Condors over Andean Patagonia and other areas of Argentina and Chile
Condors are the largest flying vulture in the world and also a national symbol of many South American countries, such as Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. They have a ruff of white feathers surrounding the base of the neck and large white patches on the wings. You may see they are black, but their plumage is dull red color that could change in response to the bird’s emotional state. The condors are primarily scavengers. Other interesting and unique characteristic of these birds that female condor is smaller than the male, an exception to the rule among birds of prey.
Where can we have a unique experience of sighting Andean Condors?
Are you ready to enjoy these majestic birds? Although it is usual to see them all along the Andes, their territory has been reduced to the south – especially Patagonia- ant the two main reasons are hunting and habitat loss. They prefer relatively open, non-forested areas which allow it to spot carrion from the air. It is more common to find them at some Argentinian areas like El Chalten, Mendoza, Cordoba and the North of Argentina. In Chile, Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful places to see them.
Some of the best places to see Condors in Argentina and Chile:
El Chalten – Santa Cruz, Argentina.
There is a two hours-easy trek in El Chalten that takes you to “El Mirador de los Cóndores” (The Condors’ lookout), a place where condors usually fly over in their gliding trajectory to the Fitz Roy Valley. In this trek you can also enjoy two spots: A great view of the town and the hills surrounding it, and another one that shows you Viedma lake and the steppe. The path is well signed, and it has additional information about Condors in the area.
Natural reserve “Cóndor Andino” – Mendoza, Argentina.
The Natural Reserve “Cóndor Andino” – Andean Condor- is located at 35 km from Tupungato City, which is at approximately 80 km from Mendoza city. The main goal of these 25 thousand hectares is to preserve the condor’s home. If you are interested in ecological tourism, there is a Ranch named “Las Aguaditas” at La Carrera Valley, inside the Natural Reserve. At about 3 km from here, you can stay at the refuge Quebrada del Cóndor, which is at 2.500 meters high. From here on, you can enjoy a horseback riding or a photographic safari to sighting condors. The best time to visit this amazing place is summer, because weather conditions at other seasons turn this place inhospitable.
Quebrada del Condorito – Córdoba, Argentina.
Córdoba province is located at the central-western part of Argentina, and it has many places to see the condors flying. The main one is the “Quebrada del Condorito” National Park. This amazing place is located at 60 km from Mina Clavero, and this small town, in turn, is located at 16 minutes from the capital city of the province.
Lookout El Condor – Salta, Argentina.
El Mirador El Cóndor (Lookout El Condor) is located at Iruya, a small hidden town at 307 km of Salta Capital City, in the Northwest of Argentina, near the border to Bolivia. It is at 2780 meters high and it has only 1500 habitants. In order to sightsee condors, you have to leave the town and cross the Iruya River through a hanging bridge. Then, after going up the rocks, you reach the lookout, where it is usual to see condors overflying the area. Beside this, you can also be delighted with the beautiful views in this corner of Salta. This route is opened all year and is perfect to visit at any moment.
Olga Teresa Ranch – Punta Arenas, Chile.
The Olga Teresa Ranch is located at 60 minutes from Punta Arenas in the Chilean Patagonia and it has a place named “La Condorera”. It has most of the biggest condor population, with almost 100 birds. Between May and September is the best time to have this experience because the weather conditions are better, although you must bring comfortable trekking shoes and warm clothing. Here, you can enjoy looking at condors in the afternoon when they go back to their nests.
Torres del Paine, Chile.
Another easy trek to eventually see condors in Chile is the “Mirador del Condor” (The Condor Lookout) at the Torres del Paine National Park. It is considered an easy route to be gone all over and it will take you about one hour and a half. When you get to the top, you can be amazed by one of the greatest views of Pehoé Lake and other small lagoons around the area. Also, you can look at the “Campo de hielo Patagónico Sur” – Patagonico sur ice field- and Baguales hills.
Wildlife tours in Argentina and Chile
We offer personalized tours in Argentina and Chile, where it’s very common to see Condors. Some of them are:
- Patagonia Puma Tracking Tour and Orca Whale Watching / Fitz Roy Trek & W trek / W trek Patagonia / Torres del Paine o circuit / Huemul Circuit, etc.. Get in contact and let’s start planning your next trip!