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Wildlife Guide

Here you'll find articles on everything to do with Chile's and Argentina's wild side. From the big 5 animals to spot in Patagonia to easy recognition guides for birds, fish, sea-life, animals, plants and trees. Any ideas you'd like to see written about please send an email to media@cascada.travel. If you're keen to get kaleidoscope updates subscribe to our Feed Feed or via Email.

Bird Watching in Patagonia: A Twitcher's Guide

As a keen bird watcher, you know that you’ll have the opportunity to see such greats as the a Andean Condor and the Chilean Flamingo on your Patagonia tour, but that’s not what you’ve come for. You’re not some common or garden bird watcher, you’re a twitcher, which means you’re planning your once in a lifetime trip to Patagonia to see the birds that nobody else gets to see. With that in mind, we’ve put together a collection of the most elusive and rare birds in Patagonia, to help you tell the megaticks from the everyday avifauna. 

Patagonia Wildlife: The Unsung Animals

Patagonia is a great place to see plants and animals in a pristine environment, it’s one of the reasons for its enduring popularity. Everyone knows about the pumas, the condors, the guanacos, the huemuls. This animal wishlist is a combination of the rare and endangered, the top predators and the easily-sighted poster animals of Patagonia. People go on about them all the time. Okay, confession time, we’re guilty of this too! In our defense, all of the previously mentioned animals are really interesting and thrilling to see in the wild. But we do think it’s about time that we took a moment to celebrate some of Patagonia’s lesser known animal inhabitants. Equally exciting, just not so often in the limelight. Here’s our look at some other animals you might see on your Patagonia tour:

Wildlife in Chile: Where to see a Condor

The condor is the national bird of Chile and appears alongside the huemul deer on the Chilean coat of arms, which gives us some idea of its importance as a symbol of Chile. With a wingspan of up to 3.2 metres, you’d think that it’d be pretty easy to catch a glimpse of this king of birds at some point during your Chile tour. Yet although it has long been revered by Chile’s indigenous communities, today the condor finds itself in decline in the wild. That means that it’s entirely possible to take a tour of Chile without ever crossing paths with this most iconic of Chilean birds. So if you’re hoping to spot an Andean Condor on your trip to Chile we’ve put together some tips on where and how to see them in the wild.

Wildlife in Chile: Where to see a Huemul

The South Andean Deer or huemul (pronounced way-mool) is a true icon of Chilean fauna, appearing alongside the condor on Chile’s official coat of arms. Yet it is also endangered and threatened with extinction, with around 15,000 individuals left in the wilds of Chilean and Argentinean Patagonia. This week however, there was a small ray of hope for the gentle huemul, as a new study from Cambridge University reported an increase in the huemul population of Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins’ National Park. To celebrate this small step forward for our hoofed friends, we’re taking a look at where to spot a huemul in Chile!

Atacama Tours: The Big 5 Animals to Spot

The Atacama region in the north of Chile is home to the Atacama Desert, the driest desert on Earth, so you might not expect to see a whole lot of animals on your trip. Surprisingly, however, the area makes for an unexpectedly varied habitat featuring salt lakes and greener areas fed by sea mists or mountain meltwater. Check out our Big 5 animals to see on your Atacama tour!

Torres del Paine: The Day I Saw a Puma on a Wildlife Safari

When you set out on a Patagonia Wildlife Safari in Torres del Paine National Park, spotting a puma - Patagonia’s only big cat and top predator - is at the top of most people’s wish list. It’s also one of the most difficult animals to see, staying away from humans and usually hunting during the twilight hours. But once in a while a few lucky individuals are treated to a breathtaking sight that the rest of us can only dream about. Here’s a first-hand account of what it feels like when that lucky individual is you!

The Chilean Lake District - A Guide to Animal and Bird Life

The Chilean Lake District is the region that lies between the country's central Mediterranean valleys and its glacial Patagonian south. Aside from the obvious lakes, the region is also known for its verdant native forests and volcano-pocked landscape. The confluence of these elements creates a varied and particular habitat for all kinds of animals and birds, some of which are only found in the Chilean Lake District and nowhere else. Here’s our list of some of the quirky animal life to keep a lookout for on your Chilean Lake District tour!

Wildlife in Chile: Discover the World Biospheres of Chile!

Chile’s unique environment means it’s home to a startling variety of indigenous flora and fauna, some of which is found nowhere else on Earth. As a result, nine places in Chile have been recognised as UNESCO World Biospheres, or geographical areas that represent a particular distinct habitat. It’s a great way to see some of Chile’s most distinctive wildlife, so here we take a look at where to go, what see and why to visit the best of Chile’s one-of-a-kind ecosystems!

Robinson Crusoe Island: A Wildlife Guide

In Daniel Defoe’s famous novel Robinson Crusoe, the hero is washed up on an island that seems to fit the description of somewhere in the Caribbean, with a variety of animals including colonies of giant turtles. However, the real life castaway island that inspired Defoe’s work is actually found in the Pacific Ocean, in the Juan Fernández Archipelago some 419 miles west of the Chilean mainland. The real Robinson Crusoe Island may not have turtles, but it is incredibly rich in flora and fauna, and many of the plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Robinson Crusoe Island was designated as a National Park in 1935 and named a UNESCO World Biosphere in 1977 in recognition of its importance as a unique habitat for many species of plants, birds and insects.

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