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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 £4895(inc flights) Land Only Price: £4095 SRS: £595

Our holiday begins with a flight to Chile’s southernmost city, Punta Arenas, where we stay overnight in a comfortable hotel overlooking the Straits of Magellan. The following morning we begin 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



All included in the price.


Comfortable tourist hotel in 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 Punta Arenas

Day 3/8 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

Day 11


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 southernmost city, Punta Arenas, where we stay overnight in a comfortable hotel overlooking the Straits of Magellan. The following morning we embark 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 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 explore a variety of habitats that include multiple Puma territories, both within the park and in adjacent areas. 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 being a favourite prey, we’ll keep a close eye on the herds in the hope of spotting a hunting Puma. The rocky shorelines and caves around Sarmiento Lake, Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul provide fantastic denning opportunities for Pumas and we'll scan these areas with the hope of seeing a returning female or, if luck is really on our side, mischievous cubs playing in the open. 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, Hairy Armadillo 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 six 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.


Puma (Dani Free)Guanaco (Claudio Vidal)Guacano (Andrew Griffin)Andean CondorPuma (Dani Free)Puma (Dani Free)Puma (Andrew Griffin)Puma (Andrew Griffin)Puma (Dani Free)Puma (Dani Free)Puma with kill (Ian Bruce)Puma (Ian Bruce)Puma with kill (Ian Bruce)Puma (Dani Free)Puma (Ian Bruce)Puma (Ian Bruce)Puma and cub (Ian Bruce)Puma (Antonio Lemos)Herd of Guanaco (Claudio Vidal)Guanaco (Dani Free)Guanaco, Torres del Paine, Chile (copyright of Dani Free)Huemul Chileno (Ian Bruce)Huemul (Ian Bruce)Big Hairy Armadillo (Alan Talbot)Humboldt's Hog-nosed Skunk (Ian Bruce)South American Grey Fox (Andrew Griffin)Culpeo, Andean Red Fox (Ian Bruce)South American Grey Fox (Dani Free)Chilla, South American Grey Fox (Ian Bruce)Culpeo Fox (Tim Melling)Black Vulture (Ian Bruce)Megallanic Horned Owl (Ian Bruce)Tufted Tit Tyrant (Ian Bruce)Long-tailed Meadowlark (Ian Bruce)Rufous-collared Sparrow (Ian Bruce)Coruro (Ian Bruce)Scanning for Puma (Ian Bruce)Torres del Paine (Ian Bruce)Scoping (Claudio Vidal)Lake PehoeTorres del paine (Andrew Griffin)Torres del Paine (Dani Free)Patagonia Scarlet Gorse (Claudio Vidal)Laguna Amarga (Claudio Vidal)Local Church (Claudio Vidal)Hotel las Torres (Ian Bruce)
In the national park we were fortunate enough to see 18 different pumas. The local tracker was excellent, which resulted in us seeing pumas every day and sometimes more than once in a day - excellent, couldn't ask for better.
The tracking of pumas and getting us to see so many was incredible. Also the scenery is outstanding and worth going so far to experience it.
Seeing so many pumas was the highlight of the trip. The bonus was the extraordinary landscape of the park, its lakes and its mountains. We were given plenty of opportunity to take photos which for me as a landscape photographer was particularly appreciated.
Greater Manchester
Remote location, excellent scenery, excellent sightings of pumas and of behaviour rarely seen (e.g. fighting), the number of puma sightings and close viewing, seeing good close sightings of other mammals and birds was of real interest.
Mr and Mrs Smith
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Transportation and group size worked very well. The guides and drivers were very keen and looked after us very well without being overbearing. The location of Torres del Paine was spectacular and the guide was keen to get us to see all the 'special' scenic sights. The flights across South America were spectacular in themselves especially in Chile where the Andes were amazing even flying over Torres del Paine and beside Mt Aconcagua! The King Penguin extension was well worth it not only for the colony but for the wildlife in the Strait of Magellan viewed from the ferry.
The interaction between the driver (Cesar), guide (Sebastian) and tracker (Jorge) was terrific and contributed to sightings of 15 different pumas including cubs, two unsuccessful hunts and some extremely close encounters with adult pumas standing just 10m away!
West Midlands
The trip more than lived up to our expectations. We saw 15 different Pumas & they were very active too! We saw them eating kills, hunting & playing. Several of our encounters were very close and allowed us to get some superb shots! Our guide Sebastian & tracker Jorge worked well together, always respecting the Puma's well being and giving them space to move where they wanted to go, which resulted in natural & relaxed looking images of these wonderful cats.
I enjoyed the friendliness of the leader, driver and tracker and the group was very friendly, one which gelled together extremely well. The weather was excellent which meant that we had outstanding opportunities to see and photograph the landscape.
Plenty of time to enjoy the amazing scenery and wildlife of Torres del Paine National Park. Fantastic Puma sightings - we were so privileged to get that close to Puma's in the wild. Amazing that most of the sightings were on foot - so we were able to see the Puma's in their natural setting on their terms. We got to follow one across the fields as she walked serenely along, occasionally stopping to gaze curiously at us - stunning experience.
Watching Puma's was balanced with bird watching and visiting scenic places. We had lots of opportunities to walk about and were not inactive in the bus too much. We were lucky to be in a small group and have good weather. I felt very privileged to be able to watch Puma's at close quarters and study their behaviour. Wonderful!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Overall a great holiday. Wonderful scenery, excellent guide Roberto and a few very memorable views of Pumas in the wild.
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.
The holiday lived up to its title in that we did have a number of varied sightings of Pumas.
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Thu 21st March 2019 - Sun 31st March 2019



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Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

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

Land only cost: £4095 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Chile

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In the national park we were fortunate enough to see 18 different pumas. The local tracker was excellent, which resulted in us seeing pumas every day and sometimes more than once in a day - excellent, couldn't ask for better.
L.G., Norfolk