During my recent second visit to Chile (I’ve been to Atacama and Easter Island in the past), I ventured further south to rugged Patagonia and dove deeper into this amazing country. Here’s 7 Tips to an indelible South American sojourn.
When To Go: Our winter in North America is summer in the southern hemisphere. November through March is the best time to visit. Note: the weather varies in this rugged terrain—and it is always windy!
How Long Do You Need: I recommend 4-5 nights to truly explore the Torres del Paine National Park. Drive times are long, so once you arrive at your lodge, unpack and stay awhile.
Where to Stay: My favorite lodge is Tierra Patagonia. Dramatically designed to blend into the landscape, the hotel’s aesthetic is warm, and the use of local woods is a nod to the indigenous Tehuelche people. But the guides at Tierra truly create an incredible experience!
What do: Hike, hike, hike! There are some amazing treks, including short ones to waterfalls and full-day, strenuous hikes, such as the eight-hour trek to the base of the twin spires of the famed Torres del Paine peaks. There are also opportunities for horseback riding, mountain biking, daily yoga, and educational talks on the resident animals (puma!). A boat ride to visit the French Glacier—with a glacial pisco sour toast along the way—also makes for a fun outing. Save time for the amazing Uma Spa and pool, a well-deserved treat after a day of outdoor adventure.
What to Bring: Layers! Dress like an onion. Layers on, layers off all day long. If you forget something, not to worry. The shop at the lodges are an outdoor gearhead’s dream. Additionally, rain gear is a must. The guides lead hikes in rain, sun, wind and snow. Don’t forget gloves and buffs to stay warm and protected from the wind.
Where Else to Stop: Should flight schedules allow, a night in Puerto Natales at the beautiful Singular Patagonia Hotel breaks up long drives. Singular also has the best city hotel in Santiago in the charming neighborhood of Lastarria. It’s well worth a stop for a lively dinner and local market shopping.
More Options in Chile: If time allows, visit the remote cultural island of Chiloe, located near Northern Patagonia. Also noteworthy: The wine regions outside of Santiago and the high mountain desert region of Atacama in Northern Chile.
For more details and further travel inspiration, contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org