Isla Damas

Isla Damas, La Serena: Address, Phone Number, Isla Damas Reviews: 4.5/5

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The area
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We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
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3 within 5 kms
Attractions
1 within 5 kms

4.5
850 reviews
Excellent
628
Very good
168
Average
46
Poor
5
Terrible
3

Tayka
15 contributions
Great day on the ocean
Oct. 2019 • Couples
Had great time on the shore! Saw penguins, sea lions, tons of birds... unfortunately no whales.
Road to the beach is great, reachable by any car. Mind that it's a day's mission and plan accordingly: nobody here is in hurry anywhere :) that's probably the only drawback: a lot of waiting with "yeah-yeah departing in 10 minutes".
Plenty of animals are definitely worth the visit. For a foreigner it's 7000+10000 for a boat (in pesos).
Written 4 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Agnese Z
Ogre, Latvia11 contributions
Penguins and dolphins!
Jul. 2019
1st time went there on 30.06~10am. Were said boats not going-strong winds&advised to try next day 9am. Called the next day~8am,they said trip is possible today.The phone was maybe 990765078.
They may actually start at 8:45. We got there shortly before 9am by car-parking1000$/d.Tickets for boat 10000$/prs+NP 6000$/prs for foreigners.Our boat was JosefaValentina. There's a daily limit for NP of some hundreds of visitors.Toilet 300$/prs
Filled forms with names,details,someone took a photo of us,later purchasable for 2000$.We were 8 & got a family of 4 added-seemed like all boats take 12 ppl. Got life vests,departed.Spent some time looking for dolphins,didn't spot any.Then drove to Isla de Choros which is protected(stayed in boat).There're~5 dolphins swimming gracefully.The guide took us close. 2 of them even jumped behind our backs!Also spotted~6 penguins.It's not the best season,we were happy even for this number.Then drove along the shore,saw sea lions,sea otters,seals,many kinds of birds close by.
Then drove to Isla Damas for 1h walk.Here the NP tickets are checked.Went to viewpoint &on a circle path around the island in fast pace.There's WC here(didn't visit).Several posters telling about flora &fauna-interesting! Many birds here also including a pelican.
Very happy about everything.The boat trip took~2.5 hours,maybe+20min before we boarded.
There was also a small market,or so it seemed. Didn't visit.
Everything was in Spanish,but we got by with our couple of words&gestures.
Written 11 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mamiya7
Sycamore, IL281 contributions
Depends on Your Expectations
May 2019 • Couples
We went here in late May when Penguin breeding season was happening. We did see 5-7 Humbolt Penguins along with many other species of birds and dolphins. It was a beautiful day for the boat trip. The islands look closer than they are. It took about 30 minutes going out and a little less coming back. We did not see penguins on the island where we had an hour to walk. If you book a tour that picks you up in La Serena, be aware that rough water can cause cancellation. This happened the day before we went.Getting refunds happens, but it is not the easiest thing to get done.The meal included with our tour was actually quite good. We knew we were unlikely to see large numbers of penguins; so, our expectations were met and exceeded.
Written 2 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Angelo Castello
Santiago, Chile28 contributions
Beauty nature and penguins
Dec. 2018 • Couples
It is a very beautiful trip to do and the payment of the boat and the tour worth. You see a lot of animals and especially penguins and whales (if you're lucky). Be sure to be early in Punta de Choros, as it's only allowed to 50 people per day to go to Isla Damas, to do not affect the ecosystem.
Written 27 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tamsinbest
St Austell, UK219 contributions
Ecotourism 10/10
Apr. 2019 • Friends
We had a wonderful day exploring the area via boat with Ecotourism. Our tour guide (Martin) was an absolute credit to his company, very informative and knowledgeable. He explained so much about the island, the animals and the area - thank you so much.

We travelled to Isla Damas from La Serena via the public bus. This is really simple to do. We caught the bus (10,000CLP return) from Pasteleria y Panaderia also Girasoles at 8:30am (I would arrive earlier in high season) which took us via public bus to Punta de Choros arriving about 11am. We were met by Ecotourism at the bus stop which directed us to the CONAF office to buy our ticket (6,000 CLP) then onto our boat. It was 10,000 CLP for a tour which lasted around 3 hours. We were really please we did it ourselves without booking a tour from La Serena, there were people on our same boat who had booked a tour from almost double what we ended up paying.

Absolutely fantastic day, we saw lots of marine animals from Sea-lions, sea otters to dolphins and a beautiful array of birds. 10/10 would recommend.
Written 18 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ekaterina T
Vancouver, Canada82 contributions
Good, not awesome
Feb. 2019 • Solo
Beautiful reserve, but the isla damas itself was a little disappointing. Particularly if you are going there to walk with penguins, you definitely be let down as there are none on the island itself. You will see them from the boat on nearby island though. The reserve itself is gorgeous and worth a visit, but not for the penguins.
Written 19 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

suzanochka
Temecula, CA767 contributions
Interesting full day with boat but prepare for cold and seas
Jan. 2019 • Couples
The drive took us by what may be the beginning of the Atacama desert, at least it is desert you drive through, very interesting. We went with Eco Tours in a small van. It was comfortable. We were happy with the tour guide as well. On the way we saw desert foxes, and llamas. Then we arrived at the small port where we boarded a boat. The sea was fairly rough, the sky was gray and the wind blew cold but we saw dolphins, sea lions and lots of birds. The penguins were hard to see. We were allowed to stroll on the island but you certainly can't swim there. Then we went back to the mainland for lunch at a small restaurant where they served excellent sea food. A short stroll down to the shore took us to a pretty beach. However the ocean along the coast of Chile is cold and rough. We didn't swim. It is a full day tour departing early and arriving before dinner. Interesting but I think I would have preferred to see the desert and not go on the boat because we have seen penguins elsewhere.
Written 27 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Philip M
New York City, NY682 contributions
Great outing- Penguins and sea lions
Jan. 2019 • Couples
The tour was about 2.5 hours on the boat. The first island was where the penguins, sea lions, birds, and sea otters were. It was really neat to see all on such a barren landscape island. No dolphins or whales as others had reported seeing...maybe it was just the wrong time of year for those. During this portion of the trip you stay on the boat.
Then the boat goes to the other island where you get off the boat and walk around. There’s not much on this other island though, mostly just a few birds. There’s a nice beach with soft sand though.
To get here we took a cheap local bus from La Serena that cost 4,500 each way. It’s not an official city bus, but a separate company that picks up in front of the Panaderia Los Griegos bakery on Avenue Francisco de Aguirre. The bus left town at 9am for the ~2 hour trip to Punta de Choros (sign in the front of the bus). The bus returns at 3:30 so arrives at La Serena around 5:30. It’s not clean and doesn’t have comfortable seats, but hey it’s cheap.
The dock for the boats has 5 or so restaurants for lunch after the trip as you’ll probably have time for lunch. There are bathrooms also. Also lots of stands selling various stuff.
It’s not one boat that goes out to the islands but lots of small boats. The boats each have 15 or so passengers, with outboard engines and appeared to leave when full. In the late morning when I arrived they seemed to leave one after the other. The ride out to the island wasn’t too rough.
Written 19 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

marti j
Spain679 contributions
Mixed feelings
Jan. 2019 • Friends
We did an early morning tour with willies tour because we stayed in Punta de Choros.
The boat was comfi, the guide ok we saw dolfins and ofcourse the Humboldt pinguins and a lot of other animals.
We were dropped at Isla Damas for an hour and we were walking between many breeding gaviotes. I didnt feel welcome.
I think a boat trip around the islands is enough, why should we enter an island?
Written 16 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CARebekah
Thousand Oaks, CA317 contributions
DO NOT GO, PLEASE
Jan. 2019 • Couples
I WISH I HAD NOT GONE. I did not know any better beforehand. First of all, the images for Isla Damas are completely misleading, and deliberately so. The Humboldt penguins are on the Isla de Choros, and you are NOT allowed to go there. The boat is required to keep a distance, you cannot get on the island, and you are lucky to see a penguin. Instead, you will be taken to Isla Damas, which is home to nesting seagulls. While we saw no one stray from the path, the gulls were in a total panic with people getting so close to their nests and baby birds. It was awful.
Chile has done a good job of protecting the penguins by keeping their habitat off-limits, they should now do so with the gulls and not allow them to be so terribly used. In the meantime, do not allow yourself to be misled and become part of the problem.
Written 10 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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