At the end of the world beckons a remote beauty: Patagonia. Here, mighty winds, glorious sun, epic starry skies, towering glaciers, majestic mountains and turquoise lakes create an exceptional landscape dotted with spirited gauchos, doe-eyed guanacos and soaring condors. Hike your way to the heart of this unrivaled world of natural splendor while trekking through the numerous trails within Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.
For the ultimate Torres del Paine experience, stay at Explora Patagonia Lodge. Designed to bring guests into intimate contact with the glorious natural world of remote Patagonia, Explora Lodge is located right on the shores of Lago Pehoe in the very center of Torres del Paine National Park: an unrivaled departure point for all explorations in the area. After invigorating excursions during the day, Explora takes special measures to create an environment of the utmost comfort for guests once back at the lodge. Rates are all inclusive including transfers from Punta Arenas airport or the Argentine border, accommodations, four meals per day with wine, drinks or soft drinks, daily outings in Torres del Paine National Park, and use of all hotel facilities including saunas, heated pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, horses, row-boats, and bicycles. Each day choose your own adventure from numerous hiking outings (ranging from easy walks to challenging treks), bike rides and horseback riding excursions throughout the park. All excursions are led by expert bilingual guides and are complete with gourmet picnic lunches.
One of the best aspects of staying at Explora Patagonia, for those interested in doing the famous W-Trek but hesitant about committing to camping or staying in refugios, guests have the opportunity to do all the most famous segments of the W-Trek as day hikes! Here are my personal favorite hikes from the W-Trek offered at Explora:
Valle Francés (French Valley)
Cross the turquoise waters of Lake Pehoé on board the Explora catamaran and head towards the Paine Grande hotel, where the hike begins. Enter the French Valley surrounded by dense forest and native bushes. Cross the hanging bridge over the French River, and reach the Italian camp. From within the valley, the Glacier del Francés beckons while the amphitheater of granite peaks frame the vista!
From the shores of Lake Pehoe, walk along the border of the massif. Halfway up the ascent, the Grey Glacier comes into view and the extraordinary expansion of the Southern Ice Fields stretches out towards the horizon. Continue down a steep path to the Grey Lake beach, board an awaiting vessel and navigate through bobbing icebergs, right up to the towering walls of this monstruous glacier! This exploration is particularly interesting for geology and glaciology enthusiasts. Finally, cross a forest and the Pingo River hanging bridge and return to the loge.
In the morning, depart the lodge and head towards the Cerro Paine ranch. From here, ascend towards the Ascencio River Valley and the Chilean Refugio Valley. Begin a steady, steep ascent toward the lookout at the base of the Paine Towers. At the top, take in the awesome magnitude of the three mighty granite towers, the park’s namesake.
For those, wishing to continue in Explora fashion on to the Fitz Roy area and Los Glaciares National Park of Argentina, join a Travesía to explore both sides of Patagonia in depth.
Explora Travesías are journeys in which guests travel via private between countries, staying along the way in special Explora camps and finishing or starting in one of the Explora lodges. The drive allows guests to access hiking routes along the way in some of the world’s most isolated landscapes.
Patagonia is not a country or a place; it is a territory shared by Chile and Argentina. Explora’s Travesía El Chaltén focuses on both the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, and the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. Depending on guests’ travel route, this Travesía can be taken either from Argentina or Chile, following the same itinerary.
Your friendly Patagonia expert,