YOUR TRIP

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Wild Patagonia -

1 From Punta Are­nas, drive or ar­range a trans­fer to Puerto Natales, just un­der three hours away. Watch for sight­ings of rhea and Chilean flamin­gos en route.

2 The Re­mota, a short walk from town, is an im­pec­ca­bly com­fort­able place in which to re­cover from the long flight. The style is vaguely Modernist, with strik­ing an­gles, high ceil­ings, lots of wood, fea­ture fire­places and tall win­dows mak­ing the most of fjord views. The ho­tel of­fers plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties, from moun­tain-bik­ing to horse-rid­ing, and the food in its res­tau­rant is ex­cel­lent; be sure to try a Calafate Sour cock­tail be­fore tuck­ing in to fine lo­cal steak or gua­naco carpac­cio (from £205; all-in­clu­sive pack­ages are also avail­able; re­mo­ta­ho­tel.com).

3 If you need hik­ing or out­door gear, stock up in the shops of Puerto Natales be­fore you drive to Tor­res del Paine Na­tional Park, about 90 min­utes away. The en­trance fee is £13pp in low sea­son (May to Septem­ber) and £25 oth­er­wise (par­que­tor­res­del­paine.cl, tor­res­del­paine.com).

4 The Ex­plora Patag­o­nia may have the very best views of any ho­tel in the world: look­ing across the wa­ters of Lago Pe­hoé at the crin­kled peaks of the Cordillera del Paine. The ho­tel perches a lit­tle like a beached ship on the shores of the lake; its slate and wood in­te­rior is a fine place to re­lax at the end of the day, but re­ally the fo­cus is on get­ting you out into the park. Lec­tur­ers and guides are on hand to ad­vise on ex­cur­sions to suit your fit­ness lev­els and in­ter­ests, from gen­tle photo sa­faris to chal­leng­ing moun­tain as­cents. The food and wine in its res­tau­rant are top-notch (three nights from £975pp, in­clud­ing all trans­fers, park fees, ac­tiv­i­ties, food and drinks; ex­plora.com).

5 To ar­range a trip to Es­tan­cia La Cri­ol­lita, for horse-rid­ing and lamb feasts, email Vic­tor Sharp at es­tancialacriol­lita@gmail.com. Note that he doesn’t have email ac­cess of­ten, so plan well in ad­vance. The ranch is also on In­sta­gram at es­tancialacriol­lita. 6 From the ranch, it’s around a five-hour drive back to the air­port at Punta Are­nas.

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