Oct. 05: A tour representative or your guide will meet you at the airport or hotel in the morning in Punta Arenas, South Chile. We recommend you arrive the day before and stay at a hotel in the city, we will be happy to arrange this for you upon request. Drive to Hotel Las Torres in Torres del Paine (04:00 hrs). We stop at the scenic town of Puerto Natales for a coffee and some photos. Arrival at the hotel and rest of the afternoon there. The landscape alone will keep you very entertained, but there are some wildlife around the hotel too, like Culpeo Foxes. Dinner at the hotel (fine chilean cuisine) and bed for an early start the next day.
Oct. 06 to 10: Five full days of Puma search. A typical day at this time of the year starts very early, we will be out in the field before sunrise as this is the most active period for Pumas, this means waking up around 05:30. We go out with the van and once a Puma is found we guide the guests to the place. The approach itself usually requires patience, as we have the right techniques to, if all goes as planned, get to within a prudent but close enough distance for great shots. Once the cat gets used to our presence and does not see us a threat, it will remain doing its normal behaviour. These walks can be on smooth rolling terrain, with a few steeper areas, but rarely hard and almost never longer than 2 or 3 km. Most people, even of older age, have no problem with these walks, as we go on a gentle pace. Weather in Patagonia is unpredictable, but expect cold temperatures and quite a lot of wind. A detailed clothing checklist will be sent upon booking.
We may return to the hotel for lunch or not, in either case we always carry a packed lunch for each guest. Lunch at the restaurant in the hotel is not included on the tour price. In the evening, because the sun sets so late at this time of the year in Patagonia, we may return to the hotel only around 20:00, in time for dinner at the restaurant before going to bed.
While our main goal on this trip is always going to be Pumas, there will be a lot of other incredible photo opportunities, like the amazing landscape, the groups of Guanacos, varied birds like grebes and swans, Andean Condors, foxes, etc. Some people may be afraid of approaching these wild cats by foot, but rest assured that we know when it can be dangerous and when it is ok to approach. We would never approach a cat that is showing signs of stress. Our puma tracker is exteremelly experienced with these cats.
Oct. 11: Drive back to Punta Arenas after breakfast. Check our optional Birds of Central Chile and the Pacific Coast extension tour.