A trip to Patagonia comes high on the list of “Ëœmust-sees’ for most visitors to Argentina or Chile. Perhaps your picture of the region goes something like this: an Alpine-esque landscape of lakes and mountains, jagged peaks and glaciers, populated with a jolly mix of penguins, Welsh villagers, escaped Nazis and American outlaws-cum-ranchers. Now add in the fact that the word “ËœPatagonia’, comes from the name early European explorers gave to the natives here: Patagon (or PatagÃƒ£o in Magellan’s Portuguese), possibly translating “Ëœbig foot’ ““ referring to a local population of alleged giants, twice the normal human height - and it’s easy to see how a trip to Patagonia can be a daunting prospect for the first time visitor.
Covering over a million square kilometres or the entire southern parts of Argentina and Chile, containing several distinct eco-systems, hundreds of different towns and a huge range of accommodation options from full luxury estancias in dramatic and remote locations, to rustic mountain huts or even camping under the stars as part of longer treks or expeditions on horseback, it’s advisable to speak to an expert before planning your trip. South American specialists Dehouche know all the secrets from the best hotel for a family skiing holiday to the cabin with the best view on a luxury cruise around Tierra del Fuego.
While Chile boasts some superb luxury properties, such as the internationally renowned Explora lodges, Argentina tends to offer better value for money as well as some of the most famous sights Patagonia such as the Fitz Roy mountain range and the Perito Moreno glacier. Although it’s impossible to avoid other tourists in the most famous locations, such as at the Moreno glacier, Dehouche tries to steer its clients away from the bigger international lodges to smaller family run estancias, still highly luxurious, with cosy eiderdowns, log fires, and delicious home cooked food. The owners often become good friends and take pleasure riding out with guests showing them their estates and sharing a traditional Argentine “Ëœasado’ barbecue cooked in the field with local gauchos.
Rio de Janeiro ,
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