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Pumas of Torres del Paine, Quest for the Lord of the Andes © Far South Expeditions 

A trip committed to watch Puma (Mountain Lion or Cougar) in the remote and stunning Patagonian wilderness of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and the adjacent rach "Estancia Laguna Amarga". Far South Expeditions as an entirely local Chile-based tour operator have been conducting puma trips here for more than 16 years; join our expert local naturalist guides and puma trackers, in the best place in the world for watching this magnificent and inspiring predator of the Andes.

6-day Fixed Departures (see 2017 & 2018 dates) and 4 & 5-day Private Tour with 2 lodging options. 

Departures from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile. 

 

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions


Book this trip,  reserve space now!Frequently praised by visitors as one of the most beautiful and majestic wild places in the planet, declared as the World's  8th natural wonder, Torres del Paine National Park is a remote refuge of life where wildlife is normally quite tame and it's not rare to see relaxed and inquisitive guanacos, foxes and other animals at close quarters; seeing the lone hunter that dwells in the vast and barren hills, the mighty Puma, is something else. Patagonian pumas, especially around Torres del Paine, are the largest race of the species in the Americas. With an uncommon higher density rate, this national Park and surroundings have become the most sought-after places to watch and photograph wild pumas on Earth. This is mainly due to the stable growing of Guanaco populations in the Patagonian steppes, and the protection that Puma has been granted in the past years.


Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

 

OVERVIEW

Overview

 

4 & 5-day Private Tour options and Fixed Departures (6-day trip, see 2017/2018 dates) 

 

pumas-tdp-04Itinerary in Brief (4 or 5 days)

Day 1 • Meeting at Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile – Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park - Overnight (O/N) Torres del Paine (2 lodging options)

Day 2 • Exploring Torres del Paine, and adjacent areas searching for Pumas, both by car and foot to look for them.

Day 3 • Exploring Torres del Paine, and adjacent areas searching for Pumas, both by car and foot to look for them.

Day 4 • Torres del Paine – Transfer to Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas 

...

Day 5 • An additional day to explore the park searching for Puma plus other interesting mammals such as the Andean Deer (or Huemul), Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk and Patagonian Hairy Armadillo.

 

Trip Highlights

• A trip conceived to maximize the chances of seeing puma (mountain lion) in the wild.

• Puma searching activities from dawn to dusk. 

• This trip will be led by an experienced naturalist guide plus a puma tracker.

• In-depth naturalist exploration at Torres del Paine National Park, UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

• An interesting array of mammals and birds restricted to the Southern Andes and Patagonia.

 

ITINERARY

Detailed Itinerary and Activities

 

This expedition has been geared to seek out and contemplate this big and elegant cat in one the wildest places throughout its entire range in the Continent. We have pioneered Puma tours here in Patagonia, and have always worked by our strict environmental ethos and in permanent contact with the National Park authorities, as the wildlife is our first and foremost concern. According with the new regulations about Puma watching and photo safaris within the National Park, we search only from the roads and allowed trails within the boundaries of the park. On the other hand, at the ranch "Estancia Amarga", we are one of the few selected operators to work inside the property and search for puma along the grounds of this magnificent private area, adjacent to the park and now, entirely committed to Puma conservation.

 

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

 

For each day of our trip, we have organized a busy schedule of daily search outings for pumas in the area. We will inspect the guanaco-rich puma hunting grounds located to the east, and beyond the Park limits in the same direction, into the private ranch "Laguna Amarga" where Pumas occupy the same habitat as in the Park. The area comprised by the northern coast of Sarmiento Lake, Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul is well known for holding one of the largest concentrations of pumas in the wild.

 

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions


Our puma trackers patrol puma corridors by car and on foot, and using this information we plan our 2-3 km (3-4-hour) hikes along authorized trails both inside the Park and the Laguna Amarga Ranch. These are moderate walks, so a minimum fitness to be able to keep up with the group is advised. Topography is usually not too demanding but there might be differences in altitude of around 50-250m sometimes, although we walk at a slow and gentle pace.

 

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Photo © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

 

To see a female puma and its large-sized cubs against this magnificent mountain backdrop and big sky is a magnificent wildlife spectacles. In company of our guide and puma tracker we will follow puma at a prudent distance with the help of binoculars and spotting scopes.

If we have time, we will also take the opportunity to look for other mammal species including the ubiquitous guanaco, the local Andean Deer or Huemul, Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk and the two canid species present in the park, Chilla and Culpeo foxes.

Join us on this quest, to discover the wildlife of Torres del Paine and one of its most secretive and yet most awe-inspiring inhabitants.

 

Day 1 • Meeting at Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile – Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park

After meeting your guide at your hotel or at the airport, you will be transferred in a private vehicle to Torres del Paine National Park. During our journey to the park, we will look for guanaco, southern grey fox, and Patagonian skunk while enjoying our first views of Southern beech (Nothofagus) forest. While visiting the valleys we will be given a geological interpretation of the origins of the dramatic backdrop of Torres del Paine, one of the finest natural spectacles in Patagonia. Drive from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales (3h) and then drive to the National Park (1.5h). 

Overnight at Torres del Paine. (Lunch, Dinner) (Guide). 

 


Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

 

2 lodging options at Torres del Paine (see dates & rates): 

• Option 1: Hotel Las Torres Patagonia [Photo Gallery] [TripAdvisor]

• Option 2: Hosteria Pehoe [TripAdvisor]

 

Puma, Puma concolor patagonia - Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

 

Days 2 & 3 • Exploring Torres del Paine – Puma searches

We have organized a busy schedule of outings for pumas in the area. We will inspect the puma hunting grounds located in the eastern flank of the park and throughout the property of Estancia Laguna Amarga, where we have special granted access and an excellent relationship with the owners. The area comprised by the northern coast of Sarmiento Lake, Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul is well known for holding one of the largest concentrations of pumas in the wild. In company of our guide and puma tracker we will follow puma at a prudent distance with the help of binoculars and spotting scopes. 

Overnight at Torres del Paine (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) (Guide & Puma tracker).

 

Female puma photographed near Lake Sarmiento, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile © Claudo F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

 

Day 4 • Torres del Paine – Transfer to Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas 

During the morning we will continue our exploration in different areas of the park. A sensational vista from Laguna Azul on the eastern side of the park will be a superb grand finale to this exciting journey of discovery among the natural wonders of the 'end of the world'. Later, we will be transferred to Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales where our trip ends. We can arrange your transfer to El Calafate, southern Argentina, if needed.

(Breakfast, Lunch) (Guide).

 


Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Octavio Campos Salles, Far South Expeditions

 

Day 5 • Torres del Paine

If you choose our 5-day option you will have an additional day of puma-tracking activities and to explore the park searching for other interesting mammals such as the Andean Deer (Huemul), Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk, and Patagonian Hairy Armadillo.

 

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia. © Far South Expeditions

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Far South Expeditions

 

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

 

DATES & RATES

Dates & Rates

 

Rates for Scheduled Departures (5-nights at Hotel Las Torres Patagonia)

 

Pumas of Torres del Paine
Trip Code TDP03 • TDP002
Trip Length 6 days, 5 nights
Dates 2017 Oct 20-25
2018 Apr 17-22, Sep 11-16, Oct 23-28
Price per person $4,398 Single Suppl. $455
Maximum group size: 6 participants.

 

Rates for Private Trips (2 lodging options, you choose the date)

 

Pumas of Torres del Paine
Trip Code TDP03 • TDP002
Option 1: Based at Hotel Las Torres Patagonia
4 days, 3 nights
No. of guests 2 3 4+ Single Suppl.
Sep & Oct / Mar & Apr $3,792 $2,961 $2,692 $273
Nov until Feb $3,942 $3,069 $2,842 $342
5 days, 4 nights
No. of guests 2 3 4+ Single Suppl.
Sep & Oct / Mar & Apr $5,140 $4,026 $3,655 $364
Nov until Feb $5,339 $4,170 $3,855 $456
Option 2: Based at Hostería Pehoé
4 days, 3 nights
No. of guests 2 3 4+ Single Suppl.
Aug-Oct / Mar-May $3,531 $2,771 $2,403 $141
Nov-Feb $3,759 $2,936 $2,575 $180
5 days, 4 nights
No. of guests 2 3 4+ Single Suppl.
Aug-Oct / Mar-May $4,791 $3,772 $3,270 $188
Nov-Feb $5,095 $3,992 $3,500 $240

 

Available year-round at Hotel Pehoe; Hotel Las Torres option just available from September through April.

Daily departures from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile. Optional transfers from/to El Calafate, Argentina.

 

What the trip includes/excludes

The above price is per person in US Dollars. All payments are in US Dollars.

Two guests sharing a double/twin-bedded room; three guests sharing a triple room.

Single supplement will be added if single accommodations are requested.

The trip price includes: All accommodations, meals and guide services as stated in the itinerary, private ground transportation during the tour, and park entrance fees. The services of one of our experienced puma trackers is included in the trip price in addition to the company of one of our tour leaders throughout the trip.

The trip price excludes: Domestic flights, tipping, travel insurance, entrance tax to Chile, excess baggage charges, private excursions, à la carte dishes, snacks, drinks, laundry, telephone calls and anything else of a purely personal nature.

 

GALLERY

Photo Gallery


Check out our photo gallery with images from recent puma trips in Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia

 

puma-concolor-patagonica_ec-20

Puma (Puma concolor patagonica), Torres del Paine, Chile © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

 

STATEMENT

Press Release

 

Public Statement Regarding Puma Watching Activities in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

 

As a group of established local Chile and Patagonia wildlife tour companies working in permanent contact and coordination with the National Wildlife Service and the administration of Torres del Paine National Park, we have for decades not only pioneered and developed this particular kind of tourism here, but in doing so have always been inspired by and acted according to a strict ethos which puts wildlife well-being first and foremost.

Since we started doing puma tours 16 years ago, we have always had conservation as a major inspiration and concern, and this is reflected not only in the non-invasive way we work in the field, but also in our 20-plus books, field guides and publications with which we have contributed to environmental education and the knowledge and awareness of our wildlife and the threats it faces.

This, together with our high operational standards and our excellent reputation in the eyes of our guests and public is why we don't and never have feared loyal competition, as it is one of the motors of self-improvement and raises the service and product standards, and we loathe any kind of monopolistic attempt to appropriate the market, as we have always maintained very amiable terms with our competition who work by our same standards, and regularly cooperate with each other to work out any difficulties.

However in this case we feel the need to speak out since we are facing an unheard-of, never-before-experienced type of competition that is based mainly on inaccurate premises that have started to circulate lately among the industry actors.

We feel it necessary to reach out to the public and clarify several issues that have been recently brought out by a foreign tour company. This consists basically in presenting themselves as spearheading conservationists while at the same time resourcing to inadequate tactics aimed to put out all competition, competition which in this case consists mainly of licensed, local, well-established and long-time running companies like ourselves.

Torres del Paine National Park has for long been regarded as one of the finest places in the world to watch pumas in the wild, and recently bad practices by a few outsiders including harassment and baiting have prompted the Park authorities to restrict all off-road puma tracking within its limits, a measure we stand by and support, as it only aims to protect the puma and wildlife in the park in general from human disturbance.

This foreign company states that given that the National Park has banned all off-road puma searches, puma sightings will be reduced by "99.9%" as this would supposedly be the percentage of off-road sightings among the total sightings, a "fact" that has proven to be false time and again, as sightings along roads are not uncommon at all, at least in our near 20-year field experience. They also claim to have exclusive access to a private neighbouring farm that would therefore be the only alternative to the park as a place to look for pumas, and allegedly that it is only through them that the right to enter these grounds would be granted. This is also not true, as has been confirmed personally to us by the farm's very owners.

We know that successful puma sightings are quite possible just from the roads and authorized trails, and this fact defeats the false notion that now puma sightings in the park are "history", as claimed by this foreign company.

Even if this new dispositions and limitations effectively made it more difficult to watch pumas, there is still the alternative of finding them in the aforementioned neighbouring private farms.

We have also met with both the environmental and Park authorities and the private landowners to discuss a working plan contemplating special permits for our associated companies and to work out strategies in order to continue with puma watching tours the way we have until now.

Therefore, we can't stress enough the importance of letting our historical and potential new business partners from abroad know and rest assured that our puma programmes are as alive, healthy and present as ever, and that despite what outsiders might say in order to try to confuse the public and attract clients, our companies still represent not only the best value, but also the most authoritative, ethical and knowledgeable alternative to watching pumas in Patagonia.

 

The Far South Expeditions team

BOOK NOW

How to Book

 

Tour Registration

To book this tour, please complete our online registration form. We will process your booking form and will send you (within 24 hours) a note with space confirmation and a deposit invoice with payment instructions. The deposit amount is US$500 per person. 

Full payment of the tour fee is due 90 days prior to tour departure.

 NOTE: Inquires received on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays will be replied during the following working day.

 

Cancellation Policy

Notice of cancellation can only be accepted IN WRITING from the person who signed the booking form and takes effect on the day such noticed is received by us.

 

Refunds are made according to the following schedule:

If cancellation is made 120 days or more before departure date, the deposit less US$ 200 is refundable.

If cancellation is made between 120 and 60 days before departure, the deposit is not refundable, but any payments covering the balance of the fee will be refunded.

If cancellation is made past 59 days before departure date, no refund is available.

This policy and fee schedule also applies to pre-trip and post-trip extensions, as well as any transfers from one tour to another. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.