PHOTO: Carlos Lopez, the Founder and CEO of EnRoute Communications, on the five-hour drive from the airport to Patagonia Camp (c) Sery Kim
On Monday Conde Nast Traveler announced their top 20 resorts in South America (click here) and my favorite destination in South America, Patagonia Camp, was listed as number 16! Honestly, I could not believe it wasn't higher on the list ... a part of me thinks it is due to the fact it is a super-long journey to the literal end-of-the-world since everything else related to Patagonia Camp should have made it number one!
When I chose to travel to Patagonia Camp, almost 90% of the reason for me going was due to the exclusivity of its location. Patagonia is located at the southern most tip of both Chile and Patagonia, inside Torres del Paine National Park, and to help preserve the unspoiled nature of this exquisite natural jewel there are no direct flights to Patagonia. In fact, even within the country of Chile and Argentina, there are no direct flights because of the remoteness of the terrain.
To get to Patagonia Camp from Washington, D.C. I flew from D.C. to Miami (3 hour flight); Miami to Santiago (7 1/2 hour flight); Santiago to Puenta Arenas (3 1/2 hours). Puenta Arenas is a commercial hub for the area, with 18,000 residents, and a pretty decent airport with a few restaurants and even a business-class lounge. This is where anyone who wants to get to the Chilean side of Torres del Paine National Park have to fly to. From Puenta Arenas, Patagonia Camp picks up guests in a luxury mini-van to begin the long, windy, 5 hour drive to the Patagonia Camp.
PHOTO: Hotel Posada Rio Rubens, a cute hostel-like hotel, two hours of Puneta Arenas (c) Sery Kim
You can pretty much gauge the hospitality of a property by how the drivers treat you and Rodrigo, our driver, become one of our favorite parts of the experience. He not only brought us lunch (yum!), but he tried so hard to communicate with us in English. He also brought us to one of the cutest hostel-like hotels Hotel Posada Rio Rubens for a bathroom/rest stop break.
PHOTO: My glam face even after 24 hours of flying (thanks Fox Business!) (c) Sery Kim
Hotel Rio Rubens had a nice bar where I was able to get my first taste of Chilean beer. The Hernando de Magallanes was good enough to "wash" away some of the traveling, but it was truly the dessert sandwiches called Alfajores we had which made me very happy. They are lightly sweet and super soft cookies with a Dulce de Leche center, so yum!!
PHOTO: My Alfajores (c) Sery Kim
When you book at Patagonia Camp, the transport from the airport to the hotel is included so that is something to factor in. I always find, after traveling, it's nice just not to think about how to be mobile on the ground!
Be sure to tune into the blog tomorrow for more on what the actual stay there was like! As you can see from the photo below, it was TERRIBLE (haha, only kidding ... it was absolutely, BEYOND WORDS, PHENOMENAL)!!!!
PHOTO: Hiking inside Torres del Paine National Park (c) Sery Kim