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Chile - Just Pumas!

Tour Code: CHL03

An 11-day wildlife holiday in search of the Pumas of Torres del Paine National Park, plus a wonderful variety of birds and other mammals in a spectacular setting.

11 days from £3995(inc flights) Land Only Price: £3150 SRS: £550


After a flight to Santiago, we will have the afternoon at leisure, free to explore the city at your own pace or simply relax in the hotel grounds. Next we fly south to Punta Arenas before making the scenic drive to Torres del Paine National Park. Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Patagonia, the park has developed a reputation as one of the best places to see Pumas. Our base deep in the heart of the park is situated close to several known Puma territories and we’ll search for these top predators with the help of local guides in known hot-spots. In addition to the numerous Guanacos here we’ll hope to see mammals such as South American Grey Fox and South Andean Deer, as well as such birds as Crested Caracara and Cinereous Harrier. We’ll conclude our tour with a farewell meal in Punta Arenas before flying back to the UK via Santiago.

  • Enjoy flamingo-lined lakes & herds of Guanaco
  • Search for Pumas in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Rustic hotel base situated deep in the park, close to several Puma territories!
  • Stunning scenery across the Pampas, in Torres del Paine & around Santiago
  • Culpeo, Grey Foxes, Hairy Armadilo and Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk among many mammals
  • Darwin’s Rhea & Magellanic Woodpecker among expected avian highlights
  • Extensions for King Penguins, Humpback Whales and to Easter Island all available
  • Led by expert local naturalist guides

 

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Comfortable tourist hotel in Santiago and Punta Arenas, and rustic lodge in Torres del Paine National Park; all with private facilities.

Puma (Antonio Nunez Gomez)

Puma (Antonio Nunez Gomez)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2 Arrive Santiago; afternoon at leisure

Day 3 Fly Punta Arenas; transfer Torres del Paine

Day 4/8 Daily wildlife excursions within Torres del Paine National Park.

Day 9 Drive Punta Arenas

Day 10 Depart Punta Arenas, fly Santiago

Day 11 Arrive London.

Puma

Like so many of our clients, Naturetrek has always had a fascination for cats, and over the years we have played an instrumental role in pioneering new tours in search of such iconic felines as Tiger, Jaguar, Snow Leopard, Leopard and Iberian Lynx, often in some of the most remote and spectacular parts of the world. With the continuing success of our ‘South Africa — Just Cats!’, ‘Just Tigers!’ and ‘Brazil — Just Jaguars!’ tours, amongst others, we have been on the look out for the next ‘big cat opportunity’ and we are confident that this is it! Since its launch in 2012, our Just Pumas Tour has gone from strength to strength and we have enjoyed fantastic sightings of Puma on foot and from the vehicle. As the cats have become more habituated to our presence and we have gained a greater understanding of their movements and behaviour, the quality of the sightings has improved significantly and you now have an excellent chance of viewing these magnificent animals at close range, offering fantastic photographic opportunities.

Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Patagonia, the Torres del Paine National Park has developed a reputation as the best area in the world to see Chile’s apex predator, the Puma. Working alongside guides with over 25 years’ experience of tracking Pumas, this tour has been specifically designed to give us the very best chance of seeing these enigmatic cats amidst a truly stunning landscape. While Pumas will be the principal focus of this tour, the abundance of wildlife in southern Chile ensures an exciting supporting cast that includes huge Andean Condors, herds of Guanacos, South American Grey Fox, Culpeo (Southern Red Fox), Patagonian Hognosed Skunk, South Andean Deer and Hairy Armadillo.

Our holiday begins with a flight to Chile’s capital, Santiago, where we stay in a comfortable hotel in the Providencia district, which is close to a variety of cafes and restaurants, and within a short walk of the city's main historical attractions. The following morning we will fly south to the town of Punta Arenas before embarking on a scenic drive to Torres del Paine National Park. Journeying through expanses of open Pampas, we will stop en route to enjoy flamingo-lined lakes and the first of many encounters with the herds of Guanaco which will be a frequent sight during this holiday. Torres del Paine National Park is dominated by three stunning mountain peaks — the ‘Towers of Paine’ — and we will stay deep in the heart of the park at the charmingly rustic Hosteria Pehoe. Located on a 5-hectare island, with spectacular views of the Paine Massif, the hotel provides an ideal base for our daily (and night-time) wildlife excursions as it has excellent access to the park's main trails. With several large windows overlooking the lake we are able to enjoy the magnificent scenery surrounding us from the comfort and warmth of the hotel lounge area.

Working to an itinerary that will be dictated by the latest Puma sightings, and guided by expert trackers, over the following five days we will make day and night-time outings, exploring a variety of habitats and covering multiple Puma territories within the park. At this time of the year, with growing cubs to feed, the hard-pressed females are more likely to be seen hunting during daylight hours and with Guanacos a favourite prey, we’ll keep a close eye on the herds in the hope of spotting a hunting Puma. In particular we will explore the immediate surroundings of our hotel, spotlighting at night, since it lies within a known Puma territory. We will also venture to the Puma hunting grounds on the eastern flank of the park, as well as to the area comprising the northern coast of Sarmiento Lake, Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul, which holds one of the highest concentrations of Pumas in the world. Our quest for Pumas in this stunning landscape will bring us into contact with a variety of other mammals and birds. In addition to the ubiquitous Guanacos, we will hope to see the local South Andean Deer or ‘Huemul’, Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk and the two canid species present in the park, South American Grey Fox and Culpeo. Andean Condors are a relatively common sight here, and we should get some close views of these magnificent birds. Other avian highlights may include Darwin’s Rhea, Black-chested Buzzard, Crested Caracara, Cinereous Harrier and Magellanic Woodpecker.

After enjoying five full days exploring this spectacular landscape we will begin our return journey to Punta Arenas, where we’ll share one last evening in the city, exchanging our personal highlights of this very special trip, before flying to London the following morning. For those who wish to extend their stay and explore the wildlife of this exciting region further we can offer a wide choice of options, including excursions to see King Penguins, Humpback Whales, the wildlife and birds of the Atacama Desert, and tours to Easter Island.

 

Torres del Paine (Dani Free)Puma (Dani Free)Puma (Dani Free)Puma (Dani Free)Puma (Dani Free)Guacano (Andrew Griffin)Puma (Andrew Griffin)Puma (Andrew Griffin)South American Grey Fox (Andrew Griffin)South American Grey Fox (Dani Free)Puma (Dani Free)Guanaco (Dani Free)Torres del paine (Andrew Griffin)Puma (Dani Free)Laguna Amarga (Claudio Vidal)Andean CondorGuanaco (Claudio Vidal)Herd of Guanaco (Claudio Vidal)Patagonia Scarlet Gorse (Claudio Vidal)Black Vulture (Ian Bruce)Tufted Tit Tyrant (Ian Bruce)Scoping (Claudio Vidal)Torres del Paine (Ian Bruce)Scanning for Puma (Ian Bruce)Puma with kill (Ian Bruce)Puma (Ian Bruce)Puma with kill (Ian Bruce)Rufous-collared Sparrow (Ian Bruce)Puma (Ian Bruce)Puma and cub (Ian Bruce)Chilla, South American Grey Fox (Ian Bruce)Coruro (Ian Bruce)Culpeo, Andean Red Fox (Ian Bruce)Puma (Antonio Lemos)Huemul Chileno (Ian Bruce)Humboldt's Hog-nosed Skunk (Ian Bruce)Hotel las Torres (Ian Bruce)Local Church (Claudio Vidal)Huemul (Ian Bruce)Long-tailed Meadowlark (Ian Bruce)Megallanic Horned Owl (Ian Bruce)Puma (Ian Bruce)
A.S.
USA
The Puma sightings were spectacular and beyond my wildest dreams. Enrique is probably the best guide I have ever had. If it were up to him, we would be out from 5am ‘til 1am everyday. These are long days but his enthusiasm and determination are unparalleled and so appreciated. He is a gem.
Mr & Mrs D.
Staffordshire
The tour leaders were experienced and made sure we saw the wildlife. The scenery was spectacular and we were very lucky with the weather. All travel was well organised.
A.B.
East Sussex
Puma spotting was excellent, despite the hard work involved. The trackers were, for the full five days, Pep and his father, Jose. Some of the sightings afforded terrific close-ups of the Puma’s – uncomfortably close on one occasion!
Mr & Mrs G.
Leicestershire
Enrique was an outstanding guide - enthusiastic, knowledgeable and a very pleasant chap. It was also good to have Dan along as an extra pair of legs! The Puma sightings were out of this world and way beyond anything we had expected. Breathtaking. Did we really eat lunch sitting on the ground only 50 yards from a Puma asleep in a cave? And had we really just seen her walk past only a few yards away? Well yes to both. What an experience and well worth the walk.
C.H.
Gwynedd
Good sightings is an understatement. We spent most of one day watching two pumas sleeping in the sun, waiting for them to wake up and do something. I couldn't believe that wild animals would come that close. They totally ignored us when they finally wandered off.
S.L.
Hampshire
Overall a great holiday. Wonderful scenery, excellent guide Roberto and a few very memorable views of Pumas in the wild.
S.W.
Nottinghamshire
I was delighted to see all my target animals - Puma, Culpeo, Chilla and Patagonian Skunk. It was wonderful to get such brilliant scope views of two Puma cubs and their stunning mother. Enrique was a superb guide - working exceptionally hard to find the animals and with an excellent in-depth knowledge of both Pumas and the other wildlife of the park. He has a very pleasant easy-going personality and looked after us extremely well.
J.L.
Surrey
The holiday lived up to its title in that we did have a number of varied sightings of Pumas.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Thu 25th February 2016 - Sun 6th March 2016

YES

£4195

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3300 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Thu 10th March 2016 - Sun 20th March 2016

FULL

£3995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3150 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Thu 24th March 2016 - Sun 3rd April 2016

7

£3995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3150 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Thu 7th April 2016 - Sun 17th April 2016

2

£3995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3150 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Chile

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Tour Reviews

The Puma sightings were spectacular and beyond my wildest dreams. Enrique is probably the best guide I have ever had. If it were up to him, we would be out from 5am ‘til 1am everyday. These are long days but his enthusiasm and determination are unparalleled and so appreciated. He is a gem.
A.S., USA