This mother-daughter duo just returned from a custom Hikers Patagonia Adventure in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile and the Fitz Roy area in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina. Below they share some of their thoughts, highlights and advice from the trip.
"We totally loved our trip! Our hikes with Explora in Torres del Paine and later in El Chalten were terrific! Actually, all of our hiking experiences were outstanding. Perito Moreno and the penguins were awesome too.
Explora was magic and we loved everything about the experience there. Great food, great room with that insane view, great guides, great hikes. It cost a lot but we loved the easy access to everything from there right in the park.
We loved El Chalten. It has a lovely feel to it (a bit like Banff Alberta!). Chalten Suites was lovely—we loved the family owned aspect of it. They gave us great restaurant recommendations. We went to La Cerveceria, La Tapera and Estepa, all of which were excellent. We also checked out Doo Blanco for the insane ice cream. The hiking was terrific and the guide stayed with me mostly on our 2 long day hikes (as my daughter hikes way faster than me). Our guide, Sebastian, was very sweet and was a bit apologetic about his English (which was way better than any Spanish we had). He took us on a couple of extensions to our planned hikes which we likely couldn’t have planned ourselves.
All of our guides were great. We thought Ismael in el Calafate really knew the most about the things he was guiding us on and was very forthcoming in sharing that knowledge. El Calafate was touristy but, Perito Moreno and our ice trek were fantastic! What a great day we had around the glacier.
Great recommendations from Singular Santiago Hotel staff and Nuss Hotel staff for neighbourhood restaurants. Food at Explora was fantastic. El chalten had fantastic restaurants (amazing for a town its size).
Santiago---would probably pass on Santiago in the future. Not the nicest or most interesting city. They have not preserved their heritage all that well. Having said that, I was happy to get to see it briefly. The Singular was outstanding and the staff were amazing there. Breakfasts were good but service was slow in the dining room. My suitcase had been inspected and then a lock put on (and I had no key). Staff opened the lock for me right away. Thank you, for the early check in- it was needed given our arrival time. It allowed us to clean up after a long flight and eat something before our city tour. We used LAN coming down and they are a really good airline and I would recommend them. We went for a great dinner at Bocanariz which we would definitely recommend.
Nuss Hotel in Buenos Aires is beautiful. We loved the city and would definitely go back and spend more time there. It was 35-40 Celsius there so too hot for lots of stuff. We liked that several of the hotels had gyms and we used most of them along the way for days when we weren’t hiking. Pools were also great. Nuss let us do a late check out for no extra charge---again appreciated where it was hot and we were walking around town in the morning, so we could shower before checkout. The dinner you sent us on to La Cabrera was out of this world and so much food that we took a doggy bag back to the hotel, ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and still had leftovers. Food was fantastic there.
We usually travel on our own so didn’t realize things were just us all the way along. We were always picked up and delivered on time by everyone along the way. With all the driving between different places, we were happy to have someone else do the driving. It sure is easy to navigate airport pickups when there is someone with a sign with your name on it (we have never done that before).
The weather made the trip of course. We would not have loved having to hike in nasty weather but we had almost the opposite where it was almost too hot some of the days we were hiking (ok, who can really complain about that?!). Overall all your arrangements for guides, transfers, hotels were awesome.
Amazingly, our bags followed us everywhere except my bag didn’t appear from JFK on the way home. That didn’t matter of course as we were heading home but a good reminder of how easily that can happen!
We loved it all, thank you!
Want to try your hand at trekking in one of the most beautiful places on Earth? Contact me!
Your friendly Patagonia expert,