Photograph wild mountain lions during this all-inclusive “Pumas & Peaks of Patagonia Photo Tour ~ 2020.” We’ll also train our lenses on the gorgeous landscapes of the dramatic Torres del Paine National Park.
Limited to six (6) photographers ~ FOUR (4) spots left
This is the experience I wrote about in the April 2018 issue of Outdoor Photographer.
The area near and in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is home to a healthy — and photogenic — population of wild pumas (called mountain lions or cougars in the US).
We photograph WILD, free-ranging animals — not captive cats, not game farm animals; the real deal thriving in their own world.
We will spend much of our time tracking the cats in their natural habitat on private property situated against the breathtaking backdrop of rugged snow-capped mountains.
Photographing these incredible cats while witnessing their behaviors in the wild is an experience like no other. Few other visitors come this time of year and the fact that we’ll be on private land also makes for no crowds. The setting, the beauty, the openess all combine in a way that guarantees that you’ll not just make great images — you’ll make unique memories.
You can go your whole life in puma country and never even see one of these cats. In this location we are able to not only see, but have long photo opportunities with several different cats. I have never photographed less than 6 different individuals with multiple sightings while leading a tour here.
We’ll be in the Southern Hemisphere in autumn, which should make for some good landscape shots. But with the dramatic grasslands, lakes, and towering peaks this place is gorgeous no matter when you visit!
We also visit another private ranch where we visit a Andean condor roost. We’ll aim for shots of the birds flying at or just above eye level.
We utilize the private lands of ranches sharing fence lines with Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. This is a spectacular photographic destination in its own right. Most of our puma tracking will be on nearly 20,000 acres of private reserves.
The pumas are the main focus, but it’s also fun to photograph guanacos, rheas, flamingos, and the near-threatened Andean condor — and whatever other wildlife shows up.
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?
- We offer seven (7) full days of Puma Prowling. Most other tours offer only five (5).
- During some of our Puma Prowling days we do 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 so you can get a good night’s sleep after & before your long flights.
- Our tour includes ALL meals, beginning with the Welcome Dinner and ending with breakfast the morning you fly home. Many other tours do not include dinner.
- Our tour does not take place during the region’s summer season, when locals are off school & work & crowds are at their thickest.
- Our tour includes a day at an Andean Condor roost. Some operators do not include this.
- 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.
If you want to be sure of 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.
Saturday, April 11:
Arrive Punta Arenas. Welcome dinner and overnight in a hotel in town.
Sunday, April 12:
Depart after breakfast for Torres del Paine. Lunch enroute. Begin prowling for pumas in the afternoon.
April 13 ~ 18:
Daily photo excursions for pumas, guanacos, rheas, and other photo ops.
Sunday, April 19:
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.
Monday, April 20:
Breakfast. Head home.
Double-occupancy accommodations and meals from arrival in Punta Arenas on the first day of the tour to drop off at the Punta Arenas airport on the last day of the tour. 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
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.
LOGISTICS, EQUIPMENT & SUCH:
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Chile does not require a visa for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
GENERAL INFO / SIGN UP:
- DATES: Saturday, April 11 — Monday, April 20, 2020
- PRICE: $7,940
- SPACE FOR: SIX (6) Puma Prowlers ~ FOUR (4) 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
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