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Special Interest

Puma Tracking Safari in Torres del Paine

Chile, Patagonia

6 days

Summary

The puma is one of Patagonia’s most impressive, yet elusive animals. But with a specialist Puma-Tracking Safari it has never been easier to spot these incredible creatures. In fact, the safaris have an incredible 100% success rate. So you are virtually guaranteed at least one sighting, and likely many more.

The months of May to August provide the best opportunity for sightings in Torres del Paine. During these months there are much fewer tourists, which means better wildlife viewing all round. Moreover, the park is filled with guanacos, one of the main food sources of the puma.

You’re the architect of this experience so you tell us where you’d like to stay and how long you want to spend in the park. And what’s more, you can choose whether to have your own personal guide or a more independent self-drive safari. Regardless of which option you choose, a puma-tracking specialist will be on hand to help you see these magnificent cats in the wild.

Self-Drive tour vs Guided tour:

With a self-drive tour, you are in complete control of your adventure. But you certainly are not alone. You’ll have 24/7 support from our Patagonian team, not to mention GPS navigation system, interactive itinerary and satellite phone.

Alternatively, you may prefer to sit back, relax and let someone else do the driving. If this is the case, a driver and guide will be provided to help you discover the very best of Torres del Paine, with minimal fuss.

Highlights

  • This is your best chance of seeing puma in the wild. Travel during the secret season (May to August) when you’ll practically have the park to yourself.
  • Choose from supported self-drive or guided options.
  • You decide how long to stay and which lodge is right for you.
  • As well as puma you can encounter guanaco, condor, Patagonian fox and more.
  • Marvel at the stunning and dramatic landscape of Torres del Paine, with the ever-changing light providing new photo opportunities at every turn.

Inclusions

  • Roundtrip private transfers in Patagonia to/from Airport/Hotel
  • All lodging and meals as specified on itinerary (in the hotel category of your choice)
  • Open Bar (Excluding Premium Beverages), daily Spa use (where available) and Wifi Services at certain properties as detailed on itinerary
  • All activities inside the National Parks as detailed on the itinerary
  • Services of professional Guide and Puma Tracker
  • Entrance fees to Torres del Paine National Park and to the Puma Tracking Private lands
  • Use of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited vehicle or similar with onboard navigation equipment
  • Fuel in Chile (unlimited mileage)
  • Unlimited satellite phone use with staff + 10 Free minutes for personal use
  • Comprehensive vehicle insurance, including 3rd party liability insurance
  • 24/7 Support

ITINERARY

Day 1 Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine

Fly this morning from Santiago, Chile to Punta Arenas in Southern Patagonia. Meet & greet your guide and driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. Upon arrival at your hotel, your guide will brief you about the following days activities, weather and how to make the best out of the situation with the animals in any given moment. Enjoy a free afternoon/ evening to rest and relax from your day of travelling.
Overnight at the hotel of your choice. Five Star: Tierra Hotel & Spa or similar/ Four Star: Estancia Cerro Guido or similar.

Day 2 Torres del Paine

Early rise and breakfast before dawn. We drive to the puma tracking location and wait for sunrise. Trackers will be actively looking for pumas during this time of the day, following them and taking note of any carcasses they find and trying to find where they are going to nap. Our tracker will look around the puma lands which are one of the favourite foraging grounds for the guanaco. These mammals are relatives of the Andean llama and the African camel and congregate in the part of the park as its hills and valley walls offer protection from the winds at night. Subsequently, pumas also gather in this same part of the park as they look to feed on guanacos. If the tracker has a nice, safe view of the puma, he will contact the guide and give instructions on how to approach. After setting up at a safe distance from the pumas, it’s up to them if we are gifted with a with a memorable sighting. Patience is key when waiting for these unforgettable moments. We’ll enjoy our box lunches in the fresh air, while admiring the beautiful scenery. Staying outside during the short winter days will increase our chances to spot the elusive puma and at dusk the light is usually perfect for capturing photos of the incredible landscape as the setting sun draws out incredible hues. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Overnight at the hotel of your choice. Five Star: Tierra Hotel & Spa or similar/ Four Star: Estancia Cerro Guido or similar.

Day 3 Torres del Paine

Your daily program can change at any time depending on the weather conditions, your own interests and what the current season is like in the Torres del Paine. Today we will resume our puma tracking adventure and a dedicated puma tracker will be hiking across the puma lands to search for pumas and other wildlife for us and will radio in if, and when, they spot something of interest. If you choose to, you can also become a second tracking team and live the experience of tracking a puma first hand. This requires patience, dedication and silence to keep our eyes and ears open for signs of pumas in the distance. If you don’t wish to try tracking, we will simply continue on enjoying the Torres del Paine National Park with other excursions and site visits.
Overnight at the hotel of your choice. Five Star: Tierra Hotel & Spa or similar/ Four Star: Estancia Cerro Guido or similar.

Day 4 Torres del Paine

In our search for the elusive puma, we’ll also explore a series of places inside of Torres del Paine National Park that provide amazing opportunities for landscape and wildlife photography. By starting our days at dawn and staying out until dusk, you’ll more than likely be able to see the parks best features at the optimal time. This includes seeing the sun hit the Granite Towers at Torres del Paine and you may even be able to catch a shot of the sun hitting the guanacos’ fur, making it glow in the distance. Many of the places in the park that are frequented by pumas are also common grounds for other animals. This means that you’ll more than likely have the opportunity to capture amazing photos of animals such guanaco, grey foxes, red foxes, haired armadillos, hognose skunk, European hare, the Andean condor, the Chilean flamingo and Magellanic woodpecker. Other animals that you may see include the Austral parakeet, ringed kingfisher, Austral pygmy owl, Magellanic horned owl, black chested buzzard eagle, crested caracara, upland goose, ashy headed goose, black swans and plenty more. The list is practically endless! As another magnificent day in the park draws to an end, you’ll retire to the lodge for some rest and relaxation before dinner.
Overnight at the hotel of your choice. Five Star: Tierra Hotel & Spa or similar/ Four Star: Estancia Cerro Guido or similar.

Day 5 Torres del Paine

Today we have a full day to enjoy Torres del Paine National Park, and our excursion for the day will be a full day Jeep Reconnaissance Tour* around the park. This excursion is recommended in all of our safaris, as it is the best way to get to experience all aspects of Torres del Paine in the shortest amount of time. On this full-day excursion, we cross the entire park from East to West and it includes the opportunity to enjoy one leisurely hike to Laguna Azul* that takes in the full spectrum of the park’s flora and fauna, in company with various breathtaking views of the Paine Massif, surrounding lakes, rivers, waterfalls and countryside. This is a day for those seeking the ultimate view where there is never a dull moment. We end our tour at the hotel for return of your Jeep companion and to enjoy a relaxing evening before dinner.
Overnight at the hotel of your choice. Five Star: Tierra Hotel & Spa or similar/ Four Star: Estancia Cerro Guido or similar.

Day 6 Torres del Paine

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your onwards flight.

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