National park landscape near the Awasi Patagonia lodge.
Luciano Bacchi—Awasi Patagonia

Known as a hikers’ paradise with famous multi-day routes including the W Circuit and the O Circuit, the Torres del Paine region of Southern Chile is also one of the best places on earth to see wild pumas right now. Thanks to a growing population and a high level of habituation to humans, visitors have a good chance of spotting the elusive animals inside Torres del Paine National Park (the second most popular park in the country with more than 300,000 visitors per year) or on privately owned ranch land surrounding the park. And it’s about to get even easier. Awasi Patagonia has restarted its puma conservation program by leasing land surrounding the lodge—which is located on the outskirts of the national park—removing the livestock, and banning puma hunting. (Killing pumas is illegal in Chile, but is still often practiced on private land outside the national park, so this program will expand the safe corridor for big cats that routinely roam outside park boundaries.)

Starting in 2023, Awasi will offer guests exclusive puma-sighting excursions led by experienced trackers directly from the lodge. Guests can check camera traps, learn about conservation, and, of course, look for pumas. Also in 2023, Quasar Expeditions will be adding a new lodging option and new activities to the company’s multi-day Patagonia Untamed Puma Safari tours in the Torres del Paine area.

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