Mark & Nat returned in March 2015 from a trekking holiday in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. Here they tell us about their experiences on the trip and in booking with Swoop and our partners…
Would you recommend Swoop to friends, family or colleagues planning a trip to Patagonia?
We would definitely recommend Swoop Patagonia to our family and friends. Your service really helped us weed through the many options available in Patagonia.
Local knowledge and experience were clear – we really valued being able to tailor an itinerary to suit us, and giving our business to local operators.
How were Swoop’s partners in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares?
Both were excellent. Julietta who looked after us on the Full Circuit in Torres del Paine was a stand-out guide, and the team in Chalten was also very helpful when we had to make unplanned changes to our itinerary.
Our plans changed in Chalten due to an injury incurred along the way, so instead of taking the Huemul Circuit, we ended up staying three nights in a house on the Los Huemules reserve. This was an excellent alternative – we were able to self-cater and go for day walks, and it got us out of El Chalten (for a change). Worth offering to other clients in the future.
The Laguna del Diablo day walk was especially enjoyable, and Aguas Arriba lodge was a great suggestion for a luxurious wind-down base.
What would you have changed about your trip?
Perhaps travelling later in the season (we were there mid Feb) – the number of people in Torres del Paine and scale of the refugios was a little overwhelming. We were very pleased that we did the Full Circuit instead of just the W Trek for this reason.
There also seemed to be a bit of a communication gap between the trekking and kayaking companies in Torres del Paine re what gear to bring. This was resolved quickly but could have been avoided.
What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight was the John Garner pass on the Paine Circuit. We had excellent weather, and this was an unexpected vista.
The kayak tour was also a highlight, especially the hospitality and company provided by our guide, Jose Luis. Do make sure that you warn people that it is 42km on day one, and can be extremely windy – this caught us a little off guard.
Do you have any tips for fellow travellers planning a trip?
Be prepared for the Patagonian winds, and do the Full Circuit over the W Trek if you are physically able to.