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Laura McAfoos

I am originally from the USA, but have been living in Puerto Natales, Chile for the last 12 years. I have been helping people visit Torres del Paine since 2008 and love the park as though it is my home. During my time in Chile, I have traveled around getting to know other parts of the country and the southern part of the South American continent. Now that I have spent time exploring this part of the world, I am happy to plan an itinerary through the best parts of it for all of you!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in trips in and around Torres del Paine National Park as well as throughout most all of Patagonia!

I can arrange any of the standard hikes in Patagonia to more exclusive and off-trail routes in some of the most wild and remote parts of Patagonia. Apart from hiking I am happy to fill your days with kayaking, horse riding, mountain biking, etc. We love to design complex multi-activity itineraries in all parts of Patagonia in both Chile and Argentina.

Adventure, adventure, adventure!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I fell in love with traveling before finishing high school... My first trip out of the country was to France during my Junior year in high school. After that I began planning more trips out of the country, during university I did an exchange program to spend some time in the UK and finally after finishing university I left for South America. I love getting to know new places and cultures."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Tubing down a cold river in Columbia with knee pads and a helmet hoping I would making it to the bottom alright!!"

Laura is part of the following groups: Patagonia Travel Agents, Chile Travel Agents
The mountain landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park
Wonders of Chile: Patagonia, Lake District & Santiago - 14 Days

Take in rugged mountains, pristine fjords, and lush wine country on this diverse 14-day journey through Chile's greatest highlights. Start in the country's far south, where you'll hike through the wilds of Torres del Paine National Park, visit penguins on the Strait of Magellan, and horseback ride across a traditional Patagonian estancia. Head north to kayak and climb through the spectacular scenery of the Lake District, then wind down with a final three days in Santiago. After a trip filled with activity and adventure, enjoy a change of pace as you explore the vibrant capital and take relaxing day trips to the nearby wine country and colorful villages of the Pacific coast.

Hike into the world of Torres del Paine's glaciers and mountains
Torres del Paine National Park: Self-Guided "W" Trek - 7 Days

Conquer Chile's famous "W Circuit" trek on this 7-day self-guided excursion for experienced hikers and the adventurous at heart. Starting in the trekker's paradise of Puerto Natales, you'll set out into Torres del Paine National Park, following the w-shaped route through some of Chilean Patagonia's most spectacular scenery. Pass towering mountains, vast glaciers, and turquoise lakes as you hike the rugged and rewarding 35 miles (56 km) to the base of the magnificent Glacier Grey.

View across the Beagle Sound to Ushuaia
Patagonia Winter Adventure: Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego - 6 Days

Experience winter at the end of the world on this 6-day guided Patagonian adventure. With the southernmost city of Ushuaia as your base, you'll set out to explore the otherworldly landscapes of the spectacular Tierra del Fuego. Trek to icy lakes, hike through ancient forests, and try your hand at skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling against the magnificent backdrop of the Andes Mountains.

Striking scenery from the roadside in Patagonia
2 Weeks in Patagonia - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks in Patagonia, you could stick to one side—Argentine or Chilean—or visit both. On these four unique itineraries, you'll trek on glaciers, see penguins in the wild, dine on fresh seafood in the southernmost city in the world, camp under the stars, and hike in South America's finest national park.

Recent trip reviews for Laura

Nara arranged the trip, which was smooth and ...
Chile | Dec 27 - Jan 13, 2023

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Gina W.
Ogden, UT | Reviewed on Jan 14, 2023

Nara arranged the trip, which was smooth and timely. Our guide in Iguazu was Marco and he was so kind and patient with us and knew all the best views. Nori in Ushuaia took us to see the penquins and we also went to Laguna Esmerelda with her and she was also so kind and patient with us. They both knew english very well and explained everything to us. read more

Nara arranged the trip, which was smooth and timely. Our guide in Iguazu was Marco and he was so kind and patient with us and knew all the best views. Nori in Ushuaia took us to see the penquins and we also went to Laguna Esmerelda with her and she was also so kind and patient with us. They both knew english very well and explained everything to us.

Hotel Reviews
O2 Hotel Iguazú
Puerto Iguazú

Loved the pool and hot tub!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hostería Schilling
El Calafate

The girls in the front desk were so helpful and kind to us! They did not forget any details!

Authenticity & Character
Loved the authentic decor!
Location
Close to down town.
Staff
Sooooo helpful!
Cleanliness & Comfort
So comfy!
Patagonia Travellers Hostel
El Chalten, Santa Cruz

We enjoyed riding the mountain bikes!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
They explained all the trails to us very well!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Very close to the trail heads!
Activity Reviews
Visit the Penguin Colony on Isla Martillo, Explore Puerto Almanza
Ushuaia

Nori was the best host, so kind and sweet!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side)
Argentina

Marco was the best guide ever! He even filled up our water bottles for us!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Perito Moreno Boat & Walking Tour
El Calafate

Loved our guide very good at English!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Laura McAfoos
Laura
Laura McAfoos
Local specialist in Puerto Natales | Reviewed on Jan 29, 2023

Gina,

I am so glad to hear that everything went so well for you on your trip! We really enjoyed having you come to Patagonia also. Hopefully you ate some calafate berries and come back some day!

Thank you so much!
Laura

Bucket List trip to Patagonia for our Honeymoon
Patagonia | Nov 1 - Nov 15, 2022

Jocelyn
Jocelyn B.
Dover, DE | Reviewed on Dec 22, 2022

We had an absolutely amazing time. Chile and Argentina were lovely places to visit and all the hard work from KimKim and Dittmar did not go unnoticed. It was truly a once in a lifetime trip and we are glad we did it. There were a few hiccups and those were annoying but that kind of thing happens.

The structure of this tour was set-up to maximize the places we were able to visit and that was wonderful. For our part, we had hoped for more hiking and less time traveling between destinations.... read more

We had an absolutely amazing time. Chile and Argentina were lovely places to visit and all the hard work from KimKim and Dittmar did not go unnoticed. It was truly a once in a lifetime trip and we are glad we did it. There were a few hiccups and those were annoying but that kind of thing happens.

The structure of this tour was set-up to maximize the places we were able to visit and that was wonderful. For our part, we had hoped for more hiking and less time traveling between destinations. By the end, it seemed to us that this was a tour for a crowd that was slightly older than us-the majority of our fellow travelers were 55+ (we are 36 and 40). Still, I don't know if there is really another way to see everything we saw in the time we had without all the traveling.

Our favorite activities included: Estancia La Peninsula in Puerto Natales, the Penguins of Isla Magdalena in Punta Arenas, and our hike in Torres del Paine.

Hotel Review
Hotel Ismael
Santiago
Authenticity & Character
Location
walking to bars and restaurants and plaza del armas
Staff
allowed us to check in early, quite attentive
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Laura McAfoos
Laura
Laura McAfoos
Local specialist in Puerto Natales | Reviewed on Dec 23, 2022

Jocelyn,

I am so glad to hear you had a fantastic time! Thank you for your kind words. I will take what you suggest in consideration for future young and active clients. However, I unfortunately cannot control strikes by Chilean government employees and sadly they resolved the strike just a few days after you left.

All the best!
Laura

I think Ndudi covered most of what I would li...
Chile | Nov 14 - Nov 26, 2022

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Sam K.
La Vista, NE | Reviewed on Dec 05, 2022

I think Ndudi covered most of what I would like to say about the trip however we had some issues at that last hotel.

There was a minor issue too but this was the main one. When checking out the clerk at the desk kept insisting that our room was not paid for and we needed to provide a credit card to pay for the room. He didn't have any idea of how the rooms where booked and who was responsible for payment. He said he needed to wait for somebody to Call and confirm that our room was paid... read more

I think Ndudi covered most of what I would like to say about the trip however we had some issues at that last hotel.

There was a minor issue too but this was the main one. When checking out the clerk at the desk kept insisting that our room was not paid for and we needed to provide a credit card to pay for the room. He didn't have any idea of how the rooms where booked and who was responsible for payment. He said he needed to wait for somebody to Call and confirm that our room was paid for and that once he got the confirmation that we would be good to go. At this point our guide was already there and waiting on us to leave.

This interaction was a little disconcerning but besides that overall it was a pleasant trip.

Local specialist: Laura McAfoos
Laura
Laura McAfoos
Local specialist in Puerto Natales | Reviewed on Dec 23, 2022

Sam,

Thanks for the comment. I am glad you had a nice trip!

Unfortunately with the pause of the pandemic there was a lot of turnover and many employees are new to their respective companies in all areas of tourism in Chile and Argentina. We are very watchful that all client reservations are paid in the periods required by the operator, but we have noticed that the internal systems of some companies haven't become well oiled machines quite yet.

I expect these sorts of situations will... read more

Sam,

Thanks for the comment. I am glad you had a nice trip!

Unfortunately with the pause of the pandemic there was a lot of turnover and many employees are new to their respective companies in all areas of tourism in Chile and Argentina. We are very watchful that all client reservations are paid in the periods required by the operator, but we have noticed that the internal systems of some companies haven't become well oiled machines quite yet.

I expect these sorts of situations will become less as the employees become better versed in their processes. However, I do appreciate the feedback regarding the hotel. We will make sure it doesn't repeat with the hotel.

Thank you!
Laura

We worked with Laura to customize a two week ...
Patagonia | Mar 25 - Apr 7, 2022

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Ruth S.
Severna Park, MD | Reviewed on Apr 09, 2022

We worked with Laura to customize a two week trip and it occurred flawlessly. Despite still some COVID restrictions, she helped plan many details we would not have been able to execute on our own with such ease.

Every pickup was on time, every detail perfectly managed. Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, El Chalten, El Calafate, Bariloche, Villa LA Angostura, St Martin De Los Andes and back to Buenos Aires with many treks, kayak trips and activities along the way.

Highly recommend letting the local... read more

We worked with Laura to customize a two week trip and it occurred flawlessly. Despite still some COVID restrictions, she helped plan many details we would not have been able to execute on our own with such ease.

Every pickup was on time, every detail perfectly managed. Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, El Chalten, El Calafate, Bariloche, Villa LA Angostura, St Martin De Los Andes and back to Buenos Aires with many treks, kayak trips and activities along the way.

Highly recommend letting the local experts guide your way here! Thanks again Kim Kim Team

Hotel Review
Cyan Recoleta Hotel
Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Great location next to Recolea and being able to walk around the city.

Authenticity & Character
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Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Half Day Hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park
Ushuaia

Doing it with a guide so much better. Parts were difficult to navigate and it’s LONG but we’ll worth the effort.

Quality of Experience
Mo
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Laura McAfoos

Made it easy to do a bit more of an adventure...
Patagonia | Mar 2 - Mar 12, 2020

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Brian O.
Hoboken, NJ | Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020

Made it easy to do a bit more of an adventure than the normal vacation.

Local specialist: Laura McAfoos

Patagonia Highlights
Patagonia | Feb 9 - Feb 16, 2020

K
Kevin M.
Westminster, CO | Reviewed on Feb 18, 2020

Overall we had an amazing trip to Patagonia. Laura and Julia were extremely responsive when we needed their assistance throughout the trip. We usually plan our trips and navigate countries on our own, so this was a new experience for us. Not having to think about anything...and just being picked up at the airport and hotels was great. Our experiences with the various guides and drivers and most hotels were all positive.

Such a beautiful part of the world!

The only reason I can’t give 5... read more

Overall we had an amazing trip to Patagonia. Laura and Julia were extremely responsive when we needed their assistance throughout the trip. We usually plan our trips and navigate countries on our own, so this was a new experience for us. Not having to think about anything...and just being picked up at the airport and hotels was great. Our experiences with the various guides and drivers and most hotels were all positive.

Such a beautiful part of the world!

The only reason I can’t give 5 stars to the overall experience is because we didn’t receive our final itinerary until 24 hours before we flew to Argentina (2-3 days before our Patagonia trip started), and when we did we realized some of our accommodations had been changed. We booed over 6 months in advance, so the reservations should have been secured.

The first hotel wasn’t great, the second hotel had amazing staff, but still didn’t feel like the quality of hotel we paid for. Laura and Julia made sure the next two hotels were much better. Indigo in Puerto Natales was our favorite.

We also weren’t picked up from for our airport transfer in Punta Arenas, but we just grabbed a cab and they are going to provide us a refund.

The biggest disappointment of the trip was our penguin island excursion being cancelled, but that was due to weather and out of anyone’s control.

Overall it was a very good experience and we would consider using Dittmar and Kimkim again. My advice to other travelers is to make sure to ask for your detailed itinerary a month or two in advance. Read it very carefully and call out any inconsistencies. And be prepared for things to change based on the extremely unpredictable weather in the region.

Local specialist: Laura McAfoos

Patagonia Trip
Patagonia | Dec 23 - Jan 5, 2020

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Chris D.
Orlando, FL | Reviewed on Jan 06, 2020

We enjoyed all our time in Argentina and Chile. The itinerary was super detailed and we experienced no issues during the trip. The local guides and hotels were all great.

Local specialist: Laura McAfoos
Laura
Laura McAfoos
Local specialist in Puerto Natales | Reviewed on Jan 07, 2020

Chris, I am so happy to hear that you all had a great time!