It's difficult to explain this to people:
The easiest way to get to the hotel is to fly to Punta Arenas, way down on the southern tip of South America, a three hour flight from Santiago, and spend a night there.
Get picked up and drive four and a half hours, the last hour and a half on gravel roads.
Spend an outright fortune per night (which admittedly includes food, drinks, and excursions).
And, despite this, you'll leave swearing that this was a life highlight, that it was worth all the trouble, and all the money, and that though you generally avoid returning to the same places for vacations, that this one might be the exception to the rule.
It's THAT special.
Torres del Paine is one of nature's treasures, with it's own weather pattern, scenery, massive glaciers, lakes, rivers, forests, hiking paths (it's famous for the "hiking the W", a six day trek), and unique flora and fauna. Salto Chico is right in the park, and it just seems amazing that a five star resort would find itself in this amazing location.
The hotel features expert guides that offer MANY expeditions daily, from simple to extremely challenging, from van tours to horseback riding to steep, long climbs, to simple hikes.
The guides are young, energetic, experienced, positive, knowledgeable, attractive, educated, and fun to be with. I'm NOT the type that enjoys spending my days hiking up steep inclines while being pelted by "Patagonia-force" winds, but while spending time with this group, you know what...I don't really mind. It was FUN.
Our group of six had just come through Santiago and Buenos Aires, and if I'm honest, it was tough to get this group up and moving each morning, and one of us is a particularly early riser (ME!). But, put us in Salto Chico, and all six of us were up early each morning, decked out in our trekking gear, and ready to go before dawn.
What happened to us?
Perhaps it was the out of this world amazing scenery, which changed moment to moment as the light hit the massive massifs.
Perhaps it was the delicious food served in the intimate dining room, every meal of which was delicious.
Perhaps it was the wine and drinks that we sipped while exchanging stories about our days with one another and the other guests.
Perhaps it was the layout of the hotel, which is like nothing I've ever seen before, and features large communal areas where guests of all sizes and types and nationalities congregate and befriend one another.
Perhaps it was the wonderful lap pool beside the lake with the four hot tubs and the intimate spa (reasonably priced, I might add).
Perhaps it was the nightly lecture about the glaciers or the pumas or a wide variety of interesting subjects.
Perhaps it was the excitement of doing something each day that we've never done before, and frankly never thought we'd ever do.
All I can say is...I'm not used to getting up predawn, as usual, and seeing all of my fellow travel companions sitting around and chatting with the other guests.
You simply don't go to places like this anywhere else.
This place is unique. It's out of this world, and frankly it's at the end of the world.
I met a number of people on this trip, both in Santiago and in Buenos Aires. We stayed in outrageously beautiful five star resorts. I kept running into people either departing on cruises or disembarking from one, about to fly home.
Some of the passengers were cruising with Seabourn, and frankly, I love that line.
But the truth: I felt sorry for them.
I experienced Salto Chico. You can't compare what they had done with what we'd just experienced. They simply aren't in the same league.
Listen to me, please. Go there! Go to Salto Chico.
It's one that you'll always treasure. It's worth the difficulty of getting there, and the high cost. It's worth ever penny.
And, when you've done this, drop me a line, not to thank me, but to exchange stories with me. It's that kind of place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our lodge is located right in the heart of the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia. The diverse and untouched landscapes of this area led UNESCO to declare it a biosphere reserve.Our Patagonia hotel lodge opened in 1993 on the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall. It affords an excellent view of the unique Paine Massif and two of the three impressive torres, or towers, which give the park its name.The lodge has 49 rooms and a variety of inviting spaces. Situated on a 3-hectare (7.4-Acre) site, the design borrows certain organic forms from the landscape itself, adapting to it with simple elegance. It was designed to create a dialogue with its environment, putting human beings in touch with the sublimity of their surroundings.For travellers, the lodge provides the welcome surprise of comfort in a remote area. Nonetheless, you are not isolated from nature, but rather placed "within" it. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico
- Explora Patagonia Torres Del Paine
- Explora Patagonia - All Inclusive Torres Del Paine National Park, Aisen Region, Chile