Patagonia Wildlife Guide

Patagonia Wildlife Guide

Puma Trips from Comfort

Camping Puma Trips

What our customers think

Pumas and Other Wildlife Trips

Swoop Says

Puma Tracking

A Brief History

After many years of Pumas being hunted in Torres del Paine by farmers trying to protect their livestock, and/ or to make money from the skins, the hunting of Pumas was banned in the park in 1972. Many of the once hunters, have since changed their mentality towards the puma, and now puma tourism is helping to change long ingrained attitudes.

Since then, with no predators to speak of, and an unlimited food supply of juicy guanacos (which I can now confirm are delicious!), a relative of the Llama, the Puma population in the park has been steadily growing. Although there are not currently any official studies on the size of the population, it is believed to number between 50 - 100 individuals, and is growing. Great news - but there is a new threat to the Pumas’ wellbeing now, still in the shape of we humans, but this time it is posed by tourism.

So how can we make sure that we, as wildlife lovers keen to observe and photograph these magnificent animals in their natural environment, we are also protecting them in the years to come? 

New Regulations

In 2015, restrictions were put in place by the park authorities to prevent visitors to the park from straying off of the roads and official trails. This is in an effort to protect not only the Pumas, but also the other flora, fauna, and terrain of the park, and is a decision that we at Swoop, and our hand picked local partners in Torres del Paine wholeheartedly support. 

Although this decision poses challenges and limitations on visitors to the park, it certainly feels like the right thing to do in order to protect the unique combination of wildlife, flora, and landscapes that make Torres del Paine iconic destination that we know and love. If we don’t take steps to protect it now, then there won’t be much to protect in generations to come.

Is it really possible to explore Torres del Paine’s nature and wildlife (Puma tracking in particular) with minimal impact?

The honest answer is that without scientific study, we cannot be 100% sure, but in the absence of such research, we can do our best to minimise our impact based on the knowledge and experience of local guides, wildlife experts, and puma trackers who care about the wellbeing and future of the puma in Patagonia.

Chloe says

Responsible Puma Tracking

We have carefully selected our Puma tracking, and wildlife spotting partners in Torres del Paine in order to ensure that we are doing the best we can to protect the wildlife whilst enabling people to encounter it.  Our guides will never take you searching for pumas off of the main trails within the official National park boundaries, as per the stipulations of the 2015 regulations. In fact, it is actually still quite feasible that you could spot a puma on/ near one of the roads within the park, and our guides continue to have sightings there regularly. 

The difference between puma tracking on private land as opposed to within the park boundaries, is that you are able to drive/walk outside of the main trails/roads. As always, even in the private land, puma tracking is still done with extreme care and consideration for the animal’s welfare. Our guides will never go searching for pumas in their dens (even if they know where they are). Every human appreciates their own space, and no one likes being disturbed during a nap - we like to give the same courtesy to the Pumas. Similarly, when we do find a puma out and about, we will never get too close, particularly if they have cubs, or if there are other groups observing it as well, so as not to stress the animals. The pumas are never baited, chased or interfered with in any way - our aim is to be unintrusive observers, and our expert guides and trackers know how to read a pumas behaviour and react accordingly.

Ready to plan your Patagonia adventure?

  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Harriet
  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Luke
  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Chloe
  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Sally
  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Zoe
  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Tom
  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Charlie
  • Swoop Patagonia Expert Loli

Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure, we can help.