Gaby’s Guide to Patagonia

If Patagonia isn’t on your bucket list – put it on there immediately! Hands down this was the best surprise vacation to date and today we’re reliving it! Gaby’s Guide to Patagonia starts now!

Patagonia is one of my favorite places on earth. I’ve been once before on a work trip about 5 years ago and spent only 2ish days exploring, due to time constraints and I’ve been obsessed ever since. When we finally figured out surprise vacation clues this year and then proceeded to head WAY WAY WAY south, I was ecstatic. Like couldn’t even control my excitement. I’d been waiting to return for years and to get to do it with my family was a dream.

As promised – details for the trip are below a la Gaby’s Guide to Patagonia! And no, nothing was sponsored!

My dad booked all our travel through a company called Quasar! My parents have traveled with them before in the Galapagos Islands, and they helped orchestrate my last Patagonia trip a few years back. They are INCREDIBLE. Like the dreamiest of companies to travel with.

Let’s get a few things straight up front.

1: when you travel with quasar, you travel all throughout Patagonia via a super sexy tricked out Jeep. It’s really the best way to get around because it’s just your own crew in the car and you don’t have to wait for anyone else. No big busses or lines.

2: you can go with a guide or without. I’ve sent about 6 different families to Patagonia since I went for my quick trip a few years ago and we have friends that have done the guide and done it solo. They both will be incredible but I LOVED our guide! Gonzalo was incredibly knowledgable about everything from the animals to the geological formations to the hotels to the food to the cocktails and more. He was literally like the Mayor of Patagonia and I’m obsessed. Another major bonus to having a guide is that if the weather isn’t cooperating one day, they are VERY helpful and quick to swap things around so you can still see the entire park without missing a beat. They take the thinking out of any decisions and it’s really lovely not to have to think on vacation.

3: you can customize your hotels as you see fit!! If you want something luxe, they’ve got it! If you want a fancy yurt, they have that too! Skies the limit

Okay let’s get into our itinerary. My dad is a super planner, which I’m 100% certain is where I get my planning skills, and he rocked this trip!

Day 1:

We flew from the US down to Punta Arenas which is basically the last airport before Antartica. We were shattered and so jet lagged so took the day to rest before we really hit the road.

Day 2 + 3 + 4:

We checked into the Singular Hotel and set up shop. The food at Singular is BEYOND. Truly some of the best food in all of Chile, and I’ve been up and down the country twice! They have 2 restaurants, both are worth trying. One is their regular restaurant that is insane. Lamb, Risotto, Fish, Ceviche, Soup, the works… literally everything your heart desires! And plenty of vegetarian options too! Their other restaurant is El Asador which is equally as amazing and very meat heavy. Course after course of incredible food, drinks, and more all done on the grill. The tomato and basil empanadas changed my life. Just saying.

During the days we explored the Mylodon Cave, hit the spa, headed across the water to the Estancia de Peninsula for horseback riding and an incredible wine fueled lunch, hiked around and up the mountains of Laguna Sofia and drank approximately 12 Pisco Sours because they are my favorite cocktail of all times.

Day 5 + 6 + 7:

We headed into the park and checked into Tierra Patagonia to set up shop for a few days. Tierra is 180 degrees different than Singular but both are so incredible. While Singular is more industrial and moody, Tierra is bright and light and more earthy! It’s right on the Torres del Paine park line which makes getting into the park very easy. The rooms all have a view of the mountains and lake and the night sky at the hotel (if you make it up that late) is out of this world. We loved every second.

If you’ve got 3 days here, here’s how I’d break it down. 1 day exploring the park including grey glacier, hiking to see the horns and 2 waterfalls and generally driving through the park to see as much as humanly possible. Then you need 1 day to do the French Valley. It’s an incredible hike and the views are stunning. And then 1 day hiking the Base of the Torres. That hike is not for the weak of heart. It’s not technically that difficult but it’s about 8 hours round trip with a huge elevation change… but the views at the top are worth every step.

Day 8 + 9:

After spending a week in Chile we crossed the border and headed to Argentina! We checked into the most gorgeous Relais & Châteaux property called Eolo and immediately saddled up for lunch. The food at Eolo matches that at Singular. It was picture perfect every time we sat down for a meal. Heavy on the meat, pasta and wine (I mean, Argentina was settled by the Italians) meant I was in heaven. We visited a local estancia for a horse back ride around the gorgeous Lago Argentina, followed by a wine tasting at the hotel! The next day we woke up early to go ice trekking at Perito Moreno and then walked the boardwalk to see the glacier in it’s entirety. Fun fact – it’s one of the only healthy glaciers in the world.

       

On day 10 we headed to Buenos Aires for the afternoon (not nearly long to see the city) and then flew home! Clearly a trip back to BA is going to be mandatory!

To say it was dreamy is an understatement! And if you want to go, need a guide, but only have a few days – 100% you should talk to Gonzalo and have him do a few days with you. He’s the BEST! And he’ll make your trip the most memorable ever!

And if you want to see my past Chilean adventures – here you go! Patagonia Part 1 and Part 2. Atacama Desert Part 1 and Part 2. Santiago.

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16 comments

  1. Elena Ramirez

    I’m so glad that you visited my country, Chile. Thank you for the post.

  2. Kathy O’Brien

    The trip looks AMAZING!!! I just need to talk my husband and some friends into going! 🙂

    Quick question…

    You used Quasar to plan the trip but hired your guide, Gonzalo, on your own? Or was he associated with Quasar?

    Thanks!
    Kathy

    • Gaby

      He works through Quasar!! But if you didn’t want to do the full 8 day Quasar trip, he also does stuff on his own!

  3. Helen Kennedy

    It looks amazing! Since learnng Welsh I’ve wanted to visit the Argentinian part of Patagonia, part of which was settled by people from North Wales in the 1860s. This is mainly the Chibut valley including Gaiman and Trelew. Seeing your pictures makes me want to go even more.

  4. Cynthia @ Chic Eats

    Tierra Patagonia is truly a spectacular hotel. If you go to Chile again, Easter Island is a must. Hike up Rano Kau, watch the sunrise at Ahu Tongariki. The solitude and beauty are one of a kind.

  5. Lindsay Cotter

    Loved following you on IG stories! So fun! This is totally on my bucket list. 🙂

  6. Jennifer

    Did basically this same trip in February 2018 and it was amazing. Looking at your photos brought back so many memories!! We too stayed at Tierra Patagonia and Tierra Atacama. Loved them both! We also did all of those hikes as well. Both areas were so vastly different and unique. I have definitely recommended this trip to everyone!

  7. Emily

    Gaby,

    I have to know – how do you pack everything into a carry on?! I need all the help. Going to Italy for 13 days and I am afraid of losing my luggage!

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  8. J. Rice

    What time of year did you go, and is it considered to be the best time? If not, do you know when?

    • Gaby

      We went in October the first time and January this past time! Any time between Nov – Feb is supposed to be the best!