This eight-day tour is perfect for any keen photographer, allowing you to see natural wonders and wildlife throughout Patagonia. Start in Punta Arenas, which you'll use as a base for visiting the Strait of Magellan and Isla Magdalena as you spot penguins, albatrosses, and other birdlife. Move on to Torres del Paine National Park to search for pumas with a specialized guide, then finish your adventure with some scenic hiking in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park.


  • Spot Peale's dolphins and seabirds on the Strait of Magellan
  • See amazing wildlife at the Isla Magdalena penguin colony
  • Watch for pumas in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Visit the impressive Serrano Glacier on a boat tour

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Punta Arenas, Explore Punta Arenas
Day 2 See the Wildlife of the Magellan Strait Punta Arenas
Day 3 Visit the Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony Punta Arenas
Day 4 Transfer to Puerto Natales & Explore Puerto Natales
Day 5 Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park, Puma Observation Torres del Paine
Day 6 Puma Observation (Day 2), Transfer to Puerto Natales Puerto Natales
Day 7 Boat Tour to Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, Serrano & Balmaceda Glaciers Puerto Natales
Day 8 Depart Puerto Natales  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Explore

The charming coastal town of Punta Arenas
The charming coastal town of Punta Arenas

Welcome to Punta Arenas! A driver will be waiting to bring you to the city center from the airport. Founded in 1848 on the eastern shore of the Brunswick Peninsula, Punta Arenas was home to the crème de la crème of Patagonian society in its heyday. Today, it's a popular tourist destination that provides easy access to some of the most impressive natural attractions in Patagonia.

There are several interesting sites to explore here. One of these is the Plaza Muñoz Guerrero, a leafy central plaza that's the perfect starting point for a walk around the city. Tour the Palacio Sara Braun, one of the imposing mansions fronting the plaza, to get an idea of just how much wealth the sheep trade generated in the 19th century. You could also visit the Reserva Nacional Magallanes, a 33,000-acre (13,354 ha) forested reserve known locally as the Parque Japonés. In the evening, watch the sun go down at Mirador Cerro de la Cruz. This viewpoint overlooks the city all the way out to the Strait of Magellan

Day 2: See the Wildlife of the Magellan Strait

Capture shots of sea lions and dolphins on today's boat tour

Today's exhilarating adventure will involve navigating the Strait of Magellan in a Zodiac boat. Journey to the San Isidro area in search of the beautiful Peale's dolphin, a species native to the waters around southern Chile that's known for its unusual black and gray coloring. It's common to find groups of up to 12 adults and see them swimming alongside the boat or soaring in acrobatic jumps. Keep an eye out for sea lion colonies, as well as a variety of seabirds, such as albatrosses, petrels, and penguins, as you hold tight and navigate the choppy seas.

The trip departs at 7 am from Punta Arenas. Your driver will pick you up and take you one hour away to the launch point, where you'll enjoy breakfast and gear up in a semi-dry suit. The 10-hour excursion includes your transport to and from Punta Arenas, complete equipment for the journey, and lunch and snacks, including good Chilean wine.

Day 3: Visit the Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony

Visit a penguin colony on Magdalena Island
Visit a Magellanic penguin colony on Magdalena Island
Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

This half-day tour begins bright and early in the morning. You'll transfer from downtown Punta Arenas by vehicle to a pier on the Strait of Magellan, at which point you'll board a vessel that will take you 18 miles (30 km) northeast to Isla Magdalena. On this island is Los Pingüinos Natural Monument, a protected area home to Chile's largest colony of penguins. First, though, travel to Isla Marta, home to a large number of Patagonian sea lions. These aren't the only residents on this rocky outpost—you'll also find plentiful seabirds, including cormorants, skuas, arctic pigeons, and more.

Soon, you'll arrive at Isla Magdalena, where you'll disembark and spend one hour onshore, following a 2,624-foot (800 m) path to an old lighthouse that offers sweeping views of the Strait of Magellan. On your way, be sure to enjoy the company of the island's residents: a Magellanic penguin colony that can reach up to 170,000 in number. Afterward, it's time to return to the vessel and make the journey back, reaching Punta Arenas by midday and spending the afternoon at your leisure.

Day 4: Transfer to Puerto Natales & Explore

Puerto Natales' colorful waterfront
Colorful  Puerto Natales is the jumping-off point for tours of Torres del Paine National Park
Take a three-hour bus journey from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, a small port city and the main base for excursions into Torres del Paine National Park. It's far less touristed than many other Patagonian hubs and thus retains its air of small-town tranquility. Enjoy the town's simple pleasures, like strolling its waterfront promenade, which sits on the Seno Última Esperanza. Facing north from here, you'll see the peaks of Cerro Benitez and Cerro Toro—the view is phenomenal at sunset. After your walk, check out one of the numerous restaurant options in town for dinner.

Day 5: Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park, Puma Observation

Puma Patagonia
Spend the next two days on the trail of the mighty puma
Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park this morning, where you'll settle into your accommodation and prepare for a remarkable two-day program of puma observation. You'll have a private specialized puma guide, as well as a private driver and vehicle at your disposal. Throughout the day, you'll be transported to the sections of the park that are best for spotting the big cats and will have the chance to snap plenty of photos. Take some time at midday to rest, then go back out at dusk for a second shot at spotting these beautiful creatures. 

Day 6: Puma Observation (Day 2), Transfer to Puerto Natales

Spot guanaco herds as you search for pumas with the help of your guide

Begin today bright and early, as pumas are most active at dawn and dusk. The month of your visit will affect the time you get up in the morning, and the evening before, your guide in the park will have given you a short briefing to go over today's program. You'll spend another day exploring the park alongside your guide as you search for signs of the resident pumas. Ranging between 115 and 220 pounds (52 and 100 kg), these big cats are native to the Americas, and Torres del Paine's population is estimated at around 50 to 100 animals.

As well as the elusive puma, keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready for the park's many other inhabitants, like the llama-like guanaco, the South American gray fox, and the Andean condor. After another day of wildlife watching and photography, you'll bid the park farewell and transfer back to Puerto Natales in the evening. 

Day 7: Boat Tour to Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, Serrano & Balmaceda Glaciers

See the vast Serrano Glacier in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park

After breakfast, board a boat tour of the Seno Última Esperanza, a fjord adjacent to Puerto Natales. During the voyage, stop at many viewpoints to see glaciers, waterfalls, and cliffs, and keep an eye out for condors flying overhead. Next, you'll arrive at Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, Chile's largest national park and one that few have the opportunity to visit. Here, you'll disembark for a short hike through the native forests of Coigues, Ñirres, and Ciruelillos until reaching the impressive Serrano Glacier.

Once you've taken some time to explore this beautiful and remote forest, board the boat once again and head to the nearby Estancia Perales for a filling lunch of typical Patagonian barbecue (vegetarian options are also available). Afterward, return to Puerto Natales, where you'll have the evening free to spend as you please. 

Day 8: Depart Puerto Natales

Farm on the Ultima Esperanza fjord in Puerto Natales
Farm on the Seno Última Esperanza fjord in Puerto Natales
Say goodbye to Patagonia today! A transfer will pick you up from your hotel at an agreed-upon time to take you to the airport. ¡Buen viaje! 

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Map of Patagonia Wildlife & Photography Tour - 8 Days
Map of Patagonia Wildlife & Photography Tour - 8 Days