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I take my binoculars and start screening the rocks with lichens, it is difficult to find the puma, which is so well camouflaged until I do see it. Part of the excitement of our excursion is feeling the emotion of watching with patience until you detect the puma.
During 5 days and 4 excellent nights, we went precisely to live the experience on the ground. We stayed at the Estancia Cerro Guido Hotel, the base for all our excursions and part of the wildlife conservation project that started here in 2019. Cerro Guido is an historic renovated mansion, nice and cosy, very comfortable with its authentic decoration from the days of the pioneers.
A Patagonian ranch which still operates as such and where, from the dining room, you have a privileged view of the Paine massif. A delicious breakfast was the start of our days of exploration. Personalized snacks kept us going during the day. We enjoyed the views to the Paine Mountain range from different perspectives, from Sierra del Toro (Bull Hill), from Condor hideouts, or the massive Sierra Baguales, which is another hidden treasure. Always enjoying sceneries with amazing colours that changed from day to day. With sunrises and sunsets with the Paine towers as a backdrop and away from the more bustling tourists tracks in Torres del Paine National Park.
Travel to Cerro Guido is not only to observe pumas; it is a complete wildlife experience as well as a cultural experience, when observing the life and work on the ranch. To be able to get to know the gauchos and listen to their stories, is a joy in itself.
It has been gratifying to take part in this experiment to achieve a healthy and long term coexistence between conserving the authentic wildlife and ranching in Patagonia.