Not only does Awasi attract a particular type of guest – typically intrepid, curious, active and keen to get out into the wild to explore – but we also attract a particular type of guide.
An excursion-based hotel set in the wilds of Patagonia means the guides must bring many qualities – knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, drive – and be able to hold their own leading a small number of guests on daily excursions. Across our hotels, in Patagonia, San Pedro de Atacama and Iguazu, we have an extraordinarily high staff to guest ratio (5 members of staff per guest) AND each room has its own personal guide and 4×4 vehicle.
Our multi-talented guides also act as drivers, spotters, wildlife scouts and expedition leaders, are committed naturalists with an in-depth knowledge of the local flora and fauna, and can prepare a gourmet picnic or evening canapes and aperitifs.
All whilst creating life-changing and memorable experiences for our guests – all in a day’s work!
For that reason we set up the Awasi Academy, a training program designed to hone the skills and knowledge of our guides.
The program, run during the off-season at Awasi Patagonia, is made up of a series of lectures, workshops and practical training exercises. The modules cover a wide range of topics, including tour guiding, geology and glaciology, flora and fauna, history and culture, mountain guiding, horse riding, vehicle mechanics, first aid and photography. Beyond the technical modules, our guides are also taught about the Awasi spirit and how to create memorable experiences for our guests. The Academy was set up initially for Awasi Patagonia, and has since been expanded to cover Awasi Atacama and Awasi Iguazu.
Courses are run by internal experts, such as our Head of Guides Cristian Asun and our biologist and photographer Eduardo Minte, as well academics and experts from elsewhere in South America and beyond. A geologist from the University of Virginia in the USA, a naturalist from Albert-Ludwigs University in Germany, a veterinary surgeon from Chile, and the President of the Patagonia Ecological Group all take part in workshops and classes.
The result is a team of highly-prepared, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides who can provide our guests with the best experiences this stunning landscape has to offer. And, by putting our guides through such a rigorous program, we can attract the highest calibre guides around, who come from far and wide to be part of the Awasi team. For example Kura who hails from the UK: