Combining a visit to Patagonia and Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime. As expedition vessels depart for the continent from Patagonian towns, it makes sense to plan a few days to experience the wider region.
Shared by Argentina and Chile and dissected by the Andes mountain range, Patagonia encompasses the southernmost tip of the South American continent. While much of the Argentine side is characterized by grasslands and deserts, it eventually melts into a realm of glacial fjords and rainforests alongside the Chilean segment.
Chile’s southerly city is the gateway to Patagonia and Antarctica. The city is rich in heritage with museums offering insight into the lives of 16th-century seafarers as well as the indigenous cultures.
Scenic cruises are the best way to appreciate the local surroundings. Board a craft and sail through the channels and fjords of the glacial archipelago, Tierra del Fuego. These take you as far as the southernmost headland, Cape Horn.
Meanwhile, Magdalena Island in the Strait of Magellan provides a habitat for one of Chile’s largest colonies of Magellanic penguins as well as migratory birds.
Planes depart Punta Arenas to King George Island where you will board your Antarctic expedition vessel. This option is suitable for travelers prone to seasickness who would rather avoid crossing the Drake Passage.
As one of the narrowest countries on the planet, Chile is packed with diverse landscapes and varying climates. The South American nation registers a total length of 2,690 miles (4,329 kilometers) and is home to arid deserts, glacier-carved national parks, sun-kissed coastal towns, and the cosmopolitan capital, Santiago de Chile. Here are the top 5 experiences waiting for you in Chile.
The Atacama Desert is considered the driest desert in the world. This arid and cool desert provides a landscape of sand dunes, salt flats, blue lagoons, hot springs, canyons, and geysers. Major draws include the opportunity to witness wild Chilean flamingos at Los Flamencos National Reserve and stargaze at Valle de la Luna (the Valley of the Moon).
Journey to Parque Nacional Lauca in the northeast to see the high-altitude Chungará Lake as well as the Parinacota, Pomerape, and Acotado volcanoes.
Torres Del Paine National Park
Located in Southern Chile’s Patagonia region, the cinematographic Torres Del Paine National Park is a region of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rare wildlife species. Hiking is top of the agenda in Chilean Patagonia with other tourist attractions including cruises through the fjords to reach Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of the continent.
Torres Del Paine is awash with luxury lodges and resorts such as Tierra Patagonia that adhere to eco-friendly principles.
With a large variety of trains available to explore the world, the choices may seem overwhelming. Although some people choose to focus solely on the destination, the train can play an essential role in the journey. No matter if you are looking for something vintage or something a little more modern, keep reading to discover some of the top luxury trains located around the world.
The Belmond Andean Explorer
Located in the beautiful country of Peru, The Belmond Andean Explorer is a modern dream. With a stunning royal blue and white exterior and insides designed by Inge Moore from The Gallery in London, this train is as luxurious as it comes. The furniture inside is nothing less than exquisite, containing spacious private cabins with oversized headboards.
The Maharajas' Express
If you have ever wanted to go to India, the Maharajas' Express might be for you. Not only is the train reminiscent of a fairytale with its golden interior and features such as private butlers and fine dining, but it also takes you to extravagant places. From magnificent palaces to lively markets, this luxury train lets you explore all of the best parts of India while living in comfort.
Hawaii Island is the largest of the Hawaiian state. Attracting travelers from the United States and beyond, the island is known for its volcanic landscapes, Polynesian culture, excellent surf, and relaxed approach to life. The most famous attraction on “Big Island” is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which is well worth a visit to see the glowing craters and lava flows.
For those eager to escape the typical tourist trail, here are 5 lesser-known things to do on Hawaii Island
Created from acid rain caused by previous eruptions of Kīlauea, the Kau Desert is made up of dried lava, volcanic ash, sand, and gravel. Due to the rainfall it received, the Kau Desert is not technically a desert but rather it resembles one. You can opt to take one of several hikes through the desert which lets you get a close-up of the lava remnants and 200-year old fossilized human footprints in mud-ash. The Footprints Trail is under 2 miles while a longer variation equates to 8.5 miles.
Kona Coffee Farms
The verdant slopes and unique microclimate of Hualalai and Mauna Loa lend themselves to the cultivation of exceptional coffee. Towns and villages in the Kona region are strung together by a series of coffee farms where you can learn about coffee production and sample a cup or two of 100% Kona coffee. Take a scenic drive along the Hawaii Belt Road and look out for such farms as Heavenly Hawaiian, Hulu Daddy, Buddha’s Cup, and Tokie Kona.
Extraordinary trips for exceptional travelers, where the details make all the difference