In these complex times of uncertainty when most humans are self-isolating, it has never been so important to redefine our connection with nature. Every crisis brings a change and we believe that this change will be good for our planet, with a greater understanding of the impact our society has on the only planet we inhabit.

It is a great opportunity to get inspired by nature and to learn new things every day thanks to the huge amount of awesome documentaries you can find out there. This content has recently gained value as it became a powerful tool to “travel from home” without losing the connection with the outdoors. From the Southern tip of the Americas – EcoCamp Patagonia – we picked up a selection of 9 stunning documentaries featuring wildlife, culture and history, so you can travel with us for a while. Make up the couch and enjoy the trip!

  1. Night on Earth (2020)

Where can I find it? Netflix

A British nature documentary made for Netflix, the series follows fascinating animals that are active during the night using low-light camera technology. The team traveled the world looking for creatures such as elephants, lions, flamingos and pumas and spent weeks filming them with state-of-the-art cameras in difficult weather conditions.

We were delighted to host a crew at EcoCamp Patagonia in April 2019. They stayed with us for 4 weeks filming the elusive puma in the plains of Torres del Paine National Park. Their spectacular work is featured on the second episode of the series (called “Frozen Nights”).

  1. Patagonia: Earth’s Secret Paradise (2015)

Where can I find it? BBC

A nature documentary series broadcasted in three parts, Patagonia: Earth’s Secret Paradise uses the best ingredients of the classic BBC wildlife filmmaking recipes to showcase the harsh lifestyle of animals and people in the “Far South”. A glimpse of rarely seen South American wilderness, including pumas, hummingbirds and orcas.

This series is the best way to understand the complexity of Patagonia’s peculiar geography, with spectacular shots of Patagonia’s desert, ice fields and granite peaks. A must-see if you like BBC documentaries.

  1. 180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the useless (2010)

Where can I find it? Amazon

180° South is an adventure documentary that covers the journey of Jeff Johnson as he travels from California to Chile’s Patagonia – both by sea and on land. It retraces the trip that Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia founder) and Doug Tompkins (The North Face founder) took in their Ford E-Series Econoline Van. This cool documentary features some exclusive footage of the inspiring 1968 trip Chouinard and Tompkins in Patagonia, both in Argentina and Chile.

And the best of it, it underlines some important challenges of conservation of the region with interesting interviews and the climbing of the Corcovado volcano, one of Patagonia’s most stunning summits. A breath of fresh air with lots of fun.

  1. The Pearl Button (2015)

Where can I find it? Amazon Prime

The Pearl Button (“El Botón de Nacar”) is an award-winning Chilean documentary film directed by Patricio Guzmán. It won the Silver Bear for Best Script at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival and the Lumières Award for the Best Documentary at the 21st Lumières Awards.

It is an exploration of the historical past that focuses on the last surviving members of the Alacalufe and Yaghan tribes, with sequences featuring the sad history of the indigenous tribes of Patagonia under the Pinochet regime. It also tells the story of Jimmy Button, who was brought from Tierra del Fuego to England by British settlers. A fantastic film to understand the story of the indigenous people of Patagonia.

  1. A Line Across the Sky (2015)

Where can I find it? Amazon Prime

“A Line Across the Sky” is a 40-minute documentary that was highlighted in “Reel Rock 10”, a film tour that follows well-known climbers from Patagonia to Arkansas. This action film is a gnarly journey across seven jagged summits and 13,000 feat of climbing near El Chaltén, Patagonia, Argentina. It features the first ever successful Fitzroy traverse, the “mother of all climbing traverses”.

Legendary climbers Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold (yes, the “Free Solo” climber) deliver a striking performance. A dangerous journey: if you experience vertigo, do not watch “A Line Across the Sky”. If you don’t, this is one of the best climbing films we’ve seen.

  1. Seven Worlds, One Planet (2019)

Where can I find it? BBC One

Narrated by the legendary David Attenborough, “Seven Worlds, One Planet” is a documentary series from the BBC Natural History Unit. A seven-part series in which every episode focuses on one continent. Over 1,500 people worked on this project shot in 41 countries. Here, you’ll see some of the greatest footage of wildlife filmmaking in the history, and the third episode (directed by Chadden Hunter) focuses on South America.

In this episode, you will follow a mother Puma through the plains of Torres del Paine National Park. This sequence alone is worth watching the full series. Enjoy it!

  1. Puma: Lion of the Andes (1996)

Where can I find it? Youtube

A National Geographic production. Here is the official description of this classic documentary: “The mysterious puma. Only a lucky few have ever glimpsed this magnificent cat that prowls the Andes. For two years, acclaimed natural history filmmaker Hugh Miles lived among Chile's pumas, capturing never-before-seen images of this shy, secretive predator. Experience the unprecedented bond formed between the filmmaker and an extraordinary puma he calls Penny. His camera, equipped with a special night-vision lens, reveals the triumphs and tragedies of Penny's life: She finds a mate, gives birth to three cubs, and guides her offspring through daily struggles against starvation and poaching.”

While this documentary is about 25 years old, it was the first film featuring pumas in the Americas, when the technology at that time required lots of sacrifice. Hugh Miles delivers a piece of intimacy with this beautiful animal, in the wilds of Torres del Paine National Park. It never gets old.

  1. Unbounded (2018)

Where can I find it? Amazon Prime

For four months, a team of young travelers set out to hike along the unrelenting Greater Patagonian Trail. While the crew lacks of experience – which makes the journey more difficult – the journey is pretty fun to watch and underlines challenges of conservation in areas few people know of, from Northern Patagonia to the Patagonia National Park.

They engage with the locals along the way, which is maybe the coolest aspect of that easy-to-watch film.

  1. On Route 7 into the heart of Patagonia (2018)

Where can I find it? Youtube

A trip along Chile’s National Route 7, the Carretera Austral, that takes us into the stunning wilderness of Patagonia. This free documentary – produced by German channel “Deutsche Welle – showcases some of Patagonia’s most fantastic spots, with great footage of the Northern Patagonian Ice Fields and the General Carrera Lake, the 2nd biggest lake in the continent. Includes the story of the German settlers that moved to the region after the First World War. A free trip you would be wrong not to watch!

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