December 1, 2020

Trip to Patagonia – Dec 31, 2014 – Overland to Torres del Paine National Park; Salto Grande Trek

– from the Itinerary: Today, we travel overland to Torres del Paine, widely considered to be South America’s finest national park and one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world. We’ll spend two nights here, giving us time to hike winding trails over rippling currents; witness the ostrich-like rhea (known locally as nandu), condor, fox, and other wildlife protected by this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site; and take in the stunning land- scapes of snowcapped mountains rising dramatically over mirror-smooth  lakes and flowering fields. We’ll stop for a boxed lunch at a scenic viewpoint en route to Torres …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 30, 2014 – Fly to Punta Arenas; Walking Tour

– from the Itinerary: Today we rise early and take a ferry back to the mainland. Then we fly to Punta Arenas, a bustling port overlooking the Strait of Magellan. Founded in 1848 as a military penal colony, Punta Arenas leapt to international prominence in the late 19th century because of its sheep and wool industry and the discovery of gold nearby. On our way into town, we’ll stop at the Nao Victoria Museum, which has a replica of one of Ferdinand Magellan’s ships complete with original furniture and hardware. After lunch your own in Punta Arenas, we’ll take a …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 29, 2014 – Discover Chiloé Island; Puñihuil Wildlife Sanctuary

– from the Itinerary: This morning, we’ll visit villages on the coast of Chiloé Island, including Quinchao Island, Curaco de Velez, and Achao. In Achao, we’ll see one of the 16 historic wooden churches of Chiloé that are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begun by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, these churches represent the blending of Spanish Catholicism with indigenous culture, with some details of their construction showing that they were built by carpenters who had learned their trade building boats. You’ll have time for lunch on your own, after which we return to our hotel. Later, …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 28, 2014 – Visit Local School; Home-Hosted Lunch; Ferry to Chiloé Island

  – from the Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, we’ll continue our travel in Chile with a visit to a local school (when in session). We’ll meet some young students and get a look at what a small, rural school is like in this part of Chile. Then we’ll be the guests of a local family in the community of Pargua, where they will prepare a traditional meal called a curanto for us. Curanto is a stew consisting of typical local fare—shellfish, meat, potatoes, and vegetables, cooked in a hole in the ground lined with rocks. As the meal is …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 27, 2014 – Osorno Volcano Hike; Explore Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park

– from the Itinerary: This morning, we head towards the Osorno Volcano, whose snowcapped cone towers over Lake Llanquihue, and enjoy a hike in its vicinity. We continue to Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park and have lunch with a local fisherman and his family who live inside the park. After lunch, we witness the Petrohue Waterfalls, where clear turquoise chutes of water flow over ancient lava from the Osorno Volcano that has been polished by silt over the centuries into a bed of smooth stone. The Mapuche Indians call this area the meeting ground between man and God, and with …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 26, 2014 – Overland to Puerto Varas, Chile

– from the Itinerary After breakfast today, we’ll bid farewell to Bariloche, board our motorcoach, and travel to Chile. We’ll stop for lunch en route. We’ll arrive at our hotel in Puerto Varas in the late afternoon and take a short orientation walk. This evening, dinner is on your own. And now we take a long bus ride across the Andes to Puerto Varas in Chile for the next 2 nights. We drove through the Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. This entire area is covered in ash from the eruption of the Puyehue Volcano in 2011. When we cross into Chile, …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 25, 2014 – Explore Bariloche; Campanario Hill; Craft Brewery Visit; Brazo Tristeza Hike

– from the Itinerary: This morning we explore Bariloche, starting with a guided tour of the city before venturing out into the surrounding countryside. At Campanario Hill, we’ll enjoy a chairlift ride up this picturesque peak, climbing high above the tree line for a panoramic view of Patagonia’s striking scenery. We’ll take in the beautiful collage of deep green foliage and snowcapped mountains mirrored in the region’s azure lakes. We’ll continue to Brazo Tristeza, an arm of Lake Nahuel Huapi, where we’ll hike amid lake and forest scenery.Later, we’ll witness how Bariloche’s land and culture come together when we see …

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Trip to Paragonia – Dec 24, 2014 – Mapuche Discussion; Limay River Float; Visit Patagonian Family

– from the Itinerary: This morning, we’ll experience an older side of Patagonia during a discussion with a member of the Mapuche, an indigenous, agricultural people native to southern Chile and Argentina. We’ll learn about their struggle for survival and their current relationship with the government. Then you can join our optional excursion to the Limay River, where you’ll experience the natural splendor of northern Patagonia from a different point of view by floating along Bariloche’s most scenic river. Flowing from Lake Nahuel Huapi, the tranquil Limay River provides our small group with a perfect path along which to capture …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 23, 2014 – Fly to Bariloche

– from our Itinerary: Today, we trade man-made skyscrapers for a natural skyline as we depart Buenos Aires after breakfast for our flight to Bariloche, during which we can gaze out the windows at the frosted peaks that surround this lakeside city nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Set along the banks of the 40-mile-long Lake Nahuel Huapi, San Carlos de Bariloche—as the city is more formally known—is the gateway to Patagonia’s Lake District, and has a distinctly alpine flavor indicative of its strong Central European influence. This is most apparent in the wood and stone architecture of the …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 22, 2014 – Explore Buenos Aires

– from our Itinerary: This morning, we discover the rich history of Buenos Aires—an epic tale of birth and rebirth, protests and passions, suffering and triumph set against the placid landscape of the Rio de la Plata—from a local perspective, as we explore it barrio (neighborhood) by barrio during today’s excursion. Startling contrasts await us as we experience the bustle of the city’s cultural center. We begin with Plaza de Mayo—site of Argentina’s answer to the White House, the Casa Rosada, and the heart of Buenos Aires’ political life. From there, we wander the wide boulevards of Avenida 9 de …

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