and sometimes Rufous-chested Plovers. Ruddy-headed Goose, Chilean Flamingos, Coscoroba Swans, Short-billed Miners, Cinnamon-bellied Ground-Tyrant, and Chocolate-vented Tyrants will be possible today. Night in Rio Grande.

Day 8, Jan 29. Morning around Rio Grande & drive to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Morning at Rio Grande (if needed) then driving south where the native forest starts. Time exploring this environment and lunch at a cattle ranch where Black-faced Ibis, Southern Lapwing, Patagonian Sierra-Finch, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, and Austral Parakeet can be found. During the afternoon we’ll enjoy a scenic drive across the Andes Range arriving to Ushuaia. There are chances on the way for Andean Condor and White-throated Caracara! Night in Ushuaia. During our final three nights there is some flexibility for taking a portion of the day ‘off’ or to explore the city on your own.

Day 9, Jan 30. Full day at Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina.

Full day exploring the famous Tierra del Fuego National Park’s trails among beach forest, coast, and rivers where birds like Magellanic Woodpecker, White-throated Treerunner, Austral Parakeet, Austral Pygmy-Owl, Fire-eyed Diucon, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Austral Thrush, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Austral Blackbird, Southern House Wren, Magellanic Snipe, Black-chinned Siskin, and many other species are possible! Night in Ushuaia.

Day 10, Jan 31. Boat trip at Beagle Channel to penguin colony.

Morning catamaran trip to Martillo Island sailing along Beagle Chanel. We will stop to see several islands where Kelp Goose, Magellanic and Blackish Oystercatcher are present, plus more chances for albatrosses and Southern Giant Petrels! There are also colonies of cormorants and both Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins. Back in Ushuaia, and after lunch, a visit to an urban nature reserve is planed where photographers will have good opportunities with ducks such as Red Shoveler, in addition to Dolphin and Brown-hooded Gulls. Night in Ushuaia.

Day 11, Feb 1. Morning transfer to Ushuaia Airport, Argentina. Option to continue onto the post-tour Antarctic cruise!

Departures from Ushuaia Airport (USH), or continue on with the post-tour Antarctic cruise.

For departure flights, we recommend the AR1895 (12:15pm-03:49pm) from Ushuaia Airport (USH) to Buenes Aires International Airport (EZE) or the AR1899 (01:15pm-04:40pm) from Ushuaia Airport (USH) to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), Buenes Aires.


Cost is $4,950 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Rio Gallegos, Argentina. (Airport code RGL).
This trip ends in Ushuaia, Argentina (Airport code USH).

Your flight to Rio Gallegos, and home from Ushuaia Airport are not covered in the cost of this tour. We strongly recommend the following flights:

January 22, 2024:

Buenos Aires (AEP) to Rio Gallegos (RGL), Aerolineas Argentinas AR1800 (08:40am-11:55am).

February 1, 2024:

AR1895 (12:15pm-03:49pm) from Ushuaia Airport (USH) to Buenes Aires International Airport (EZE)


AR1899 (01:15pm-04:40pm) from Ushuaia Airport (USH) to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), Buenes Aires.

Single Supplement

If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $850 will be assessed.

Deposit Requirements

A $1,000 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

Good quality hotels throughout.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Post-tour extension, Antarctic Peninsula Wildlife Cruise!

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Custom Partnership Tour

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