Puma Extreme

Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile

pumas, torres del paine, wildlife, photography, tours, chile

“Best place for photographing Pumas.” –CNN Travel

Pumas, Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile.
Photography: Jorge Cardenas
. Pumas of Torres del Paine Photography Tours.

 

Is This the Most Remote and Exotic Safari in the World?

–Sarah Hepola, Bloomberg L.P., June 3, 2015

 

“We had great success.”

We had a great time. Naun is a very good guide and Puma tracker. He worked very hard for us, as did the team of trackers, and we had great success. It is great that Naun is a photographer. One morning Tim was too ill to go out. We had amazing sightings with two adult Pumas right next to the park road. They stayed beside us as we walked the road. Tim had given me his camera, but I am not a photographer. Naun, also a Canon photographer, took great photos with Tim’s camera, which I much appreciated as the photo opportunity was quite good and I would not have wanted to miss it. With Naun, I got the shots. It is also great that Suzanna is on the team. She is very professional and when Naun became ill, she was able to take over. It all worked very well. We saw 12 Pumas in seven days. Five were in the park, with three in the park at just 30 – 60 feet. We had other great photo opportunities on the ranch with Hermanita at 30 feet for an hour. Our tracker and guides worked hard for us and it paid off.

–Deidre Bainbridge & Tim Tennyson, November 2016

 

Puma Extreme Video

 

Unique advantages of our Puma Extreme

 

Triple your chances of sighting Pumas

No other operator uses more than one tracker, whereas we use three expert trackers, tripling your chances of sighting Pumas. Enjoy the enhanced opportunities provided to Art Wolfe, Frans Lanting and Tom Mangelsen, three of the world’s most famous wildlife and nature photographers.

Maximize your knowledge of Pumas

Nightly scientific lectures impart authoritative insights about the Pumas, their behavior and their habitat to deepen your wildlife experience.

Maximize your comfort

We serve hot lunches in the field if you wish and if you place your order by 11:15 am. The menu includes grilled chicken, grilled beef, brown rice, lentils cooked Peruvian-style without meat, less spicy vegetarian beans and cooked vegetables, such as still-warm carrots and boiled potatos.

We provide a full-length sleeping pad for you to lie on in the field if you wish, so that you are not sitting on cold, damp or wet ground.

Maximize your ability to maintain your essential communications

Bloomberg L.P. suggests our Puma Extreme is “the most remote and exotic safari in the world”, yet we keep you in touch — if you wish — with the best Internet access in Torres del Paine.

 

 

pumas, torres del paine, wildlife, photography, tours, chile

Rocky outcroppings at Reserva Pumas del Paine: a 17,000-acre private Puma reserve.

Pumas, Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile.
Photography: Jorge Cardenas
. Pumas of Torres del Paine Photography Tours.

 

Land Price (10 days/9 nights)

Private Tour (Minimum of 2 guests)

US$ 8,325 per person. Single supplement: US$ 1,070

The land price includes escorted transfers, excursions with a naturalist guide, entrance fees, specified accommodations on the nights of Day 1 through Day 9, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 10, all land transportation and travel insurance for U.S. and Canadian residents through the age of 59 years (over that age, there is a supplementary fee). If you are a resident of either country, please provide your date of birth so that we can quote the supplementary fee, if applicable. Residents of other countries receive a 6% reduction in the tour price to purchase coverage in their home country. All prices are per person based on two people sharing a guest room. An intial payment of 50% of the land price is requested to guarantee a reservation, with the balance payable two months before tour commencement. The standard form of payment is by wire transfer. If you prefer to use a credit card, there is a 3% surcharge, which is our cost of processing such transactions. No air tickets are included, nor do we sell any. The flights are best arranged through your international carrier, Expedia or OneTravel

 

Magellanic & King Penguin Extension

Andean Condor Extension

 

Intra-Tour Flights & Fares

Air fares are not included.

Most guests arrive in Punta Arenas via Santiago, Chile.

 

Our Puma Guarantee

US$ 2,000 refund per person if you don’t see a Puma.

 

 

pumas, torres del paine, wildlife, photography, tours, chile

One of nature’s secret places favored by the Pumas.

Puma, Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile.
Photography: Jorge Cardenas
. Pumas of Torres del Paine Photography Tours.

 

99%* of the Puma viewing opportunities in the national park are history…

Update: On 29 July 2015, the governing body of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park reinforced its ban on activities that disturb wildlife in Torres del Paine National Park, prohibiting any Puma searches off the trails or roads or after daylight hours. See the complete announcement.

On 1 April 2015, the Torres del Paine National Park banned any Puma searching off the roads or off of a single, 6.2-km-long, authorized trail from Porteria Sarmiento Park Gate to Porteria Laguna Amarga Park Gate. Thus, something like 99.9% of the Puma viewing opportunities in the national park are history. Even so, a few operators continue to accept reservations for future Puma tours in the national park without the slightest assurance that the park will reverse its ban. Unlike those operators, Arcana Mundi Expeditions can guarantee Pumas, thanks to the foresight of our scientific advisor, Dr. Charles A. Munn, one of the world’s leading conservation biologists.

Imagine the ideal place on planet Earth to sight Pumas – a 17,000-acre private ranch surrounded on three sides by Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. On the south side is Lago Sarmiento, while on the north and west sides is the most Puma-rich zone of the park. The Pumas wander freely between this zone and the ranch, attracted by thousands of wild Guanacos, which are the Pumas’ favorite prey. Among the rolling, grassy hills with occasional rocky outcroppings is an attractive salt lake. Its Chilean Flamingos can be in the foreground, and the peaks of Torres del Paine in the background of great photos.

Thanks to years of conservation talks with the owners and painstaking negotiations by Dr. Munn, Arcana Mundi Expeditions now can offer Puma tours on the newly-established Reserva Pumas del Paine. Your visit will fuel both the protection and the proper, sustainable appreciation of the Pumas at Torres del Paine under the auspices of our scientific advisor. A picture is worth a thousand words, so please refer to the photos on this page and those taken by one of our recent guests, photographer Thorsten Milse.

How we protect the Pumas and their habitat.

*During our previous years of Puma searches within the park, we had at least 60 minutes of sightings per day. Now, a fraction of a minute per day on average would be normal.

 

 

pumas, torres del paine, wildlife, photography, tours, chile

The one place in the world where Pumas can be seen on a guaranteed basis.

Puma, Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile.
Photography: Jorge Cardenas
. Pumas of Torres del Paine Photography Tours.

 

Photograph Pumas as never before…

A tracking system devised by our scientific advisor, Dr. Charles A. Munn, utilizes

the combined 40-years-experience of two Puma-obsessed trackers…

 

Puma Extreme: Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile

Location: Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile

The advantage of Arcana Mundi’s Puma Extreme is that Pumas can be seen on a guaranteed basis. This only is possible because we have identified a uniquely high-density Puma Zone and have invented a unique system for tracking the cats.

While the Puma occurs from Southern Alaska to Southern Chile and Southern Argentina and most places in between, population densities are much lower than in the uniquely high-density zone, within and adjacent to Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, that our scientific advisor, Dr. Charles A. Munn, has identified and that Arcana Mundi’s Puma Extreme: Torres del Paine explores. The area, with its uniquely habituated, uniquely visible Pumas (two separate issues, both resolved here) is less than 200 square kilometers, whereas the entire species range of the Puma is in excess of 15 million square kilometers. But even the high density of Pumas would not be enough to guarantee their sighting without a unique tracking system devised by Dr. Munn that utilizes the combined 40-years-experience of two Puma-obsessed trackers.

The latest development is that the vast part of that Puma-rich zone, the area located within the boundaries of the Torres del Paine National Park, is no longer available for Puma sighting due to new park regulations. That leaves only the 17,000 acres of the privately-held Reserva Pumas del Paine, which is under the auspices of our scientific advisor.

While this tour has the specific goal of photographing the Puma, extensions may be added to see (and photograph) the Magellanic and King Penguin and the Andean Condor.

Season: In the months of February, March and April, the cubs are out with their mothers — cubs of several months of age. Other than the cubs being smaller in those months, and later larger, there is no difference in Puma sightings during the course of the year. The weather does vary — significantly. The best season to visit Torres del Paine is from October through April, which is Spring and Summer in the southern hemisphere. This season has less rain, more sunny days and more than 16 hours a day of natural light as a result of the position of the Earth. Fixed departures are scheduled for February, March and April, but private tours can be scheduled for other months of the year, notably October, November, December and January.

 

 

pumas, torres del paine, wildlife, photography, tours, chile

Search for and photograph Pumas and other wildlife in two long outings per day.

Puma, Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile.
Photography: Jorge Cardenas
. Pumas of Torres del Paine Photography Tours.

 

Puma Extreme Itinerary

Intra-tour flight Santiago (SCL) – Punta Arenas (PUQ), Saturday, Day 1, Afternoon or evening arrival (Flight not included)

Saturday, Day 1: Santiago – Punta Arenas. Afternoon or evening arrival in Punta Arenas, reception and transfer to your hotel. Punta Arenas was once the boomtown of southern Chile because of the trade passing through the Strait of Magellan, a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific discovered in 1520 by Ferdinand Magellan during his search for a western route to the Spice Islands (India, Ceylon and the Moluccas). Punta Arenas is still filled with buildings erected in its glory days – mansions now converted to hotels and government buildings. Welcome dinner with your guide. Overnight in the Hotel Diego de Almagro King Size Double Room. D.

Sunday, Day 2: Punta Arenas – Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine. Breakfast. At 7 am, your guide will meet you at your hotel in Punta Arenas for the scenic four-and-a-half-hour drive to Torres del Paine National Park. Arrive at the Hostería Pehoé, which provides basic lodging in one of the park’s most photogenic locations. Although the hostería is dated, the views of Los Cuernos and Paine Grande are a photographer’s dream. Importantly, it offers us the fastest access to our high-density Puma Zone. After lunch, begin our Puma search. Dinner. Overnight in Hostería Pehoé – Superior Room. B, L, D.

Monday – Saturday, Days 3 – 8: Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine. Breakfast. The Puma Zone at Torres del Paine is the one place in the world where Pumas can be seen on a guaranteed basis. This only is possible because our scientific advisor, Dr. Charles A. Munn has identified a uniquely high-density Puma Zone and devised a tracking system that utilizes the combined 40-years-experience of two Puma-obsessed trackers. The area, with its uniquely habituated, uniquely visible Pumas (two separate issues, both resolved here) is less than 200 square kilometers. However, the vast part of that area, located within the boundaries of the Torres del Paine National Park is no longer available for Puma sighting due to new park regulations. That leaves only the 17,000 acres of the privately-held Reserva Pumas del Paine, which is surrounded by the national park’s most Puma-rich zone. Under the auspices of our scientific advisor, the reserve guarantees protection and the proper, sustainable appreciation of the Pumas at Torres del Paine.

Search for and photograph Pumas and other wildlife in two long outings per day — from dawn until 9 or 10 am and from 3 or 4 pm until sunset, which in February is at about 8 pm. Pumas are typically seen from 50 to 100 meters for minutes and even hours, and 2 to 3 sightings out of 10 are from less than 50 meters. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight in the Hostería Pehoé – Superior Room. B, L, D.

Sunday, Day 9: Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine – Punta Arenas. Breakfast. Early morning search for Pumas and departure for Punta Arenas. Arrival at another one of our exclusive reserves, the 25,000-acre Estancia Olga Teresa. Lunch. Sight and photograph Andean Condors from 1 pm until sunset. On windy days, see up to 80 condors at the roost. Arrival in Punta Arenas between 6 pm and 7 pm. Farewell dinner with your guide. Overnight in the Hotel Diego de Almagro King Size Double Room. B, L, D.

Intra-tour flight Punta Arenas (PUQ) – Santiago (SCL), Monday, Day 10, Morning departure (Flight not included)

Monday, Day 10: Punta Arenas – Santiago. Breakfast. Transfer to the airport and check-in assistance for your flight to Santiago and connection home. B.

 

 

Puma photography tours Torres del Paine Chile

The ideal place on planet Earth to sight Pumas.

Puma, Reserva Pumas del Paine, Torres del Paine, Chile.
Photography: Jorge Cardenas
. Pumas of Torres del Paine Photography Tours.

 

Physical requirements

Guest should be able to walk 6 to 10 kilometers per day (3 to 5 kilometers during the morning excursion and the same distance during the afternoon excursion). The terrain consists of hills that are typically 20 to 30 meters high but can be as high as 50 to 60 meters. The hills can be climbed gradually and guests can walk slowly — about 2 to 3 miles per hour (but not 1 mile per hour). Guest carry their camera body and lenses. A tripod is optional. As the light is quite good, one is not required.

View a typical hill that might be climbed to get a good sighting of the Pumas.

Guests see Pumas along the roads that we slowly drive, but they see more or for longer if they can walk up and down hills. People who cannot walk that well will see 60% or 70% fewer Pumas, as they will have to stay near the van or minibus. Those people who cannot adequately walk up and down hills with their equipment can increase their photo opportunities by hiring a private porter to carry it. One porter can carry the equipment of two photographers, and can therefore be shared by up to two guests. The additional cost is $1,120.

 

Puma Extreme pre-departure information

 

 

pumas, torres del paine, wildlife, photography, tours, chile

On windy days, see up to 80 Andean Condors at Estancia Olga Teresa.

Andean Condors, Estancia Olga Teresa, Punta Arenas, Chile.
Photography: Estancia Olga Teresa
. Pumas of Torres del Paine Photography Tours.

 

“One of the best places in the world to photograph condors.

It was fascinating how close I was able to photograph the condors and how many of these impressive birds flew past us. It is definitely one of the best places in the world to photograph condors.

Ingo Arndt, December 2015

Among numerous honors, Ingo Arndt is a five-time award winner in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

 

 

“Dreaming of that next epic wildlife adventure? Here are your go-to guys.”

–Condé Nast Traveller

 

Magellanic & King Penguin Extension

Andean Condor Extension

 

Contact

 

pumas, torres del paine, wildlife, photography, tours, chile

Arcana Mundi Expeditions

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