We knew the Andean Condor could be spotted at the tip of South America but we never expected to see them up close while hiking in Torres del Paine (TDP). When TDP went on the bucket list we didn’t even know the condors were down there. When we learned they were there we ‘hoped’ we would see one or two.
This wasn’t our first encounter with the Andean Condor but we think this one’s the best. It happened in the wild. In Peru we went to Colca Canyon and saw about 50. This made us think that someone must be tossing dead animals over the cliffs of the canyon to keep the birds all bunched up there. Here in TDP we only saw them in pairs flying many miles apart from each other.
But anyway, it was on our second day in the park when we saw them – first at a distance and further up the trail. We kept our eyes peeled for them and Wooly had his camera ready as we hiked. The spectacular moment happened just after we reached the high point on the trail and got settled in for lunch.
Soon we heard some people up on the hill cry out so we knew what was about to happen. Wooly was able to turn around and snap off three shots as the condor closed in on us. The condor had his eye on us as he flew directly over – no more than 20 feet (3 meters). Then Wooly spun around and got the final shot. Of the four pictures three turned out well.
And with that we finished our lunch with Wooly hoping the pictures turned out okay. Now it’s your turn to enjoy the experience.