Chile is one of the longest countries in the world, measuring 4270m (2650 miles) from its northern border to the southern tip of South America. Packed within this are a multitude of habitats. The Andes is found here, and its impressive peaks reach their climax at its fractured southern end in the World famous Torres del Paine NP, which frequently ranks as one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The country can be broadly divided into three regions: Northern, Central and Southern. In the north, the Andes are dramatic and in their higher reaches are plains of puna grasslands, where lakes stud the landscapes and a variety of flamingos stud these lakes. The Central region is home to mixed Beech and Araucaria forests, which are themselves home to giant tapaculos that haunt the forest floor. The Andes continues here too, and its higher bogs are home to such must see birds as Diademed Sandpiper-Plover and a series of seedsnipes. The Central Region can also boast some of the best pelagic birding on Earth, with regular departures into the seabird rich Humboldt current of the Pacific from Vina del Mar. And then, at the bottom of it all, lies the Southern Region, which includes part of Patagonia, a revered region at the end of the World, where Pumas roam, and King Penguins nest, and is also home to an unusual bird family, the bubblegum pink-legged Magellanic Plover.
We currently offer two different types of tour to the region; one for BIRDERS, and another for NATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS:
For birders seeking the many key species of Southern South America, traveling the length and breadth of the country is necessary. In the north vast Andean plains, or Puna play host to rheas, flamingos, seedsnipes and a host of high Andean specialties, while the nearby Oases valleys of the Atacama Desert are home to local hummingbirds and conebills. The Central Region is vital to find a series of stunning tapaculos, for which Chile is rightly famous: Moustached Turcas lurk among stark boulder strewn slopes of the Andes, White-throated Tapaculos prefer to hide within mattoral scrubland, Chucao Tapaculos lurk within a dense bamboo understorey, while the mighty huet-huets stalk the dark forest floors of the tall Valvidian forests of the region. Moving south, Tierra del Fuego is home to a very accessible colony of King Penguins (the only “mainland” colony), and hosts Magellanic Horned Owls, yet more seabirds and waterbirds, and both Rufous-chested and Tawny-throated Dotterels.
For the BIRDING TOUR, please click here: Chile Birding Tour
Nature photographers will find plenty on offer too in Chile, but can restrict their travel to one region alone: Patagonia of the south, where in the summer season of the tour, lakes are plastered with photogenic waterfowl, like graceful Black-necked Swans and handsome Chiloe Wigeons, many of which will have offspring at the time of our visit. In addition to the ever-present stream of waterfowl that stud the open lakes and ponds at this time, are some very specific sites and attractions for the nature photographer. For people who live for landscapes, Torres del Paine, revered as the most spectacular park on the continent will be visited for both the famous peaks inside the park and the most easily photographed Pumas just outside. This is combined with an island trip out to an intimate colony of Magellanic Penguins near Punta Arenas, and a journey to Tierra del Fuego, where King Penguins and Commerson’s Dolphins occur right at the end of the world
For the PHOTO TOUR, please click here: Chile Photo Tour
What about a custom tour?
Sometimes the exact trip you are looking for is not found in our set departure offerings. Therefore, we can put together an itinerary, both for photographers, or birders, or for people interested in Birding With A Camera looking to target certain species. For example, in order to do a comprehensive birding tour, a trip to all sections of the country and a good deal of time is required. However, if the series of Central Region tapaculos and Diademed Sandpiper-Plover are your only concerns, we can offer a shorter reduced tour to that region only.