Patagonia Puma Tracking - Wildlife Photo Adventure US$3,295

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Highlights: 
  • Professional photo & wildlife expert guide Diego Araya
  • Huemul, puma, fox, ñandú & gauanco sightings
  • Team of puma & fauna trackers ensuring real wildlife sightings
  • Improve & Inovate your photography skills
  • Get unique photography opportunities
  • 5 nights in EcoCamp Suite Domes
  • Only 3 departures & Limited groups of up to just 6 photographers
Brief Itinerary: 
Days 1-6: Patagonia Puma Tracking - Wildlife Photo Adventure: Excursions Torres del Paine
Sample Itinerary
Day 1:  Travel from Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales or Calafate to Torres del Paine NP - (1/2 day) Torres del Paine NP
Day 2: Puma tracking* and photography Laguna Amarga
Day 3: Andean condor and huemul photography
Day 4: Laguna Azul fox, guanaco & wildlife photography
Day 5: Flora observation & photography Los Cuernos 
(*Puma tracking will always take priority and actual Itinerary will depend on tracking team, group & weather)
Day 6: (1/2 day) Puma tracking and photography - Leave Torres del Paine NP

 

Day 1 Arrival, The Patagonian Adventure starts
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
 
The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively you can start your trip in El Calafate / Argentina (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick up & drop off schedule). En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza", where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon. After dinner our guide, wildlife expert Diego Araya, gives a briefing on the upcoming days and the wildlife we’ll be seeing. 
 
Days 2, 3, 4 & 5, Wildlife Exploration
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
 
We start off each day early, photographing the sunrise from distinct locations while enjoying hot coffee and breakfast on the go. Our puma/cougar tracking team, already hard at work, will be in radio contact to let us know how they’re doing. Throughout the trip they will be letting us know the location of the park's most elusive animals including the Andean puma (mountain lion) and the endangered huemul (South Andean deer) so that we can head to the sites where they are as soon as they're spotted.

We will usually begin our wildlife exploration close to EcoCamp, in the park’s eastern sector, making the most of the beautiful morning light and animal activity. We enjoy around six hours of wildlife observation, studying and photographing the park’s native flora & fauna, guided by Diego's photography tips, before heading back to EcoCamp for lunch and relaxation time.

 
In the afternoons, after the peak sun hours with little animal movement, we head out again, this time to the park’s western sector where we enjoy the beautiful landscapes and flora & fauna to be found. We visit landmark places such as Grey Glacier and other striking natural monuments. Our guide Diego takes us through the different habitats and ecosystems in the area, introducing us to the unique and colourful wildlife of Torres del Paine and teaching us the methodology for responsible observing wildlife. After photographing the iconic Patagonian sunset over the Paine massif we return to EcoCamp for dinner and well-earned rest.
 
N.B. In the event of bad weather alternative activities will be planned, for example to scenic waterfall Paine Grande or Laguna Azul. 
 
Day 6 Departure
Torres del Paine NP, Chile
 
Today we enjoy a final breakfast at EcoCamp before loading our luggage into the van and say goodbye to EcoCamp’s staff as we drive back alongside the Patagonian pampa to the airport to catch our onward flight. 
 
 
Your Tour Guide: Diego Araya - Professional Photographer and Expert Wildlife Guide
 
Diego has always been passionate about nature and wildlife. During his studies in Marine Biology he began to explore photography in search of intimacy and complicity with animals. Once he got his college degree, and after some travels around Europe and North America, he found work with the national Park Service in Chile running projects related to ecotourism and conservation. In 2004 he left behind his professional achievements and urban conveniences to live in Patagonia in pursuit of his long-life dream and to be one with nature. Over the years he has managed to create one of the finest and most complete professional photography archives of Patagonian wildlife together with becoming one of the most qualified residents in tracking, approximation and photography of the fauna in the region. 
 
Diego featured in the BBC's “The Dark” in Torres del Paine and in 2009 he published Patagonia 237, his first book. A 300 page, big format coffee table book financed by Nikon Chile. In 2010 he started working as expedition staff and zodiac driver on the Antarctic Dream Vessel accumulating over 100 days in Antarctica experience. At the moment he is an professional wildlife photographer, EcoCamp Photo Adventure Tour Guide, and is working on several editorial and tourism projects. Read more about all EcoCamp Patagonia Guides.

Accommodation

EcoCamp Patagonia
Ecocamp Patagonia is located in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, with a unique view of the majestic granite towers. The region’s first fully sustainable accommodation south of the Amazon and the first of its kind in the Patagonian wilderness, EcoCamp offers upscale camping in geodesic domes inspired by the region’s ancient nomadic inhabitants. 

 

EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome (Heating & Private bathroom, 28m²/300ft²)
Suite domes were designed for sleeping in the highest level of comfort allowed by sustainable development in a natural untarnished environment. The domes have comfortable double or twin beds, a modern low-emission wood stove and a private bathroom with a state of the art composting toilet. Guests can gaze at the stars through the ceiling windows while falling asleep each night, after enjoying a spectacular sunset from their private terrace.

Included
  • English speaking specialist wildlife guide. Guide ratio 5. Max group size: 5 people - NEW in 2014/15
  • Accommodation EcoCamp’s Suite Domes
  • Meals as indicated in the price chart
  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary
  • Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park
  • Regular bus tickets Calafate<>Natales if starting/finishing in Calafate, check last section.
Excluded
  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip)
  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff
  • Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp. Bringing US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is suggested
  • Items of personal nature
  • Photo equipment, binoculars - please bring your own.

 


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