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Zoe & Gregg

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We are Zoe and Gregg, two married anesthetists indulging in our passion for travel and adventure. When we’re not taking care of patients, we enjoy visiting exotic locations. Anywhere with a body of water and a scenic hotel has our name written all over it! We enjoy diving, canyoning, fishing, hiking and getting to know the locals. We are foodies at heart and enjoy trying the traditional cocktails of the area. We love getting lost and trying to experience the culture like the locals. Get inspired with articles on travel advice and more!

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Friday feels 🙌🏽 ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Reflecting on the week.. trying to do a better job this year of staying in the moment and living every day to the max. It’s easy to get sucked into routine, dreading work, and just trying to make it to the weekend. Why be miserable for 260 days out of the year? 😼 My goal for 2020 is to 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺 the day, the people you work with, quality time with family at the end of the day, and to be overall more positive about the daily grind. Instead of waking up bummed to wake up for work, be excited for a day full of great people, great patients and great conversations 🤟🏽⁣ ⁣ What’s your 2020 goal? 💁🏽‍♀️⁣ ⁣⁣ #⁣fridayfeels #weeklyinspiration #liveeverymoment #newyearbetterme #2020goals #travelphotography #travelblog #vacationeveryday #lovethelifeyoulive #chiletravel #patagoniachile #torresdelpaine
Ever wondered how to start planning a trip to Patagonia? Or even wth this place is?? ✈️ If you’re fascinated with Mother Nature, looking for some of the best hiking in the world, or just need to unplug, you should be heading to South America 🌎 Composed of over 400,000 square miles of land, Patagonia expands through the southernmost portions of both Chile 🇨🇱 and Argentina 🇦🇷 This trip is absolutely doable in 10 days! You can visit both sides and their most famous locations, such as 𝐌𝐭 𝐅𝐢𝐭𝐳 𝐑𝐨𝐲 & 𝐓𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐥 𝐏𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞. Don’t forget to wear your @patagonia gear 😉⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ • Check out the link in bio for our most recent post on seeing the 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘗𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘪𝘯 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝟷𝟶 𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴! •⁣ ⁣ #mtfitzroy #patagonia #argentinapatagonia #argentinatravel #lagunadelostres #fujifilm #fitzroy #chile #chilepatagonia #travelcouple #couplegoals #hikinggoals #travelgram #travelblog #dreamdestinations #planetearth
𝟚𝟘𝟙𝟡 was quite the year of adventure for us ✨ In just 13 months we had the opportunity to travel to 4 different continents, attend a winning Patriots Super Bowl, and work together at the same hospital! 🌍 We are beyond grateful for all of our experiences overseas and at home. We cannot wait to see what 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 has in store for us! 🥂 ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ It’s hard to pick only one, so here are our favorites memories from the year! 📸 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦?? ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Happy New Year friends! 🥳 ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ #newyearseve #2019reflections #traveladventures #travelgram #travelphotography #travelblog #travelcouple #couplegoals #couplesthattravel #destinationinspiration #fujifilm #planetearth #lovethislife
Always fallin’ for you 💙⁣ ⁣ #northcarolinaoutdoors #chimneyrock #hickorynutfalls #travelcouple #travelgram #landscapephotography #waterfallphotography #couplegoals #travelbloggers #usdestinations
All I want for Christmas is...more vacation time...with youuu 🎶🎄❤️⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #christmaswishes #neverenoughvacay #destinationchaser #travelcouples #travelbloggers #couplegoals #travelgram #fujifilm #torresdelpaine #chiletravel
Happy FriYay! ✨ It’s a good thing we love our jobs because it would’ve been a lot harder to leave this place 💙⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #Fridayfeels #letsweekend #frenchvalley #patagonia #travelgram #patagoniachile #travelcouples #mountainlife #trekkingtoes #allaboutthatview #fujifilm #fujifilm_xseries #landscapephotography #destinationchaser #welivetoexplore #couplegoals #travelbloggers
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Chilean & Argentinian Patagonia

Patagonia is magnificent in all of its glory. The Patagonian region spreads across the southernmost part of South America. It extends through southern Chile and Argentina. The entire location covers more than 400,000 square miles! Pictures of mountains and glaciers may be deceiving when it comes to its major type of terrain. Despite common belief, the majority of the Patagonian land is actually desert, not alpine. You will notice this if you spend a few hours driving between famous destinations. However, the main tourist attractions are the glaciers and hiking in the national parks. Deciding where to visit can be tough because the best locations are spread amongst both countries, which are massive in themselves. Skip the wine country and large cities and head south for a pure unplugged seclusion trip. Our lack of vacation time also made planning this trip a challenge. We were able to see what we felt were the best parts of Patagonia in only 10 days! Below are the locations that we decided to visit along with a detailed itinerary. Read on and enjoy the views!

10 Day Itinerary

Day 1-3 Puerto Natales, Chile
Day 3-6 Torres del Paine National Park (W Trek)
Day 6-7 Puerto Natales
Day 7-8 El Calafate, Argentina (Perito Moreno Glacier)
Day 8-10 El Chaltén (Mount Fitz Roy)

Day 1: Puerto Natales

Deciding which side of Patagonia to travel to first (Chile or Argentina) should be based on flight costs. Explore your options flying into each country and compare prices. You will either fly into Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina. From Santiago, you will catch a flight to Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas. From Buenos Aires, you will fly into El Calafate. Crossing country borders will be more expensive and could potentially have more layovers. Try to fly into one country and out of the other to save travel time. For example, don’t fly from Santiago to El Calafate. Our flight was easier to fly from Santiago to Puerto Natales (PN), the main home base for access to Torres del Paine. Unfortunately, PN airport does not offers flights every day. It is very small and may only have flights two days a week to book. During peak season (Jan-Feb), more flight days are available. If you’re lucky like us, you can fly directly there instead of to Punta Arenas and save driving 5 hours to PN. However, if you’re planning on visiting Ushuaia, flying into Punta Arenas would be the better option. There are a lot of options, but with our itinerary, these flights suggested are the best.

Where to Fly Into
  • Destination: Torres del Paine Fly to: Santiago ➜ Puerto Natales (closest) or Punta Arenas
  • Destination: Mt Fitz Roy or Perito Moreno Fly to: Buenos Aires ➜ El Calafate
  • Destination: Ushuaia or Tierra del Fuego Fly to: Santiago ➜Punta Arenas
Puerto Natales Airport

For those visiting Torres del Paine first, flying into PN is the best option. The town is about an hour drive from the park and has a ton of affordable hotels. It is a quaint port city with plenty of delicious restaurants and bars. Not to mention, awesome views! We stayed at Altiplanico Sur during our time in Puerto Natales. We would recommend this hotel for everyone. It is a super cozy, Chilean style hotel with the most amazing staff. Shout out to Wadson who made our stay extra special! He helped us arrange any taxi transfers, reservations, etc. He even lent us pesos for a cab and a plug adaptor to charge our devices. Above and beyond service! The hotel offered breakfast every morning, had a lovely bar with great views, and even 2 private hot tubs with complimentary reservation. It was our comfiest accommodation of the trip. Be cautious when booking. Apparently Google has a different website link that is a fraud. Use the link in our post for the correct booking process!

We would give this 4-star hotel 5 stars for service, but if you truly want a 5-star hotel, The Singular is a unique experience. We visited for dinner and post-hike massages at their spa. The building has a lot of history to it, but has been partially renovated for a modern feel. We highly recommend grabbing a meal or a spa treatment there if your budget is a little tight.

After many hours of travel, you will want to relax before your long days of trekking. If you arrive in the afternoon, take advantage of any hotel amenities, ignore the exhaustion and grab your first Chilean meal! We highly recommend Lenga for dinner (Thank you Wadson). This small, gastronomical restaurant had some of the best food we had in Patagonia. We loved the pumpkin soup, ceviche, and the gnocchi dishes. All of the vino was delicious as well. Carmanérè wine is what the Chilean locals recommend. The grape grows locally in the country and has a more bold flavor. However, we preferred the sweeter Cabernet Sauvignon. Take the time to walk around and enjoy the town. This is the only day you’ll have free time to see Puerto Natales. Be sure to get Chilean pesos before arriving. Chile does not accept USD and you will need cash for taxis, tipping, etc. There are a couple of casa de cambios (banks) in town, but we found the lines long and a little bit of a struggle to find from our hotel without international data. If you’re staying in the main downtown area, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a bank. After exploring downtown PN, be sure to catch up on some zzz’s tonight!

Day 2: Estancia La Peninsula (Puerto Natales)

Easily one of our favorite days was our time at a Chilean estancia (farm). We got to horseback ride through the hills surrounding Estancia La Peninsula and learned the ways of the gauchos (cowboys). The estancia was beautiful, surrounded by water and lush green terrain. We met our amazing guide, Nikolaus and took a 30 minute boat ride from PN to the estancia. He explained to us the history of the land and the surrounding regions. We were then greeted by the loveliest gauchos on arrival. We absolutely adored Mayi! She was so sweet and brought an incredible energy to the room. She explained to us all about their local drink Mate and how to prepare it. After sipping on Mate with breakfast, we headed to our horses!

We could not have loved our horseback ride more! The horses were very well trained and easy to ride. They took us through the rolling hills of the estancia and we got to enjoy lake and mountain views the entire time. The ride was about an hour long, so we made sure to take in the moment! The views at the top were incredible. My horse was more like a stallion. His name was Bamboo and he was so sweet and loved leading the group. We couldn’t get enough pictures with these amazing creatures.

After the horseback ride, we headed inside the farmhouse for our freshly grilled lamb. They had prepared it for our group all morning long. It was some of the best meat we’ve ever had! The gaucho cut the lamb up for us and we enjoyed it with flowing bottles of red wine.

We had a blast eating and drinking with the rest of our group and the staff. Everyone share travel stories and made us feel special during our anniversary celebration. After lunch, we got to see the gaucho shed a lamb’s wool for the first time. It was interesting to see their way of life and how the wool is processed and distributed.

We would highly recommend booking an estancia horseback excursion during your Patagonia travels. You will not regret it! Plus, it’s a nice low key activity prior to trekking. The gauchos and staff at Estancia La Peninsula went above and beyond to make sure we had an excellent experience. Thank you to Nicklaus, Mayi, and the rest of the crew!

The night of our anniversary we headed to The Singular for dinner. The menu was French with a mix of local cuisine. Gregg ordered the beef cheeks and I ordered the lamb. Both meals were delicious and delicately prepared. We went with the Carménère wine, which once again, was bold and paired well with the meat. We highly recommend a nice dinner here during your stay in Puerto Natales. Be sure to make reservations in advance.

Day 3-6: Torres del Paine National Park (W Circuit)

The highlight of the trip was absolutely the W trek hike in Torres del Paine. This Chilean National park is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We didn’t know how we’d feel about hiking and camping for four days, but we had the best time. Being surrounded by nature with no WiFi was a nice escape from our hectic daily lives. It also made us appreciate the little things. We hiked with only one backpack that carried all necessities for our trip. We definitely turned into minimalists on this portion of our travels! The park occupies 700 square miles of the Chilean Patagonia region. It is filled with magnificent, yet diverse terrain. You will hike within mountains, glacial lakes, lush greenery, glaciers, and many bodies of water. Take in the scenery as you hike in one of the most unique national parks in South America.

Day 1 – Lake Grey

Glaciar Grey Lookout

The W trek is 4 to 5 days long. Four days is plenty to see all major lookouts of the park. Five days allows you to see more of the park and technically complete the full W. Due to time restraints, we did the four day trek. On day one, you leave PN by bus and arrive at the welcome center where you have to wait about 30 minutes to check in and watch a informational video. Unfortunately, we couldn’t bypass this part. (Tip: if you have motion sickness, take meds before your bus ride. There are a lot of windy turns on the way to and in the park). From there, the bus will take you to lake Pudeto where you will take a 30 minute catamaran ride to Refugio Paine Grande. This was our first stop, but you can start on the other end and stay at Refugio Torre by the Towers. We preferred this order because the Towers are such a famous landmark and it ended our trek with a bang! It was also nice to be closer to the welcome center on the way back to PN. It made for less travel time at the end.

W Trek in Torres del Paine
Lake Pudeto

Once we arrived to Paine Grande, we refueled at the refugio and began our 4 hour hike to Refugio Grey. The hike was a bit exhausting after our long travel to the park, but we were thrilled to be there. We stopped often for photos, so our total time to the refugio was about 4.5-5 hours. The best part about traveling to Patagonia in the summer time is that the sun doesn’t set until almost 11:30 pm and rises just before 5 am. So, you don’t have to rush to get to the refugios before the sun goes down (Technically, you’re not supposed to hike after 6 pm, but we saw plenty of people leaving at 5 pm). If you have time, stop at all of the lookout points and enjoy the views. Our favorite part of hiking is not just the physical activity, but the rest stops and peaceful moments in between. The best stops are where you can enjoy the panoramic views.

We finally made it to Refugio Grey where we were greeted by a cute lodge-style campsite in the woods. This was one of our favorite refugios of the W trek. It had a nice cabin-style feel to it. The outside had chairs where hikers gathered to enjoy a beverage and relax after a strenuous hike. Inside was the main cafeteria with a full bar, a wood stove, and bedrooms. Unfortunately, the refugio rooms are not private. There are two bunk beds in each room, just like a hostel. We were fortunate enough to have awesome roomies that were very respectful. The showers inside were much nicer than the camper showers outside. There is a covered area where the campers can hangout and cook inside. Also, there is a small convenience shop with food, toiletries, etc. We ate inside the refugio, which was much simpler than bringing cookware and food. The food provided was okay, but we appreciated the ease. The full bar was awesome and we loved the atmosphere at this site! Our first night we pretty much just ate and hit the hay early, as our next day would be a long one.

Day 2 – Grey Glacier Kayak

We started off our second day in the W trek with a kayak tour on Lake Grey. This was our first glacier experience and we loved it! You can either kayak around the glacier or do a glacier ice walk. We preferred the kayak tour as we planned to do an ice trek on the Perito Moreno Glacier later in the trip. The kayak tour base is about a 10 minute walk from the refugio. Once you arrive, the staff will give a quick debriefing and then you will change into dry suits and other equipment that is provided. There were dry bags for your camera, phone, etc. Be sure to wear thermals for underneath the dry suit. We recommend bringing sunglasses, sunscreen, water, and a Go Pro with a case and screw for their helmet mounts (a nice touch!). Your things will not be locked up, so make sure to lock it up at the refugio before you leave.

The tour was incredible. Just being surrounded by huge chunks of glacier was a totally different experience for us. The guides taught us a lot about the way of Grey Glacier and took photos of us. At one point, they connected the whole group in a “raft” and passed out chocolate and hot chai tea. It was so peaceful sitting surrounded by this beautiful, massive structure. Take in the moment and don’t forget to eat pieces of ice floating in the lake!

After our kayak tour, we returned to the refugio where we had lunch and decided to enjoy the sunny day out on the deck. We enjoyed a beer and hung out with other hikers from all over the world. After relaxing and sunbathing, we hit the dirt path and made our way back to Refugio Paine Grande.

After arriving to the refugio, we refreshed and got settled into our tent. Everything was setup for us when we arrived. The tent was up and sleeping bags and pads were inside. It was nice to not have to worry about setting anything up after our long day. Refugio Paine Grande was our least favorite refugio, but we had the most fun there. The lodge itself was not as modern and updated as some of the others. The outside camping showers had cold water and the food was so-so. They did have one of the better convenience shops with some necessities and coffee. At dinner, we met up with some Americans that we had met during our time at Refugio Grey. We had a blast at the upstairs bar afterwards. The bar closed at 11 pm and we got kicked out (classic!), so we headed to the beach with our wine and hung out for a couple hours. It was one of the best nights we had on the W trek. Meeting other hikers is always fascinating and the fact that we kept running into the same people through out the rest of the trip was fun! This night was the coldest and windiest by far. We recommend for campers to wear thermals under PJs to bed. Bring some comfy cabin or wool socks as well!

Day 3 – French (Frances) Valley

The next morning we headed to the French Valley. We left our belongings locked up in the refugio and brought a day pack as we would return to Paine Grande that afternoon. This hike was one of the most brutal to get to the lookout point. It is about a 4 hour hike to the French Valley and another 30 minutes if you want to go to Britanico, another amazing lookout point. We unfortunately skipped the Britanico portion because we got off to a late start and didn’t want to rush the rest of the hike. Other hikers said it was totally worth the extra hour! If you don’t go, you will still have incredible panoramic views of the French Valley. The last hour of the hike is serious. Steep climbing on large rocks, streams, and other terrain. This part we were thankful to have trekking poles for. We promise, it is worth the view at the top! It was extremely windy at the lookout point, so be careful with loose hats and other items that may fly into the abyss.

After taking a million photos and enjoying the scenery, you will make your way back to Refugio Paine Grande. This point is where trekkers doing 5 days will go to Refugio Los Cuernos instead. Apparently, this is one of the nicest refugios. One girl we met rented out a private lodge with a wood stove and lake views that looked beautiful! She highly recommended it. The point of departure is Campamento Italiano. This is solely a campsite. There is no refugio here, so only independent campers can stay here. There are no showers, shops, etc. They do have toilets, but bring your own toilet paper/wipes and a bag to dispose of your waste. This was the least developed site we passed, but it had a refreshing woodsy feel. You can head to Los Cuernos or back to Paine Grande from here. We hiked back to Paine Grande, where we caught the catamaran and bus ride back to the welcome center.

Avalanche in French Valley

From the welcome center, we got a shuttle transport to Las Torres. This was the only night we didn’t stay in the refugio’s lodge or tents. We stayed in the Dittmar domes, which is the company that we booked our trip through. At first, we were not thrilled about this. It was a little bit of a walk from the refugio and far from the hustle and bustle of other campers. When we got the campsite, there were two large domes and less than 10 tents. One dome was for the cook and the other was for the hikers to eat. We had our own chef who cooked the best meals we had during the entire hiking trip and an awesome assistant. The two gentleman were very sweet and helpful. The tents were hidden in the bushes next to a babbling brook. It felt serene and secluded from the rest of the campers, which we really appreciated. The location was also closer to the base of the next morning’s hike. There were hot showers and toilets for use. Be sure to bring headlamps for middle of the night trips to the potty!

Day 4 – Las Torres

By far, our absolute FAVORITE hike of the W trek. This day was a ton of uphill in the beginning and end, but the rest of the trail was pretty flat. From start to finish, the views were unbelievable. We really enjoyed the trail walks through the forest. You will observe all types of terrain during this hike, which made it more enjoyable. Not to mention the phenomenal views of the famous towers (“Las Torres”).

The average hike time is 4 hours to the towers, but we did it in about 3-3.5 hours. About an hour from the towers is Refugio Chileno. This was another cute lodge with elevated tents along the hillside. We wished we had stayed at this refugio. Even just stopping by for coffee, we loved the vibe. The proximity to the river and placement in the woods made for a lovely campsite. We stopped back here for a beer on the way back to Refugio Los Torres. Once again, we ran into more friends and hung out before the last stretch.

The last 45 minutes of the uphill battle to the towers is worth every gasp for air. A slow and steady pace is ideal for this portion of the trek. There is about 20-30 minutes of boulder hiking. It may appear to be never ending, but the second you turn the corner we promise you will be awe-struck. We couldn’t fathom how much larger and spectacular the three towers were in person. The blue shade of the glacier lake illuminated in the sunshine. It was the most beautiful day of our trip. We had absolutely perfect weather combined with a wonderful hike. DO NOT skip this portion of the W trek.

Try to build in time to relax at the towers and eat some lunch before heading back to base. We spent the most time at this lookout point than anywhere else in the W. After getting all your pictures and relaxing, you will make your way back to Refugio Los Torres. Majority of the hike will be flat and downhill. This way the easiest hike back to the base. Stop at Refugio Chileno for a cerveza and then finish up strong!

Once we arrived back to the Refugio Los Torres, we had some time to relax before our bus ride back to Puerto Natales. We met up with our friends and got food and drinks to celebrate the completion of our four day voyage! This was another lovely refugio with the largest community space, cafeteria and bar. This was the first place we finally had somewhat decent WiFi. The food was excellent at this refugio, which was a nice reward after days of very mediocre food.

Day 6-7 – Puerto Natales

Our last night in Chile was spent back in Puerto Natales. We stayed one last night at Altiplanico and went out for pizza and drinks with our new hiking buddies. For excellent craft beer and wood fired pizzas, check out La Guanaca! Not many bars were open past 11 pm, but we were able to walk to a local bar called Slowly Bar that was open until 5 am. It was definitely a hole in the wall pub, but the drinks were cheap and they had a solid crowd. There are other clubs in the area that are open late, but we wanted something more chill. Take advantage of catching up on some zzz’s before hitting the road to El Calafate the next day.

Before we headed to Argentina, first thing in the morning we headed to The Singular for a much needed massage treatment. The spa is located within the hotel and has amazing views of the mountains from each room. The pool, treatment rooms, and steam room/sauna areas all have windows. The indoor pool even extends under a window to the outside. It is a wonderful spa with superb service. We recommend a deep tissue massage instead of the relaxing massage. Your body deserves it after days of hiking and camping! Enjoy some fruit infused water and hot chai tea while relaxing by the pool. Arrive early to use the facilities before getting pampered. The spa supplies robes, slippers, toiletries, etc. Everything was modern and updated with high quality products.

We highly recommend getting a treatment here followed with lunch upstairs at the cafe. Be sure to try the Calafate Mojito if you’re craving a refreshing cocktail post-massage. ☺️

Day 7-8: El Calafate (Perito Moreno Glacier)

On day 7 we left Puerto Natales after our massage and headed for El Calafate, Argentina. We took a bus from the main bus station across the border. The ride was about 5 hours to El Calafate. The bus was a double decker, fairly comfy, and even had a charging port under the seat. We got lucky and sat in the front row, so we could extend our legs. The bus stopped at both Chile and Argentina border control stations. Here, we got our passports stamped and were on our way. It was more expedited than we anticipated. Side note: The ride itself crosses the Patagonian desert and is not the most scenic route, so take this time to sleep if possible.

Once you reach El Calafate, you’ll be thankful to see some life. This cute town has a large downtown area where you can find excellent food, craft beer, and of course, wine! We took a taxi from the bus station to our hotel, Hosteria Schilling, which was more like a B&B. It’s proximity was perfect for walking to downtown. We barely stayed there, so we didn’t mind it’s lackluster vibe. It had everything we needed, great service, and more importantly, was affordable.

After settling in, we quickly got ready for dinner. We were recommended many restaurants by locals and decided to try Isabel Cocina al Disco. There was a long wait so we grabbed a beer at La Oveja Negra. A small, local spot for craft beers and tapas. We enjoyed the Pomelo Wheat brew and the chorizo tapas.

Try to make reservations for Isabel if possible. If not, you can put your name down on the list and walk around the town in the meantime. It is definitely one of the nicer restaurants in the area. The cuisine is Argentinian parilla style with a classy flair. We loved that there was no wine menu. You literally just walk into the cellar and pick out a bottle. Each one has a price tag on it. The conversion from pesos to USD made for a cheap, high quality bottle of wine! Picking from the cellar added to the experience.

The meals are massive and could easily be shared between 3 or 4 people. We couldn’t finish more than half of one between the two of us. We indulged in one of the steak dishes. Basically it was meat, cheese, and fries. Most dishes come with potatoes, which is an Argentinian traditional style. It was a very savory and heavy meal. The wine pairing was wonderful! Isabel even has vegan and vegetarian options for those with food restrictions. We loved the atmosphere and vibe of the restaurant. We would highly recommend checking this place out in El Calafate!

After stuffing our faces until we got barely move..we headed back to the hotel to get some rest for our morning glacier trek!

We were picked up by transportation from our hotel first thing in the morning. We set off for the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. After picking up a few more guests, we drove about 1 hour to the park entrance. Here, you will submit or pay for your tickets. You will have a chance to use the restrooms before the catamaran ride. The catamaran takes you across the lake towards the bottom of the Perito Moreno. As you approach the glacier, take in the fresh cool area, observe its massive beauty, and allow others to get photos too. The ride is about 20 minutes long and has an indoor seating area. You will only need to bring necessities and your lunch. You will be able to leave belongings unattended at the base in cubbies.

Once we landed, we split into groups and met our guides. Tato was our guide and he was awesome. He took amazing photos for us and had a great sense of humor. Tato helped us put on crampons before heading to the ice. We had plenty of time for pictures while waiting for other groups to begin the hike.

Finally taking our first steps on a glacier was an incredible feeling! We ate ice off of the glacier and even drank water from the melting streams. We were told that the Perito Moreno is the only glacier in the world that melts, yet never changes in size. It is constantly regenerating itself. The glacier is 3 miles wide, 19 miles long, and 560 feet high! Learning about the amazing structure was interesting to say the least. The ice trek was about an hour and a half long. If we had more time, we would suggest booking the full ice trek tour. You get at least 3 hours on the glacier and receive a more intimate experience. Regardless, we had a blast!

At the end of the trek, our guides provided us with Argentinian Chocolate and scotch on glacier “rocks” 😁 It was a fun way to end the excursion! We headed back to the base and ate lunch with views of the Perito Moreno. Right in front of our eyes, chunks of ice would crack and fall into the lake causing almost a tsunami reaction. It was unreal!

After our ice hike, we headed back to El Calafate where we were picked up from our hotel. Next stop was El Chaltèn! This shared transfer was about 3 hours from El Calafate. We were accompanied by three other couples in the small van. Wake up from your nap to the prominent Fitz Roy mountain on arrival.

Day 8-10: El Chaltén (Mount Fitz Roy)

You may recognize the famous Mount Fitz Roy structure from the Patagonia outdoor gear brand logo. The mountains include 5 large peaks, Mt. Fitz Roy being the largest. Behind the peaks is Cerro Torre, known to be one of the most difficult climbs in the world. Be sure to make time for both hikes. For the average hiker, it isn’t possible to see both in one day. The Mt. Fitz Roy lookout hike is about 8 hours, whereas the Cerro Torre hike is another 5 hour hike from Laguna Los Tres. Plan ahead for two full days in El Chaltèn.

We arrived late the first night, so we didn’t have time to explore the town. Instead we hit the hay at our cozy hotel, Hotel Lunajuim. It was a cute B&B style hotel with complimentary breakfast, hot showers, and WiFi (downstairs only). They even let us borrow Argentinian usb wall ports! There is a bar downstairs next to the restaurant.

The next morning we woke up early and were picked up from our hotel by our Walk Patagonia private guide, Yola, for the hike to Fitz Roy. The transport took us about 5 minutes to the base of the hike. Round trip our trek took about 9 hours, including an hour of lunch at Laguna Los Tres (Fitz Roy lookout point). We were provided with a boxed lunch that was actually the best one of the trip. Yola’s friends are apparently in charge of packing lunches for the hikers and change up the meals often. Side note: they own a cafe in El Chaltèn, Paisa High Mountain Coffee, that is a hidden gem. They had the best coffee not only in town, but of the entire trip. Be sure to check them out!

The hike to Laguna de Los Tres was beautiful. Majority of the hike is fairly flat until you get to the last hour. This is the steepest, most difficult part of the hike. You will climb up many stone steps to get to the top. If you hike slow and steady without stopping, it can be done in 45-50 minutes for the average hiker. Trekking poles are recommended for this portion of the hike. The climb is worth it once you arrive to the mirador. The views of Mount Fitz Roy are unbelievable! We were fortunate to arrive just before the clouds came out.

When you get to the lookout point, be sure to climb up to see Lago Sucio (“Dirty Lake”). It is the small peak to your left when facing Fitz Roy. From here, you will have panoramic views that are worth the extra couple minutes of hiking. Enjoy lunch up here away from the crowds.

We got to learn about our guide, Yola, and how he has climbed one of the five peaks. It’s incredible hearing about the technique of mountain climbing. He was so informative about the region, loves hiking and climbing around the world. He was the best guide!

After lunch, we headed back to town via a different trail. It was nice to see other scenic areas. The majority of this hike is flat trails and downhill at the end. It is about a 4 hour return to the base. From here, we headed to a local bar, La Cervecería Chaltèn, to celebrate with Yola. They have excellent craft beers and empanadas. Try the Hefeweizen beer and beef empanada!

Our last night in Patagonia was spent enjoying the town. We booked a cooling leg treatment at Spa Yaten. We would suggest booking an appointment earlier than later because we tried to get two foot massages simultaneously, but they didn’t have enough staff to accommodate the both of us. Either way, I’m sure it was good for our legs after a week of hiking! The staff were very friendly and tried to help us get a booking.

After our massage, we walked to Parrilla La Oveja Negra for a traditional Argentinian meal. We split the lamb, ribeye, the veggies, and a bottle of vino. Everything was excellent and fresh off the grill. Not to mention, for an excellent price!

Our night was topped off with delicious gelato from Heladería Domo Blanco. No better way to end a vacation! They were open until midnight, so you can go after dinner and they have a ton of flavors. Everything in El Chaltèn is walkable as the town is small and quaint. It was our favorite base town in Patagonia. Absolutely a must do! The next morning we were picked up by our private transfer (accidentally private) to El Calafate Airport. Anticipate one day each way of travel time to and from Patagonia. The airport is super convenient and small. Just make sure to pay for luggage ahead of time when flying Aerolinas Argentina. The line was long to pay for luggage after checking in. Other than that, the rest of the airport is small and efficient.

Patagonia is massive and it is tough to decide which areas to visit. We would say that the three regions we went to were the core of the Patagonia area. There are so many beautiful places to visit, but we truly believe we spent our time perfectly and got to enjoy the best of both Chile and Argentina parts. Hopefully, some day we get to visit more of both countries. We hope you enjoy your time in Patagonia as much as we did!

2 comments on “The Best of Patagonia in 10 Days

  1. Robin Emmerman says:

    I can hardly believe how amazing this trip was with all it’s great beauty and adventures you had !! Loved seeing each of the pictures, specially the magnificent glaciers, gorgeous waters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoe & Gregg says:

      Absolutely. We loved every minute of it!


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