We’ve encountered some very special wildlife, visiting some incredible places and beginning to discover the natural gems in Chile.
The Beagle Channel: Wildlife at Sea
Still in Ushuaia, we managed to get on one of the last trips out to see some of the wildlife along the Beagle Channel before their migration north this year.
We visited the famous Martillo Island, home to Magellanic Penguins and en route, finding flights of Cormorants and a colony of Sea Lions too.
We were overjoyed just to watch the last of the penguins cast their wings back and cheekily waddle along the beach in the flesh. (It really is as funny as it seems and even more so in real life!) The Sea Lions were also fascinating to watch, so rude, clambering all over each other, grunting and growling in their own territorial fashion.
It reminded us that having such a close connection to animals is a magical feeling and any chances for that are moments to be treasured.
A Unique Encounter in Torres del Paine, Chile
Coined the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World,’ and home to many famous treks, we finally arrived at Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. We were so excited!
Visiting Torres del Paine is like walking through a dream. You can expect to be blown over by the wind, baked by the sun and drenched by the rain all in one sitting. But you can also expect treat after treat of natural beauty. Lakes, mountains, wildlife and waterfalls aplenty!
Alongside the booming population of Guanacos in Chile, we had also heard that there were Pumas. As the Chileans are so protective of their National Parks, TDP was apparently home to the region’s largest population of them. We really hoped to see one, but knew it might be quite difficult. So we waited patiently, until one day, one drive along a long stretch of road at dusk, when we noticed a few cars pulled over and some people glaring and pointing into the landscape.
We didn’t notice at first, but we had stopped right beside a young Puma, camouflaged in the bushes, his ears listening out and twitching. After resting for some time, it rose up yawning, stretched out its front legs and curled its tail, before tossing a bone across the steppe, playfully.
We watched all this from the other side of the road, and after a while, it started meowing across the valley. We didn’t get too close, but watched as it passed just half a meter away from some of the park’s Puma trackers, who had arrived to take note of the sighting.
The cries are etched in our memory. It was a very special moment when time became irrelevant. We feel so inspired and grateful for the experience.
Want to hike in Torres del Paine? Read our Hike to Base of Torres Guide: Everything to plan this iconic 1 day hike with incredible views of Paine Massif (The Blue Towers) and Lago Torre.