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!
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!