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.

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.


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.

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 11,390

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

Articles On Wildlife

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

Posted on Wed, 15 Aug 2018

As the northern summer winds down to once again a steady trickle, Latin America continues to WOW its visitors with a kaleidoscope of wonderful sights. High tourist season may well be over by September but the continent is still as resplendent as ever, if not more so. Return savvy visitors rate this as the best travel month of the year, …


Can Australians Get Married in South America?

Posted on Tue, 14 Aug 2018

Fancy a totally epic destination wedding in South America? Read on to find out the legalities involved with kicking off your married life in the most exhilarating continent of all Given the sheer number of idyllic and utterly unique locations in South America, it’s not surprising to learn that the continent is swiftly becoming one of the most coveted picks …


The Secret Ingredient for extraordinary Outdoor Adventures? Just add Chile!

Posted on Wed, 25 Jul 2018

Exploding into the scene like few destinations have ever done, Chile is the bees’ knees in adventure travel circles. If you’re craving a sensationally delicious experience and simply love stretching your legs whilst soaking up a visual feast of spectacular landscapes, topped with a delectable pinch of magnificent wildlife, then Chile may just be that secret ingredient you’ve been missing. …


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

Posted on Sun, 15 Jul 2018

August marks the height of the northern hemisphere summer season, attracting more visitors to Latin America than at any other time of year. As this coincides with the dry season in the Andes Mountains, it turns the best highlights of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile into absolute hives of tourist activity. Yes, the crowds in big-name attractions here are huge …


The Arctic Travel Guide – PLANNING ADVICE

Posted on Mon, 09 Jul 2018

With its magnificent landscapes, captivating wildlife and fascinating indigenous tribes, not to mention its startling dancing lights, the Arctic is one of the most coveted travel destinations on earth. Vastly different to its southern counterpart, Antarctica, in almost every aspect, the Arctic is equally spellbinding and alluring. Easier to reach and offering an absolute kaleidoscope of experiences both on land …


Best Latin American Food Bloggers to Follow Right NOW 

Posted on Wed, 04 Jul 2018

In our recent Best Foodie Tours in South America guide, we mentioned that we’ve noticed a marked increase in guests’ awareness of the exceptional culinary experiences awaiting them on their travels. Surprises and new discoveries notwithstanding (a daily occurrence, let us tell you) many first-time visitors are totally on the ball when it comes to South American cuisine. Varied, exciting, …


5 Awesome Reasons to Cruise to Antarctica in November

Posted on Fri, 29 Jun 2018

When you’re planning a trip to Antarctica, nine times out of ten it’s ‘how much will this trip cost?’ be the first question that will come to mind. Yet the time of year you visit can also change when you decide to go.  The Antarctic season runs from the end of October to the beginning of March, with each month …


Top 5 – Most Common Environmental Changes People Adopt After Visiting Antarctica

Posted on Thu, 28 Jun 2018

Expedition cruises to Antarctica are very dedicated and distinct trips, with every tour including lectures and presentations aimed at educating guests on all the environmental issues the continent – and in turn our whole planet – is currently facing. Guests learn the importance of protecting fragile wilderness (by sterilising their shoes after each on-shore excursion and vacuuming their clothes, for …


Press release: Chimu reveals its favourite restaurants in Latin America

Posted on Wed, 27 Jun 2018

Sydney, Wednesday 27th June 2018 Latin America again proved its culinary prowess in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year. Last week, the 2018 winners were unveiled in Bilbao, Spain, and highlighted seven Latin American restaurants in the top 50. Lima, Peru, remains the indisputable gastronomy capital of Latin America with Central and Maido sitting comfortably within the top 10, …


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

Posted on Fri, 15 Jun 2018

As peak tourist season reaches an all-time high in South America, the best-known and most visited sites are inundated with waves of excited visitors. And why not? July, in reality, is a glorious month to travel extensively through most of the continent, with the dry climate facilitating hiking, extensive sightseeing and, of course, flight and road transfers in between fabulous …


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