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If you’re looking for a Kodak moment, then these dramatic landscape scenes are the place to be. In late spring the weather is usually pretty cooperative for picture taking with plenty of sunshine. It’s always well advised to remember that this is the land of the unexpected so it’s important to be prepared for wind and rain on occasion.
After a good nights rest at the delightful Hotel Neruda, a fascinating tour of the City of Santiago, you can fly south to Punta Arenas. Here you’ll transfer 2 hours via coach to Puerto Natales on the Patagonia steppe. You’ll be welcomed overnight at the sparse but quaint Charles Darwin Hotel where you can enjoy a delicious dinner of King crab with fresh salmon.
The next day, you can sail for a few hours on the cutter vessel “21 de Mayo” up through the fjord of Ultima Esperanza. Stop and enjoy a hike around the gorgeous Serano Glacier and dine on a lunch of lamb at a remote cattle ranch. Boarding the zodiac boats next you can take a thrilling ride to the lodge located just inside Torres del Paine National Park. Here you’ll find the rustic Hosteria Pehoe for $200 per room,, you’ll get your money’s worth though when you peer over the edge of the turquoise glacial lake with a spectacular view. The spiked tall mountains are icecapped and just as vivid as a postcard, except that you’re seeing the real thing. Another Kodak moment to be sure.
Touring the park for three days, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take pictures of the wildlife. You’ll see guanaco’s which are in the llama family, foxes, flamingos, sea lions, many black necked swans, condors, cormorants and much much more. Some are even lucky enough to see the ever elusive puma. You’ll have plenty of free time to go horseback riding and boating in the magnificent Gray Glacier area. Or, you may choose to go on a challenging hike 8 hours up the famous towering peaks called The Torres.
Later you can fly to Puerto Montt and stay in the first class Hotel Gran Pacifico. Try four wonderful nights and explore Chile’s lake region area. Start in Puyehue National Park and enjoy the spectacular backdrop of some very active volcanos by the names of Osorno and Calbuco. Later in the afternoon you can enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes and soak in the crystal clear water that gets up to 110 degrees. You’ll enjoy a canopy cable swing adventure that takes you through the treetops. On your way back to the hotel, you can stop and visit a hand crafted market that has excellent deals on alpaca sweaters as well as blue lapis stone jewelry. You won’t want to miss a thing.
Go rafting on the next day and enjoy the powerful Petrohue River. This class 3 and class 4 white water rapids will be sure the wet your appetite for more adventure. Although some do fall out of the boat the wet suites provide you with plenty of protection against the frigid water temperature and the guides in their kayaks are able to quickly rescue you. This may just be the highlight of the trip.
On the 8th day you can enjoy a catamaran cruise alongside the shores of All Saints Lake. This lake is also referred to as Emerald Lake due to the vibrant green color in Peulla. This lush green forest is set deep in the foothills of the Andes and covers over 220,000 acres in all. Gorgeous waterfalls will enchant you and you’ll want to make sure and grab some more pictures as they cascade over the volcanic boulders and the ice capped Osorno.
Of course, all vacations must come to an end and you’ll have to head back to Santiago with memories and pictures of your adventures. Now you can relax and enjoy some seafood at one of the many deluxe local restaurants. Before you go though, take a tour of the Cavas del Maipo Winery and enjoy a lunch of wonderful barbecue steak and imbibe in some of the wine. You can select from vintages raking among the top from the worlds most esteemed experts.
Although a ten day tour will just begin to whet your appetite for more adventure, you’ll find that you’ve done some much in your ten days that you need a short respite. You’ll have eaten your fill of salmon and lamb and you can reflect back upon your adventure as a wonderful adventurous journey. You’ll enjoy your fellow tour participants and may even decide to stay in touch with some of them. The total cost of this trip was $2397 plus tax which also includes the round trip air from Miami and the internal flights. Paying $100 for the Chilean Visa is extra.
The remoteness of this beauty is pristine and unscarred. After touring over 30 countries I can honestly say that Patagonia is God created and hold perfectly the views of New Zealand fjords, The Alps in Switzerland and the beautiful forests and lakes of British Columbia. This land called Chile has no connection to peppers but actually means the “land far way” in Incan. It has preserved the beautiful landscaping and remoteness in a way like no other. Stretching to the end of the world, you’ll treasure every moment here. It will exceed your expectations.