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explora Patagonia - All Inclusive
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Reviewed January 27, 2012

We were also impacted by the fire, and we were in frequent communication with Explora as they determined whether the hotel would be closed at the time of our reservation. Fortunately, we followed Explora's advice at booking and purchased travel insurance, so once it was determined the hotel would be closed, we were able to modify this part of our trip and stay at Explora's Easter Island property at no additional cost to us. Had we not purchased travel insurance, our options would have been more limited and less attractive, but Explora did demonstrate some consideration for the inconvenience and we felt good about the overall outcome given the unfortunate situation at Explora Patagonia.

Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
Thank atl_trav917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded March 5, 2012

Dear affected traveler,

The last few weeks have been incredibly difficult for all involved with explora Patagonia and Hotel Salto Chico, as we watched wildfires race through Torres del Paine National Park and put every ounce of our energy into safely evacuating travelers, staff and horses. Not only did we do everything in our power to protect our facilities, but we took extra care to re-accommodate all who were affected, even while assisting the park, firefighters and local government authorities with logistical support to control the fire.

The impact of the wildfire in the middle of high season was challenging, to say the least, resulting in a chaotic administrative situation that found explora confronted with an extremely high volume of communication from concerned clients, media outlets and embassies. We also dealt with specious rumors that the fire had destroyed our lodge.

From the moment we learned of the fire, explora’s main concern and objective was to inform all travelers with affected arrival dates and to reprocess each in the order of scheduled check-in. Though we endeavored to address everyone’s individual needs immediately, it was imperative that we work on a priority basis to maintain order for our valued travelers and ourselves. We apologize if our course of action caused anyone to be negatively affected, and we appreciate your understanding, given the circumstances.

Confronted with a situation of force majeure, explora decided to absorb enormous loss and reimburse all prepaid reservations. Based on the extraordinary amount of money to be refunded and the time-consuming process involved, we created a set schedule for refunds and stuck to it. With refunds numbering more than 1,000, the process took time, during which we were confronted by clients who had been urged to request more than a refund as well as by situations in which our staff apparently failed to communicate properly or provide necessary information to our clients. For that, we are extremely sorry and have levied corrective actions to address situations that did not meet client expectations.

In the end, we are humbled by the toll the situation took on our team of explora professionals who realized only in retrospect that the process had worn everyone out. We have always placed a great deal of emphasis on the quality of the guest experience at explora Patagonia, and we have learned the hard way that extraordinary times and unforeseeable tragedy call for extraordinary measures. Trust, the weakest links in our system are being eliminated and the future looks bright for explora Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park and our valued clients.

Thank you for your time and patience.

Cordially yours,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2012

Same as many others, we were affected by the fires in Patagonia and we couldn’t make it to Explora in Patagonia now in January. Our travel agent contacted us immediately after getting noticed from Explora, forwarded me all the information the company have sent them and they were able to relocate us in Explora Hotel in Atacama. While Atacama was not my first decision (and we’ll be planning our trip to Patagonia with excitement), they responded rapidly in re-arranging my itinerary. We enjoyed Atacama very much and were very happy with the fast response. In addition, my agent sent me a discounted voucher that Explora had prepared for us to return one day to Explora in Patagonia since our dreams had not been fulfilled. Considering that Explora in Patagonia was not at fault, that action speaks pretty good about the company. It pays off to be in the hands of a good agent…Now we are going back home, but I’m sure we’ll be returning to Patagonia soon! (and we will love to do it with Explora as the experience in Atacama was amazing)…
Cheers

Room Tip: They take special care of the details. I recogn any room will be great...
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Lucia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2012

We were told about the problems with the fire in the region, but were told by our travel agent that the hotel would reopen on 26th Jan ( the park was already reopened) now we learn only buy checking the Explora website that it will not be avaliable for our trip in Feb. Despite their claims to be customer focused they are far from it. They have just said nothing to do with us and sort yourselves out at such a late stage. What was a once in lifetime trip has been ruined by their complete lack of customer service.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
8  Thank raymond p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
explorachile, Public Relations Manager at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2012

Dear Patagonia bound client,

Thank you for taking the time to vent on TripAdvisor.

Same as the previous TripAdvisor comment, there seems to be a disconnect between the person that made your travel arrangements and you. For all senses and purposes, we have direct communication with the person or entity that makes the booking. If the booking, like it seems in your case, is done by a Tour Operator (Wholesale) or Travel Agent, it is our full responsibility to keep them informed of any developments at our end. What happens [or doesn´t] after that, it is something that goes beyond our control.

Since December 29 we have kept our travel agents, tour operators and direct clients - those individual travelers who book explora without the help of any intermediary or travel professional- informed (via mailings and phone calls) of the developments in the park as a result of the wild fire crisis. Additionally, we communicated the same in our website and social media platforms.

Please allow us to elaborate on the reasons as to why we decided to reopen on February 23rd. As a result of the fire that affected the Torres del Paine National Park between December 27, 2011 and January 13, 2012, and which caused the total closure of the park followed by a partial reopening, we were forced to temporarily shut down .

Miraculously, the flames did not damage the Hotel Salto Chico, our spa or stables, although for ten days we were affected by smoke and ash from some of the nearby fire hotspots.

After receiving authorization to enter the park, a team of explora executives and damage assessment experts have spent the last two weeks evaluating the extent of the fire damage caused both to the park and to the lodge itself. After a thorough evaluation, we have decided that the Hotel Salto Chico will remain closed until February 22 (included), as we are temporarily unable to offer the high standard of service that our travelers expect and for which we are known.

This carefully considered decision, while a painful one, is partly due to the damage caused by smoke to some of the furnishings and other materials. Given that the majority of these items are custom-made exclusively for explora by companies all over the world, replacing them will take some time.

The quality of service that explora provides at all its operations (Atacama, Patagonia, Rapa Nui and travesías) cannot be compromised and for this reason we have decided that we will only reopen the lodge when we are certain that we can fulfill and exceed the high expectations of the travelers who visit us.

Due to these circumstances, we decided to immediately contact all of our travelers and business partners who had been affected by this force majeur event to assist them with their reservations.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience that this decision you may have caused you and we thank you for your understanding. We hope the poor flow of communication between you and booking agent is overcome.

If you feel we provide any assistance, please contact as reserve[at]explora.com.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Yours sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2012

We were booked for 4 nights at Explora Patagonia and scheduled to check in next week. We learned from our travel agent in Chile that the hotel is closed due to the recent fires at Torres del Paine, and is not expected to reopen until late February. Our jaw dropped when the travel agent informed us that, despite the hotel's closure, Explora would not refund the money we've paid for our accommodation. Our only option is to rebook at a later date. Of course, if we wait until next season (the travel window in this part of the world is essentially the Chilean summer, from November - March), we lose the value of the plane tickets we have purchased. Our only option is to pay another $3000-4000 for a similar class of accommodation elsewhere in the area.

It is unfathomable that any hotel - much less one that bills itself as a 5 star luxury lodge - would hang their clients out to dry in this way. If it was my choice to cancel, I can understand cancellation penalties. But to refuse a refund when the hotel is closed borders on theft. If this is any indication of how Explora treats its guests, I may be lucky that I'm avoiding the experience. I hope those in the travel agent community take this to heart before booking their clients at Explora Patagonia.

Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
17  Thank fllglobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
explorachile, Public Relations Manager at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2012

Dear Patagonia bound client,

We regret the anxiety by the wild fire crisis in Patagonia may have caused you.

It is with surprise that we read your comment, which is the direct
result of an uninformed decision. On January 9 , we informed all of our clients (with check-in dates of January 2 through February 22) about the refund policy we were implementing due the wild fire crisis in Patagonia. On that occasion we sent a letter in which we clarified that all the refunds requested were being processed and the reservation payment will be fully reimbursed within 45 days. At the same time, we asked all of our clients to send us the details of their preferred method of refund so that we were able to organize the reimbursement to
them within this timeframe.

We strongly suggest to contact your travel consultant to sort this out.

We look forward to welcoming you in Chile in other opportunity.

Cordially yours,

Alberto Arellano, Communications and Marketing Manager
_____________________________________________________

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

Heaven on earth. Place of immense beauty. Hotel with incredible view, service and attention. Incredible location and setting, and undescribable character. Great staff with great activities. Horses activities are a must. Carlos and Roserio are incredible hosts. There is simply no place like Explora Patagonia.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view to the horns. The food portions are relatively small, but ask for more if you are still hungry after a long day out.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Silvio V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2012

Dear traveler,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your explora Patagonia. We are very pleased to hear that you had an enjoyable experience and that found the horseback riding a must. I personally enjoy riding in our 2 de Enero Estancia and crossing Las Chinas River - a true Patagonia treat!

Thank you again for your comments.

Kind regards,

Jesús Parrilla

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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