Pumas, Penguins & Whales; Wildlife Tour

Meet three of Patagonia's most special creatures in this fantastic 11 day tour, led by hand picked specialist wildlife guides and trackers. Spot the elusive puma in Torres del Paine, marvel at jumping humpbacks in remote corners of the fjords, and hang out with the only king penguin colony outside of Antarctica.

11 Days

$6,498

Pumas, Penguins & Whales; Wildlife Tour - 11 - $6,498

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 4-day exploration in Torres del Paine National Park searching for puma and other wildlife such as guanaco, southern huemul deer, Andean condors and many other birds.
  • Visit the world’s most accessible and only continental king penguin colony in Tierra del Fuego.
  • Explore Francisco Coloane Marine Park and enjoy watching its gentle visitors, the humpback whales.
  • Great opportunities to spot other cetaceans and marine mammals such as Peale’s, Commerson’s and Chilean dolphins, plus sea lions, fur seals, Magellanic penguins and other seabirds.
  • Great photographic opportunities on the rich natural history of the southernmost portion of the American continent.

Landmarks visited on Pumas, Penguins & Whales; Wildlife Tour

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas, 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 your journey to the park, you will try to find guanacos, southern grey foxes, and Patagonian skunks while enjoying your first contact with southern beech (Nothofagus) forests. While visiting the valleys you 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.

Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres or similar, Torres del Paine

Meals: Lunch, dinner

Guide


Days 2-4: Exploring Torres del Paine National Park - Puma searches

We have organised a busy schedule of day and night searches for pumas in the area. You'll inspect the immediate surroundings of your hotel at night as well as the puma hunting grounds located in the eastern flank of 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. February through April is a particularly good period as the females are actively hunting to provide food to their growing cubs; at this time they are not active just by night but also during the twilight hours. To see a female puma and its large-sized cubs against this magnificent mountain backdrop and glorious skies is one of the most impressive wildlife spectacles. In company of your guide and puma tracker you will attempt seeing puma family groups at a prudent distance with the help of binoculars and spotting scopes.

If you have time, you 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 canine species present in the park, chilla and culpeo foxes.

Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres or similar, Torres del Paine

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Guide


Day 5: Torres del Paine NP - Transfer to Punta Arenas

During the morning you 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 part of your exciting journey of discovery. Later, you will be transferred to Punta Arenas.

Accommodation: Hotel Diego de Almagro or similar, Punta Arenas

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Guide


Day 6: Ferry to Porvenir, Tierra del Fuego - Useless Bay for King penguins

You will start your journey with a private transfer from your hotel to the ferry docks located at the northern end of Punta Arenas. At approximately 9 am, you will begin your two and half hour crossing through the mythic waters of the Straits of Magellan; these world-famous seaways are very rich in terms of history of exploration. Magellan, Drake, Cavendish, Bougainville, Fitz Roy and Darwin, among several other sailors and explorers, surveyed this region, most of the times, in really harsh and dangerous conditions. You will see an interesting array of seabirds, including black-browed albatross, southern giant petrel, southern fulmar, imperial cormorant, dolphin gull and South American tern. It is very likely to see interesting marine mammals such as pods of Peale's dolphin and inquisitive South American sea lion.

As soon as you land you will realize that the vegetation of this part of Tierra del Fuego is dominated by flat windswept steppes and rolling hills, with tussock grass and low shrubs. After meeting your local guide and driver, you will stop at the town of Porvenir, visiting a pioneer home, your lovely and cozy hotel, Hosteria Yendegaia; here you will have coffee or tea, snacks, and will have the opportunity to relax for a short while. Immediately we will be driving for approximately two hours along the shores of Bahia Inutil (Useless Bay), where you expect to see a great array of wildlife including guanaco, southern grey fox, the ubiquitous upland goose, Chilean flamingo and a diversity of waterfowl. At sea you may see albatrosses, petrels, gulls and skuas patrolling the turbulent waters of the bay. Parque Pinguino Rey is a private nature reserve that aims to preserve the only known continental king penguin colony. You will have ample opportunities to observe and photograph the penguins from a reasonable distance (maximum approach distance will be given by the guide and must be respected at all times during your visit).

Accommodation: Hosteria Yendegaia House or similar, Porvenir

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Guide


Day 7: Ferry to Punta Arenas

You will enjoy a leisurely morning while exploring the surroundings of Porvenir to photograph and learn about the particular wildlife and history of this remote corner of Patagonia. You'll visit its alkaline pools where there are large aggregations of migratory birds such as sandpipers and plovers, but the goal will be to photograph Chilean flamingos. Later you will explore the coast to see some of the many shipwrecks that have occurred in these seas over the years. After lunch you will be heading back to Punta Arenas by ferry. By taking the short ferry at Punta Delgada you will have great chances of seeing the striking Commerson's dolphin plus other interesting wildlife.

Accommodation: Hotel Diego de Almagro or similar, Punta Arenas

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Guide


Day 8: Boat trip to Carlos III Island - Afternoon looking for Humpback Whales

Early in the morning we will board the motor yacht "Esturion" and start our navigation towards "Francisco Coloane Marine Park", which protects the marine biodiversity of the western branch of the Straits of Magellan. This magnificent area encloses Carlos III Island, which possesses a vast and unique biological diversity due, in part, to the mixing of the two oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), productive upwelling, the strong winds, the presence of glaciers and the dismembered coastline. This park hold a summer population of humpback whales (and occasionally sei whale and orca), which use these waters as feeding grounds. We will spend this night in the biological station, at very comfortable twin-bedded domes. We will have shared bathroom facilities at this location.

Accommodation: EcoCamp Carlos III, Carlos III Island

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Guide


Day 9: Carlos III Island

This morning you will have another whale-watching session aboard the zodiac boats and if you are lucky, you may see the endemic and scarce Chilean dolphin while sailing these waters. You will also visit large breeding colonies of sea lions, fur seals and Magellanic penguin. You'll have a lecture by the scientist working on long-term population studies on these whales, and you will learn about several tagging and identification techniques. You will have the whole afternoon to see these whales at close quarters and with no other visitors. This intimate experience will be enhanced by the sight of the beautiful mountains, glaciers and pristine forests all around.

Accommodation: Eco-camp Carlos III, Carlos III Island

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Guide


Day 10: Faro San Isidro Lodge - Punta Arenas

After enjoying the diversity of marine mammals and seabirds of this park, we will make our journey back to San Isidro Lodge. Along the route we will discover the rich seabird diversity of these seaways; we will see black-browed albatross, southern giant petrel, Chilean skua and cormorants as well as pods of Peale's dolphin and the ubiquitous South American sea lion. If time permits, we will have a field trip, equipped with hand glasses, to discover the lichen- and moss-rich biodiversity of the sub-Antarctic forests. During the afternoon we will be transferred back to Punta Arenas for overnight.

Accommodation: Hotel Diego de Almagro or similar, Punta Arenas

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Guide


Day 11: End of the trip

Transfer to the airport after breakfast.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Trips are guaranteed to depart with a minimum of 4 participants. Maximum group size is 8 people

Start date Price (pp)
January 2019
22-Jan-2019 $6,498* Provisional Date
April 2019
4-Apr-2019 $6,498 Provisional Date
28-Apr-2019 $6,498* Provisional Date
November 2019
20-Nov-2019 $6,498 Provisional Date
January 2020
22-Jan-2020 $6,498* Provisional Date
April 2020
4-Apr-2020 $6,498 Provisional Date

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $6,498

Single supplement available, please enquire for more details.

Includes

  • All accommodations, meals and guide services as stated in the itinerary
  • Private ground transportation during the tour
  • Boat trips to Francisco Coloane Marine Park
  • Two ferry rides and park entrance fees
  • A daily bottle of mineral water is also included

Excludes

  • Domestic flights
  • Tipping for restaurants and guides
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance tax to Chile
  • Excess baggage charges
  • A la carte dishes
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Laundry
  • Telephone calls
  • Personal Equipment

Questions about this Trip?