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The Awasi Experience, Patagonia


The Awasi experience is like trying to explain how the motor in a Ferrari works. There are many moving parts, all of the highest quality, and all of them work together in such seamless simplicity you don't even realize the full power and beauty of the engine. Awasi, located in Torres del Paine, the Atacama, and Iguazu, operates in the same manner at all of its lodges.

I recently stayed at Awasi Patagonia, located in Torres del Paine National Park. From the initial pick-up you know you're in for something special. The lodge has a fleet of enhanced Toyota Hilux pick-ups designed to shuttle guests anywhere they may want to go in the park – they even have snorkels! Each villa at Awasi has a car and driver assigned to them upon arrival. The guide and driver are exclusive to that villa and stay with you for the entirety of your stay. Trained in wilderness medicine and having undergone Awasi's intensive guide training school the guides at Awasi are some of the best in the park.

 Awasi is located on a 15,000 acre private reserve on the east side of the park. If you arrive on a clear day, your first views of Awasi may come with your first views of the iconic towers of Torres del Paine as well. The Awasi lodge faces the Towers and all villas have uninterrupted views of the towers, Lago Sarmiento, or the Patagonia steppe. 

Inside one of Awasi's villas

 The villas themselves are likely bigger than the first apartment you ever rented. The 13 villas are standalone structures measuring 80 sq ft. They're built on stilts to protect the land below. Inside the wood structures you'll find king size beds and big shuttered windows, a wood burning stove, sheepskin-topped sofas, and private, wood fired hot tubs looking out over the pampas. There is also one master villa. This villa is great for groups or families. It has 2 bedrooms, a communal space, an outdoor hot tub, and measures 120 sq ft.

Common areas in Awasi's main lodge

The main lodge has casual spaces for relaxing, drinking a pre-dinner aperitif, or discussing the next day's activity with your guide. Access to the entire park as well as the private reserve opens up a multitude of off the beaten path hikes, horse back rides, and bike routes. Your own car means you can go as fast or slow as you like – it's your trip and your experience. Interested in seeing puma? Your guide and driver will be awake and ready to go before dawn when you have the highest chance of spotting these elusive cats. Want the perfect sunset photo on Los Cuernos? Your guide will make sure you're in the best spot on the best day during your stay.

Mountain biking excursions for every ability
Awasi started the first puma foundation in the Torres del Paine area. The lodge sits on 11,000 acres of protected land dedicated to supporting the puma population in and around the park.
Take this chance to explore the Patagonia steppe with Awasi's resident gaucho and world class horses. No experience necessary

 Being Relais Chateaux the food at Awasi is as good as the views out your window. Breakfast is a sprawling buffet and dinner is a daily changing menu created by executive chef Mariano Salaberry. Specialties include Austral crab, slow-cooked lamb shank or locally caught grilled fish. The produce is fresh and supplied by nearby farming communities, and wines are hand picked by the on-site sommelier and paired with your dinner selection. They source exclusively Chilean wines. If you're out on excursions, don't fear you're missing out on an Awasi lunch – it comes with you. Picnic boxes filled with beef & boursin sandwiches or a hot lunch cooked on a camp stove accompany each excursion. The desserts – well, I'll let you experience those for yourself.

Awasi's lamb was the best we had in Patagonia

 Perhaps the best part about a stay at Awasi is the staff. The staff hails from all across the globe, drawn to Awasi for the chance to work within the Torres del Paine park. With a ratio of 3:1 there is always someone to point out a hike on the map, refill your espresso, or chat about their favorite spots to visit in the area. Before the season begins, all staff have to work a week in a different staff role – guides cleaning the rooms, chefs working as receptionists, and housekeepers making the food. The comradery and general happiness of the staff is apparent daily. 

A favorite story is the tale of 2 guests, both 80 years old, who wanted to hike to the base of the towers. The towers hike of Torres del Paine is 18km with about 2,500 ft of elevation gain. In order to make it happen, the guide was awake with the pair at 5am and off they went. A full 16 hours later they returned to the hotel, in the dark, happy to have made the summit and checked off a bucket list item that had been on the list for years. The guides at Awasi are willing to do whatever it takes to make your trip to Torres del Paine everything you want it to be.

​Visiting Torres del Paine is guaranteed to leave you with memories of a lifetime. Visiting Torres del Paine with Awasi is guaranteed to make sure that these memories are the best they can be. Go ahead and test drive the Ferrari, we guarantee you won't regret it. 

As one Awasi guest summed up their stay, "What were my favorite parts? The freedom to explore extraordinary environments with our own guide and vehicle; the relaxed atmosphere and the friendly staff; enjoying gourmet meals perfectly paired with quality wines; top class, luxury accommodation; jaw-dropping scenery; unusual wildlife; and finally, being all-inclusive, removing any financial stress during our stay. Actually, I probably could have simplified this answer by replying, "Just about everything!"

Interested in including Awasi on your trip to Patagonia? Check out our itineraries to Patagonia or ask us!

Yours from Patagonia, 

Kelsey Wenger  

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