The Big 5 Animals In Patagonia

Patagonia Travel Posted on 03/12/2018

Patagonia is a fascinating region, widely diverse in its landscape and wildlife. Animal lovers are particularly intrigued by the region due to the huge variety of flora and fauna that call Patagonia home. It’s especially exciting to see the several species of animals here that live almost exclusively in South America.

Updated to April 2024

Although there are lots of different animals in Patagonia, five species, in particular, are “must-sees” for anyone traveling to the Patagonian region: the Andean condor, the guanaco, the Southern Right Whale, the Puma, and the Magellanic penguin.

1. Animals in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia

Andean Condor

This gorgeous national park in the southern Chilean region of Patagonia is a natural haven for flora and fauna.

Don’t be alarmed if you spot an enormous flying creature resembling a miniature dragon during your visit to this park. Chances are you’ve just spotted the beautiful Andean Condor, which has the largest wingspan of any land bird on the planet.

Trekking adventure in the Andes


If you see a large group of strange-looking furry creatures strolling across a deserted plain, congratulations—you’ve just stumbled across a herd of guanaco. The guanaco is a particularly interesting-looking animal, related to the llama and native to South America. It also runs at incredible speed!

Torres del Paine - Viewpoint


Torres del Paine is one of the best places in Patagonia to have a close encounter with this imposing animal. Pumas, also known as mountain lions or cougars, are the largest feline species in South America, so spotting exemplars is truly a unique experience. With patience and a bit of luck, you can catch a glimpse of these incredible creatures, often seen perched on rocky outcrops or wandering through the park’s dense forests.

puma in torres del paine

Get inspired with our selection of travel itineraries related to Wildlife & Nature in Argentina & Chile to see the big 5 animals in Patagonia.

2. Valdés Peninsula: Southern Right Whales

The isolated Valdés Peninsula in Argentina is another wildlife hotspot, particularly great for marine creature sightings. November is the perfect time of year to get a view of both the whales and penguins. You’re also bound to see many other animals on this peninsula of nature. 

In the Golfo Nuevo, a protected body of water just off the peninsula, watch for pods of Southern Right Whales preparing to breed. The Golfo is considerably more peaceful than the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the other side of the peninsula, which is why so many whales choose this spot for breeding every single year. 

But evidently, not all whales prefer quiet waters. On the other side of the peninsula, in the open Atlantic, watch out for orcas; sometimes they swim quite close to the shore! The freedom of these powerful creatures is truly a beautiful sight.

animals in patagonia

3. Ushuaia & Península Valdés: Magellanic Penguins

Finally, you can’t miss the hundreds of Magellanic Penguins on the peninsula. In November, their nesting season will just be coming to an end. As their name suggests, these penguins are native to the famous Straits of Magellan, and the Valdés Peninsula is a primary breeding ground for these animals annually. 

Yet, the Isla Martillo near the End of the World City, better known as Ushuaia, is also a great hotspot to mingle with these wonderful creatures. This species is only found in a few places around the globe, so if you have the chance to visit do not hesitate at all!

Ushuaia - wildlife

For all those planning to visit Patagonia, we highly recommend traveling during a time when you’re more likely to see some of the region’s incredibly distinct wildlife. Read our complete guide to plan your next Patagonia Adventure 2023. You won’t soon forget the experiences you had with the five most famous animals in Patagonia.

For further information about the big five animals in Patagonia, Argentina vacations or tours in Patagonia, contact Argentina travel experts, Say Hueque – Tours in Argentina

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