Birding Chile – Chilean Patagonia, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego

birdPhotographer: Manu Expeditions
This tour offers the experience of most impressive landscapes and mythical places of Chile. We will cross the famous Magellan straight, bird Tierra del Fuego, drive through the Patagonian steppe and look for the recently rediscovered Austral Rail at the base of the wonderful Torres Del Paine. Some stunning species are found here including King Penguin, Magellanic Plover, Ruddy-headed Goose, Chocolate-vented Tyrant, White-bridled Finch and so many more. Patagonia is also a destination for other wildlife, including the common Guanaco, Grey Fox, Peale's Dolphin, and with more luck the rare Puma or a Fin Whale, when crossing the Magellan Straight. Weather is unpredictable here, can be sunny, cold, very windy, rainy, snowy, and even just warm – all in one single day!
Day 1: Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas - Birding around Punta Arenas It´s up early to catch the first flight of the day down the very far south of Chile and we land at the most southerly city, Punta Arenas. We´ll be birding on the coast near the city, looking for Flying and Flightless Steamer-Duck, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Imperial Shag, Upland Goose, Two-banded Plover, Chilean Skua along with the splendid Dolphin Gull. The tiny Austral Negrito is sure to be found as well. In the afternoon, we will drive to the Estancia San Juan where the very rare Ruddy-headed Goose breeds before heading back to our hotel in Punta Arenas where we will spend the night and dine at a nearby shoreline restaurant. B: L: D
Day 2: Tierra del Fuego. Crossing the Magellan Straight We'll take the early morning ferry crossing to Porvenir which is the main town in the North-West sector of the of the mythical island at the end of the world - Tierra del Fuego. This is more a short (2 and a half hour) pelagic voyage than a simple car ferry journey ! We should see scores of Southern Giant Petrel, Magellanic Diving Petrel, Chilean Skua, Black-browed Albatross and more along with the chance of Peale´s dolphins. We spend the afternoon birding in Tierra del Fuego including Laguna Verde and Laguna Santa Maria. Common and rarer birds for the next couple of days will be Ashy-headed and Upland Goose, Two-banded Plover, Magellanic Plover, Chilean Skua, Short-billed Miner, Rufous-chested and Tawny-throated Dotterels, Lesser Rhea, Flightless Steamer-Duck, Black-necked Swan, Crested Duck and Kelp Goose. We spend the night in a scenic and comfortable hotel in Porvenir and dine out in a good local restaurant. B: L: D
Day 3: King Penguin Colony- Birding in the Steppes After breakfast, we´ll drive to Bahia Inútil, to see a colony of magnificent King Penguins, about 120 km from Porvenir. In the afternoon, we´ll be birding the steppes and the low hills of Tierra del Fuego looking for White-bridled Finch, Rufous-chested Dotterel, Chocolate-vented Tyrant and Cinnamon-bellied Ground-Tyrant before returning to spend the evening before returning to our lodge in Cerro Sombrero. B: L: D
Day 4: Drive from Porvenir to Puerto Natales After breakfast, we bird our way North East to our ferry crossing back to the mainland at Punta Delgada. This is a shorter ferry crossing with the chance of Commerson´s Dolphin and we'll look for Magellanic Diving-Petrel, Wilson's Storm Petrel and White-chinned Petrel plus other seabirds. Back on the mainland we make a stop at Buque Quemado for the chance of a great variety of waterfowl including Silver Teal, Rosy-billed Pochard, Chiloe Wigeon, White-cheeked Pintail, Coscoroba Swan and a variety of shorebirds including South American Snipe. We then set out on the route to Puerto Natales and we'll look for Austral Canastero, Chocolate-vented Tyrant, Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Common Miner and Patagonian Yellow-Finch. We spend the night in a charming local hotel in the lakeside town of Puerto Natales dining out in a nearby restaurant. B: L: D
Day 5: Torres del Paine and Sierra Baguales Early in the morning we set of for the scenic highlight of the entire expedition the " Eighth Wonder of the World " the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. While the park is most famous for it´s astonishing scenery it is rich in bird and mammal life. We'll be looking for Dark-faced Ground-tyrant, Cinnamon-bellied Ground-tyrant, White-throated Caracara, Yellow-bridled Finch and Patagonian Mockingbird. We will be birding in the eastern side of the park and its lakes looking for waterfowl, and on reed fringed pools looking for the recently re-discovered Austral Rail. Cinereous Harriers are fairly common. Guanaco, Patagonian Skunk and Gray Fox are some mammals we may see. This is the best spot in Chile for Puma but daytime sightings are extremely rare. Leaving the National Park, we take the road to Sierra Baguales looking for Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Patagonian and Greater Yellow Finch, the pretty Yellow-bridled Finch and a variety of Ground-Tyrants. As well as White-throated Caracara and the very rare Gray-bellied Shrike-tyrant we would hope for good views of Andean Condor before heading back to spend the night in Puerto Natales and walk out for dinner to a nearby restaurant where we will hopefully be able to sample the famous Patagonian specialty Cordero al Palo…only for the carnivores in the group!! B: L: D
Day 6: Drive from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport Sadly, this is the last day of our expedition and we bird our way back to the airport at Punta Arenas where we take our flight to Santiago and connecting international flights. (Or join the Falklands Islands Extension Tour from Punta Arenas). B:
CAN BE COMBINED WITH A WEEK ON THE FALKLAND ISLANDS
Does not include air Santiago - Punta Arenas - santiago but we will do this on request – the price depends on when we get your full name, deposit and passport numbers - you can check current prices at www.LAN.com & www.skyairline.cl

Customer Testimonials

Cheers, Romney Bathurst - USA

Just wanted to thank you again for arranging our jaunt to Mantanayoc and to say how very much we enjoyed Silverio – he is a delightful fellow and a very good guide. I also want to commend Aurelio, Walter and Alejandro, all of whom did everything possible to make the main trip a successful and comfortable experience for all – and always with smiles too! The food, of course, was especially good - they are a great crew and I look forward to travelling with them again on the N. Peru trip in Nov.

Nick Blackwood - UK

What a wonderful three weeks - thank you. Exciting, exhausting, enthralling, overwhelming, hot, wet, bright, biting, glorious, inspiring, imposing.... You´ll have heard it all before. The guide was simply marvelous. The most attentive, unfailingly courteous, unendingly patient, enthusiastic, amusing and professional guide it has been my privilege to bird with. And his knowledge of the birds and their calls, wildlife in general was simply astonishing. The whole trip was carried off so efficiently - not a single hitch in three weeks. Anyway I wish you and the whole of your group a very happy Christmas and successful New Year. This is not the last you have heard of me.

Submit a testimonial

Comments

What a wonderful three weeks - thank you. Exciting, exhausting, enthralling, overwhelming, hot, wet, bright, biting, glorious, inspiring, imposing.... You´ll have heard it all before. The guide was simply marvelous. The most attentive, unfailingly courteous, unendingly patient, enthusiastic, amusing and professional guide it has been my privilege to bird with. And his knowledge of the birds and their calls, wildlife in general was simply astonishing. The whole trip was carried off so efficiently - not a single hitch in three weeks. Anyway I wish you and the whole of your group a very happy Christmas and successful New Year. This is not the last you have heard of me.

Just wanted to thank you again for arranging our jaunt to Mantanayoc and to say how very much we enjoyed Silverio – he is a delightful fellow and a very good guide. I also want to commend Aurelio, Walter and Alejandro, all of whom did everything possible to make the main trip a successful and comfortable experience for all – and always with smiles too! The food, of course, was especially good - they are a great crew and I look forward to travelling with them again on the N. Peru trip in Nov.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
4 + 10 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.