Puma Tracking

At the very bottom of South America is beautiful Torres del Paine National Park, one of Chile’s most iconic adventure hotspots. The park is renowned for its rugged rock pinnacles, calving glaciers and alpine forests, but within this picturesque setting roams the world’s largest mountain lion – the puma. The Torres del Paine is thought to be home to the highest concentration of the species than anywhere else on the planet.

Explore the breathtaking scenery of Torres Del Paine National Park by 4WD or on foot with a tracking team in search of the world’s largest mountain lion – the impressive, yet elusive puma. Enjoy twice daily excursions during the early morning and late afternoon for fantastic photo opportunities.

Tracking requires patience, dedication and silence to hear or see signs of pumas. But it is often the guanaco, a relative of the Andean llama that alerts trackers to a puma sighting with their alarm call. Though daily itineraries are structured around morning and afternoon puma tracking, itineraries really are flexible, and a broad range of activities are available throughout the day including hiking, kayaking, fly fishing and horseback riding.

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6 days/5 nights
From $9279 per person twin share
Departs ex Punta Arenas

Fixed departure dates:

23 Feb, 19 Mar, 11 & 18 Apr.
Hotel Las Torres                               $9279

Flexible departure dates:

01 May-14 Sep.
Explora Patagonia (Gold)              $11978
Hosteria Pehoe (Silver)                  $9736

Highlights:

  • Explore breathtaking scenery of Torres Del Paine

  • 4WD or waling excursions in search of the elusive puma

Secret Season

Though the warmer months of October to February are the most popular time to visit Patagonia, the best time to search for pumas in the park is May to August – the ‘secret season’ – making Patagonia a year-round destination. Apart from fewer tourists, it is during this time that their main prey, the guanaco (pictured above right), concentrate in specific areas of the park attracting the local puma population.

Below is a sample itinerary of how your days may be structured.

Itinerary

Day 1                    Torres del Paine

Transfer to Puerto Natales where you will meet your guide before continuing on to your lodge.

Day 2-5                Puma Tracking

Over the next 4 days enjoy early morning and late afternoon puma tracking excursions. Scour this breathtaking landscape in search of these elusive cats either by 4WD or on foot with a professional tracking team. Guides will take you to areas where pumas have been regularly seen. Return to your lodge in the late mornings and evening where you can relax and reflect on the morning’s activities.

Other activities are available (extra cost) including kayaking, hiking and horseback riding. Your daily itinerary is flexible, and you can choose how often you wish to go in search of pumas. If you are lucky, and see these majestic cats on your first morning, sleep in a little later the next day and explore the park by mountain bike or on foot.

Day 6                    Tour ends

Punta Arenas Enjoy an optional early morning game drive before departing for Punta Arenas. Tour ends

PATAGONIA OVERVIEW

Why Patagonia: Located in Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is a natural wonderland of dramatic mountains, giant glaciers, cascading waterfalls, secluded lakes and beech forests. It is also an area rich in wildlife including seals, humpback whales, pumas, condors and guanacos.

When to Go: Summer (Nov – Mar) is the best time to visit Patagonia when the weather is at its mildest and daylight hours are at their longest (18 hours). Bear in mind however, that this is also the windiest and busiest time of year. Winter provides clearer views, stiller conditions and fewer tourists; however temperatures can be extremely cold. Torres del Paine National Park is open all year round.

Combine With: Combine Patagonia with a more in-depth trip through the rest of Chile or Argentina. Alternatively, visit neighbouring Brazil or head further north into Bolivia or Peru.

Getting There: From Santiago, there are short flights to Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Balmaceda or Temuco, whilst from Buenos Aires you can fly into El Calafate or Ushuaia in the south or San Carlos de Bariloche in the north.

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