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Discover The Unspoiled Wilderness Of South America

At times, it becomes necessary to journey far to truly break free from the noise and chaos of everyday life. This exceptional expedition leads you to one of the most isolated regions of South America, a location as distant from the northern hemisphere as can be. To access this spot, you must undergo a 45-minute private flight or endure a rough six-hour drive on the Carretera Austral highway, a gravel route. En route, you will be met with awe-inspiring sceneries, featuring crystal-clear rivers, icy lakes, and majestic snow-covered Andes mountains. Upon arrival, you shall realize that the voyage was unquestionably worthwhile.

You are welcomed to the Explora Patagonia National Park, a place that will etch an enduring imprint on your soul. Chile, with its breathtaking nature and untouched landscapes, is home to some of the most magnificent vistas on the planet. The fauna here is mesmerizing, with beings like condors, pumas, and guanacos thriving in their native habitat. To safeguard these natural marvels, Chile has designated national parks, and amongst the most secluded is the Patagonia National Park. Covering around 700,000 acres, it stretches as vast as Yosemite National Park, with the towering Andes Mountains outlining the Patagonian steppe, a valley filled with meadows, marshes, and rushing rivers.

The variety of terrains in this locality is irresistible, ranging from dry flatlands to refreshing groves of deciduous lenga trees, where you might catch sight of the endangered huemul deer. Scarce and at risk animals seek refuge in this untouched sanctuary. Ornithology enthusiasts will also be thrilled by the park’s 100 diverse bird species, including Darwin’s Rheas, ñandús (South American ostriches), flamingoes, and pygmy owls.

One of the most notable aspects of the Patagonia National Park is its expanse, ensuring a tranquil seclusion rarely discovered in heavily frequented regions. The challenge of reaching the park, far from major airports, has effectively blocked mass tourism. Here, you can set out on extensive hikes without crossing paths with another human, encapsulated only by the immaculate, untouched charm of nature.

The park’s high-quality infrastructure guarantees that you can observe its extraordinary wildlife effortlessly. Its 155-mile network of well-designed and marked pathways lead to breathtaking vistas, ponds, and lakes nestled amidst the snow-adorned Southern Andes Mountain range. The park also houses a tourists’ center, a dining establishment, a lodging, and the Patagonia Park Museum, rendering it a cozy and efficient base for your escapade.

The Patagonia National Park boasts a compelling narrative with American origin. It was founded by Douglas Tompkins, the visionary behind clothing brands Esprit and The North Face. Alongside his spouse, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the former CEO of Patagonia, they procured extensive terrains in Argentina and Chile with the objective of reverting it to its natural, untamed state—rewilding. This initiative aimed to protect and revive habitat for native and endangered species such as the huemul deer, Andean condors, guanacos, and pumas. Among their seven ventures, the national park encompasses the Chilean ranch they acquired, alongside adjoining properties, covering a total of 206,983 acres. After removing cattle, enclosure, and invasive flora, the lands were gifted to the Chilean Government in 2017. They were then amalgamated with the existing Jeinimeni and Tamango National Reserves to establish the Patagonia National Park, an emblem of Chile’s most significant rewilding and eco-revival endeavors. Conservation, sustainability, and preservation stand at the core of everything that transpires in the park, lodge, and encounters provided, acting as the legacy of the Tompkins.

The Patagonia Adventure with Explora furnishes an exceptional wilderness sanctuary in partnership with the national park service. Explora, a Chilean establishment, specializes in sophisticated adventure tourism, catering to dynamic travelers looking to submerge themselves in nature without compromising on luxury. Unlike conventional camping experiences, Explora offers elite accommodations and gourmet cuisine, ensuring that guests are well-pampered. Their adept guides, with extensive knowledge of both the vicinity and its flora and fauna, enrich the tailor-made experiences and assist guests in delving deeper into the marvels of the region. With outposts in Machu Picchu, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, and other Patagonian locations, Explora provides small group activities tailored to personal preferences and capabilities. Activities span from expert-level mountaineering to relaxed overland excursions, granting guests the opportunity to witness the area’s captivating vistas. Indulge in bike rides on cutting-edge electric bicycles, kayaking along the crystalline waters of the Cochrane River, or challenging hikes to stunning overlooks over the Cochrane Lake basin. Each expedition pledges a distinct experience, enabling guests to genuinely bond with the immaculate nature encompassing them.

Contrary to assumptions, the lodge at Patagonia National Park’s Explora is not a standard luxury resort. Fashioned in a Victorian manner, the diverse structures, with their slate exteriors, resemble a residential district. Constructed from sustainable materials such as indigenous stone, recycled timber, and copper, the lodge blends seamlessly with its ambiance. The atmosphere is intimate and exclusive, with only a handful of guests remaining after the day-trippers depart. Indoors, the main edifice exudes a luxury safari lodge ambience, with soaring ceilings, exposed natural timber supports, and plush leather sofas. The salon furnishes ample space for repose and conversation, enabling guests to relax following a day of exploration. Harmonizing authenticity with comfort, the lodge at Explora complements the pristine wilderness in an exemplary manner.

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To conclude, a sojourn to the Explora Patagonia National Park offers an unmatched experience in one of the most secluded corners of South America. Its extraordinary landscapes, varied wildlife, and vastness forge an ethereal encounter, with solitude and peace that are rare in most travel destinations. Teaming up with the national park service, Explora presents unforgettable experiences, deluxe accommodations, and expert guides that enable guests to fully engage with the natural wonders of Patagonia. Be it setting off on an exhilarating trek or partaking in a relaxed bicycle ride, this exceptional exploration guarantees memories that endure a lifetime.

Image Source: Mauro Franca Photo @ Shutterstock

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