Where can I see wildlife in Patagonia?

Illustrated Guide

Patagonia's Wildlife

Andean Puma

This beautiful big cat is the largest predator in Patagonia and the southern-most dweller of all its relatives. The Chilean government made puma hunting illegal in 1980, and numbers have since increased. Pumas take full advantage of the varied terrain in Torres del Paine and are able to live in the cold, warmth, forest & mountains. They are most often seen at dusk and dawn when out hunting for one of their favourite dishes...guanacos! Our dedicated puma tracking experts know these areas like the back of their hands, and give you the very best chances of observing pumas in their natural habitat.


There are four main type of whales to be found in Patagonia: the Orca or 'Killer whale', the Humpback whale, the Southern Right whale, and the Blue Whale. Peninsula Valdes is the place to go for both Southern Right Whales (June-December) and Orcas (September, March & April). Humpback whales can be seen in southern Patagonia, for example on a whale watching adventure cruise, and blue whales can be spotted off of the Island of Chiloe. 

Patagonia Wildlife


Patagonia Wildlife

Penguin reserves can be found throughout Chilean Patagonia, from Punta Arenas and Ushuaia to Peninsula Valdes, and Chiloe Island. Magellanic penguins are the most widespread of the breeds to be found in Patagonia, but it is also possible to see Humboldt penguins, gentoo penguins, and even king Penguins.


As well as the famous pumas, penguins and whales, Patagonia has an abundance of other wildlife. From over-sized rodents to chicken-brain eating cats, any animal lover will be in their element in this area of Chile and Argentina.

Mountain Viscacha

Marine animals

The waters around Patagonia are home to an abundance of marine life. Along with the magnificent whales there are playful dolphins, sunbathing sea lions and seals and endangered marine otters. 

Southern Fur Seal


Patagonia is home to over 460 species of birds, making a trip to Chile or Argentina an unforgettable experience for any birder. From the famous and dominating Andean Condor swooping high above you to the tiny Austral Pygmy-Owl's screeching call at dusk, there are birds to find everywhere.

Patagonia Wildlife
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Swoop says

Patagonia is home to some incredibly unusual and diverse wildlife, from clumsy penguins to enormous whales and elusive big cats. Our expert naturalist guides and trackers responsibly and respectfully help you to to get up close and personal with these amazing animals.

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What Our Customers Think of Patagonia Wildlife

Patagonia Wildlife trips scored 4.2/5 from 89 reviews

Wildlife spotting opportunities were truly amazing. We had seen herds of Guanacos in multiple locations throughout the visit - within Torres del Paine and also while driving along Useless Bay in Torres del Fuego region. We were lucky enough to spot a Puma! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Kalyan Peri - USA

Standing close to the penguins was very moving. They are such gentle creatures and as you watch them their quirky ways bring smiles to the face. We were lucky to see whales on our way back and it is impossible to forget the face of the bull sea lion standing there in all his glory. To see as many Condors as we did, 10 came out to bid us farewell, was an awesome sight. Read the full review

Travelled: March 2023

Chris Gibbs - UK

The highlight of the trip was the wildlife. Just being in their land knowing that you are just visiting is an experience beyond words. Read the full review

Travelled: March 2019

Eduardo Marin - United States Of America

We were lucky enough to see a male and female huemul deer, 4 different puma, a skunk, red and grey fox, of course lots of guanacos, condors and shore birds. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Paul Miller - United States Of America

The wildlife was fantastic. We were extremely lucky in seeing several endangered, endemic species, the southern river otter, the pudu deer, the huemel deer. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Paul Miller - United States Of America

The nature of Torres del Paine is like a miracle. We saw 7 pumas during our stay! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2018

Galina Polshakova - Russian Federation

The wildlife we saw was incredible – giant woodpeckers, huemuls, caracaras, condors, guanacos, and rheas. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2018

Dindy Pawlinger - United States Of America

Sebastian spotted a puma for us which was a great excitement and beyond what we could have expected. Amazingly enough, this particular puma is featured in the latest issue of National Geographic! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2018

Elizabeth Parker - South Africa

The highlight was probably the whale watching and the penguin colony on Peninsula Valdes. The wildlife, landscape, people were amazing as usual! Read the full review

Travelled: September 2018

Melanie Marin - United States Of America

Watching condors circling overhead as we were being blasted by the wind on rocky cliffs was memorable. Stumbling across a family of upland geese feeding and seeing a family of huemul were real treats. I could go on and on about rheas, guanaco, mara, king penguins, torrent ducks etc. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2017

Jo McGrouther - Australia

The wildlife was crazy, we saw condors, eagles, guanacos, giant hares, wild horses and more bird varieties than we could imagine.

Travelled: October 2017

Richard & Susan - Canada

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The wildlife was surprisingly abundant and all around us, from Guanacos, Pumas (spotted while on bus!), Andean Foxes, Condors, Carpintero Gigante, Caracara, Flamingos, Ibis, Falcons which followed us to Grey Glacier, and the ubiquitous Southern Lapwing.

Travelled: March 2017

Andy - UK

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There is so much to see, you have to go to experience it. The wildlife such as the Rea, Condors, various species of Lama, the whales, all just beautiful.

Travelled: December 2016

Steve - UK

We had such an amazing (if exhausting!) time. Thank you for all you all have done for us; you make it all work so well and have given us more than I could ever have hoped for.

Travelled: October 2015

Margy -


Patagonia Wildlife Guide

Patagonia Wildlife Guide
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Chloe O'Keeffe says

It was around 6am, and creeping along a ridge in the dusky morning light was a female puma with two cubs. My guide and I gazed up at them in awe as they went about their usual business, then silently slipped over the ridge.

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Wildlife in Valdes

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Whale Watching in Valdes

Orca at Peninsula Valdés, Argentina

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Tailor-made Holidays

Patagonia is a vast and varied region, with a wealth of things to see and do, a range of places to stay and a limited transport network.

Why not let us do the hard work for you? Our team of experts will work with you to design an adventure to your exact requirements, from hiking and horse-riding trips to wine-tasting tours and undiscovered lodges.

We’ll work around your budget and arrange flights, transfers and buses, to create your perfect trip.

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