Two Faces of Patagonia
Bienvenidos a Chile! Touch down in the cosmopolitan capital, Santiago, with a bustling downtown, bohemian plazas, hip ‘hoods, stunning views of the Andes, parks, and an effervescent cultural scene. After your long flight, meet with your English-speaking guide and driver outside of customs. Check into your stylish getaway in the heart of barrio El Golf, fittingly called “San-hattan”, surrounded by the skyscrapers of the Chilean capital.
Head downtown to explore the labyrinth of stands at Santiago’s sprawling wholesale market. A picturesque mishmash of stalls, vendors hawk the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables, local cheeses, a plethora of meats, mounds of spices, and indigenous foodstuffs like pine nuts from the Araucaria tree or smoked (chili) merkén. Visit the fresh produce stands of our favorite caseros and taste seasonal treats along the way. Break at the market’s old-school bakery to savor crunchy handmade marraquetas and dimpled, buttery hallullas.
Make a pit stop at a Santiaguino sandwich institution. For over five decades, this hub has pumped out the best lomitos in town. Grab a stool by the U-shaped counter, order a schop (draft beer) with the charming veteran waitresses, and go for the italiano loaded with tomato, homemade mayo, and copious mashed avocado. Afterwards, stroll the leafy promenade to the cool neighborhood of Lastarria surrounding the Museo de Bellas Artes, Fine Arts Museum. Climb the beautiful, manicured gardens of Santa Lucía hill, the site where colonial Santiago was founded in 1545. Rest at the top for a striking, 360-degree view of the city below.
Wander this vibrant area with cobblestone streets and stately European-style buildings from the early 20th century. Recharge your batteries at the city’s most beloved ice cream parlor. Go local and order Chilean favorites like ulmo honey or nutty lucuma (a local fruit). After, meet a friend who has been making colonial-style sweets in Chile for over 50 years. Let her share with you the secret of making perfect meringue—and sample her magic pastries. Return to your hotel in the mid-afternoon. (W Santiago)
Check out and travel south to the Patagonian frontier at the tip of the South American continent, home to the windblown prairies, azure glaciers, and snow-capped mountains. Transfer to the historic Puerto Bories, nestled on the shores of the Last Hope Fjord.
Check into your hotel in a handsome brick building built in 1915, now a historical monument. Expertly “recycled” using environmentally friendly architecture, the old frigorífico was transformed into this hipster hotel. Settle into your spacious room with a fjord vista. Visit the hotel’s private collection, a museum about the origins of the region or unwind in their spa. Dinner is at the hotel restaurant. (The Singular Patagonia)
Today, perhaps you’d like to do a trek to Sierra Baguales with a private reserve of 37,500-acres, encompassed by the imposing Andes. Or, visit the breathtaking Torres del Paine national park, an UNESCO biosphere with stunning views of the Torres del Paine, tall granite towers, jagged Paine Macizo, and turquoise Lago Pehoé. The rolling grasslands teem with foxes, pumas, and graceful condors swooping overhead. Or head out to Kayak the fjords. Back at the hotel, partake in one of the evening activities like wine or olive oil organized by the hotel and more of their exquisite dishes like wild hare or guanaco grilled to perfection. (The Singular Patagonia)
Head out on your excursions today. If weather permits, sail away on The Singular’s private boat to the stunning glaciers which carved the majestic fjords. Upon return, take the evening to head into the funky pioneer town of Puerto Natales, an unusual foodie destination. Dine at the best restaurant in Puerto Natales, overseen by an African chef and his Chilean wife who transforms the purest local ingredients with a touch of his homeland. (The Singular Patagonia)
After check out, drive across the beautiful steppe to the other side of Patagonia in Argentina. Cross the wind blown prairie blanketed in tall tufts of golden coirón grass to Estancia Anita, one of the largest, oldest, and infamous ranches in Argentina. Built with the inspiration of former estancias, there are no signs of human inhabitants, only red-rock mesas and the glittering turquoise blue of Lago Argentina, the country’s largest lake, in the distance. Check into a handsome lodge that feels sophisticated yet homey. All rooms have wide views of the plains below where cows peacefully graze. The crisp white sheets and big fluffy duvets are inviting for a long siesta. Cozy up for traditional merienda, tea time. Welcome to Argentina’s Patagonia. (Eolo Lodge)
The day is yours to savor the setting. Appreciate the light as it changes throughout the day. Take a long horseback ride through the Anita Valley with the resident gauchos. Hike up Cerro Frías for a 360-degree view of the area (if you’re lucky, on clear day you can see all the way to Torres del Paine, in Chile). Explore on the bikes at the lodge. At cocktail hour, order a bucket with a crisp espumante from Mendoza. Such is life at Eolo. (Eolo Lodge)
This morning, drive to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the third largest in the world after Antarctica and Greenland. Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers in Patagonia that’s stable. With your expert guide, walk the balconies for expansive views of the sprawling glacier—ice in every direction! After crossing Brazo Rico by boat, strap on your crampons for a mini-trek out on the azure ice for the experience of lifetime. Return to hotel in late afternoon. (Eolo Lodge)
Bid farewell to Eolo–and Patagonia. Fly back to Buenos Aires and transfer to Recoleta with its grandiose mansions that whisper of affluent early 20th century BA. The tree-lined streets have a decidedly European feel where residents gather at cafés or walk their dogs decked out in Gucci.
Your hotel is a 1912 building fashioned in French Classical design, and impeccably restored. Re-imagined with inspired contemporary elegance and sophistication, you may feel like you are in your own porteño palace. Attended by 24-hour butlers, suites overlook the shady residential street as well as an exquisite six-story interior lightwell that features a cascading waterfall descending to the lobby. Take the afternoon to explore this delightful area of the capital or sip one of the house wines in the sleek library lounge.
This evening, meet with your host, one of Argentina’s top sommeliers, for an entertaining night of wines on the town. Head to San Telmo with cobblestone streets and funky turn-of-the-century buildings. Sit down to a wine flight at the city’s hottest vinoteca for a wine flight of the best references in Argentine wine from large-scale productions in Mendoza to artisan wines in high-altitude Salta. Pair the wines with the to-die-for black truffle risotto or crunchy grilled goat cheese provoleta. Your host will walk you through each grape, its history, origin, and nuances and share lots of tips. Salud! (Algodón Mansion)
This morning, discover Buenos Aires on a tour of the city’s most vibrant and captivating museums—and restaurants on this innovative “progressive lunch” tour.
Begin at a striking triangular building constructed of stone, steel and glass. Inside is the Constantini Collection of 20th century Latin American art, including works by Roberto Matta and Joaquín Torres. After your tour, devour an appetizer in the newly renovated minimalist bistro overseen by a celebrated French chef.
Head to a collection owned by Argentina’s richest woman who commissioned this museum to house her eclectic art collection. The building is an architectural tour-de-force where the roof opens and closes depending on the position of the sun–of concrete, steel and glass. Enjoy the glamorous city skyline and your next nibble at their gourmet café, where the ambiance and flavorful menu mirror the sophistication of the art.
The final destination is one of the most mesmerizing cultural institutions in Buenos Aires. Located in upscale Recoleta, the museum is housed in the building that Eva Perón founded as a shelter for single mothers. Relax on the shady, checkerboard-tile terrace and savor modern Argentine cuisine, from savory crepes to a perfectly seared steak… or perhaps, if you’re ready for dessert, a slice of dulce de leche cheesecake!
In the late afternoon, meet your English-speaking driver for transfer to Ezeiza, Buenos Aires’ international airport. Tchau amigos.