Pat returned in late November 2013 from a three-week trip to Patagonia, where she spent 7 days hiking in and around Los Glaciares National Park, followed by 10 days hiking the Full Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park. Here she tells us about her experiences…
How was your trip?
I had the most amazing time on my trip, one that I will never forget. Everything worked really well in terms of connections and the accommodation was exactly what I needed.
How did you find the Operator in Los Glaciares National Park?
There was a mix up with a few lost emails prior to my trip but it was all OK when I got there so no dramas.
There was only one ATM in El Chalten however, which was not working when I got there so it was a bit of a drama getting money out to pay for the final amount. The operator preferred us not to use Visa- it really is a cash economy there.
The bus tickets and connections in and out were all excellent and the walks from El Chalten were not taxing – you really do not need a guide as they are just casual walks. I was the only person in the group but they still went ahead.
How did you find the Operator in Torres del Paine?
They were very good and helpful, again I was the only person in the group but they still went ahead.
I had a guide just for me for the 8 days, Polo Angel, and he was the most amazing person not just because he knew the area, its history etc but because he looked after me so well. He had this huge pack to ensure I was comfortable and well feed and I had lots of fun.
Do you have any advice for other visitors to Torres del Paine?
Doing the Full Circuit was a challenge, and people need to be fit to do it. Most people walked it without a guide but they were Spanish speaking and carried everything for themselves, which I could not have done. In the end my pack was around 12 kg.
Also, the wind is relentless in Patagonia… people need to be aware of this and ready for it! Thanks for sending me the Buff scarf- it was definitely needed!
[See our Weather in Patagonia page for more information on what to expect from the elements!]
What else did you do on your trip to Patagonia?
After the treks I spent 2 days in Valparaiso – which was interesting and a complete contrast. It was a nice way to finish off before heading home.
How did Swoop Patagonia do in helping you plan and arrange your trip?
The operators you set me up with could not have been more helpful, they were great recommendations from Swoop Patagonia. Both companies were very experienced and had coordinators who knew the area well and what was needed.
I am so glad I found you as you made the trip just what I needed, thanks so much.