- A photo tour planned to maximize the chances of photographing wild Pumas. We have 5 days in Pumaland
- We are looking for Pumas on a private property where our guides are one of the few companies allowed to guide there
- We look for Pumas from morning to evening with a short break in the middle of the day
- We have a Puma tracker who goes out early in the morning to look for the cats for us
- We have access to 4×4 vehicles which facilitate and give us better opportunities to photograph
- Full day of condor photography
- Other interesting animals like guanaco, foxes and birds that lives in Patagonia
- Dramatic landscape around us all the time
- In addition to the cougar tracker, we have a very good local guide
- Small group of like-minded people, maximum eight participants
Long before the sun has risen, our puma tracker heads out to begin searching for our big photo target of this trip, the pumas. We have the luxury of sleeping for another hour or so, but soon we too are heading out into the Patagonian wilderness. We make our way slowly in 4×4 vehicles on the small roads that exist, we search for pumas and other subjects to photograph. Then suddenly we get information from our tracker that they have found the pumas. The heart beats a few extra beats and we set off in our car towards the place where the puma is. We walk the last few hundred meters before we see our tracker pointing towards a hill a little way away and there it sits, the puma. Slowly we get into a photo position and start taking pictures.
PUMAS AND TORRES DEL PAINE
This photo tour is mostly focused on photographing puma in the remote and stunning Patagonian wilderness of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and an adjacent private ranch. Our local guides have been conducting puma tours here for more than 20 years so they know the area inside and out. The area we are going to is the best place in the world to see this magnificent cat. Torres del Paine National Park, is often considered by visitors as one of the most beautiful and majestic wild places on the planet. In the national park it is not unusual to see relaxed and curious guanacos, foxes and other animals up close, but to see the lone hunter that lives in the vast and rugged hills, the mighty puma, is something else.
In order for us to have the best conditions to find pumas and be able to photograph them, we will look for this wonderful cat on a private ranch bordering the national park. How you are allowed to move in the national park is strongly restricted, but in the private lands around the park we have opportunities to move much more freely. The ranch we will be at is considered one of the best places, if not the best, to see puma. Our local guides are one of the few companies that have access to guide inside the ranch. The ranch is also heavily involved in the protection and conservation of pumas in Patagonia.
Pumas are normally most active at night, early in the morning and late in the evening. During these times, the pumas are usually patrolling their territory, hunting guanacos and other prey, or interacting with their young. We adapt our photography to these times. We will have two sessions each day, a morning session and an evening session (about 4 hours each). In the middle of the day we will not look for cougars to avoid disturbing them as they rest and sleep after a long night hunting for elusive guanacos. Normally and depending on the light of day, we can continue photographing other animals in the park or we will take some time to rest, recharge our batteries and get ready for the evening’s puma session.
The pumas of Patagonia and especially around Torres del Paine, are large and powerful and are considered the largest race of the species. With an unusually high number of pumas in the national park and its surroundings, the area has become the most sought-after places to visit for viewing and photographing wild pumas. The large numbers of pumas are mainly due to the stable population of guanacos so there is a constant supply of food. Perhaps an even more important factor in the pumas being found in such large numbers here is the increased protection the puma has received and that the local population sees that the animals generate income for the area. A brilliant example of how tourism can contribute to nature conservation.