Capture wild pumas in their thick winter coats, while the rugged Patagonian peaks all around them wear photogenic snow during Jeff Parker’s Winter Pumas and Peaks Photo Tour 2023.
Our puma photography takes place on private lands so we aren’t constrained by the national park’s rules, but you’ll still get plenty of ops to shoot dramatic landscapes in and around Torres del Paine National Park.
Photographing the pumas and peaks of Patagonia is already one of my favorite tours to lead, but this time around it promises to be extra special due to the season. I’m visualizing pumas, guanacos and rheas in the snow (fingers crossed!).
And, since we’ll be in the Southern Hemisphere in winter, my fingers are also crossed for some snowy terrain shots. Of course, this place is gorgeous no matter when you visit, but it would be neat to go home with some Patagonian winter images, wouldn’t it?
So that everyone gets the best experience possible, this tour is limited to SIX (6) photographers. ~ TWO (2) SPOTS LEFT!
We photograph WILD, free-ranging animals — not captive cats, not game farm animals; the real deal in their authentic habitat. There is absolutely nothing like watching these cats interact, range, hunt, play, stretch, etc. in their natural environment.
The pumas are the main focus, but there are also photogenic guanacos, rheas, flamingos, and the near-threatened Andean condor. And we never know what other wildlife we might see.
The days will be short in the winter, so we will be out from dawn to dusk with lunch in the field. The last day will feature a special visit to an Andean condor roost on our way back to Punta Arenas.
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.
First Day of Tour: July 1
Arrive Punta Arenas. Welcome dinner and overnight in a hotel in town.
Second Day: July 2
Depart after breakfast for Torres del Paine. Lunch at the hotel and begin prowling for pumas.
Third ~ Seventh Day: July 3 – 7
Daily photo excursions for pumas, guanacos, rheas, and other photo ops.
Eighth Day: July 8
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.
Ninth Day: July 9
Breakfast. Head home.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ON THIS TOUR:
- What makes a good wild cat photo
- Flight photography (when we visit the Andean Condors)
- Landscape photography composition & metering tips
- How and when to apply HDR techniques
- How to look for & create animalscapes.
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 from arrival in Punta Arenas
- Meals from arrival in Punta Arenas on the first day of the tour to breakfast the last day of the tour
- Ground transportation
- Private ranch access fees
- National park entrance fee
- Local guides & puma trackers
- An extensive dossier
- Jeff’s 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.
The extensive dossier that we send out will include info about tipping protocols for this tour.
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 (at the most) per day carrying your equipment. One to two miles 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, we’ll snail mail you 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 even better; LensRentals.com is a great place to rent one if you don’t yet own one). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
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 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.
The tour includes all ground transportation, including airport pick up and drop off.
FOOD & LODGING:
Your tour includes all meals from your Welcome Dinner on July 1st through dinner on July 8th.
Lodging (double-occupancy; singles are available for an additional amount) is also included.
Chile has no visa requirements for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
GENERAL INFO / SIGN UP:
- DURATION: 7 days & 8 nights
- DATES: July 1-9, 2023
- PRICE: $7940 ~ ALL-INCLUSIVE (double-occupancy)
- SPACE FOR: SIX (6) TWO (2) SPOTS LEFT
- PAYMENT DUE DATES: A total of half the cost of the tour due 6-months before departure. Remaining balance due 60-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.