This 3-time alumni family just returned from a holiday adventure to Chile and Argentina, doing a custom Best of Patagonia trip visitng: Atacama, Valparaiso, Santiago, Torres del Paine, El Calafate and Buenos Aires. Continue reading as they share their incredible experience:
"This was another outstanding Wildland trip! We have traveled with Wildland 3 times before and have loved the trips. We believe you all do South America better than anyone! We were incredibly grateful for all of Gretchen's help in planning this trip and her patience in helping with the changes and questions along the way. We were especially grateful and impressed with how Gretchen and others helped us when our daughter missed her connection. The Delta agents kept telling her not to go to Santiago because of the strike but she left anyway and we kept our fingers crossed that it would work. Thanks to all of you, she made it (48 hours later!) and all the guides/drivers were accommodating, friendly, and very easy to work with. THANK YOU to all who helped our daughter make it!!
On this trip, we stayed in many different places...Awasi Atacama had the best staff we have ever met, Eolo and Patagonia Camp were unique and unbelievable, the boutique hotels in Santiago and BA were great and in interesting, bohemian neighborhoods. Our favorite experiences were in Atacama: the staff at Awasi were incredible and the opportunities for unique adventures were endless. We loved it and could have happily stayed longer!! We also fell in love with Valpo (which was unexpected given first our impression) and definitely want to return! The setting and hiking experience at Patagonia Camp was incredible and we would highly recommend it to anyone!
There was nothing we were disappointed by (with the exception of our initial impression of Valpo, which quickly changed). The only two things that we were surprised by...the lack of indigenous culture (compared to our trips to Ecuador and Peru), and the relative lack of opportunities at Eolo after being at Patagonia Camp. We LOVED Eolo and were treated to 24 hours of snow on Christmas (which they said had NEVER happened!) but, compared to Patagonia Camp, it was very low key and they offered little to do except for some opportunities at a nearby estancia. It worked out and we were happy to relax but were surprised by it. Again, it was all fantastic!
We had many different guides who were universally excellent! Paulina in the Atacama was incredible, including sending us pics she took of us! She was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and a great deal of fun. The same can be said for Chris in Valparaiso, Pilar in El Calafate, the various guides provided by the Patagonia Camp, and Liliana in Buenos Aires.
The best meals were at Awasi but followed very closely by Patagonia and Eolo. We were positively surprised by how good the meal was at the Tango show in Buenos Aires as well. No bad meals anywhere!
We chose this trip because we wanted to explore a new part of South America that we had heard so much about; we are already looking forward to a return trip!
For future travelers we recommend: bring ALL the recommended clothing - we needed it all from the start 100 degree weather in BA to the snow at Eolo and on the glacier!!!
We truly appreciate all the flexibility and help you all gave us. What a trip!!! We LOVED it and are so incredibly grateful to you for all your help both in planning it and in helping us along the way. Every stop was outstanding and we would highly recommend you to anyone wanting to travel in that area!
All the best,
Your friendly South America expert,