Chile, Argentina and their costal waters are home to many interesting and unusual animal and plant species. These two countries encompass an exciting and colourful land that contains almost every landscape and climate imaginable - from lush rainforests to harsh and arid deserts to the pristine ice fields and lakes of Patagonia. This wide range of climates and the diverse geography of the region make it a haven for those travellers that have a special interest in the native flora and fauna. Those who have a more casual interest in the animal and plant kingdoms will still find plenty to marvel at.Some of the wildlife highlights and the must-sees of the region are as follows:.the Right Whale - whale spotting trips can be arranged from May to November in the south Atlantic.
A truly impressive sight when one of these giant whales surfaces alongside your boat.the Alerce - these enormous trees can live up to 4000 years making them one of the worlds longest living trees, or any life form for that matter.the Camelid family - llamas, alpacas, guanacos and the endangered vicu˝as - all of which played an important role in the culture and economy of the region for millennia. All of these species can be spotted in the Altiplano, the versatile guanaco can also be found all the way down in Patagonia.
the Huemul - a small Andean deer that is a national emblem of Chile. Destruction of its natural habitat has put this shy creature on the endangered species list.the Đand˙ - a large flightless bird that inhabits the Altiplano and Patagonia.the Chilean Flamingo - this colourful bird seems somehow incongruous with its natural habitat in the lakes and salares of the Altiplano.the Araucaria - commonly known in English and the "monkey-puzzle tree", this captivating and bizarre looking tree lives to 1000 years.
It is most prevalent in the Chilean Lake District region that shares its name.the Condor - a fully grown male has a wing span of 10 to 12 feet, which makes it one of the largest flying birds in the world. The majestic condor can be sighted at various latitudes throughout the Andes.the Penguin - both the Humboldt and Magellanic varieties can be found in large colonies around the coast of Patagonia and further north.
To find out more about Chilean and Argentinean wildlife and travelling to the area contact us at Optimundo..Andrew Chaundler worked and travelled in South America for many years before setting up Optimundo, a travel company that specialises in Chilean and Argentinean holidays that are designed with expert knowledge of the region. See our website to find out about our tailor-made travel services wildlife holidays.
By: Andrew Chaundler