Patagonia October 2023
Oct 10 - Oct 31, 2023
Our trip to Patagonia in October 2023 could not have been better. I had a basic idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do from the recommendations of some friends, but I contacted kimkim because I was intimidated by trying to book accommodations on the W hike, and because I figured a local agent would know which excursion providers were the best. Kimkim connected me with Dittmar Travel in Puerto Natales, and I was pleased to work with Laura, Erin and Nara. The whole trip went off without a hitch. Hotels were expecting us, drivers and guides showed up on time, bus tickets were easy to use (and exchange when desired), and suggestions for restaurants and free time were all great. We especially enjoyed our guided hike in El Chalten with Julie from Walk Patagonia. Best hotel breakfast was the amazing spread at the Kau Yatun Hotel and Estancia in El Calafate, though all were good and offered a variety of foods. The best view from a hotel room probably goes to the Andino Sur in Ushuaia with the Alma Sur in El Chalten a close second. Of course, the very best views were from the refugios on the W trek, but those require some serious hiking to get to! Erin and Nara were available to answer even the most basic questions (should we bring sleeping bag liners? how about microspikes?) and I felt very comfortable asking them. I highly recommend visiting Patagonia with the help of Dittmar Travel.
The Alma Sur is a nice hotel convenient to the Bus Sur station and the attractions of downtown Punta Arenas. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, the staff is very friendly and provides good recommendations, and the breakfast was ample and delicious.
nice hotel right on the waterfront. walking distance to good restaurants and shops of downtown Puerto Natales. staff were very helpful in getting us an early breakfast to go and storing our lunch in the restaurant cooler.
A great place to rest up after the big hike to the base of the Torres. Rooms and bathrooms were neat and clean. Check in process was easy Restaurant and bar staff were friendly and efficient.
The ecodomes at Frances are spacious and generally clean and comfortable. Our heater ran out of gas in the night, so it got chilly, but the sleeping bags provided were warm enough. The small dining room and bar were great for convivial meals and chats. Staff was friendly and efficient.
This is a large refugio serving many overnight and day guests. The check in process was a little slow because many guests were coming and going and asking questions, and I think they were short staffed as the check in staff had to show everyone to their rooms. The common areas are warm and comfortable and the dining room was well organized. The food was good and plentiful.
This is a beautiful refugio with a lovely dining room and bar. It feels a little more calm than the other ones we stayed in. We enjoyed the communal meals here and look forward to checking out some of the destinations recommended by fellow guests.
This is a lovely hotel with enormous windows overlooking Lago Grey. We were ready for a comfortable private room after four nights of shared bedrooms and bathrooms on the W. The restaurant has a large and varied menu and the service staff were professional and friendly.
This is a large-ish new (?) hotel in El Chalten, just off the main street. It was clean and comfortable and staff were friendly and helpful in exchanging money, arranging meals to go, and getting laundry done. Breakfast was good and the dining room was comfortable. The room was nice and the bed was comfortable. The views of the town and surrounding mountains were lovely. There was a little noise from the hallway, but nothing that kept us awake too late. The hotel is very convenient to the trails accessing Los Glaciares NP and also to a number of restaurants and breweries.
The Kau Yatun is located outside of the main commercial district of El Calafate which is nice because it's noisy down there. We enjoyed the walk through the neighborhood to the main street. The lobby and lounge area are very comfortable with lovely views of the surrounding estancia. The room was large and comfortable and the breakfast was fabulous. The staff were helpful in arranging luggage storage and transit to the bus station.
The Alto Andino is a couple of blocks uphill from the waterfront in Ushuaia, which means wonderful views from the room and breakfast room. Our room was huge and comfortable with a great shower. We appreciated the small kitchenette for making tea and coffee.
We appreciated the opportunity to sit down with Nara and go over the remaining days of our itinerary and ask questions.
It was nice to hike with our guide, Julie, from Walk Patagonia. She actually suggested a modification to our itinerary because I was suffering from a sore knee after our W trek. It was great to hike with someone who knows the natural history of the park and could answer any question we might come up with.