Worldwide Photographic Journeys

South America & Galapagos

Chile: Pumas of Torres del Paine

September 2020

Tour Dates Days Group Size Limit
Chile: Pumas of Torres del Paine Sunday 20th September - Tuesday 29th September 2020 10 6

Photographic Highlights


CHILE: PUMA PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS WITH WILD IMAGES

We are operating a very special Puma photography tour in the Torres del Paine region in late September, an ideal (still quiet) time of year for getting great encounters with these wonderful creatures.

Unlike some Puma photography tours, we will NOT be spending most of our puma tracking time in Torres del Paine National Park. We have noticed that many photography and wildlife tour operators do not mention in their tour descriptions that restrictions were put in place in 2015 that prevent any leaving of the roads or a single walking trail in the park in order to approach Pumas. The restrictions are doubtless necessary (the park has become very popular), but it does mean that Puma watching/photography inside the park is not what it was.

We will certainly be spending some of our time inside this wonderful park, in order to enjoy the amazing scenery and also photograph other wildlife, but most of our time and most of our Puma encounters will be on private lands where restrictions are much lighter and where we have a higher probability of good photographic encounters.

These private areas do have very high entry fees, amounting to over US$800 per person for five days entry (!), so that does add considerably to the tour cost as compared with costs for a tour that opts to try and photograph Pumas inside the park, but the superior photographic potential is well worth the additional cost in our opinion. In any event, even though Puma tracking trips have become very costly (southern Chile is now a very expensive place), we have found we can includes 5 days of Puma tracking in these special private areas outside the park and still offer an extended, 10 days Puma photography tour at an attractive price.

Mark and Inger are out covering these new private areas in September 2018 and a full write-up will go on the website later in October. In the meantime, as there are only a few places available on our tours, you are welcome to make a provisional booking at no charge. We will hold your place(s) on that basis until the tour description appears. Just call or email the Wild Images office to reserve your place(s).

As well as Pumas there are plenty of other mammals to photograph, including Guanaco, Huemul, Patagonian Hairy Armadillo, Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk, Patagonian Weasel, Culpeo Fox, Southern Grey Fox and possibly even Geoffroy’s Cat! Birds are also plentiful and targets will include Andean Condor (we should get some great shots at some special sites we know) , Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Cinereous Harrier, Chimango, Southern Crested and White-throated Caracaras, Darwin’s Rhea, Black-necked and Coscoroba Swans, Upland and Ashy-headed Geese, various ducks, Black-faced Ibis, Chilean Flamingo, Southern Lapwing, Austral Parakeet and both the big Magellanic Horned Owl and the tiny Austral Pygmy Owl.

We are also planning an optional extension to beautiful Chiloe Island to photograph the charismatic but uncommon Kodkod Cat (also known as Guiña or Chilean Cat) and Darwin’s Fox, as well as Humboldt and Magellanic Penguins and many other things.

[We are not going to visit the small King Penguin colony at Useless Bay on Tierra del Fuego. Why not? Because it is a poor site for photography, as Mark found when he went on an exploratory visit. A few dozen Kings scattered about at 50-60m range in a grassy area and positioned well below the closest spot you are allowed to access!]

A more detailed account of the tour will be posted after Mark and Inger get back.

 

Accommodation

Our Puma photography tour uses comfortable, good quality hotels and lodges throughout.

 

Transport

Road transport will be by minibus (passenger van). Roads are mostly good.

 

Climate

Southern Patagonia is positioned at a fairly high latitudes and it never gets very warm in the region, not even in the middle of what passes for summer. In early spring it is cool during the day (fairly cold in the early morning and evening). Daytime temperatures typically range from about -1 to 3°C (30-38°F) at dawn to an early afternoon maximum of 8-12°C (46-54°F). It can feel considerably warmer than this on a still sunny day and considerably colder on a windy cloudy day. Sunny periods alternate with overcast weather and it will probably rain or snow at times.

 

Photographic Equipment

For Puma photography, as the animals are often fairly distant, and for many other mammals and birds, the ideal lenses on a full-frame DSLR are usually a 500mm or 600mm prime, often with converters. (If your budget does not run to big prime lenses, a high quality 400mm f5.6 or a 100-400mm or similar zoom with converters on a crop-sensor type body can be a viable alternative.)

For some wildlife subjects, as well as some scenic shots, a 300mm (with or without converters) will often be useful. Torres del Paine is full of magnificent panoramic views and a wide-angle in the 16-28mm range is ideal.

You can get wonderful photography results with many subjects with a high quality digital compact camera with an 18-20x or higher optical zoom. If you have questions about what equipment you ought to bring, please contact us.

 

See Frequently Asked Questions


CHILE: PUMAS OF TORRES DEL PAINE PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS: PRICE INFORMATION

2020 provisional prices

£5250, €5980, $7300 Punta Arenas/Punta Arenas. Deposit 10%.

Single Room Supplement: £720, €820, $1001.

Price includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in Pounds Sterling and Euros are based on: £1 = $1.390 and €1 = $1.220.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

CHILE:  PUMAS OF TORRES DEL PAINE PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR ITINERARY

 

Day 1

Arrive at Punta Arenas airport in southern Chile. You will be transferred to the comfortable Diego de Almagro Hotel for an overnight stay.

 

Days 2-8

Pumas, Guanacos, Condors and much more basides. 7 nights in the Torres del Paine region.

 

Day 9

After a final morning at Torres del Paine we will return to Punta Arenas for an overnight stay at the Diego de Almagro Hotel.

 

Day 1o

The tour ends this morning after breakfast. A transfer to Punta Arenas Airport will be provided.

Wild Images leader to be announced

We will also enjoy the services of one of the very best Puma trackers in the region