July 19: I 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 Hosteria Pehoé in Torres del Paine (04:00 hrs). We stop at the scenic town of Puerto Natales for a coffee and some photos. At this time of the year Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle tend to gather around town, so we may have some chances. Arrival at the hotel and rest of the afternoon there. The landscape here is incredible and will keep you very entertained. Dinner at the hotel. Because there are not many daylight hours during the winter (9 hours), we will have some night time activities at the hotel, like exchanging post processing techniques. On average in July the sun rises at 08:45 and sets at 17:20, never getting too high in the sky (which means great light all day long).
July 20 to 25: Six full days of Puma search. A typical day at this time of the year starts without rush after breakfast in the hotel. 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, you have to be prepared for cold temperatures and a lot of wind, even though calm conditions are more common in the Winter, it’s not the rule and everything can change quickly. A detailed clothing checklist will be sent upon booking.
We will not return to the hotel for lunch (except in extreme weather), so we carry a packed lunch for each guest. In the evening we return to the hotel for dinner at the restaurant and other activities, like nightime landscape photography of the mountains.
While our main goal on this trip is always going to be Pumas of course, there will be other incredible photo opportunities, like the amazing winter landscape, the groups of Guanacos, some birds, 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.
July 26: Drive back to Punta Arenas after breakfast, with stops for landscape photography or eventual wildlife. We will stop for lunch at Puerto Natales and arrive Punta Arenas at the beggining of afternoon.