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.

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 – DECEMBER Guide

Posted on Thu, 15 Nov 2018

High-season hits Latin America like a thunderbolt in December and although you may think this is totally the wrong time of year to travel here, let us tell you: there are quite a few reasons December is so popular among visitors. And nope, it doesn’t all have to do with it coinciding with yearly international vacation times. December is the …

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Why Is It Important to Travel?

Posted on Tue, 13 Nov 2018

On the surface, travel is an excellent way to recharge our batteries and bust out of our routine. When we travel, we finally feel like there’s a reason we work so hard and save so fiercely. Seeing new places, visiting world-renowned attractions and soaking up the spectacle of startling new landscapes can rejuvenate the soul. Yet travel goes far and …

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Latin America – Lonely Planet Names Panama & Belize Top Travel Spots for 2019!

Posted on Thu, 08 Nov 2018

The way we see it, the yearly Best in Travel announcement by Lonely Planet isn’t so much a prediction but more of a synthesised summary of growing trends. At Chimu Adventures, we can certainly attest to both Panama and Belize enjoying a swift rise in Latin American ranks in the last 12 months, as has been the case for the …

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Colombia & The FARC – An Unlikely Environmental Conundrum

Posted on Tue, 30 Oct 2018

The 2016 peace deal between the Colombian Government and the FARC has come at an unexpectedly highly cost – the country’s incredibly biodiverse wilderness is being threatened by encroaching modernism. So what’s being done to protect this unspoiled natural paradise? The much-awaited peace deal between the government and major rebel fraction of Colombia is having an unanticipated side-effect on the …

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Top 10 Destinations in South America for the over-55s

Posted on Fri, 26 Oct 2018

Whether you’re planning your first ever visit to South America or if you’ve left many a footprint on the well-trodden Gringo Trail in years gone by, you’ll find the best destinations for the over-55s a wonderful way to discover the continent anew. The most important historic sites, most revered cultural hubs and most celebrated natural treasures the continent has to …

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How to Add Purpose to Your South America Travels

Posted on Tue, 23 Oct 2018

When planning a trip to South America, there are 101 ways to add a purpose to your journey, be it on a dedicated mission that dictates your entire itinerary (say, to tick off the Big Five) or a more laid-back plan to add a few dedicated activities alongside a host of other fun and enlightening experiences. Wondering what on earth …

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Peru’s Best Local Markets for Souvenirs

Posted on Sun, 21 Oct 2018

Buying high-quality alpaca-wool clothing or a colourful hand-painted ceramic bowl in Peru is an immensely popular thing to do. Yet just because you’re happy to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a quality souvenir, it probably doesn’t mean you also don’t want to bring home a few extra pieces that would make for great gifts to friends and family. …

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Latin America’s Best Environmental Initiatives – Are They Enough?

Posted on Fri, 19 Oct 2018

Depending on whom you ask (or which survey you read) Latin America is either lauded as an inspiration of environmental protection or berated for not doing enough to preserve its natural treasures. Who’s right? There’s no denying that Latin America needs to be pulling up its bootstraps if it hopes to preserve its cache of priceless natural highlights. Here lie …

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Experiencing The Amazon With Delfin Amazon Cruises

Posted on Wed, 17 Oct 2018

After a long plane ride from Boston – LA – Lima and onto Iquitos it was great to be met by the friendly staff of Delfin Amazon Cruises at the arrivals area of Iquitos airport. After our luggage was collected and transferred to the bus we were on our way to the port on a lovely air-conditioned bus. On the …

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

Posted on Mon, 15 Oct 2018

As the southern summer season takes hold of a great part of the South America, now is the time to explore the more remote regions of Patagonia, the normally crowded big-name attractions in Peru and Bolivia, as well as the hot-spot of Colombia, where rains subside. November is a brilliant month to travel almost anywhere in Latin America, as the …

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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