Patagonia, Chile and Argentina
Our Expert Marla recently returned from a trip to Patagonia, Chile and Argentina where she and her family had their dream become a reality. They had dreamed for years about this trip and they finally had the chance to experience it first hand. As Marla puts it, "The countryside is amazing". It is a very, very remote location and the natural beauty surrounds you everywhere. You just feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere. It is a wonderful place to go on hikes and little daytrips. In order to get there from the West Coast, it is not easy, but well worth it. From LAX they flew to Atlanta and then to Santiago where they stayed overnight. The flight from Santiago to Punta Areanas is a four hour flight. After that it was a four hour drive to their lodge. Marla used Explora to put the trip together and they were waiting for them at the airport. During the drive to the lodge, they did some sightseeing including Torres Paine National Park. They stopped to enjoy their lunch in the park. The Explora Patagonia Lodge is beautiful and is built on a lake facing the mountains. The view from their room was breathtaking. The scenery actually looks like it belongs on a postcard. Explora Patagonia Lodge is a 5-star all-inclusive property. Marla stayed in a regular room and said it was spacious enough to accommodate her and her husband and their two grown children. The suites are larger and have bathtubs and showers. It is a small intimate property. Cocktail hour is included each night and is a great place to meet up with other guests to share your adventures. Each night you sign up for your excursions for the next day. Some examples are day hikes, a boat ride across the lake horse back riding , or a 3 hour hike to the glaciers. They always include lunch on the tours. People from all over the world come to visit Patagonia and experience the beauty for themselves. The food was delicious and inventive and always reflects the origin of the country. Dinner each night was always looked forward to as it gave Marla and her family another chance to share their experiences and listen to others. It's a big group of like minded travelers. The dress code is casual, yet the price is on the high side. It is definitely an adventurous outdoor type of vacation. The spa on property is wonderful and a great place to unwind after a long outing. The massage rooms are set up where you get an amazing view from each and every room. Indulge yourself in a few services to make this trip ultra decadent. If you feel like getting some exercise, there is an indoor swimming pool. Marla and her family were there in November, which is their spring. The weather was perfect, with a little breeze at times. The sun was always shining. From the lodge, Explora drove them to El Calafate, Argentina. This is a 5 1/2 hour drive and of course they stopped for lunch and sightseeing along the way. They also stayed overnight in a small lodge where lots of local people stayed. El Calafate is a very cute town. They flew to Iguaza Falls on the Argentinian side and stayed ath the Sheraton Hotel, which is on the site of the falls. Staying there gave them the opportunity to access the park before it opened to the public. You could walk over to the falls and literally see them drop underneath you. Devil's Throat is a big U shaped cavernous opening with so much water flowing, you can't even hear people talking. Then it was off to Buenos Aires where they stated at Alvear Palace, which is right in the middle of town. This is definitely the place to stay. There are butlers on every floor tending to all of your needs. Dinner was included each night, and was served in small restaurants on the property. The food is scrumptious and dinner includes a 6-12 course meal paired with regional wines. Staples are beef and seafood, and of course local wines. Each day they toured around the town and even took a private tango lesson. They also indulged in a private tour of the opera house which included a behind the scenes tour. Ker & Downey helped Marla put this leg of her trip together, and their tours help you get into places that most people don't have access to. Marla's family had been invited to a wedding, which was held at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires. She said the property and the wedding were over the top. People danced under the stars and partied the night away. The dinner was held in a historic villa and was absolutely splendid. What a wonderful dream trip for the Green family. Our thanks to Marla for sharing the story of her travels with us.
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