Travel, experience, conserve with
Wildlife Worldwide
01962 302 086
Jump to main menu

Wildlife Locations

10 recommended locations:

Atacama Desert & The Altiplano

Chile’s northern desert comprises virtually lifeless coastal plains divided by dramatic deep gorges, while further east the barren landscape changes as it rises through the Andes. The altiplano is an impressive expanse of alluvial salt flat edged by snow-capped volcanic peaks, home to a surprising variety of wildlife.

  • Where: Atacama Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Andean flamingo, Chilean flamingo, guanaco, rhea, vicuna

Chiloé Island

This fertile island lives from farming, fishing and forestry – arriving here is like stepping back in time. The west side is a dense swathe of temperate rainforest, supporting a variety of birdlife. Magellanic and Humboldt penguins live at the southern tip, and blue whales can be sighted between January and April.

  • Where: Chiloé Province
  • Ideal for viewing: black-necked swan, Darwin’s fox, Humboldt penguin, pudu, South American sealion
  • Excellent for: Whale watching, Penguin watching

Juan Fernandez Archipelago

This archipelago is situated around 700 kilometres off mainland Chile. Robinson Crusoe, the main island in the group and the subject of Daniel Defoe’s eponymous novel, is covered in sub-tropical forest and is of particular interest to botanists, with around 120 endemic plants, and a few endemic bird species.

  • Where: Valparaíso Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Juan Fernandez fur seal, Juan Fernandez firecrown, Juan Fernandez tit-tyrant, magellanic penguin, pink-footed shearwater

Lauca National Park

This spectacular northern area of dry, high altitude grassland plain and giant volcanoes supports many plants and a few mammals. Temperatures oscillate between -10°C at night and 20°C by day, and rainfall here is rare. This is one of the best parks in Chile for birding, with many species living around the lakes.

  • Where: Arica-Parinacota Region‎
  • Ideal for viewing: Chilean flamingo, guanaco, taruca, vicuna, vizcacha
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Magellanes & Tierra del Fuego

The Chilean portion of Patagonia is called Magellanes after its Portuguese explorer. On the Pacific side glacial action has excavated a complex coastline of fjords and islands. Between the mainland and Tierra del Fuego, the Strait of Magellan has Chile’s first and only marine reserve, Francisco Coloane Marine Park.

  • Where: Magallanes Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Andean condor, firecrown hummingbird, guanaco, humpback whale, king penguin
  • Excellent for: Whale watching, Penguin watching

The Lake District

Four adjacent national parks, Vicente Perez Rosales and Puyehue in Chile, plus Nahuel Huapi and Lanin in Argentina, protect this southern region. With snowcapped volcanoes, rushing rivers, tumbling waterfalls, placid lakes and dense forests, it is a place of immense natural beauty.

  • Where: Llanquihue Province
  • Ideal for viewing: lesser rhea, ocelot, puma, Humboldt penguin, magellanic penguin

Torres del Paine National Park

Chilean Patagonia’s premier attraction is a scenic mix of craggy peaks, glacial lakes, icefields and green valleys – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The omnipresent Paine Massif, a magnificent set of rocky spires formed from granite and sedimentary rock, dominates the landscape.

  • Where: Magallanes Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Andean condor, South American grey fox, guanaco, puma, South Andean deer
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography


The main port and one of the oldest cities in Chile, this delightful UNESCO World Heritage Site is sprawled across the hillsides and cliffs around a wide bay. A variety of seabirds can be seen along the coastline, while inland you will find the renowned wineries of the Casablanca and Colchagua valleys.

  • Where: Valparaiso Region
  • Ideal for viewing: brown pelican, royal albatross, Buller’s albatross, giant petrel, southern fulmar
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Easter Island

Easter Island - or Rapa Nui as it is known locally - is a small triangle of volcanic rock in the mid-Pacific. The island and its 600 enigmatic stone faces have always been the subject of intense curiosity and speculation. A visit to this fascinating and unique place can easily be added to any trip to mainland Chile.

  • Where: Valparaíso Region
  • Excellent for: History & culture

Santiago de Chile

Chile’s capital and its largest city is located in the central valley, with the snow-capped Andes to the east, and the coastal range to the west. A lively and dynamic place, it is one of Latin America’s most sophisticated locations, and there is lots to see in the city and surrounding Andes.

  • Where: Santiago Metropolitan Region
  • Excellent for: City stopover, History & culture

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

Squeezed between the high Andes and cold Pacific Ocean, Chile is a country of immense natural beauty. From the world’s driest desert, the Atacama, to the cold southern steppe of Patagonia, topped by immense glaciers and fringed with stunning fjords, a mosaic of ecosystems and microclimates is populated by a diverse range of flora and fauna.

5 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Wild Patagonia

Enjoy the best of Argentina and Chile, with stunning scenery and burgeoning wildlife at Torres del Paine and spectacular glaciers around Calafate. The trip culminates in two days at Valdes Peninsula, home to species such as the northern right whale, magellanic penguin and elephant seal.

  • When to go: Oct-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 18 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,095 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Puma-tracking in Southern Chile

This photographic adventure allows you to explore the Torres del Paine area and see its remarkable wildlife, accompanied by a leading Chilean photographer. Based in Torres del Paine National Park, you will spend your time tracking pumas and other species, whilst soaking up the impressive scenery.

  • When to go: Oct-Mar
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,395 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Mammals & Birds of Patagonia

Take a journey in search of Chile’s endemic and near endemic birds and mammals. From unspoiled Valdivian rainforest to the bleak steppes of Tierra del Fuego and towering snow-covered peaks of Torres del Paine, this tour explores the habitat of puma, kodkod, Darwin’s fox, Chilean dolphin and blue whale.

  • When to go: Feb
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Land of Extremes

Explore the extremes of Chile – from the great lakes and towering snow-capped mountains of Torres del Paine to the lunar landscapes of the Atacama Desert. Discover overwhelming beauty at every turn, with erupting geysers, spectacular glaciers, as well as fascinating unique wildlife.

  • When to go: Oct-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,145 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Patagonia Wildlife Adventure

Witness the antics of sealions and dolphins in the Strait of Magellan as you travel on a trip in Chile’s first ever marine park. Combined with the breathtaking landscapes, varied wildlife and walking trails of Torres del Paine National Park, this is an adventure-packed experience to remember.

  • When to go: Dec-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,095 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

When to go

Due to its geographical location and size, the differences between north and south are extreme. December to March is best to visit the South, but head north from May to October.


  • Winter

    May to Sep: Winter in the south is harsh, but farther north the climate remains warmer
  • Summer

    Oct to Apr: Southern Chile is warmer, while the central area receives plenty of sunshine. The north is pleasant year-round

Wildlife events

  • May to Oct: The best time to visit northern Chile
  • Oct to Mar: The southern hemisphere summer
  • Feb to Apr: Blue whales off Chiloé Island
  • Feb to Apr: Buffeting wind in Patagonia and Torres del Paine drops

Where to stay