This Puma Photography Tour is designed to get you face-to-face with pumas in the wild. Also known as mountain lions, cougars, shadow cats, catamounts, and panthers, these cats are truly remarkable. Though generally extremely elusive, pumas have become a lot more visible in the Torres del Paine National Park area in the past six years — if you know where to look, and we do! Not only will you get to see pumas on foot as we hike through their habitat, you will see them with the backdrop of the famous Torres del Paine mountains! Trust me when I say, being less than thirty yards from a wild puma, on foot, is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. This photo tour is co-led by world famous Roy Toft, and myself. Combined we have over six years of experience in the area. Pumas have a difficulty rating of easy (in this location), which means we will have multiple encounters with good photographic opportunities*.
What to Bring
Photo Equipment: We recommend bringing at least one SLR camera, a telephoto lens at least 300mm long (the longer the better in this instance!), and a tripod or monopod.
Clothing: The weather can be beautiful one minute and than wet, cold, and windy the next! We often stay out in the field the entire day, before sunrise and past sunset, so layers are key. I tend to where long johns, heavy field pants, bring rain pants, wear a long sleeved thermal, fleece, lightweight jacket, and bring a rainjacket.
Shoes: Hiking or running shoes.
Travel: Fly into Punta Arenas (PUQ) on Saturday, March 21st, 2020. You will need to take a taxi to the hotel. Depart on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 (anytime).
Accommodations: Are included in the puma photography tour fee.
Food: Food is included in the workshop fee, however, alcohol at meals is not.
Transportation: Transportation to our photo location near the national park is included. You will need to take and pay for your own taxi to and from the airport to the hotel.
March 21st: Arrive in Punta Arenas. Stay at hotel.
March 22nd: Leave for photo area near Torres del Paine National Park in the morning. Lunch and then Pumas search in afternoon.
March 23rd-26th: Pumas in morning and Pumas in afternoon. We also will grab scenery photo ops by going out early for great sunrise shots from 3-4 different locations to get the classic shots of sunrise on the peaks.
March 27th: Pumas in the morning. Drive to Cerro Palomares for condor photography, including flight shots. Drive to Punta Arenas for dinner and for the night.
March 28th: Fly out of Punta Arenas.
Physical Requirements: The physical fitness level needed for this Puma photography tour is medium-high. We commonly walk 2-3 miles per day carrying all camera gear and endure cold temperatures and high winds.
What’s included in the price: Transportation from/to national park area, hotel, lodging next to the park, meals (except alcohol), photographic and guide services of Roy Toft and Sebastian Kennerknecht.
What’s not included in the price: Flights and other travel to and from Punta Arenas airport, and anything not listed in the “What’s included in the price” list above.
*Wild Cat Difficulty: Wild cats can be very hard to photograph subjects, they require a lot of patience and dedication. This means spending significant amounts of time searching for them, hours and possibly days without a sighting. Pumas have a difficulty rating of easy, which means we will have multiple encounters with good photographic opportunities. We have organized the trip to maximize our chances to encounter and photograph this incredible feline.
Other Possible Species to Photograph during this Puma Photography Tour (underlined species are the most commonly seen):
Guanaco (Lama guanicoe)
Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus)
Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata)
Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
South American Gray Fox (Lycalopex griseus)