Wildlife Tours

Did you know that Peru is home to more than 1,800 species of birds? That dolphins live in the Amazon River and are pink? That the largest rodents in the world live in South America and are eaten by the locals? That sixty percent of the world’s seal population resides in Antarctica? That certain birds in the Galapagos are called boobies and have blue feet? Or that the rarely seen two-toed sloth lives in Costa Rica? Well, you do now.
 
From the driest desert to the lushest rainforest, mountains, wetlands, farmlands, glaciers and icebergs, Latin America and Antarctica are the perfect breeding grounds for a compilation of some of the world’s most enigmatic species of wildlife. Whether you want to get a hero shot of a butterfly the size of a bird, a brightly coloured Macaw, Llama or Penguin, or want to get up close and personal with an Armadillo or a jumping spider - you won’t be disappointed!
 
Chimu Adventures can help you release your inner David Attenborough. See below our suggested itineraries designed by our specialist team. Choose one of these or alter to design your own journey.
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Featured Wildlife Trips & Deals

POPULAR  From 7,430

Penguins, seals, whales and more. An Antarctica cruise with maximum wildlife - if you love animals then this one is for you. Click to learn more.

MUST SEE  DESTINATION

Cruise the Galapagos Islands and discover the world's most unique wildlife such as marine iguanas, giant tortoises, red and blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, turtles, Galapagos penguins and more. 

POPULAR  From 1,820

Get a close up view of the Amazon wildlife in the Yasuní National Park, canoe along lakes and rivers and hike the forest trails.

Wildlife Tours

9 NIGHTS From 8,700

Get up close to the wildlife of Belize. Although small, Belize has over 145 species of mammals living there including pumas, jaguars & tropical birds.

20 NIGHTS From 14,320

Be amazed by the lost Incan empire 'Machu Picchu' before surrounding yourself with the legendary wildlife and breathtaking scenery of Antarctica.

10 NIGHTS From 3,645

See Costa Rica the way you want to - whether you're a thrill seeker or beach-lover (or both!), this 11 day tour of Costa Rica caters for either.

6 NIGHTS From 4,830

Try to spot a Jaguar in one of the world's best wildlife locations, the Pantanal.

4 NIGHTS From 2,015

Travel to the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. Enjoy guided treks, wildlife excursions & gaze up at the star-filled sky through your dome ceiling.

11 NIGHTS From 5,400

Our highlights of Brazil tour designed specifically for wildlife lovers. Start in Iguazu Falls then venture into the Amazon Rainforest & Pantanal Wetlands.

26 NIGHTS From 10,390

Take a premium overland trip Patagonia from Santiago to Ushuaia. Designed for 40-70 year olds, an adventurous itinerary with all the creature comforts.

16 NIGHTS From 10,400

A 17 day multi-destination package combining Guyana and Venezuela, experiencing rivers, mountains, hiking and wildlife.

Articles On Wildlife

Cruise Antarctica – Top 5 Items You Shouldn’t Forget to Pack

Posted on Fri, 18 May 2018

Buck the trend and pack like a professional: discover the 5 items people always forget to take to an Antarctica expedition. Packing for an Antarctica expedition is both exciting and exasperating yet with the sheer amount of packing guides out there (including our own comprehensive Antarctica packing guide) you should get a fairly good idea of what will be useful …

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Press release: Visit the most remote destination on the planet on a Chimu cruise to East Antarctica

Posted on Tue, 15 May 2018

Sydney, Tuesday 15 May 2018 Following the adventure of their 2017 voyage which saw travellers sail 4025,1 nautical miles; identify eight species of penguins; spot thirteen mammal breeds; experience air temperatures of -6 Celsius and cross the Antarctic Circle no less than six times, polar specialists Chimu Adventures invite those who want the ultimate Antarctica experience to get involved in …

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What Not to Pack When Travelling to South America 

Posted on Tue, 15 May 2018

Whether you’re planning a wildlife-watching trip to the Pantanal, a rumble in the jungle of the Amazon, an expedition to the frigid ends of Antarctica, multi-day hike to Machu Picchu or, perhaps, a luxury cruise to the Galapagos, chances are one of the first things you’ll be researching is a comprehensive packing list. Now, before we even know where in South America you’re planning to go, we guarantee that you’ll pack …

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Best Things To Do in South and Central America – JUNE Guide

Posted on Tue, 15 May 2018

June marks the start of winter in most of Latin America and this month offers the most varied array of attractions and highlights. A month where you can really do it all: ski in the south, hike in the centre and snorkel in the north! And although this is also the start of the high tourist season in the continent, …

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The Arctic’s Inuit Culture

Posted on Mon, 14 May 2018

Shaped and influenced by the forbidding landscapes they’ve inhabited for thousands of years, the Inuit culture of the Arctic region is one of the most fascinating on the planet. Hardy, resilient, mysterious and immensely ingenious, the Inuits of the northernmost regions of the Americas, Europe and Russia have not only survived on some of our planet’s harshest environments but indeed …

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Quito International Airport Guide

Posted on Tue, 08 May 2018

Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport (code UIO), Ecuador’s premier aviation hub, connects passengers to all corners of the continent as well as a select number of destinations outside of South America, namely Amsterdam, New York City, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Madrid, Miami and Dallas. Only 15kms from the centre of Quito as the crow flies, this relatively new facility was built …

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A typical day in Antarctica

Posted on Fri, 04 May 2018

There is really no such thing as a typical day in Antarctica. Individual landing locations are different every time due to weather, ice, currents or light conditions. The time in the season will affect many of these items as will it affect what is happening with the wildlife. In addition, every ship has different configurations, rules and structures. For example …

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Enjoying Brazil without internal flights

Posted on Thu, 03 May 2018

Ahh Rio, the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (that’s “Marvellous City” for those that don’t speak Portuguese). Famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, relaxed lifestyle and awe-inspiring natural beauty, it’s no wonder it receives more tourists than any other part of Brazil. If you’re thinking of going to Rio, we say stop thinking and DO IT. But whilst you’re planning your trip, we …

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Fascinating Facts to Help You Celebrate Earth Day 2018

Posted on Sat, 21 Apr 2018

April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of modern environmentalism on this wonderful planet of ours. The brainchild of a US Senator who had witnessed the horrendous consequences of an oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969, the Earth Day movement has grown from strength to strength over the last five decades. What started as a relatively small-scale attempt …

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Press release: Chimu’s Casa Republica wins prestigious Prix Versailles award

Posted on Thu, 19 Apr 2018

Sydney, Thursday 19 April 2018 Chimu Adventures’ boutique hotel in Lima, Peru, Casa Republica, has been named one of the Continental Winners of Prix Versailles 2018, claiming the ‘Special Prize Interior’ at the 2018 Prix Versailles Continental Ceremony for the Americas at Castillo Hidalgo in Santiago de Chile on Saturday 14 April 2018. This is a huge architectural accolade for …

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Frequently Asked Questions

I love wildlife, where are the best places to see wildlife in Latin America?

The best places to see wildlife are the Pantanal, Amazon, Ibera Wetlands and of course the Galapagos Islands. The Pantanal has the highest concentration of wildlife in Latin America and encompasses the largest tropical wetland area in the world. The Galapagos Islands are home to vast numbers and varieties of wildlife, both land and marine, with many of the species being unique to the archipelago. There are also good opportunities to view wildlife in Patagonia, in particular in Torres del Paine National Park, and within Central America, Costa Rica offers some good wildlife spots - for example Manual Antonio National Park and Tortuguero.

What types of animals can I expect to see in Latin America?

There is a vast array of wildlife in Latin America, ranging from capybaras, sloths, monkeys, giant anteaters, pumas, jaguars, armadillos, tapirs, whales and dolphins to llamas, alpacas, vicunas, guanacos, marsh deer and maned wolves. Reptiles include caimans, turtles, iguanas and anacondas. Bird life is also prolific with hummingbirds, toucans, parrots, macaws, waterfowl, flamingos and rheas as well as penguins, boobies, frigatebirds and Andean condors. 

What is the best cruise to see wildlife in Antarctica?

Although all Antarctic cruises offer exceptional wildlife viewing, the best cruise to see wildlife is a South Georgia and Falklands Islands Cruise.

What animals can I expect to see in Antarctica?

The Antarctic abounds with wildlife including 10 species of whales, 7 species of seals, 8 species of penguins and a vast array of seabirds including albatrosses. Penguin species include emperor and Adélie that make the Antarctic continent their true home, chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni that breed on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and king penguins only found on the more northerly and warmer subantarctic islands. Whale species that you are likely to encounter include orcas (killer whales), minke and humpback whales. Seal species include Antarctic fur, crabeater, Weddell, leopard, elephant and Ross. The line-up of birds is extensive but includes petrels, prions, shearwaters, skuas, sheathbills, terns, gulls, cormorants, pipits, snow petrels and several species of albatross.

Are there any naturalist guides on my cruise to Antarctica?

Yes all of our cruises to the Antarctic include naturalist guides who accompany you on shore excursions and offer lectures whilst on board. 

Do you offer wildlife focus tours?

Yes we offer an extensive range of wildlife focus tours. Obviously the main focus of tours to the Galapagos, Pantanal and Amazon is wildlife viewing and it is a major focus of Antarctic cruises. In Torres del Paine National Park we offer a Patagonia Wildlife Safari and a Patagonia Puma Tracking Photo Adventure and in the Pantanal we offer a Pantanal Jaguar Photographic Expedition. In Central America there is a Tortuguero Escape in Costa Rica and a Belize Wildlife tour.

Which is the best place to see wildlife in the Amazon?

Wherever you go in the Amazon, you are likely to see a good range of wildlife, especially birds, but the deeper you venture into the Amazon, the more likely you are to see mammals. Tambopata Research Centre in Peru is one of the most remote lodges in the Amazon, its location in uninhabited wilderness resulting in excellent opportunities for wildlife spotting.

I want to learn more about the wildlife of South & Central America and Antarctica, can you suggest some books to read ?

  • Andes to Amazon: A Guide to Wild South America by Michael Bright
  • Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America by Adrian Forsyth & Ken Miyata
  • The Mammals of Costa Rica: A Natural History and Field Guide by Mark Wainwright
  • Jaguar: One Man's Struggle to Establish the World's First Jaguar Preserve by Alan Rabinowitz
  • Galapagos: A Natural History by Michael H. Jackson
  • Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica by Martin R. de la Pena
  • The Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife by Hadoram Shirihai
  • Antarctica: A Guide to the Wildlife (Bradt Guides) by Tony Soper
  • Snarl for the Camera: Memoirs of a Wildlife Cameraman by James Gray