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TravelEpic Trips: Tracking Pumas In Patagonia

Epic Trips: Tracking Pumas In Patagonia

Epic Trips: Tracking Pumas In Patagonia
By Emma Heyn
July 26, 2018
Patagonia might automatically conjure up images of hiking gear and rain jackets, but the breadth of wildlife to be found in this rugged landscape is nothing short of astonishing. The country boasts over 500 species of mammals and birds, including everything from armadillos, skunk, deer, and falcons—but the most sought after of all? Pumas. Find out how to (safely) come face to face with these majestic creatures below:
Photo: Courtesy of T.U Elite
Photo: Courtesy of T.U Elite

Elusive and enchanting

Pumas constitute the most elusive and mysterious members of the country’s animal kingdom, and even in this era of aerial surveillance and tracking technology, observing them can be a difficult task.

Moving soundlessly over vast areas of mountainous terrain, there are currently estimated to be 50 wild pumas in Patagonia, all based within the bounds of Torres del Paine National Park, known for being notoriously hard to spot without a highly trained eye. 

Photo: Courtesy of T.U Elite
Photo: Courtesy of T.U Elite

Follow the experts 

Luckily, there's a solution. T.U Elite—a bespoke travel agency that specialises in more unusual globetrotting requests—created an exclusive eight-day Puma observation experience, led by the world's foremost tracking experts who have previously guided expeditions for National Geographic and the BBC.

Clients rising at six in the morning embarked on eight hours of tracking, hiking, and watching the sunrise over snow-capped mountains, until the cubs in the above photograph were spotted. Over the course of the eight day trip, clients observed four more puma families and were able to watch safely as the cats hunted, played, and guarded a newborn litter. 

Photo: Courtesy of T.U Elite
Photo: Courtesy of T.U Elite


In Patagonia, arguably the most famous travelogue written about the country, was authored by Bruce Chatwin over 40 years ago, but his writings still largely hold true today. Particularly his motto: 'Travel doesn't merely broaden the mind. It makes the mind.'

For Chatwin, Patagonia was a haven set apart from the usual travel packages of tour buses and beach resorts, and provided a way of re-examining our relationship with wildlife and untamed landscapes.Thankfully, Patagonia doesn't seem to have changed much in the past four decades, and remains a gorgeous terrain filled with unforgettable experiences.

See also: Epic Trips: Chasing The Northern Lights By Private Jet In Iceland


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