Wildlife Photo Safari in Atacama, Chile
A half—day safari through the Atacama desert scrub zone and Andes mountain range foothills. Afternoon tour; available 3 times a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays); no minimum of participants required; maximum group size 4 participants. Designed for both photographers who carry their own photography equipment and for those who are willing to do some amazing shots of the desert wildlife just by using their phones. Our spotting scope with a cellphone adaptor will allow participants to learn and practice how to “digiscope”, obtaining incredible photos and videos of both mammals and birds. We also provide binoculars and wildlife field guides for all the participants.
In the Andean foothills is where we find the high-altitude wetlands that represent the most biodiverse environments in the desert area. We have the possibility to photograph bird species like flamingos, geese, teals, gulls and mammals such as vicuñas, vizcachas, foxes and more.
During this photo safari we will visit 3 all very different from one another environments:
- Desert scrub zone between 9000 to 11000 ft. Also known as the canyon land, we will find impressive ravines crisscrossed by snowmelt rivers formed at the Andes range. Abundant vegetation can be found in Guatin Village, where unique succulent species from the genus Echinopsis, Maihueniopsis, Orocereous and Cumulopuntia live.
Guatin is also hometown of an indigenous community who still practices agriculture and sheparding as a lifestyle. Lastly, one of the 4 species of camels that inhabit south America can be observed in the desert scrub zone area, the famous Guanaco.
- Andean foothills between 11000 to 13000 ft. This area is inhabited by indigenous communities located in very small villages, being Machuca town the most iconic. Its inhabitants have been raising llamas, sheep and goats since ancient times. The town is located on the shores of 2 lagoons that form together the Machuca high-altitude wetland. A very interesting wildlife conservation program is being carried out between the Machuca indigenous community and the Gato Andino Aliance, in order to monitor, study and protect the most endangered cat species in south America: the Andean Cat. With the installation of trap cameras, the Andean, Pampas and Puna felines have been found in the area. Three different species of flamingos, vizcachas and many more bird species also reside in this ambiance.
- High plain or “Altiplano” over 13000 ft. Vast plains surrounded by enormous volcanoes, some of them active, make the highlands a quiet unique environment. Only wildlife inhabits this extreme and very isolated environment. This area is the home to another species of south American wild camels: Vicuñas.