The Coastal Mountains and the southern forests are home to animals that only exist in Chile. Some of these are monito del monte and Darwin’s toad.
One outstanding bird species is the choroy, the country’s only endemic parrot, also known as the snow parrot. Another rarity is the pudú, the smallest deer in the world, which is currently hard to sight in the cold jungles of the south.
If you want to see the huemul, or South Andean deer, you will have to travel as far as Tamango National Reserve, just out of Cochrane on the Southern Highway. Just a couple of minutes across the river and huemules can easily be sighted. Another place to find these animals is along the Huella Huemul trail at the Ñuble National Reserve.
More challenging, but more beautiful, is catching a sight of them at Témpanos, a remote glacier located right at the Patagonia.
Chilean animals that are typical of South America and make visitors stare are the four camelids: llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos. The first three species are easily sighted in the altiplano, while guanacos are easy to photograph at Torres del Paine National Park.
There are no species that endanger visitors in Chile. The puma, the country’s only large cat, avoids contact with humans. However, there are companies at Torres del Paine that organize hiking expeditions to try and see these animals.
Coastal fauna is determined by the Humboldt current and its wide range of animals and birds, highlighting penguins and sea lions. Juan Fernández species include the lobo marino de dos pelos, the Juan Fernández hummingbird and fardelas.
Visitors are surprised by the pollito spider, a variety of non-poisonous tarantula, the ñandú, which is similar to the American ostrich, a wide variety of hummingbirds and parrots such as the tricahuee parrot that can only found in Chile and Paraguay. Another especially interesting bird is the black-necked swan, which can be found in rivers and lakes.
This post is also available in Spanish