Patagonia has been on my bucket list for years.  It’s the last destination of our South America trip.  To make it special, we decided to stay with Explora.  From the moment we landed Punta Arenas, we felt in love.    Explora is located within the Torres del Paine National Park, to be exactly, right in the middle of the famous W trail
The ride from the airport to the lodging is about 5 hours.  We were taken good care off the entire ride with a quick stop at the local joint for a pleasant dinner.   The scenery to the hotel gets better and better.  The sunset of the southern Patagonia was an amazing experience.
By the time we got to the hotel it was pitch dark outside.   We were greeted by the guest manager Rosario Villagra the moment we stepped out of the van.   She is such a wonderful lady!  Her presence was warm, comforting and full of grace that made our stay feel truly at home.  We had many enjoyable conversations with her throughout our stay.   
After dropping of our luggage, we were invited to the dining room and served with three course late night meal. 
What sets Explora apart is its guided tour options.  It provides more than 50 different hikes and horseback rides ranging from beginner to advanced level.  The maximum people you have in the group is eight.  We were able to pick out our next day hike with a tour guide.  All tour guides in Explora are experienced and well trained.
We loved the philosophy of Explora on sustainability, connecting with nature and those around you and the focus on just the essentials you need.  We truly couldn’t be happier with our experience at Explora and look forward to future holidays with Explora.

  • French Valley Hike:  About 10 miles hike.  We crossed the turquoise waters of Lake Pehoé on board of the explora catamaran
  • and head towards the Paine Grande hotel, where we began our hike. We entered the French Valley surrounded by dense forest and native bushes. We crossed the hanging bridge over the French River, and reach the Italian camp. From within the valley, we were able to observe the Glacier del Francés and the amphitheater of granite peaks that frame the area. 
  • Base of the tower Hike: About 11 miles hike.  We left the hotel by van and head towards the Cerro Paine ranch. From there,  we ascended towards the Ascencio River Valley and the Chilean Refugio Valley from where we’ began a steep ascent toward a lookout at the base of the Paine Towers. Once at the top, we were able to grasp the magnitude of the granite towers after which the park is named.
  • Jump into lake Pehoe : A must do if you are brave enough.  Icey cold and refreshing glacier water.  Don’t worry, there are hot tubs to jump into once you get the lake.
  • Horseback ride:  Explora has its own stable. We enjoyed a half day ride after 2 days’ full hike.  The experience was amazing.

  • We went during the shoulder season which I would recommend to everyone if you want escape the crowd.  All the hikes we did, we felt we had the entire park to ourselves!
  • I wish we stayed 1 extra day.  My only regret is miss the hike of Glacier Grey. Save for the next time!
  • Sit back and enjoy the nature!
Waking up this this view after arriving at 10 P.M. the night before was the biggest surprise!