A Fresh Look at Patagonia

After 35 trips on safari in Africa, Travel Beyond owner Craig Beal surrendered his passport to our South America experts Jennifer Gillmore and Jenny Mikkelson, who eagerly designed an itinerary for Craig to Chile and Argentina. One of the many highlights of Craig’s fall 2014 trip was a visit to breathtaking Patagonia, where he toured Travel Beyond’s favorite properties, hiked through the iconic mountain range and learned invaluable lessons to share with our team and clients.

WHAT TO DO:

Patagonia, a region spanning both Chile and Argentina, boasts 400,000 square miles of endless adventure. Travelers visit Patagonia to hike, sail, ski, golf, boat, climb, rappel, raft, bike, horseback ride, fish, drink, eat, photograph or simply enjoy the fresh mountain air. Those looking for a less remote experience will enjoy the restaurants, cafes and activities of Bariloche, a lakeside German and Swiss-inspired town.

WHERE TO STAY:

In Argentina, Craig recommends Llao Llao Hotel and Resort, a lakeside property flanked by scenic mountain peaks and located only 15 miles west of Bariloche.

In Chile’s Torres del Paine, stay at Awasi Patagonia, a luxury lodge where each villa is assigned its own guide and vehicle, giving guests completely private excursions designed with their tastes and preferences in mind.

NEED TO KNOW:

Due to weather patterns, the peak season and best time to travel to Patagonia is November through March.

While Patagonia is best for active travelers, many of the hotels have options for guests looking to relax. Spa treatments, wine-tasting classes, scenic boat rides and visits to local towns are just a few options for companions of active travelers.

Craig Jennifer Patagonia

ABOVE: South America consultant Jennifer Gillmore (middle left) and owner Craig Beal (middle right) enjoy a wine tasting in Argentina.