Senior Travel Consultant Charlie talks about the highlights of his trip to Argentine and Chilean Patagonia including discovering the joys of asado and canoeing in Tierra del Fuego National Park.
The Argentinian and Chilean Cordero Asado, a butterflied lamb cooked over an open fire with plenty of salt, herbs and spices. This can be found all over Patagonia on both sides of the border. Just what you need after a long days hiking or horse-riding across the mountains.
BEST NIGHTS’ ACCOMMODATION?
I was spoilt for choice throughout my trip with amazing quality of hotels, architecture and welcoming staff, but my favourite had to be The Singular in Puerto Natales, close to the Torres del Paine National Park. This converted sheep factory turned museum and then 5* hotel is a unique property combining industrial heritage with luxury and style.
Each room has fantastic views across the Chilean Fjords with snow-capped mountains in the distance, and an impressive al a carte restaurant serving some of the best food I experienced throughout my entire trip. To access the main part of the hotel you glide down on the original funicular which adds to the hotel’s mystique.
The Laguna de los Tres hike was a stunning visual combination of red and yellow hues from the autumnal beech forests as well as glaciers and impressive lakes. The hike took approximately 8 hours, but the views were worth every second. As you reach the highest point of the hike you are greeted with the granite peaks of the Fitz Roy Massif and its surrounding peaks.
Canoeing in Tierra del Fuego National Park must be one of the best activities I have done whilst travelling. We started out canoeing through the fresh water lakes of the national park before entering the faster flowing Rio Lapataia and finishing in the salty waters of the Beagle channel, surrounded by the snowy peaks of Tierra del Fuego and no other humans to be seen.
We managed to spot some amazing wildlife along the journey, including condors, sea lions, penguins and a giant kingfisher.
Whilst on a boat trip in the Los Glaciers National Park I was lucky enough to witness a huge calving of the Perito Moreno Glacier. As huge chunks of the glacier creak and crash into the water below looming waves are created following the boat into the lake.
The Chiloe islands are famous for their UNESCO wooden churches, stilt houses, potatoes and also their wool. I was lucky enough to be a guest at Ocio Territorial and Tierra Chiloe whilst visiting the region. I was spoilt for choice with all the souvenirs and went for some green booties for my new baby.
My only regret is not having more time in Torres del Paine National park, I would have liked to have partaken on a few of the multi day hikes, though I would have needed a minimum of 5 full days there. Something to think about for a future trip.
TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS?
Pack layers as it can get cold the further south you go, but if you are taking part in the hikes and other activities you will want to be able to un-layer when needed.