DAY 1 PUNTA ARENAS
Arrival to the Southermost city in Chile, and the gateway to Patagonia. Punta Arenas was the main port of entry to Southern Patagonia in the late 19th century, and is still a very important port. We meet our guides at the airport and we check into our hotel for dinner.
DAY 2 PUNTA ARENAS/TORRES DEL PAINE
We leave Punta Arenas towards the Northwest, driving by Puerto Natales, and continue towards Torres del Paine National Park. The drive is a scenic one, taking us into the Southern Andes, with fertile valleys and perennial snow covered peaks. As we approach the park there is always a chance to spot some of the wildlife of the area, and also, if the erratic Patagonian weather allows, views of the Torres Peaks. As we enter the National Park, we start searching for Puma right away, as the vegetation of the Eastern part is low and the animals are easier to spot. We continue our search as we arrive to Las Torres Hotel where we will stay for 6 nights. (box lunch every day. Full dinner).
DAY 3 to 7 TORRES DEL PAINE
We will leave the lodge every day before sunrise to look for signs of Puma activity. A nervous Guanaco, shouting out warning calls is always a good sign, so we make our way through the area looking for the Puma. We will be doing this in vehicles and sometimes on foot, in different parts of the Park. We might get lucky and run into one of them on the road, or even in the hotel, but we will always go out to find them. We might also run into foxes, Rheas, owls and Guanacos.
W never rest in the search of Puma, but we make a break and go to another part of the park, not only for breathtaking views of mountains and glaciers, but also to try to find the endangered Huemul deer, in the forest area of Lake Grey. Return to the lodge for dinner.
Our last Puma day in Torres del Paine. We will be looking for them in areas where we have been doing so before, hopefully finding some of the individuals we have already seen.
DAY 8 TORRES DEL PAINE - EL CALAFATE AIRPORT
We leave Torres del Paine, always looking for Puma, and travel East, to cross the border into Argentina. As we move East, the scenery gets flatter as we enter a treeless area of Patagonian grasslands, swept by the wind. After crossing the border, we continue NE and then make a sharp turn NW, towards El Calafate, a booming tourist town, on the shore of Argentino Lake. We will arrive to El Calafate Airport with enough time to rest and check in for the flight back to Buenos Aires City.
WHAT TO BRING
Our accommodation is clean and comfortable lodge with all bedding and towels provided, so you simply need to bring yourself, and please inform us of any special dietary requirements you may have. We will be during winter time during June and out of it in September here so the weather will be cold but also has the potential to be quite variable so good waterproof and warm clothing will be required and some good walking boots and possibly gaiters too. Lighter showerproof outer clothing will be sensible as well.
In terms of camera gear then the longest lens you have will be needed (300mm with converter as a minimum really and 500mm + ideal) along with tripod. You will definitely want some shorter lenses for the array of landscape opportunities (70-200mm and 24-70mm say) and a set of polarising and grad filters will be good too if you have them and are used to working with them. You will need storage devices for the array of images you’ll build up and a laptop for viewing these on the evenings can be both sociable and also good for critiquing purposes.