Charles and Eva returned in January from a two-week trip to Los Glaciares and Torres del Paine. Here they tell us about their experiences on the trip and share some tips for other people planning a trip.
Charles and Eva’s Feedback:
We would give you five out of five! Our main worry before the trip was the complicated logistics; especially in Torres del Paine in the middle of the busy season. Swoop handled it extremely well; there was always a spot reserved for us on crowded buses and a warm bed waiting for us in the refugios bursting in the seams on a rainy cold day.
Do not do anything differently; you are doing just fine!
We will recommend you to anybody who likes the mountains, is fit enough for some serious walking and understands that life there is still a bit more simple than in Paris or New York.
Charles and Eva’s Itinerary:
Charles and Eva started their journey in El Calafate, where they enjoyed an excursion to the to the Perito Moreno Glacier before heading off to a 6 day hike through Torres del Paine. While hiking Torres del Paine they took in the sights of Valle Frances, Lago Nordenskjold, Lago Grey and the Towers of Paine. After that they spent 5 days on some self guided day hikes from El Chalten, where they took in some fantastic views of Fitz Roy and came back to the Hostal Los Nires each night to relax and enjoy the evening.
How were Swoop’s partners in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares?
Both Laura in Puerto Natales and Zoe in El Chalten were warm and helpful. We had only one or two very minor issues to deal with and both were handled promptly and with competence. In Dittmar we especially appreciated their detailed day-to- day itinerary with the instructions for the dummies. Whenever we were not quite sure about something, we just looked (in Torres Charles was wearing it in a waterproof plastic bag around his neck) and there was always an answer. Good job!
The itinerary was lovely; again, we would not change anything.
We used guide services only during the trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier. The guide was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and bilingual in English and French.
What was the highlight of your trip?
It is hard to single out just one or two things; the overall experience was very special. We had rain and shine; experienced wind that made us crawl on the belly and a whiteout like in January in the Rockies, but also some incredibly perfect, glorious days with blue skies and jaw-dropping views. We saw condors and vicunas, lovely lenga and nire beech trees, orchids, beautiful tiny alpine wildflowers and more. I think every day there was precious.
Our tips to other people:
- Use the wonderful Swoop flexibility and get an extra day or two wherever possible, especially in El Chalten as a backup for a rainy day. We did the Fitz Roy hike twice and it was worth every penny.
- Learn some Spanish – it really helps.
- Do not go cheap on GoreTex – it is nice to be dry.
- We spent five fun days in Buenos Aires. We stayed in a nice hotel in the Microcentro (American Towers; ca $100 a night with all taxes included via Expedia) and did all the touristy things we could think of. We also gained ca 6 pounds each.
Thanks for everything!
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