The reopening of the Chilean border in November saw the first international guests return to our lodge, Awasi Patagonia, on the edge of Torres del Paine National Park.
Among them was our Director General, Matias de Cristobal, who took the photographs featured in this blog. “Each time I visit Awasi Patagonia, I see more wildlife than the last time,” says Matias.
You could think that would be because of covid bringing less people to the region, however the answer lies in the fact that local people are more committed to conservation than ever.
There was once a time, not so long ago, when local landowners would offer a bounty payment for puma skin. They saw these big cats as a threat to their livestock. However, with collaboration and education, local people are now protecting the puma and are proud to see them thrive.
Among our first guests were travellers from the USA, UK and Brazil. In their own words…
“The private tour guide alone is enough reason to book Awasi over other hotels in Patagonia. We were able to see/do every activity we wanted to with flexibility depending on how we were feeling each day. Lalo was the most amazing tour guide – he had such a depth of knowledge about the region and an intuition into the exact experience we were looking for.” – Awasi Patagonia guests from New York, December 2021.
We are proud of our team of guides for so many reasons. Not only for their passion and expertise – they undertake lengthy guide training – but because they are more akin to travel companions than traditional guides.
“The staff did the most fantastic job pairing us with our guide, Gonzalo. He was not only fully of energy and charming, but he was also a walking enclyopedia of Torres del Paine. He developed the perfect itinerary for our trip which included multiple hikes, horseback riding, and animal spotting – by the end of the trip we had spotted 39 bird species, 2 pumas, condors, fossils, and countless other animals. The experience we had exploring the park with Gonzalo was completely unforgettable and magical.” – Awasi Patagonia guests, December 2021
“Simply put, this is the most magical place we ever had the privilege to visit. Not only because of it’s unbelievable location and facilities – you won’t believe the views from your bed – but specially for every single person on their staff that would surprise us over and over and over again everyday along our stay, many times a day, with their effortless generosity, attention to the smallest of details, knowledge of every aspect of the region and so much more. We were excited when we got there and absolutely amazed when we left. Hope we get the chance to be back many times.” Diogo who visited Awasi Patagonia in November 2021 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Lastly, we will share these thoughts on the importance of a guide from a British guest who stayed at Awasi Patagonia in December 2021: “We were impressed by every aspect. And I was particularly impressed by our guide, Dani. I have such a low threshold for tour guides, but she was brilliant – never a moment that felt forced or like she was filling dead air; she was interesting and interested, and passionate and knowledgeable. She really made the experience perfect. And as fantastic as the design and food etc. is, a guide makes or breaks it.”
Awasi Patagonia is the world’s southernmost Relais & Chateaux property. The hotel is situated in a private reserve with views over the Torres del Paine National Park. There are 14 stand-alone villas, each one with its own 4×4 vehicle and private guide for the duration of each stay.