Discover Patagonia in the off-season with fewer crowds and lower rates
We have long been extolling the virtues of visiting Patagonia outside of the peak season; fewer crowds, lower rates and the different perspectives on the flora and fauna are just some of the rewards. There is nothing quite like experiencing this first-hand however, which is exactly what we were able to do again recently when we took some operators out to Patagonia Camp in Chile to experience the off-season wonders for themselves!
So what is the weather really like..?
Contrary to popular belief, the season that often sees the highest winds in Patagonia is the peak summer period, between December and February. That is not to say that there may not be wind and rain during the rest of the year – in Patagonia at any time you should be prepared to sometimes experience all four seasons in one day! However it is worth bearing in mind if you find yourself with the task of trying to convince a client who is set on only travelling in the summer – that this is certainly not the only time they can enjoy this spectacular region. During our early September visit we experienced long periods of blue skies, dazzling sunshine and barely a breeze – as well as cooler, windier conditions at other times along with some rain, a few hailstones and even some snow! What we did find was that the rain did not last for prolonged periods or prevent many activities taking place.
What about other times of year?
We visited at the start of Spring, enjoying the spectacle of snow-capped peaks and increased visibility of wildlife and birds due to less dense foliage. The other end of the season is also a very rewarding time to visit. Patagonia Camp reduce their rates again in April & May, and this is the time where you can enjoy the colours of autumn leaves. A flexible approach is encouraged at any time of year at Patagonia Camp when it comes to specific activities – the expert team of guides carefully study detailed weather forecasts of the various regions when deciding which excursions are safe to operate – but on a practical level what this might mean is that if a particular challenging hike is not able to operate one day, chances are it will be back on the programme again for the following day. The only other point to bear in mind is that a small number of activities – the French Valley Hike for example, or the Grey Lake navigation – may not operate in September, October, April & May due to the more limited operations of external boat providers at this time. More information on Patagonia Camp’s extensive range of activities can be found here.
It’s not all about trekking…
Whilst adventurous hikes are certainly a draw for many visitors planning activities in Patagonia, potential clients can be assured that they do not have to be seasoned hikers to get the most out of a stay at Patagonia Camp. There is a wide range of activities on offer here, many involving much gentler walks – or even no walking at all! The Fauna Trail, for example, takes visitors into and out of the park by comfortable minivan past some iconic viewpoints of Torres del Paine. A gentle walk on largely flat terrain takes in areas where herds of guanaco graze against the backdrop of granite peaks, and a luxury picnic is taken in a memorable lakefront setting. Other options for those not wishing to spend their entire stay walking include a photographic safari by minivan, excursions to the Mylodon Cave or perhaps a gentle kayak on the glittering blue waters of Lake Toro (an activity exclusive to Patagonia Camp).
And if my clients can only travel in the Patagonian summer?
This is sometimes inevitable, but they can still have a quieter experience of the region if staying at Patagonia Camp. Whilst the main walking trails and viewpoints of the Torres del Paine national park will inevitably at their busiest at this time, a programme which also includes some excursions within Patagonia Camp’s own private reserve is a good way to also be able to complement the main areas with a quieter slice of Patagonia. The vast, forested reserve offers some 40 kilometres of walking trails which can only be accessed by Patagonia Camp’s guests. On the Península del Toro trek for example, we enjoyed breathtaking views of the Paine Massif as well as pristine lagoons. For something a little gentler, the walk to the nearby Toro waterfall takes less than hour on a well-marked path, meaning it can be taken without a guide, and again, no other people to be found here! Patagonia Camp’s privileged setting on the shores of Lake Toro also add another element to the activities here, such as exclusive kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and catch & release fishing excursions.
Whatever time of year your clients decide to visit, what they can be assured of is the warmest of welcomes and the very best of Patagonian hospitality at Patagonia Camp. In between activities visitors will enjoy delicious meals and cosy nights in luxurious yurts, all with central heating, private bathrooms (and some even with their own outdoor hot tubs!) Combine with this a commitment to sustainability in all of the camp’s operations, and a team of friendly staff and guides who have a genuine love for where they work and you can rest assured that a stay at Patagonia Camp really will be one to remember!
Patagonia Camp’s opening season runs from early September right through to the first week of May. For more information on Patagonia Camp, resources and product training please contact Scarlett on 01242 50644 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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