Awasi Patagonia – A conservation project to protect the puma ecosystem

The Awasi properties are located in three of the most extraordinary locations in South America: San Pedro de Atacama and Torres del Paine, in Chile, and Iguaçu Falls in Argentina. That is why we are devoted to protect their natural as well as cultural heritage through ecosystem conservation, the reintroduction of native species and the implementation of specific social initiatives.

Torres del Paine National Park is a wild life refuge, as it is home to native species such as pumas, condors, guanacos, among many others. However, when those animals leave the boundaries of the national park’s protected area, they are exposed to several hazards: illegal hunting, poisoning, road accidents, among others.

As Awasi Patagonia is located right by the park’s bordering area, we decided to promote a natural corridor in order to extend the protected area and create new territories that animals can freely inhabit.

By renting bordering sheep ranches and working together with neighboring estates, we have returned 6,000 hectares (14,000 acres) of natural habitat to native fauna. Thanks to this initiative, between 9 and 12 pumas live in the reserve; an area that until a few years ago, had no wild life presence.  The Awasi guides help to monitor puma populations, and to keep hunters away, even out of season. We are also working with scientists and researchers to gather information about behavior patterns for these species.

After only two years of active protection management in the Awasi Reserve, it is already possible to observe an increase in the native fauna presence. There is not only a steady population of pumas in the area, but also other species, such as the Geoffroy’s cat (believed to be extinct in the region), have also been benefited by the restoration actions.

The Awasi Patagonia guests can choose between two options during their stay: Puma Watching with their private Awasi guide (included in the private program), or Puma Tracking, by additionally engaging a specialized guide (incurring in additional costs).

For the first option, guests interested in puma watching can simply inform their private guest, so that he is particularly aware during the trips included in the program, trying to prefer times and locations where pumas are usually seen. Although Torres del Paine is a place with a significant population of pumas, they are hard to see, and it takes patience and a good amount of luck to find them.

If you are interested in Puma Tracking, this special program includes engaging an additional external guide specialized in these kinds of activities to develop a program focused on puma tracking. These kinds of programs have a specific length and incur in additional costs of those of Awasi programs.

Awasi Patagonia is open from October through April.

For further information and reserves, please visit www.awasi.com or e-mail info@awasi.com

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