Focus on Brazil


Brazil is a vast country with several distinctly different biomes. Discover them all with Focus Tours: Brazil

Focus on Argentina

The 8th largest country in the world, Argentina offers a wealth of experiences. From the subtropical rain forests of Iguazú Falls to the high Andes. Discover more with Focus Tours: Argentina 

Focus on Bolivia

Bolivia, nestled between Brazil, Peru, Chile and Paraguay, is the poorest and least developed country in South America, but also biologically and culturally the richest, safest and friendliest. Discover more with Focus Tours: Bolivia

Focus on Chile

Chile is the only truly temperate country in the Neotropics, and occupies more degrees of latitude than any other nation worldwide. Perhaps it is not surprising that Chile offers several extremes of the natural world. Discover more with Focus Tours: Chile

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Jaguar Tours

The northern Pantanal is the richest area in the world for spotting Jaguars in the wild and, our naturalist guides are some of the best. Together with our boatmen we can take you into the best areas for jaguars and many other creatures. Read more about Jaguar Tours.

Bird Watching Tours

Douglas Trent is a scientist, bird watcher and wildlife photographer and his be operating Bird Watcing Tours for around two decades now. The tour possibilities in South America are many. Read more about Bird Watching Tours.

Wildlife Photography Tours

Douglas Trent is a wildlife photographer and guides groups of professional, or enthusiastc amateur, photographers and film crews on focused wildlife tours. Read more about Wildlife Photography Tours 

Funding Conservation

 

A percentage of our profits has been funding in-country conservation projects since 1981. They directly benefit the local communities we visit and, when possible, are self-sustable, generating benefits long after our initial donation. Your visit will benefit you, the environment and your hosts.

VALDEZ PENINSULA - Whales, Sea Elephants, Penguins and more

 

The bleak, wind-blown and wild 780,000 square kilometers (301,158 square miles) of Patagonia have a magical quality that has affected people throughout the ages. Perhaps it is the wide openness of the desert, the strange and wonderful animals that inhabit it, or the sheer degree of desolation.

Although Patagonia makes up 30% of Argentina, only three percent of the Argentine population lives there. Perhaps it is the strong winds Patagonia is famous for, which can suddenly stop and reveal a beautiful and unnatural silence that seems to pierce the ages. Whatever it is about Patagonia, it is certain to leave a lasting impression on anyone who experiences it.

We focus on the Valdez Peninsula, which juts out from the Argentine coast about half way between Buenos Aires and Tierra del Fuego. Steep cliffs composed of fossilized shells, deep blue sea, shores of multicolored pebbles, and jagged rocks characterize the peninsula. It teems with marine and land mammals along with a rich variety of marine and land birds. Southern Right Whales and their calves are there from October to early December.

Sea Elephants, with 18 foot long males weighing up to 4 tons, are permanent residents, along with Southern Sea Lions, Guanacos and introduced European Hare are permanent residents. The strange Mara or Patagonian Cavy, was once called Patagonian Hare, and has been described as looking like "a rabbit wearing a miniskirt". The occasional pod of Orcas (Killer Whales) swims by, looking for an opportunity to lunge up on the beach to catch an unsuspecting Sea Lion.

The bird life is also strange and beautiful. Along the craggy shores look for White-chinned and Giant petrels, Rock, Guanay and King Cormorants, the striking Black-browed Albatross, Blackish and American oystercatchers, the recently described White-headed Flightless Steamer-Duck, Antarctic Skua, the yellow-billed subspecies of Sandwich Tern and others. Land birds include Elegant Crested Tinamou, White-throated Cacholote, Burrowing Parrot, Patagonian Yellow-Finch, Lesser Canestero and others. Endemics include Carbonated Sierra-Finch, Rusty-backed Monjita, Patagonian Canestero and Band-tailed Earthcreeper.

Our tour to the Valdez also permits a side trip south to Punta Tombo, where we visit one of the largest Magellenic Penguin colonies, with a population of around 1.5 million! A small corner of the protected colony is open to visitors, where we'll be able to walk on restricted trails with the knee high penguins as they squawk, bawl and bray their way to the sea to eat and get food for their young. This is one of the few places where photographers can get nice close ups, which will nicely compliment her photo collection from all the other stupendous photo opportunities the Valdez Peninsula offers. We suggest four or five days in the region.