Wild pumas (a.k.a. mountain lions, cougars) star in this “Pumas and Peaks of Patagonia Photo Tour 2022.” This is the experience featured in my article in the April 2018 issue of Outdoor Photographer.
And no photo tour to Patagonia would be complete without doing plenty of landscape photography! Put on your landscape lens and capture the drama of the region’s jagged peaks, blue-green waters, and golden grasslands.
Limited to six (6) photographers on each tour. Two tours offered.
TOUR 1: ~ FOUR (4) spots left ~
TOUR 2: ~ FIVE (5) spots left ~
The cats we photograph are the real deal: WILD and free-ranging — not game-farm felines!
Plan to spend plenty of time tracking the cats in their natural habitat to assure that you go home with great shots. Our puma tracking takes place on over 20,000 acres of private property situated near Torres del Paine National Park. A special part of your tour is getting to experience how the pumas act, interact, and navigate the wide-open spaces they call home.
This time of year it is autumn here and that means very few visitors. That and the fact that we’ll be on private land makes for no crowds. (NOTE: Yes…we will also visit the national park!)
The setting, beauty, accessibility of the cats, the openness and quiet of the land…these factors come together to create a unique experience.
In addition, (weather permitting) we’ll visit a Andean condor roost on another private ranch. There, on the edge of a cliff, we’ll aim for shots of the birds flying at or just above eye level. (It’s also fun to watch them watching you!)
Landscapes or wildlife — we do not rush from location to location during this tour. We’ll remain at each shot spot until everyone has had a chance to create the images he/she wants.
Our days will consist of heading out before dawn to look for pumas or other photo opportunities, back to our lodging area for lunch and back in the field from about 3PM until dark. The last day will feature a special visit to an Andean condor roost on our way back to Punta Arenas.
HOW IS OUR PUMA TOUR DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
- Includes (8) nights & seven (7) full days — Six (6) of those days feature Puma Prowling on largely-unoccupied private land, plus one (1) afternoon of Andean Condor photography (many tours do not include this).
- During our Puma Prowling days we take breaks for landscape photography & scenics.
- Our tour includes your hotel room in Punta Arenas when you arrive as well as the night before you fly home. Many other tours do not include lodging the night of your arrival.
- Our tour includes ALL meals, beginning with the Welcome Dinner and ending with breakfast the morning you fly home. Some other tours do not include dinner.
- Our tour takes place during Patagonia’s autumn rather than its crowded & busy season.
- Our tour includes all ground transportation – airport pickup to drop off. Some operators do not include this.
When comparing Pumas of Patagonia Photo Tours, be sure to take all these things into consideration.
What looks like a really good price may, in the end, mean that you miss out on some shots and/or meals and have additional expenses on top of your tour price and airfare.
If you want to confirm what is included, please do not hesitate to email Jeff!
PLEASE NOTE: This is an estimated schedule and we’ll do our best to stick to this itinerary, but certain conditions may necessitate changes. Good photographic experiences and plenty of chances to view wildlife will be our goals at all times.
Arrive Punta Arenas. Welcome dinner and overnight in a hotel in town.
Depart after breakfast for Torres del Paine. Lunch enroute. Begin prowling for pumas in the afternoon.
Days 3 – 7:
Daily photo excursions for pumas, guanacos, rheas, and other photo ops.
Depart Torres del Paine. Stop for an afternoon of Andean Condor photography at another private ranch. The goal is to photograph the birds from their flight level. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Punta Arenas.
Breakfast. Head home.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ON THIS TOUR:
- How to do pan blurs of running wildlife.
- How to photograph wildlife in harsh light.
- Tips for landscape photography.
- Tips for photographing birds on water (weather & birds permitting)
- How to master manual exposure (& when it’s better than priority exposures)
- How & when to do silhouettes
- What makes a good wildlife image
- Photographing birds in flight
- Puma activity and behavior and what signals the best time to photograph the cats
A note about instruction on my photo tours:
Since skills levels vary so much on photo tours, I tailor my teaching to individual needs. Please do not be shy about telling me what you need.
- Double-occupancy accommodations (8 nights). Meals from dinner the first night through breakfast the last morning. Ground transportation. Park entrance fees. Local guides & puma trackers. My guidance, instruction, image review.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
Lodging that’s not included in the itinerary. Airfare, travel insurance, tips, alcoholic beverages (other than at dinner), bottled drinks (including soda & bottled water – water will be provided, but not as bottled water), medical expenses, laundry service, phone calls, and any other personal items
LOGISTICS, EQUIPMENT & SUCH:
This tour is more physical than my other offerings. We will be primarily following pumas on foot. To get the most from your experience you should be capable of walking two to four miles per day carrying your equipment. One to two in the morning and again in the evening. Not every outing will be that long and we may even be able to photograph from the vehicle at times. You can walk slowly, 2-3 MPH.
As our departure date grows closer, you’ll receive a detailed dossier with info about our destination, the wildlife there, the currency, a packing list, an equipment checklist, and more. In the meantime, if you’re wondering what type of photography equipment you’d need/want to bring along on a photo adventure such as this here’s that EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (PDF) for your convenience.
You’ll want to bring your longest lens (a 400mm at the least; a 600mm is best, but admittedly heavy to tote.)
If you plan to arrive a day before the tour begins, please let me know and I can give you information about where we plan to lodge the first night of the tour so you can book there if you’d like.
You’ll fly into the airport in Punta Arenas (Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport / Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Presidente Carlos Ibáñez). The airport code is PUQ. Typically, this necessitates a change of flights in Santiago, Chile.
Your total flight time, obviously, depends upon where you begin your journey, but from Houston it takes me around 9 1/2 hours to get to Santiago and then typically another 3 1/2 hour flight to Punta Arenas from there.
I strongly suggest arriving a day before the tour begins as you will be tired from your long journey. We will stay the first and last nights of the tour at Diego de Almagro hotel if you would like to book a night there before the tour actually begins.
I will arrange for you to be picked up from the airport. All ground transportation is included in your tour.
FOOD & LODGING:
Meals are included in your tour from the Welcome Dinner the first night through breakfast the last morning.
Lodging (double-occupancy) is also included.
Chile does not require a visa for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
GENERAL INFO / SIGN UP:
- DURATION: 7 days & 8 nights
- DATES: TOUR 1: Wednesday, April 13 — Thursday, April 21, 2022 ~ or ~ TOUR 2: Friday, April 22 — Saturday, April 30
- PRICE: $7,940 ~ ALL-INCLUSIVE (double-occupancy)
- SPACE FOR: SIX (6) Puma Prowlers per tour ~
* TOUR 1: ~ FOUR (4) spots left ~
* TOUR 2: ~ FIVE (5) spots left ~
- PAYMENT DUE DATES: A total of half the cost of the tour due 6-months before departure. Remaining balance due 90-days prior to start date of tour.
Please read our Cancellation Policy before purchasing.(Follow the provided link or go to link under “MORE” on sidebar to the right.) Thanks!
At the start of each event, we’ll ask you to sign this liability waiver. We encourage you to review it before signing up.