Puma Photography Safari with Pie Aerts

Join photographer Pie Aerts 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 Pie'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
£8750
When
Dec 2020
Destination
Chile
Type
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
9 Days £8750 Dec 2020 Chile Small Group Safari
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About this trip

Led by expert wildlife photographer Pie Aerts, 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. Pie 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. A 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, also led by Pie. 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 photographer and Canon Ambassador Pie Aerts.
  • 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 Pie Aerts

from $11,256 per person sharing, excluding international and domestic flights

Specialist Leader - Pie Aerts

Pie Aerts is a Dutch wildlife/travel photographer and environmentalist. After working for seven years in marketing, he decided in mid-2017 to quit the corporate life and pursue his dream of telling stories for a living. His travels over the last 15 years have taken him around the entire planet, documenting unique stories with a strong focus on wildlife and conservation. He serves as a Canon Ambassador and has worked with major international clients for projects on various continents.

Over the last three years, Pie has mainly focused on photographing big cats, clocking up multiple trips to Botswana, Namibia, Uganda and India to work with tigers, cheetahs, leopards and lions. While doing so, he created a loyal fanbase on his social media channels composed of like-minded wildlife enthusiasts. He uses these platforms to communicate environmental issues to his followers, in an attempt to drive people’s behaviour towards positive change. In June 2019, he released his first solo photography book, born from a 5-year passion project of documenting individuals who make a difference in conservation around the world.

 

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. In the evening you will meet with Pie Aerts, who will be your expert photographic guide for the next nine days. Why not go out for a group dinner, but 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 and going for a brief walk around the property, Pie will lead you into the national park to get your bearings and 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 – the 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, after both sunlight and wildlife activity begin to wane, you may head to the western parts of the park. Here you have the opportunity to shoot some of the more iconic landmarks here, such as Grey’s Glacier and The Horns, while waiting for news from the trackers. Pie will guide you photographically throughout these outings and the 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 Pie'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 Piethroughout your trip, before relaxing for a final evening with your group.

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 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 fly with Pie 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 Pie Aerts departing on a single set date in December 2020. Guests can choose to add a 4-day Solar Eclipse Photography Extension, also led by Pie, at a cost of £3,995.

 

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

Trip date Prices from
Dec 04 - Dec 12 2020 £8750

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

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We are wildlife specialists, not led by commissions but instead by putting people in the right place at the right time. When you get in touch you’ll discover what makes our trips so different. Our award winning safaris can’t be replicated by other companies. A destination specialist will be in touch; we don’t do hard sales but you will get plenty of inspiration and advice, as well as help creating your next trip.