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Puma Tracking In Patagonia

Highlights

  • Professional photo & wildlife expert guide Diego Araya

  • Huemul, puma, fox, ñandú & gauanco sightings

  • Team of puma & fauna trackers ensuring real wildlife sightings

  • Improve & Inovate your photography skills

  • Get unique photography opportunities

  • 5 nights in EcoCamp Suite Domes

  • Only 3 departures & Limited groups of up to just 6 photographers

Overview

Patagonia Puma Tracking - Wildlife Photo Adventure is an exploration into Torres del Paine’s unique wildlife, led by photo & wildlife professional Diego Araya and supported by a special team of fauna trackers. Each day you follow in the footsteps of Patagonia's most elusive animals, enjoying moments of intimacy with the enigmatic Andean puma (mountain lion) and endangered South Andean deer while discovering and photographing the park’s geology, spectacular sunrises & sunsets and native flora & fauna. Evenings are spent at the award winning EcoCamp Patagonia in its sustainable geodesic Suite Domes. 

Itinerary

Days 1-6: Patagonia Puma Tracking - Wildlife Photo Adventure: Excursions Torres del Paine

Day 1:  Travel from Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or Calafate to Torres del Paine NP - (1/2 day) Torres del Paine NP

Day 2: Puma tracking* and photography Laguna Amarga

Day 3: Andean condor and huemul photography

Day 4: Laguna Azul fox, guanaco & wildlife photography

Day 5: Flora observation & photography Los Cuernos 

(*Puma tracking will always take priority and actual Itinerary will depend on tracking team, group & weather)

Day 6: (1/2 day) Puma tracking and photography - Leave Torres del Paine NP

Please note this trip needs a minimum of 2 people to run. When booking we will contact you immediately to let you know if the trip is guaranteed or not.

Routes

Day 1 Arrival, The Patagonian Adventure starts

Torres del Paine NP, Chile

The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively you can start your trip in El Calafate / Argentina (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick up & drop off schedule). Arrive at EcoCamp in time for lunch before heading out on a half day excursion. Overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon. After dinner our guide, wildlife expert Diego Araya, gives a briefing on the upcoming days and the wildlife we’ll be seeing. 

 

Days 2, 3, 4 & 5, Wildlife Exploration

Torres del Paine NP, Chile

We start off each day early, photographing the sunrise from distinct locations while enjoying hot coffee and breakfast on the go. Our puma/cougar tracking team, already hard at work, will be in radio contact to let us know how they’re doing. Throughout the trip they will be letting us know the location of the park's most elusive animals including the Andean puma (mountain lion) and the endangered huemul (South Andean deer) so that we can head to the sites where they are as soon as they're spotted.

We will usually begin our wildlife exploration close to EcoCamp, in the park’s eastern sector, making the most of the beautiful morning light and animal activity. We enjoy around six hours of wildlife observation, studying and photographing the park’s native flora & fauna, guided by Diego's photography tips, before heading back to EcoCamp for lunch and relaxation time.

In the afternoons, after the peak sun hours with little animal movement, we head out again, this time to the park’s western sector where we enjoy the beautiful landscapes and flora & fauna to be found. We visit landmark places such as Grey Glacier and other striking natural monuments. Our guide Diego takes us through the different habitats and ecosystems in the area, introducing us to the unique and colourful wildlife of Torres del Paine and teaching us the methodology for responsible observing wildlife. After photographing the iconic Patagonian sunset over the Paine massif we return to EcoCamp for dinner and well-earned rest.

N.B. In the event of bad weather alternative activities will be planned, for example to scenic waterfall Paine Grande or Laguna Azul. 

 

Day 6 Departure

Torres del Paine NP, Chile

 

Today we enjoy a final half-day excursion before having a final lunch at EcoCamp, loading our luggage into the van and saying goodbye to EcoCamp’s staff as we drive back alongside the Patagonian pampa to the airport to catch our onward flight. N.B. Book a late flight or early one for the next day as you will not arrive in Punta Arenas until evening.

 

Your Tour Guide: Diego Araya - Professional Photographer and Expert Wildlife Guide

Diego has always been passionate about nature and wildlife. During his studies in Marine Biology he began to explore photography in search of intimacy and complicity with animals. Once he got his college degree, and after some travels around Europe and North America, he found work with the national Park Service in Chile running projects related to ecotourism and conservation. In 2004 he left behind his professional achievements and urban conveniences to live in Patagonia in pursuit of his long-life dream and to be one with nature. Over the years he has managed to create one of the finest and most complete professional photography archives of Patagonian wildlife together with becoming one of the most qualified residents in tracking, approximation and photography of the fauna in the region. 
 

Diego featured in the BBC's “The Dark” in Torres del Paine and in 2009 he published Patagonia 237, his first book. A 300 page, big format coffee table book financed by Nikon Chile. In 2010 he started working as expedition staff and zodiac driver on the Antarctic Dream Vessel accumulating over 100 days in Antarctica experience. At the moment he is an professional wildlife photographer, EcoCamp Photo Adventure Tour Guide, and is working on several editorial and tourism projects.

Inclusions

  • English speaking specialist wildlife guide. Guide ratio 5. Max group size: 5 people - NEW in 2014/15

  • Accommodation EcoCamp’s Suite Domes

  • Meals as indicated in the price chart

  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary

  • Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park

  • Regular bus tickets Calafate<>Natales if starting/finishing in Calafate, check last section.

Exclusions

  • Flight tickets

  • Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip)

  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff

  • Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp. Bringing US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is suggested

  • Items of personal nature

  • Photo equipment, binoculars - please bring your own.

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