Mammals of Patagonia and Chiloé Island

13 days – 12 nights

Starts in Trelew or Puerto Madryn – Ends in Puerto Montt

What our clients say!

On his 2008 Northern Argentina tour with friends.

… “I would like to thank you again for a wonderful trip. Everyone was happy, both with the birds and the itinerary. Great job”…

I hope to see you again – in the States or perhaps in the Pantanal


Ed Hagen

The Atlantic coast of Patagonia supports the greatest numbers and widest diversity of marine mammals on the continent. Images of Orcas taking South American Sea Lions right off the gravel beaches at the Valdes Peninsula have been the substance of innumerable nature films.

Tour runs on request – Prices based on group size.

The Atlantic coast of Patagonia supports the greatest numbers and widest diversity of marine mammals on the continent. Images of Orcas taking South American Sea Lions right off the gravel beaches at the Valdes Peninsula have been the substance of innumerable nature films.

Our tour is timed to take place at the peak season for witnessing this thrilling event. As the sea lion pups begin to swim during the southern autumn, pods of Orcas gather off the beaches to take advantage of this easy food supply. As high tide approaches, the Orcas rush right up onto the beaches, grabbing sea lions, as they heave themselves out of the water! This area is also home to more than 32,000 Southern Elephant Seals and 8,000 Southern Sea Lions. A wide diversity of cetaceans inhabits this region and we will take a special excursion to seek the most beautifully patterned of them all, Commerson’s Dolphin. The Valdes Peninsula also supports terrestrial mammals including herds of Guanacos, a colorful but noisy llama, Mara, a huge but pretty rodent, Large Hairy Armadillo and Patagonian Gray Fox.

Thereafter we will fly to the mighty Andes themselves. This corner of the Argentine Patagonia has an incredible collection of lakes, mountains and glaciers. Located inside Los Glaciares National Park, the notable Moreno Glacier is one of the few glaciers in Patagonia that is still advancing, and we should experience some impressive calving action. From El Calafate we will cross the Andes to reach the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, in Chilean Patagonia. Driving along these solitary Patagonian roads, we will have chances to see other mammal species, such as Pichy, a small species of armadillo, Humboldt’s Hog-nosed Skunk and Patagonian Weasel. Torres del Paine is the realm of the Puma, and it is here where we will search for the “Lord of the Andes”. We will also target other mammals including Culpeo Fox and Andean Deer. Besides the animals, this Chilean national park is well known for its spectacular rock formations, arguably some of the best in the world, and offers many scenic photographic opportunities!

Our final destination is the island of Chiloé, off the coast of Chile. Offshore, we will target the tiny Peale’s Dolphin and Southern Sea Otter. Searching along pristine streams, we will also have the opportunity to find the endangered Southern River Otter. Off the southern coast we will take an unforgettable whale watching excursion on the cold waters of the Corcovado Gulf, in search of the mighty Blue Whale. A nursery area for these gentle giants has recently been found here and our chances to encounter them are very high. This, the greatest of all animals ever to have graced the planet, is an awe-inspiring experience to observe.

Our Itinerary in a Nutshell

After meeting your Trogon Tours’ leader at the airport of the Argentine city of Trelew or Puerto Madryn on day 1, we will drive to the small village of Puerto Pirámides. From day 2 to 4, we will explore the Valdés in search of a variety of land and sea mammals. But watching the Orcas in action will certainly be our main goal here, so every day we will spend time looking for these mighty predators at the north-easternmost point of the Valdés. On day 5 we will fly to El Calafate where we’ll spend the night. In the afternoon we will visit the Moreno Glacier. On day 6 we will drive across the Andes and into Chile, to Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the main strongholds for wild Pumas on Earth, and there are chances to see them in the area surrounding our hotel are high, but on days 7 and 8, we will also explore other areas in search of these always elusive cats. On day 9 we will drive to Punta Arenas and take a flight to Puerto Montt. From Puerto Montt we will take a ferry to the Island of Chiloe, where we’ll spend the following 4 nights. We will spend days 10 to 12 looking for the unique mammals of the island. A full day boat trip will give us the chance to see the impressive Blue Whale. On day 13 we will return to Puerto Montt where the tour ends at the local airport.

Some mammals we’ll look for

Orca, Southern Elephant Seal, Southern Sea Lion, Commerson’s Dolphin, Guanaco, Mara (Patagonian Cavy), Larger Hairy Armadillo, Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk, Puma, Andean Deer, Peale’s Dolphin, Southern Sea-Otter, Culpeo Fox, Southern River-Otter, and Blue Whale.

Best time to go

This tour is only possible in March/April, given the seasonal occurrence of some of the mammals we aim to see. This is the end of the southern hemisphere summer. Days are still quite long in Patagonia, and the climate is not so severe.

What is included?

Private transportation for all transfers and excursions. Boat excursions as per program. Accommodations on a twin/double basis. Single supplements on request. Full time Trogon Tours’ leader to accompany the group from day 1 in Trelew or Puerto Madryn to day 13 in Puerto Montt. All breakfasts, lunches, box-lunches and dinners with one non alcoholic drink per person/meal. Admission fees to all national parks and nature reserves.

What is not included?

International and domestic airfares and airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurants personnel, etc. Drinks with your meals. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified in “What is included?”