Torres del Paine National Park
Tel: 56 2 2066060 (reservations)
Concierge.com's insider take:
No life list is complete without a visit to Torres del Paine National Park. The Explora Group's aim is exactly that: to make this inaccessible area accessible to the average (moneyed) traveler who neither wants to rough it nor is a super-athlete who's able to sprint up mountains. The group upset nature purists in 1993 when it laid the foundations to Hotel Salto Chico on the shore of Lake Peho, bang in the center of the park. The idea of a luxury lodge with true First World amenities and great food was unheard of in the region. (Explora's other properties are in the northern Chilean desert of Atacama and on Easter Island.) Daytime activities range from hikes that begin directly from the hotel, horseback or mountain bike rides, or boating on Lake Peho. Everyone returns at the end of the day to indulge in local meats such as slow-roasted lamb, fresh ceviche, and wines picked by the Chilean hotel owner. The property itself, with 50 rooms, is a boxy and modernist-looking structure whose wooden-planked exterior blends into the background. The interior uses a mix of local lenga wood, cypress, and slate, and clever lighting and glass that provide peerless views of the park's totemic granite skewers, the Torres del Paine. Rates include transfers from the Punta Arenas airport (be warnedit's around a five-hour drive along bumpy roads), all food, and unlimited use of guides, vehicles, boats, and horses.
t-2-f....sorry about that, if I caused you or anyone else any confusion....I'll repost this in the South America section.
The link to the page http://www.concierge.com/travelguide/patagonia covers more than the Explora Lodge in southern Patagonia. It also mentions several areas around Los Muermos and Puerto Montt, which is the general area of The Cliffs Preserve.....a Luxury Link auction destination in northern Patagonia.
As you may know, there have been a number of The Cliffs Preserve auction packages offered and sold..so, I thought the link could be of interest to others.
Just in case you are interested in possibly bidding in a future auction or have already purchased the LL package to The Cliff Preserve in Los Muermos, Chile......and you missed the Chile episode of the Anthony Bourdain NO RESERVATIONS show on the Travel Channel....you should be able to catch it in rerun.
The very last segment of this episode was filmed at The Cliffs Preserve......fantastic sweeping chopper shots and an informative luncheon with Tony the two individuals (owners?) who first hiked into the property and settled on the location for the resort.
bonniejoy 03....keep an eye open for more and more of the travel and special interest TV shows featuring South America.
Most of the countries in SA remain a huge travel bargain, are safe for individual and small group travel and are filled with historic and educational sites. Their governments are finally realizing what a positive financial impact the travel industry means to their economies (hence greater financial support for their tourism efforts) and are now encouraging more and more visitors.....especially from North America (as a less expensive alternative to Europe).
It is good to see LL continuing to add to their portfolio of destinations in SA.....you may see some upcoming properties from LL auctions in Ecuador and possibly Columbia (which is now one of the safest countries for tourism travel in SA).
Message Edited by omegaet on 08-18-2009 07:40 AM
Hi J & O...yes...O had given us the heads up about the wonderful travel show on Chile. Great! It is interesting...I find that many people ask us...WHY go to Chile?? Many people have no idea about the country and the other South American Countries. Can't wait to visit and hopefully do more SA travels. Argentina also looks great!
I thought Charles Runnett's new show gave an interesting if all too brief view of Chile. It has to be difficult to really see or say much about so many destinations in such a large country in just an hour.
I did read a number of negative post in a couple of travel blogs about Runnett's style for his new show. Personally, I found his running commentary entertaining and stimulating for me to do some additional research on Chile.
Anyone else see the show? Have any comments? Interested in seeing Chile as a result?