Puma Photography Safari with Diego Araya

Join photographer Diego Araya on a quest for the apex predator of Patagonia, the elusive puma, among the mountains and foothills of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. Here you’ll be able to hone your photography skills, under Diego's expert eye, in one of the most visually stunning wildernesses anywhere in the Americas. You can also extend your trip for four days to coincide with the 2020 solar eclipse.

Itinerary Summary

Duration
9 Days
Price
£6000
When
Dec 2020
Destination
Chile
Type
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
9 Days £6000 Dec 2020 Chile Small Group Safari
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About this trip

Led by expert wildlife photographer Diego Araya, this safari offers a unique setting in which to hone your camera skills while exploring Torres del Paine National Park and its soaring mountain peaks. Diego will be present throughout this photographic adventure to lend his expertise as a wildlife photographer, as you venture through the wilderness with the hopes of capturing stunning images of Patagonian pumas. His team of expert puma trackers will be on hand to impart their knowledge of this majestic big cat and to determine the best course of action each day. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

For those seeking more excitement, you can choose to extend your travels by a further four nights with our Solar Eclipse Photography Safari. This 4-day trip can also be booked separately from the 9-day puma safari.

 

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Receive expert photographic tuition from professional wildlife photographer Diego Araya.
  • Explore Patagonia’s wilderness and venture through the iconic landscapes of the Torres del Paine.
  • Learn from a team of professional puma and fauna trackers who will ensure you make the most of possible wildlife sightings, including guanaco, rhea, Andean fox and Andean condor.
  • Stay for six nights at the world's first geodesic dome hotel, the multi-award-winning Eco Camp Patagonia, voted by Travel + Leisure as South America's 2nd best hotel resort in 2017.

Embedded Video Overview

A 9-day photographic safari tracking the pumas of Patagonia, led by photographer Diego Araya

from $7,770 per person sharing, excluding international and domestic flights

Meet your photographic 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 graduated, he travelled around Europe and North America, before finding work with the National Park Service in Chile. He ran various projects related to ecotourism and conservation. In 2004, he moved to Patagonia in pursuit of his lifelong dream of being at one with nature. Over the years, he has put together one of the most complete photography portfolios of Patagonian wildlife and become one of the most qualified locals in terms of tracking, approximation and photography of the fauna in the region.

Diego featured in the BBC's The Dark and Seven Worlds, One Planet in Torres del Paine National Park. He has also worked as a zodiac driver and naturalist in Antarctica. Nowadays he is a professional wildlife photographer, an adventure tour guide, and is working on several editorial and tourism projects.

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Dec 4: Arrive Punta Arenas

Today the adventure begins! You will be met upon arrival at Punta Arenas Airport and transferred to your hotel. After your long journey, the rest of the day is yours to relax. Plan for an early night as you depart early tomorrow to start your puma photography journey!

Day 2

Dec 5: Punta Arenas – Torres del Paine

This morning after breakfast, be at the ready as your group will be transferred to Torres del Paine National Park, a journey of about five hours. You will be passing by some stunning landscapes, and photo stops will be made. After checking in at Eco Camp Patagonia, meet Diego at lunch for a briefing, after which he will lead you into the national park to get your bearings. Admire the jaw-dropping beauty of the snow-capped peaks and glacial blue lakes, while also getting a glimpse of the first signs of wildlife: guanaco, the favourite food of the elusive puma. Our puma tracker will actually have been out since the morning, so there are chances of sightings on this very first day!

Overnight: Eco Camp Patagonia (B, L, D)

Days 3-6

Dec 6-9: Puma Tracking

The next four days are all about spotting puma, Patagonia’s apex predator. Most days begin close to camp, in the park’s eastern sector, taking advantage of the stunning morning light and any animal activity. You will spend approximately six hours viewing and photographing the native wildlife of the park. You are likely to observe culpeo (Andean fox), the mighty Andean condor, guanaco, rhea, and hopefully the prized puma. In the afternoons, when the peak hours for sunlight and wildlife activity lay behind you, you may head to the western parts of the park. Here you will have the opportunity to shoot some of the more iconic landmarks, such as Grey’s Glacier and The Horns, while waiting for news from the trackers. Diego will guide you photographically throughout these outings and his team of professional puma trackers will be working hard to place you in the best conditions possible to see the big cat. Each evening, return to your comfortable camp, compare photos, hear about Diego's fascinating career or simply relax with a glass of Chilean wine.

Overnight: Eco Camp Patagonia (B, L, D)

Day 7

Dec 10: Torres del Paine Wildlife Exploration

Depending on the weather conditions and how lucky you were with sightings, we might mix things up today and head to different areas of the park to gain an even better understanding of the immense expanse that is Patagonia. More pumas are possible of course, but other sightings may include grey fox, red fox, hairy armadillo, hog-nosed skunk, Chilean flamingo, Magellanic woodpecker, austral parakeet, austral pygmy owl, ringed kingfisher, black-chested buzzard-eagle, crested caracara and more. This is the last chance to put into practice all that you have learned from Diego throughout your trip, before relaxing for your final evening in Patagonia.

Overnight: Eco Camp Patagonia (B, L, D)

Day 8

Dec 11: Torres del Paine – Punta Arenas – Santiago

Head out this morning into the national park for a final half-day excursion. Return to camp for lunch and to say your goodbyes to Diego, before being transferred back to Punta Arenas (a 5-hour journey) for your connecting flight back to Santiago. On arrival to Santiago you will be met and transferred to your hotel, 20 minutes away, for a final evening with your group.

Overnight: Le Reve Boutique Hotel (B, L)

Day 9

Dec 12: Depart Santiago

This morning you will take a private group transfer to the airport in time for your onward flight home. If you are choosing to extend your travels with our Solar Eclipse Photography Safari, you will instead fly from Santiago to Temuco. Once at Temuco, you will meet any fellow travellers who have chosen to book the solar eclipse trip separately. You will then travel together and embark upon the next portion of your Chilean adventure.

TRIP DETAILS

TRIP INFORMATION

This is a small group photographic expedition with photographer Diego Araya departing on a single set date in December 2020. Guests can choose to add a 4-day Solar Eclipse Photography Extension, at a cost of £2,300 per person sharing.

Please note that the above prices exclude the cost of international and domestic flights.

Trip date Prices from
Dec 04 - Dec 12 2020 £6000

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our Chile safaris.

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