I new before I even bought my plane ticket for Reykjavik that one of the things I definitely wanted to do in Iceland was to see puffins.  Iceland is teeming with interesting birds and aquatic wildlife, but those little birds with the bright orange beaks were the ones who captivated my attention.  I spent hours pouring over the Lonely Planet guidebook I had bought searching for the perfect place to go to spot them, vowing to wait as long as I needed in order to fulfill my quest and see a puffin.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait that long.  In Borgarfjörður Eystri, there was a lookout from which we could see hundreds of puffins!

A puffin poking his head up over the grass

A puffin poking his head up over the grass

Puffin chilling on the cliff

Puffin chilling on the cliff

Dozens of puffins in the water!

Dozens of puffins in the water!

We stayed at the lookout for a few hours, hoping that by sitting still and waiting we could encourage the puffins to come a little closer so we could take better pictures.  Of course, it’s against Icelandic law to get too close to them because they are a protected species.  Still, it was a really exciting experience to get to see these playful and colorful birds in their natural habitat.

Of course, puffins weren’t the only cool animals we saw.  We also saw seals and a wide variety of birds.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see any whales because we didn’t have the time for the half-day boat tour it would have taken to see them.

When we first arrived at this beach, we thought these seals were rocks

A cute seal

A cute seal

if you’re interested in cool aquatic animals and arctic birds, Iceland is definitely a place you should check out and visit!