Wildlife of Torres del Paine

Before going to Torres del Paine, I dreamt of the mountains.

I never expected to see so much amazing wildlife, I actually never imagined so many animals to living in the mountains, but there are.  During our time in Torres del Paine National Park, we went on a small group tour around the park which stopped at the most amazing views.  Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the geology, history and wildlife of the park.  It was the very best way to see the park during winter as the trekking routes are closed during the winter season (if you do want to trek any of the park, you have to hire an individual guide to take you!)

We were extremely lucky to see a vast range of animals on our trip, so much so that it almost felt like a Patagonian style safari!  Of course, these animals are all completely living in the wild and so it really depends on the day as to whether you may see them, or not!


Guanacos are a type of llama and Torres del Paine is full of them.  They look so cute and actually run pretty fast.  It was especially lovely to see them as they were enjoying walking around in yesterday’s snowfall and we were just meters away from them.DSC09259DSC09264DSC09268DSC09279DSC09280DSC09284DSC09275


We spotted three flamingoes drinking from the water from afar and then were able to get pretty close to them without them flying away.


Photo taken by my mum



Condors are the Chilean national bird and they certainly are special.  They have a wingspan of 2m and they glide through the air – you barely see their wings move.  Before visiting Torres del Paine, I had seen a few condors when trekking in Cerro Castillo (also in Patagonia) and on a few treks around Santiago too and I’d probably say I’ve seen about 12 in total over  my more than 2 years in total of living in Chile (we actually saw 7 at one time in June!) So who could believe it when we saw fifty (yes!!!) at one time in Torres del Paine.  It’s a bit gory, but condors are scavengers so the 50 condors were actually waiting on the rocks and taking it in turns to eat a dead guanaco… only until a fox turned up and the condors all top flight, which was pretty amazing.  The closest ones to us were only a few meters above our heads – amazing!  We then saw two other foxes come and eat the dead guanaco too.DSC09325DSC09333DSC09328DSC09332


We were lucky to spot this as this ostrich type bird went sprinting into the distance.  We then saw a few more of them a couple of days later when we left the park and were on a bus in Punta Arenas.


Photo taken by my mum



I still can’t believe I am writing this.  I knew that pumas live in Patagonia – everyone tells you this!  But, the chances of seeing them are just so low that I the thought never even crossed my mind.  Our tour guide had seen two before in a few years of doing tours (!)  So my heart skipped a beat when he shouted out “puma” and our van quickly stopped only for us to see the puma run into the long grass.  We saw it’s cute face popping out and then it run away.  It really was an incredible sight, and we felt so so lucky to have seen a puma in its true natural habitat!DSC00418


Photo taken by my mum


Which animals would you like to see in the wild?

Marcella xx

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43 thoughts on “Wildlife of Torres del Paine

  1. I find really fun that I travel to the extreme north of Chile last week, Putre and the Cordillera area you can reach from Arica, and we saw exactly the same animals!! The area of Salar de Surire and Lago Chungará hosts lots of vicunas and guanacos, flamingoes and nandus! From one opposite to the other of Chile, a distance of almost 5000km and you can spot the same beautiful animals! By the way, I really recommend a trip in this area: landscape is breathtaking!

  2. Wow, fantastic puma shot. Your so very lucky to have seen one. Never even hear of a Naudu before. Interesting how Africa, South America and Australia all seem to have similar looking large, flightless birds.

  3. AHHHHH I love this!! As much as I love food, wildlife is one of my biggest dreams when traveling. I love seeing animals in the wild. You saw SO many! I can’t believe you saw a group of 50 condors eating, and a puma!! That would have made my day. I would have freaked out though if I was hiking and saw it! And I love the pictures of the 3 flamingos in that huge calm lake… so pretty! ❤ ❤

  4. I can’t believe how many different animals you saw! I’d never heard of Guanacos before but their shaggy fur is pretty cool. I’m totally jealous of the puma and flamingos though! We saw a bear on a camping trip a couple of weeks ago and I’m still happy about that! #wanderfulwednesday

  5. That’s so awesome that you saw all of these wild animals on your trip! It’s always one of my favorite parts about traveling, getting to see beautiful creatures in the wild! The Guanacos are so adorable!

  6. Oh my! Spotting wildlife is one of my favorite things to do! I would like to see the flamingos. The guanacos are cute too. I once saw a mountain lion in Yosemite. Rangers who have worked in the park for years have not seen one. I was taking a photos and he walked by kind of closed. I freaked out and got inside the car! #wanderfulwednesday

  7. So I just booked a flight to Patagonia in September for a long weekend haha .. And reading your posts and seeing your photos is getting me SO excited!! Can’t wait to be back in those mountains with all this wildlife. Aren’t Guanacos the funniest animals? And the name is so fun to say 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh you saw a Puma?!? It looks so regal and fierce! Also is it bad that I’d never heard of Guancano before? They are so cute though!! It is amazing how much wildlife can differ across the world.

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