trip video: Carretera Austral road trip, January 2019 – part 4

In this fourth and final installment of our Carretera Austral road trip video series covering the last 4 days on the road, we hiked several trails in Parque Pumalín Douglas Tompkins. On our hikes, we saw a couple of glaciers and a hidden waterfall.

This is a companion video to my 2019 Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series, which is listed below in the index.

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trip video: Carretera Austral road trip, January 2019 – part 3, Futaleufú

In this third installment of our Carretera Austral road trip video, which was centered around the town of Futaleufú and on Río Futaleufú, we rafted the middle and lower sections of Río Futaleufú, drove to some overviews of Río Futaleufú, and hiked to Piedra del Aguila over two days. This is a companion video to my 2019 Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series, which is listed below in the index.

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trip video: Carretera Austral road trip, January 2019 – part 2

In this second installment of our road trip, we started with a hike on Glaciar Exploradores in Puerto Río Tranquilo before starting out drive north ending at Futaleufú. These second 4 days were much smoother than our first as we did 3 hikes and had a run in with a local hawk. This is a companion video to my 2019 Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series, which is listed below in the index.

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trip report: Patagonia – Parque Pumalín Douglas Tompkins, January 2019

Parque Pumalín Douglas Tompkins is result of Douglas Tompkins conservation efforts starting in 1991. Today it is managed by CONAF as a national park that covers 988422 acres. Within the bounds of the park, there are enough maintained day hikes (parquepumalin) to keep you engaged for a couple weeks. While we didn’t explore every single hike, we did four of them on day 6, day 15, day 17, and day 18 of our travels on Ruta 40 and the Carretera Austral.

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This is part 8 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted. Read More

trip report: Patagonia – Futaleufú, January 2019

Before our trip, I had heard that one of the best white water rivers was in Patagonia. While Río Futaleufú and the town named after the river are not on the Carretera Austral, it was a well worth sidetrip to see and experience this magnificent river.

This is part 7 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted. Read More

trip report: Patagonia – Parque Nacional Queulat & Ventisquero Colgante, January 2019

The vastness of Patagonia contains many spectacular mountains, valleys, glaciers, and lakes. Many of these areas are untouched by trails and very difficult to access without extensive skills. It may be one of the hopes of the Chile’s Route of Parks initiative to eventually expand accessibility for hikers and tourists to these hidden vistas. But for now, we would only catch a glimpse of the glacier spilling out between the rock faces. That sums up my descriptions of the popular Ventisquero Colgante, one of the only established and open hikes in the area around Parque Nacional Queulat.

This is part 6 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted. Read More

trip report: Patagonia – Mirador Laguna Cerro Castillo, January 2019

Cerro Castillo is one of the rare multi-day backpacking (trekking) opportunities that is well established along the Carretera Austral. We had tentative plans to do just that, but lingering health issues and the logistics in planning a point to point backpacking trek that would rely on hitchhiking or buses when we didn’t speak Spanish brought us to the alternative day hike options. In the end, I don’t feel like I missed out and at the same time, I look forward to returning to do the trek.

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This is part 5 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.  Read More

trip report: Patagonia – Marble Caves & Glaciar Exploradores guided tours at Puerto Río Tranquilo, January 2019

Our southern most point on our Carretera Austral drive was the town of Puerto Río Tranquilo. While we typically don’t partake in guided hikes or tours, we did here to see the highlight of the town, the Marble Caves on Lago Gral Carrera (Lake General Carrera).

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The other tour here is the guided glacier hike onto Glaciar Exploradores, spilling off the Northern Patagonia Ice Field. Having endured the last few days through sickness and car issues, we made the decision at this point to just enjoy ourselves and splurge on both tours. We did not regret it one bit.

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This is part 4 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below. Read More

trip report: Patagonia – Ruta 40 & driving the Carretera Austral, January 2019

My current struggle in life is the constant feel of needing to optimize my time. It’s the feeling that I need to be productive whenever possible, but I don’t think I am actually any more than before in the overall scheme of things. Maybe I started to feel this way because of the combination of how easy I can waste a day and just the never ending to do lists. Whatever the reason, it makes it very difficult to relax as anything nonproductive comes with a feel of regret in the end. This specific struggle carries over into the realm of traveling as well when it comes to unplanned and free form travel. It is hard not to feel the need to do something at every minute. But at the same time, unplanned free form travel is the cure as you don’t have anywhere to be but to relax and immerse yourself in the beauty out there. There is no place better for me to relearn that than the remote regions in Chile on the Carretera Austral.

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carefree zone

In the spirit of free form travel, the hikes and activities we throughout the rest of our trip wasn’t really in any organizable order. This is due to a few travel restrictions and situational parameters that are explained in the post. So this part of the trip report will cover our decisions as we went, the specific route that we took, and our driving experiences on the Carretera Austral. Subsequent sections will delve into the different hikes and major activities that I will mention in this overview of our trip.

We pick up this trip report the day after our Huemul Circuit hike (see part 2 of this series). This is part 3 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below. Read More

trip report: Patagonia – planning & research, January 2019

Two of my favorite hikes in the world at the moment is in Patagonia, the O-Circuit of Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile and the Huemul Circuit of Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. I would return to either places in a heartbeat, as our two previous week long trips out there during our spring breaks left us wanting for more. But these two hikes are just a small portion of the vast region of Patagonia with plenty that I’d looked forward to exploring in the future. So when I saw a USD$400 roundtrip flight from the United States to São Paulo, Brazil in business class, that future was much closer than I originally thought. Not to take away from what we had experienced in Brazil, but it was no question we’d be heading back to Patagonia.

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This is part 1 of my Patagonia and Carretera Austral trip report series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below. Read More