Pumas of Patagonia
10 DAYS – TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE
Patagonia. It is a place with an exotic name, that existed only in my dreams until now. The mountains and skies are like scenes in a storybook, and the sunrises and sunsets are truly astonishing.
Our venue is at the edge of the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most iconic landscapes on earth. It is the most spectacular mountain backdrop I have ever been privileged to witness. These towers serve as a background for the target of this adventure, which is pumas, and let me tell you – there is no shortage of them.
You will photograph these cats on foot from a private estancia, truly the best place on earth. I was privileged to see and photograph 17 individual cats on my scouting trip. Guanacos graze this land in large numbers, and this dense feeding opportunity attracts one of the highest populations of mountain lions on the planet! These guanacos also serve as extra sets of eyes which allow us to find the cats.
Photographers have successfully photographed pumas here for 8 years or more, but the venue is just now coming into its prime. Multiple generations of cats have grown up around photographers, which allows us deeper access into their world, and affords us never before seen views of their lifestyles.
The time I spent here with a mother and 4 small cubs, often close enough that I had to grab a shorter lens, is one of the highlights of my wildlife photography career.
Join me on the inaugural Pumas of Patagonia Photo Tour. Allow the knowledge I gained on my scouting experience to lead you, as you experience one of the most amazing adventures of your lifetime.
The location of our lodge is out of this world! Its windy in Patagonia, so grab a wind stopper shell, your camera, a sturdy pair of hiking boots, and let’s do this!
Images From Pumas of Pategonia Photography Tours
All of the film and photos in this video was shot by Aaron on his scouting trip to Patagonia in 2021. Although each trip is different this content gives you an idea of the kinds of encounters you can expect on this Pumas of Patagonia Photo Tour.
“Aaron Baggenstos is one of those rare individuals who is super-talented with photographic, instructional, as well as superb people skills. Combined with his cutting edge technological approach to photographing nature, his advocacy of the environment and his sheer methodological genius, he sets himself apart from his peers. This is a young man who is definitely leading the photographic revolution in nature and I count myself amongst the lucky ones who have learned more in one week than I have in one year with other photographic instructors and courses. The aurora still shines brightly from one of the most fantastic photo tours I have ever participated in. In large measure, it is directly related to the the sage-like wisdom of Aaron.”
- An opportunity to photograph wild pumas (mountain lions, cougars) in one of the most stunning places I have ever seen.
- Our venue, set on private land, is the best place on earth to photograph pumas (mountain lions, cougars) in the wild. It is the only place on earth where several generations of cats have grown up around photographers, so you can photograph them at incredibly close proximity.
- On my scouting trip I photographed a record 17 individual cats. This included males, moms with cubs, and adolescent cats. I often shot with a 100-400mm lens.
- A team of experienced trackers with a radio network sets out early each day to locate the cats for us. Last year they spotted cats 200 days in a row.
- Our presence in Patagonia supports an amazing conservation success story for these cats, and a variety of spectacular birds and animals live there.
- Our lodge is set looking out at a perfect view of “the horns.”
May 1-10, 2023 (Sold Out)
Group Size: 7 Participants
2022 Cost: $11,295 ($1495 Single Supplement)
2023 Cost: We’re still in the process of confirming 2023 pricing, which we plan to announce soon. If you wish to sign up for the 2023 trip we will sign you up using last years deposit amount and you can pay any difference with your final tuition.
Payment: 25% Non-Refundable Deposit, Rest Due at 120 Days Before Departure
You can join the wait list for any sold out trip here.
Day 1: Arrival day. We pick you up after you land, and transfer you to our first night hotel in Punta Arenas (10 minutes from the airport). Aaron will lead a welcome slideshow to help you prep for the days to come, where he concentrates on camera settings and techniques relevant to big cats photography and your upcoming adventure.
Day 2: Breakfast at the hotel followed by morning departures as a group for a scenic drive to our hotel in Torres del Paine National Park. Out the window you will catch glimpses of a variety of beautiful birds along the shoreline, as your excitement builds. Our accommodations are basic but clean, and sit inside the park against a dreamlike mountain backdrop. Check-in and lunch followed by PM puma search.
Days 3-8: Long days give us plenty of time to explore and search for the best photographic opportunities. We will maximize time with the cats. A typical day in Patagonia consists of two outings at golden hour with a short break in the middle for download and rest. We will get started pre-sunrise and stay out to capture magical light and the epic Patagonia sunsets.
Day 9: Our last morning we will give you the proper amount of time to pack your bags. Don’t pack up your camera just yet! On the road home, we stop to photograph one of the largest birds on earth, the Andean condor. Then we have a farewell celebration dinner at a wonderful restaurant I have selected in Punta Arenas.
Day 10: Departures anytime, private transfers based on your specific departure time. Hotel is located a convenient 10 minutes from the airport.
Physical Requirement: Difficult. This trip was designed for only physically fit participants. The terrain is not technical, rather mostly rolling hills, but you need to be prepared to walk multiple days in a row, up and down sometimes steep hills, which have uneven or rocky footing. At times you may have to walk briskly for extended periods of time to keep up with a moving cat.
In the last 10 years Aaron has led over 200 wildlife photography tours around the world. He has earned a reputation for his gracious teaching style to photographers of all skill levels and extensive knowledge of Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic digital cameras.