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Tours and Tips: Chilean Patagonia 

The tip of the iceberg

Chilean Patagonia continues to be a little-known place that only select few are able to visit.  Nature lovers marvel at untouched landscapes, breathtaking sunsets, labyrinthine fiords, bird-filled lagoons, flocks of wild geese cutting across the sky, fields full of flowers and magical forests of odd trees with gnarled and twisted trunks.  Be a daring 21st century explorer and experience vistas of untouched beauty.

click for large map Characteristics: Even though Patagonia covers one third of the land mass of both Chile and Argentina, less than 5% of their combined population live there. Chilean Patagonia is a spectacular wilderness, one of the last untouched places on the earth.  It owes its name to the indigenous nomadic hunters called Patagons or "big feet" that were encountered by the first explorers.  These were tracks of indigenous peoples who covered their feet with llama skins to protect them from the cold.  This is a vast region of thousands of islands, channels and fiords, woods and mountains, warm valleys and temperate rain forests with  concentrations of  exotic vegetation that shelter a wide variety of birds.  Visit Puyuhapi,  the magical place, in Dorita Bay.  Visitors may come here for different reasons but all of them will find the natural wilderness and tranquility of  a place that puts the tensions of city life far behind you.
Termas de Puyuhuapi Hotel & Spa Where to stay: The Hotel and Spa Las Termas de Puyuhuapi is a lodge situated on the Ventisqueros Sound, only accessible by sea.  Las Termas is a pioneer in receiving foreign travelers in an area that  is known as the Camino Austral.  The literal translation of Puyuhuapi is "place of Puyes", a small fish that was caught and eaten whole by the natives. The lodge is in complete harmony with the environment and is surrounded by dense primeval forests. Enjoy its comfortable facilities - the knowledgeable staff of the hotel offers guests the attentive service of a first class hotel amidst the spectacular wilderness of Patagonia.  Its location provides the ideal point of departure for excursions to the native forests facing the Pacific Ocean.  Tourists may kayak through the channels, or take a boat in search of the sea lions or dolphins.
Catamaran Patagonia Express How to get there: Take an international flight to the capital city of Santiago de Chile. From there you have to make land, air or sea connections.  Driving through Austral Road from Coyhaique (5 hours) or Chaitén (4 hours); by boat or Catamaran, or on a clear day, by private small aircraft from Puerto Montt or Coyhaique, using the airstrip close to the lodge. There are flight connections from Santiago to Puerto Montt..
The glacier What to do: You will find great outdoor recreational activities in the natural reserves. Explore the hundred of sea channels, take a boat  to see and touch the incredible glaciers,  hike the luxuriant forests in Quelat National Park, try fly fishing on the "catch and release" system in pure. Plan a whole day guided excursion to the icebergs in a fast Catamaran, the seas are calm and pleasant and the surrounding nature marvelous. The Patagonian ice fields are a gigantic blanket of ice covering the Andes Mountain Range.  Taking an excursion to the San Rafael Glacier is an experience beyond words, you are so close that you can feel it move and hear the ice crack.
Ten thousand year old ice What to eat and drink: During navigation meals are fully provided.  At the hotel, enjoy international and typical Chilean cuisine prepared by a master chef in a first class restaurant with seating for 90 persons.  Toast to your good fortune with famous Chilean wine.  Having a drink at the bar here is a whole new experience: cocktails are made with ten thousand year ice.
Thermal waters How to pamper yourself: Spend a few hours soaking away the aches and pains in therapeutic waters of  the hot-spring pools located 180 m from the main building at sea level.  Get a facial beauty treatment or try hydro-massage with Thalassotherapy in the hotel Spa.  This technique combines sea water, algae and heat done in a marine environment for a truly revitalizing experience.  After a day of exciting adventure have a deep sleep surrounded by natural silence.

For tours and prices please inquire.

Rumbos OnlineBy Lola Salas
Updated, March 2003

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