South American Natural Adventures

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Chile, Peru, Argentina and Antarctica

Fantastico Sur Nature Tours Chile


Our Guides

Enrique CouveEnrique Couve
has been birdwatching for more than 40 years. He is extremely knowledgeable about Chilean birds, having travelled from the High Andes in northern Chile to the frozen Antarctic seas. Enrique is the main author of the forthcoming book entitled “Field Guide to the Birds of Chile” and also co-author of “Birds of the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn” and other books. He is an excellent nature photographer, having one of the most complete photographic collections of Chile’s birds and other wildlife. He is partner and Director of Fantastico Sur and lives in Punta Arenas with his wife and their four children

Claudio VidalClaudio Vidal
lives in Punta Arenas, the most southerly city in Chile. Claudio has been birdwatching since the age of twelve. He studied marine biology and is very interested in the pelagic birdlife and marine mammals that occur in the Humboldt Current, Patagonia and Antarctica. Claudio leads birdwatching and natural history tours throughout Chile. He is currently working on a field guide to the Birds of Chile and is co-author of “Birds of the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn” and other books. He is involved in several nature-based tourism projects and the new editorial challenges of his company, Fantastico Sur. He lives with his wife Soledad.

Manuel MarinManuel Marin
has a Ph.D. in Zoology/Ecology from Louisiana State University. Manuel has been doing research on birds for the last 25 years, in New World countries such as the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Chile and also in southeast Asia and northern Africa. For many years Manuel was a researcher at the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, in California. He is a very enthusiastic naturalist, also having an interest in insects. Manuel combines his research with tour leading and nature photography, and his fondness for practical jokes. He is based in Melipilla, near Santiago.

Maurice van de MaeleMaurice Van de Maele
is a Chilean anthropologist, and lived in Puerto Williams for 17 years, the southernmost village in the world. During this time Maurice conducted anthropological and archaeological research on the southern ethnic groups of Patagonia. The first Curator of the Museum “Martin Gusinde” in Puerto Williams, he worked there for more than 15 years. Maurice is very enthusiastic about his profession, and especially enjoys working with the last representatives of the “Yaghan” natives in the Beagle Channel. He is also a naturalist, with a particular interest in the plants and birds of southern Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.

Jaime Jiminez Jaime Jimenez
is one of the leading ecologists in Chile. Jaime obtained a Master of Science degree in Conservation of Natural Resources from University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from Utah State University. He is a professor at Universidad de Los Lagos in Osorno, in the Lake District of Chile. Jaime has extensive experience working throughout Chile and has published 50 scientific papers on Chilean wildlife. His specialty is the ecology of Chilean mammals and birds, especially carnivores, small mammals and raptors. Jaime is currently working on various conservation projects including the conservation ecology of the critically endangered Darwin’s Fox on Chiloe Island.

Nicolas PiwonkaNicolás Piwonka
is one of the most acclaimed nature photographers of Chile. Nicolas has also a deep interest in wildlife and holds a degree in Biology from the University of Chile. He has been photographing natural history subjects for the last 30 years, with a private collection of over 120,000 images. He has traveled extensively throughout Chile, Antarctica, Easter Island and South America. In the field you will enjoy sharing and learning from his photographic skills, as well as his good sense of humor. He is the co-author of several nature books, including the series “Nature of Chile” and currently is working on a number of photographic assignments.