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Customer Rating On return from their adventure we ask customers: “On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest, how likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend or colleague?”
Connie's Trip:W Trek, 3 days
Connie's Trip Date:
20th Jan - 31st Jan 2020
What was your most memorable moment?
I cannot pick just one. When you finally reach the base of the Fitz Roy in Chalten and the Towers in Torres Del Paine one is struck with overwhelming emotion. Though cliche, no photo could possible display such beauty. There is a sense of real accomplishment. The time spent traveling the Strait of Magellan to Francisco Coloane III Island gives one time to reflect on just how remote your time spent seeing wildlife will be. Then there they are--the Whales. So amazing.
Which of the following best describes your adventure?
On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend or colleague?
10 out of 10
Tell us about Torres del Paine
Take the time to stay in the park. From camping, glamping or hotels--there are so many options. I did the glamping, and it was perfect for a nice meal, good sleep and waking up to enjoy the park for another day. There are so many hikes to do and a great guide can take you to ones without tons of people. That being said, the hike to the base of the Towers is worth every step. I wish I had trained a little harder, but I made it in the end. Slow and steady. I only had three full days in the park, but plan to return at some point to see more.
Tell us about El Calafate & El Chalten
Both towns are cute and offer a "hikers paradise" vibe. Food was surprisingly amazing. Several options in both towns. I could have spent a week in Chalten just eating and talking to other travelers. The hike to the base of Fitzroy was challenging at times, but the view worth every step.
Tell us about the trekking
My guides were awesome. I was slower than some in my groups, but they kept me encouraged. Having a guide to point out facts about the area while hiking adds to the experience. I would not go without one should I go back, as I enjoy their company so much. Since I am slow, I might hire a private guide next time--but that is just me.
Were Swoop right to recommend Chile Nativo?
Were Swoop right to recommend Whalesound?
Were Swoop right to recommend Walk Patagonia?
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Patagonia?
Chalten has great food and a hikers paradise vibe--plan to spend some time in this town in the evenings getting to know other travelers. Laundry facilities are easy to come by and inexpensive throughout Chalten, Calafate and Puerto Natales--pack light and plan to get gear washed. I did not know how comfortable the buses would be in the area--a lovely way to travel here--do not fear the long bus ride.
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
I was unaware the effects of disconnecting. Going to remote areas in Patagonia (Torres Del Paine and Whalesound) forces you to disconnect. I returned to my life back home with renewed energy and new plans for the year.
Do you have any recommendations for Swoop, or feedback about the team?
Be sure to tell folks wanting to go on the Whalesound trip--it is an 8 hour boat ride with downtime (not much to see for several hours) in choppy waters. I was totally fine, I knew what to expect. If someone is prone to sea sickness, this is NOT the trip for them. If someone has good sea legs--it is a MUST do. I would have liked more educational talks from the Whalesound staff--maybe on the long boat ride out. Unfortunately, the main scientist was on the island during my stay--but I would have been fine with lectures from other knowledgeable staff. Also, the trek to the observatory was closed due to poor trail conditions--hopefully that will get fixed in future. As for the hikes, I live in Florida. A very flat area of the US. I should have trained by walking up stairs or bridges. The treks were hard, but not impossible. Folks like me need to prepare some (shame on me). Due to the civil unrest in the area, Punta Arenas had a lot of closures of shops and was my least favorite place during my stay. Fine to stay as a jumping off place to an adventure, but if spending time in a town--all others I stayed in were much better (Chalten, Calafate and Puerto Natales). Also,the Santiago Airport AC was out both times I was going through there. It is undergoing some renovations. For now--it's a tough airport to hang out in. I will have some nice photos, but I need to clean them up. Happy to share when done.