Photo by: Cathy & Gordon Illg
Location: Patagonia

Patagonia and PumaLand

  • Patagonia in March is a photographer’s dream, with the beginning of fall foliage making for spectacular reflections in the surrounding lakes.
  • Six days with photographing Pumas in a Private reserve in Patagonia, Chile.
  • This is prime time for viewing and photographing the cubs with their mothers.
  • Maximum ten participants, to get the most out of your photographic locations.
  • Photograph Torres del Paine National Park ~ a world famous collection of granite spires, glaciers and lakes.
  • Lodge is located just outside the Torres del Paine National Park, not far from where the Puma’s roam.
  • Led by tour guides and professional photographers, and local naturalist guide. Cathy & Gordon Illg.

Latin America and Caribbean


Patagonia &/or Falkland Islands


March 1-9, 2024


8 days


per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-7 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $545.

Tour Overview

Cathy & Gordon Illg invite you to join them on this amazing journey of what we like to call PumaLand in Patagonia, Chile. Photograph this vast land, a vaguely defined geographic region, Patagonia encompasses the southern tip of South America, including Chile and Argentina. Travel to Santiago and on to Punta Arenas, Chile.

The Puma (Mountain Lion or Cougar) can be seen in nine million...

Cathy & Gordon Illg invite you to join them on this amazing journey of what we like to call PumaLand in Patagonia, Chile. Photograph this vast land, a vaguely defined geographic region, Patagonia encompasses the southern tip of South America, including Chile and Argentina. Travel to Santiago and on to Punta Arenas, Chile.

The Puma (Mountain Lion or Cougar) can be seen in nine million square kilometers of terrain, from Punta Arenas Chile, north to the southern border of Alaska, the greatest latitudinal range of any terrestrial mammal on Earth. PumaLand is the one place where travelers can see Pumas in the wild on 92% of days, and normally for hours each day: 25,000 acres of open, rolling hills on the eastern edge of the Torres del Paine National Park and on the adjacent, private reserve.

These cats are visible thanks to decades of protection from hunting combined with a high density of their favorite prey, Guanacos and hares. Your local guides are able to track and safely showcase these graceful but powerful top predators. In addition, you may photograph Andean Condors, Darwin’s Rheas, Chilean Flamingos, foxes, Black necked swans, geese and many other bird species all within the stunning views of the Torres del Paine towers. The landscape photography is famous around the world.

Local guides provide wonderful tours for everyone, but above all they are great trackers. Expert guides enthusiastically undergo rigorous training about habitats, ecology, birds, trees, plants, animals and insects, in order provide guests with an incomparable wildlife experience. They are equipped with the most advanced communications and scoping equipment to ensure that daily discoveries are quickly available to all our guests. Every day they work round the clock to make sure that clients get to see and photograph the world’s greatest animals, up close in safety and comfort.

What to Expect

This tour is designed to be a photo tour, and, as such, we must be flexible in our scheduling. Much of what we do, and when we do it, will depend upon the wildlife, weather, and the light. In the event that changes may occur, we will need to be flexible, which will also allow us to take advantage of new photographic opportunities.

All our accommodations will be clean and comfortable, with private toilet and shower/bath. The hotels have been chosen for their proximity to prime photographic locations. At Torres del Paine, the lodge is simple, with amazing views. It is an easy drive to the Puma conservation, started by the Goic Family. Sheep ranchers by trade, they stopped shooting Pumas many years ago. At any one time there are on average 13 adult Pumas and 12 cubs living and hunting on the ranch.

Tour Itinerary

March 1: Depart Home for Punta Arenas, Chile

Depart home today on your flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. You will likely connect with a flight from Santiago. There will be a group transfer from Punta Arenas airport to the hotel tomorrow. The flight arrival time will be announced in your first packet of pre-departure materials.

If you would like to spend time in Santiago to rest, relax, or recover from jet lag, hotel options can be provided. In doing so you would have to depart home prior to this date.

March 2: Punta Arenas

Your guide will meet you at the Punta Arenas airport, time to be announced. Enjoy the day on your own to rest and relax before an early start tomorrow morning. This is Chile’s most southerly city and gateway for your explorations in Patagonia.

From the air you will appreciate how long and narrow this country is, enjoy great views of the Andes. At some point, you will see how the topography drastically changes and the country transforms into a mosaic of fjords, islands, and glaciers. This is Patagonia, the scenario for your photography outings during the following week. Overnight HOTEL PUNTA ARENAS (Dinner)

March 3-8: PumaLand - Torres del Paine

Depart after an early breakfast with your local guide to your lodge for the week. After picnic lunch or at the lodge you will begin your first Puma search. Enjoy another four full days photographing the wildlife and amazing landscapes. After breakfast each day depart on a 4-5 hour program, returning to the hotel for lunch followed by a second photo session each day.

Large herds of camel-like Guanaco will be a common sight along the entire drive towards Punta Arenas and other mammals potentially include Southern Grey Fox, Patagonian Hairy Armadillo and Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk. Chilean Flamingo, Upland and Ash-headed geese, Coscoroba and Black-necked swans and Silver Teal are all possible sightings along with thousands of waders such as Baird’s and White-rumped sandpipers and Wilson’s Phalarope at the roadside wetlands.

The experience of “Walking with Pumas” is extremely exciting. The Pumas are the only large cats in the world one can walk with, often for hours on end. The itinerary includes days searching and watching Pumas, along with photographing them in their natural habitat and surrounding landscape. This remote region offers unbelievable landscape photo opportunities, with vast mountains, and natural beauty.

The Andean Condor is one of the world’s largest flying birds, with an impressive wingspan of more than 10 feet (nearly 3 meters); these magnificent birds soar over the summits of the Andes, all the way from Venezuela down to Tierra del Fuego. It is quite an amazing experience to see these colossal birds flying low, very close to the sea level. Overnight (B, L, D each day)

March 9: Punta Arenas - Santiago - Connect Home or Onward (may land home March 10)

Drive early this morning for Punta Arenas, in time to catch your flights to Santiago, and connect with your flight home* (flight time from Punta Arenas to be announced). The majority of flights to North America will land home the next day. (B) *Depending on flight departures you may need to overnight in Santiago before proceeding home, if so we can recommend the Hotel Diego de Almagro Santiago Airport which provides free airport shuttle service.