For many years, the name Explora has been synonymous with Patagonia, the vast wilderness region at the tip of South America that straddles the neighboring countries of Chile and Argentina. This area has long been one of the grand prizes of travel for intrepid adventurers and Explora set the gold standard for South American wilderness retreats when they opened their first lodge here in 1993.
The company currently operates seven remote luxury lodges in South America and three of those lodges are located in Patagonia. Now Explora has come up with a way to link all three properties in Chilean and Argentinean Patagonia on a series of seamless Explora Connects Super Itineraries. Combining options for stays at multiple Explora lodges in Chilean Patagonia and Argentinian Patagonia, with transportation between them via air or car transfer, the Super Itineraries offer a chance to explore different parts of this region at the southern tip of South America.
The itineraries promise 8-12 days of immersive travel in Patagonia, combining Torres del Paine and Patagonia National Park in Chilean Patagonia, and the Southern Patagonia Ice Field region in Argentinian Patagonia.
Founded back in 1993, Explora opened its first lodge, Explora Torres del Paine, along Lake Pehoé in the heart of Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile. They created a recipe for a stay in an adventure lodge that included creature comforts and exploration, in this case of the adjacent UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, via guided hikes, horseback rides, overland drives, and catamaran. It’s a formula that has been incredibly successful for them and much copied in wilderness lodges around the world.
Explora Connects utilizes three lodges, including this original one, Explora Torres del Paine, with its jaw-dropping view of its namesake mountain peaks. Horseback riding, hiking, Overlanding and high mountain treks are on offer.
Explora Patagonia National Park opened in 2021 in the Aysen region of Chilean Patagonia. The new lodge offers access to remote wilderness and protected wildlife via 32 crafted explorations. The culinary exploration is courtesy of Pablo Jesús Rivero and Guido Tassi, owner, and consulting chef, respectively, of Don Julio in Buenos Aires. At this lodge, Explora has taken on the role of managing the 640,000 acres of Patagonia National Park, collaborating with Rewilding Chile and CONAF.
The third and newest lodge is Explora El Chaltén, which opened at the end of 2021 in Argentinian Patagonia. Set within a natural amphitheater surrounded by ancient forests, rivers, glaciers and mountains, the lodge offers 30 explorations, including hikes, rock climbing, e-mountain biking, and kayaking.
There are three Explora Connects itineraries in Patagonia, all with transportation between lodges via air or ground included.
Chilean Patagonia combines stays at Explora Patagonia National Park and Explora Torres del Paine via bi-directional flights. Air transportation between the two lodges is just 1 hour and 40 minutes or less versus 24 hours on a commercial flight. From $10,960 per person, for 8 nights, all-inclusive.
Boundless Patagonia combines Explora El Chaltén and Explora Torres del Paine via an 8-hour car transfer of 283 miles. In this case, that’s still a significant savings of time over a commercial connecting flight across the border of Chile and Argentina. From $9,680 per person, for 8 nights, all-inclusive.
Deep Patagonia combines stays at all three lodges – Explora Torres del Paine, Explora Patagonia National Park, and Explora El Chaltén – via air transportation in Chilean Patagonia and car transfer across the border into Argentinian Patagonia. From $15,610 per person, for 12 nights, all-inclusive.
In classic Explora fashion, the company takes care of all details for travelers on Explora Connects itineraries, including flight reservations, airport transfers, and car transfers between Chile and Argentina. The season runs from October 3, 2022, through April 10, 2023. Visit Explora for more details.