Penguins form a noisy welcoming party as you step onto this wide Antarctic beach
Barrientos Island is one of the Aitcho group of islands, a sub-set of the South Shetlands chain. It’s an ice-free island that was used as far back as the early 19th century by sealers and whalers, despite only a mile long, and less than a third of a mile wide. It was given its name in 1949 by a Chilean Antarctic expedition.
The northern coast of Barrientos is formed by steep cliffs about 230ft above the sea level. The east and west coasts are made up of black sand and pebble beaches. To the west, you can see impressive columns of basalt rock left over from the tectonic forces involved in the island’s formation.
Barrientos is very popular with penguins - and because it is so small sometimes it can feel pretty crowded! Gentoo and chinstrap penguins breed here, and in peak season one colony can end up right next door to the other, making for a seamless vista of penguin nests!
Other species that are commonly seen include fur seals, as well as nesting colonies of southern giant petrels. Your expert Antarctic guides will ensure you get close enough for some amazing photos while staying far enough away that you don’t disturb the breeding creatures.
Interesting facts about Barrientos Island
Pictures of Barrientos Island
Highlights Close to Barrientos Island
Northeast beach of Ardley Island
South Shetland Islands
Baily Head on Deception Island
Telefon Bay on Deception Island
Animals in Barrientos Island
Our trips to Barrientos Island