Las Torres Reserve offers its picks for the top five wild animals to see (and hopefully photograph) in southern Chile’s incomparable Torres del Paine National Park:
One of four camelids found in South America, the guanaco is closely related to the llama. They graze the pampas in lower levels of the park, sometimes on herds of a dozen or more animals, mostly females and young tended by a solitary male. Although habituated to humans and easy to photograph, they are still wild animals and should not be approached too closely.
The Patagonian version of a cougar or mountain lion is the park’s apex predator and most impressive mammal. Guanaco are their primary prey, although along the Chilean coast they’ve been known to hunt penguins. Extremely shy, they are difficult to spot in the park. However, guided puma trekking is available through Las Torres Reserve. Ph credits: @thepeacockbass
The condor is Patagonia’s most iconic bird. But you’re more likely to spot a caracara flying above Torres del Paine. These majestic birds of prey are related to falcons.
Also called the rhea, these ostrich-like animals are Patagonia’s largest flightless bird. Of the two species, only one is found in Torres del Paine — Darwin’s rhea — named after the renowned naturalist. If you should be lucky enough to see one tending eggs, that would be the male rather than the female. Ph. credits: @sergiosalazarmeza
Chile’s national animal, this elusive deer is another hard animal to spot and photograph. But well worth the effort given the fact they are now categorized as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List of the world’s most threatened wildlife.