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explora Patagonia - All Inclusive
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Reviewed October 30, 2012

I travelled to Hotel Salto Chico last August (winter), and decided to return to the hotel to do the travesía with them from El Chaltén to Torres del Paine. From the get go, service was wonderful. The hospitality of Paula from the point she arranged to pick me at El Calafate, till she brought me to the hotel was splendid.

When I arrived in the hotel after previous days of trekking at El Chaltén, I had requested to do the excursion to the "Base of the Towers", which was their most "challenging". I told the guides that I had missed out on that excursion on my last visit, and wanted to do it, weather permitting. Noting that the weather was likely to turn for the worse, they opened that excursion for me for the very next day.

Isabella, my guide to the "Base of the Towers" was cheerful and helpful. When Luis and Rocio (two other guests) felt tired and cold at the lookout, when we did not get a view of the towers, we started down. As we descended, I noticed a clearing of the fog, and everyone knew I wanted to go back. Isabella then escorted Luis and Rocio to the sheltered wooded area, and then went up to the lookout to make sure I was okay. Even though there was copious amounts of snow, she always kept our spirits up.

The next day was rained out, but everyone in the hotel tried to make the most of that day. We were supposed to walk to the Grey Glacier, but the storm prevented the catamaran from sailing. With that cancellation, I was offered alternative excursions. I chose to go for the barbeque, which was great!

The next day, I finally managed to go to trek to the Grey Glacier. Rafael, our guide, was very cheerful and knowledgeable. We were also in for a great spectacle at the end, when we saw a massive chunk of ice break from the glacier when we were on the boat.

It was another memorable visit to Hotel Salto Chico!

Food was as usual, up to their usual high standards. From the hot soup in the thermos carried by the guides on the full-day excursions, to the three-course meals in the restaurant. The service staff were wonderfully attentive and friendly.

What a wonderful time I had at Explora Patagonia. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank colin_matthew
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 December 4, 2012

Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your wonderful feedback.

Not only did you travel with us on an explora Travesias, which express the core of what explora is all about, but also describe so beautifully how you’ve gone with “the flow” and enjoyed every moment of it. But let me backtrack. The explora Travesias are our nomadic journeys, they cross borders and are for a more adventurous traveler who enjoys the luxury of the essentials while exploring the most remote areas of South America. These journeys are at the heart of what defines explora.

As you review shows in great detail, not everything will go according to plan when you travel, mostly due to weather changes. explora always encourages travels to go out and explore, no matter what the weather is like, but we may change the original plan and adjust the outing accordingly. Safety is never negotiable for us, and your review highlights the flexibility that we at times require from travelers, but also the sincere effort explora makes to please every traveler and help them fulfill their travel goals. Thank you again for your feedback.

We hope to welcome you back to one of the explora lodges or another explora Travesia soon!

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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

Dear explora and team,

Being back in New York for some time we realize even more what a beautiful trip we have made last month.Time flies and takes you back to routine very easily.

Roserio, the hostess, made our impression from the Explora Lodge even more valuable. The team at the Explora take their job so serious and we have never been anywhere getting so much warm hospitality in such breathtaking setting.

Our trip in Torres del Paine was an unforgettable beautiful experience. We worked very hard by climbing, hiking, walking and even horse riding. Also in Patagonia we were very lucky with the weather. What a splendid nature!

By now we can tell complete different visions of Patagonia, people and nature.We thank you again very much for your guidance and knowledge. This trip enriched our lives very much. It is so good to be in other parts of the world with new culture, beautiful nature and very friendly people working so hard to make our stay enlighting.

Wishing you all the very best, health and lots of tourists. We shall be back.

Room Tip: Get a suite in the third floor.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Japp B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

One of the hardest places to get to and from but worth it. The images of the torres del Paine had always bewitched me, they look like whipped ice cream cones. When I was visiting Buenos Aires I realised this could be my only chance to see them up close and personal. I hunted out the Salto Chico Explora lodge which sits across the lake and offers the most spectacular views of these extraordinary mountains. Without doubt it was a leap of faith to pay 3000 US dollars for three nights, far above my budget for a hotel. The only thing I can say is that if I could have extended our stay I would have done so, worth every penny and more. All the rooms have a picture perfect view of the mountains, it is worth getting up just before the sun and watch them turning from monochrome to deep purple, feiry red, deepest orange then they look as if there is a fire burning from inside the craters, AMAZING. The lodge offers an endless list of half day and full day activities which are tailored to all levels of fitness and everyone can be comfortable with their own level of adventure. Evenings are casual sitting around roaring fires in slippers (almost like having your mates round in their pyjamas) The meals were simple, small choice of two items per course but beautifully prepared and presented, quality wines are served and they make cocktails to die for.I could not fault this place and long for a day when I could go back again. I have said below that I travelled there recently, (not true but there was no option for the date we actually went which was a few years ago) I just want everyone to know about this place.

Room Tip: No problem, all the rooms were comfortable and the views spectacular.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Gillian1008
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 December 4, 2012

Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your taking the time to write this very kind feedback.

explora has taken adventure to an even more diversified level a few weeks ago when we launched the new equestrian and photography expeditions, which are co-lead by explora’s own guides. These escapes have fix departure dates. For more information, please go here: Horsebackriding Expeditions and Photographic Expeditions

What stands out from your review to me is that you are describing explora’s efforts to tailor to everyone’s level of fitness in order to create “their own level of adventure”. I couldn’t agree more, every traveler that travels with us has a different idea of where adventure starts and be try very hard to understand everyone’s needs and goals.

As you probably already know, after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For information, please visit our website.

We look foward to welcoming you at explora in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2012

This was a trip of a life time. I spent 5 nights at this magnificent hotel in April 2012. This was my third time at one of the Explora Lodges, and I love all of them, but the beauty here is outstanding.
It is well worth the 5 hour drive from Punta Arenas to experience such beauty. The lodge is the most unassuming property i've ever stayed in, but fits so well with the surrounding beauty. By all means spend a little extra and get a Cordillera Paine room. The view is magnificent. The explorations and guides could not have been better. And the food is very good considering that it all has to be trucked in. I'm planning to go back to the Explora Atacama in December 2013. Life is too short not to follow your dreams, and staying at the Explora Lodges fits the bill.

Room Tip: Request a Cordillera Paine view room on the second floor away from the stairs. The view is outstanding.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank sharon f
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 November 14, 2012

Dear traveler,

We thank you very much for your very kind review and your repeated explora visits. We are very grateful for your feedback.

Please allow me to mention that explora has recently added new equestrian escapes into the wilds of Patagonia and the Atacama Desert to our excursions. These escapes have fix departure dates and are best suited for experienced riders. More information can be found in our home page.

Furthermore, please be aware that explora also launched new ethnocultural expeditions in Atacama and on Rapa Nui. This new way of exploring two explora locations complement our range of adventures and have been designed for travelers with a thirst for a deeper understanding of the places they visit. For further information, please visit the special interest section in our website.

We look forward to welcoming you again in 2013!

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

We have stayed at Explora Patagonia twice--once ~10 years ago and most recently at the beginning of March, 2012. We were lucky that Torres del Paine National Park re-opened after the wild fire that devastated much of the park in time for us to go and Explora re-opened the lodge just the week before we were scheduled to be there. The rooms are comfortable and well appointed. Both times we have been there we opted for rooms with views of the mountain massif---well worth the small extra price. For our most recent trip we decided to stay for 8 days. I ended up feeling that this gave us the opportunity to do everything we wanted (all the hikes and horse rides) without being rushed. This part of Torres del Paine is a hikers paradise and it is fantastic to come back to such a comfortable lodge at the end of the day. The guides for the hikes are very knowledgeable and professional. The food is first class and they were quick to accommodate our special requests. The last day we were there we had done all of the excursions that were scheduled for that day so at our suggestion they had a driver and one of the guides take us on a slow drive along the road stopping often for photography and we ended up sitting for a couple of hours at one of the small ponds that had an abundance of bird life where we had great photography opportunities. The bottom line is that Torres del Paine is spectacular as an outdoor venue and the people at Explora Patagonia have a wonderful property and understand what is meant by personalized service.

Room Tip: The rooms with the view of the mountain massif are well worth the small extra price.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank John H
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 November 14, 2012

Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your wonderful feedback.

explora thrives to the best of our ability to customize your explora experience and I am delighted to read about your photography excursion.

Please allow me also to highlight a few important comments that you’ve made in your review. After the wild fire in late 2011/early 2012, which affected about 6% of the Torres del Paine Park, explora conceptualized 11 new excursions. Many of the additions traverse the northern region of the park, where explora Patagonia holds a Quincho and two estancias. The new explorations include half-day treks such as “Walk to Rivera Serrano” (a Trek along the banks of the Serrano River to splendid views of the Paine Massif, Toro Heights and the Serrano Prairie). And a “Walk to Linda Lake – Crossing gently sloping, grass covered hills to reach an ascent to spectacular views of the Paine Massif, with birds, shrubs and forests of Antarctic. More bird species wait on descent past Laguna Negra. (Moderate).

New full day treks include a “Walk to Laguna Stokes” and a “Walk to the Horns” – both are on the difficult side. A new “Horseback Ride to Toro Heights” is also qualifies as difficult. There are half-a-dozen more, but it would take too much space to explain them all in this format.

As you probably already know, after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. .


Yours sincerely,

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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