For all the beauty of the Patagonian landscape — russet pampas, granite spires, and sky blue glaciers abutting the Andes across the southern tip of South America — the wind-whipped region is famously inhospitable to travelers.
Campsites have long been the main option in these parts, a challenging prospect as freezing rain and gale-force gusts threaten much of the year.
Now less hardy Patagonian dreamers can rest easy at local operator Vertice Patagonia‘s new series of affordable eco-lodges linking the region’s popular attractions.
Near 103-square-mile Grey Glacier, the refuge features warm beds (from $76), a kitchen serving Malbec wine and hearty meals like Argentine steak, and an expansive front porch with views of jagged, snow-tipped peaks.
“As trekking season gets underway in November, you might spot guanacos, condors, and possibly even pumas, and seven types of orchids are in bloom,” says Heidi Heinzerlina, a former Torres hiking guide. “The park is just a three-hour flight from Antarctica, but its spring flowers can seem downright tropical.”
- Nat Geo Expeditions