Travel Expert Evie Oswald tells us about her breathtaking trip to Chile.
What country/countries did you visit?~
How did you get there?
I took the bus from El Calafate to Puerto Natales, crossing at Cerro Castillo/Cancha Carrera border.
Where did you go?
I went to The Singular Hotel in Puerto Natales, Patagonia Camp just outside Torres del Paine National Park and then to Tierra Chiloe in Chiloe Island.
Have you been before?
Yes, I have been to Chile twice before but both times to the centre and north of the country. I’d never been to the south or to Chiloe.
If so…any notable differences?
The only place I visited that I had already been to before was Santiago and this was much the same.
Which was your favourite…
Place: Patagonia – specifically the area of Bahia Esperanza that we visited by horse from The Singular. We were the only ones here with our guide, and the scenery was really beautiful. It was much less visited and quieter than Torres del Paine and we had really good weather that day which helped!
Hotel: Tierra Chiloe – this was a really beautiful hotel located in a fabulous setting overlooking the bay with loads of different species of birds. The staff were really friendly, the food was exceptional and the excursions were really good fun. The spa is lovely and the grounds are beautiful for walking early in the morning and they offer a great variety of excursions in the area.
Excursion: I really enjoyed the Duahatao-Chepu hike that I did in northwest Chiloe. It starts with a steep uphill walk through the woods and ends up with a tranquil stroll along what feels like a tropical beach that we had to ourselves! The scenery was beautiful and it is amazing to come across no-one else – you really feel like you are off the beaten track.
What was your most memorable moment?
My arrival at The Singular hotel in Patagonia was pretty spectacular! To start with, I rode in an old fashioned funicular that was previously used to transport goods to the factory that the hotel used to be. Then, the arrival at my room – immense floor to ceiling windows overlooking the fjord, as well as one of the biggest and most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in! Finally, lunch was served with a superb Chilean wine – some of the best food and wine I’ve ever had!
What tips do you have for travellers wanting to visit the same destinations? (when to go/where to stay/what not to miss out on etc...who would like it, who would not like it etc...)
If staying at The Singular, don’t miss out on the Condor trek. It’s not for everyone as it does require a fair bit of uphill walking to start with, but the views from the top are amazing and I saw several condors take flight – with no other visitors in sight!
Is there anything indispensible to pack or prepare for?
A re-usable water bottle is essential although depending on where you stay you may well be given one! You’re likely to be out and about exploring a lot, so some snacks and a water bottle are indispensible, and all the better if you can avoid buying single use plastic bottles.
Sum up your trip in a sentence?
Breathtaking landscapes, unforgettable outdoor experiences, top notch hotels and mouth-wateringly good local food.
Provide an expert comment:
While January and February are typically the best months to visit Patagonia, I’d always prefer visiting in November, early December or March/early April. Yes, the weather can be a bit iffy, but the advantage of having some of these beautiful and remote landscapes to yourself is well worth it! I’d advise taking an extra day or two in the key areas, just in case you do get a bad weather day!