Hotel Explora - Patagonia

Jan 26th, 2004, 09:37 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hotel Explora - Patagonia

I am considering a trip to Hotel Explora in Patagonia at the end of May. Has anyone been at that time of year? Is this a bad time of year to visit? Cold, rainy, etc? Also, the setting looks wonderful but for that kind of money is the food, etc. great as well? How bad is getting there from Santiago? Would you recommend the 4 or 7 day trip? Thanks.
AndyP is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 07:20 PM
  #2  
DJE
 
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Andy,

I was there in Nov. a few years back so cannot comment on the weather in May. During our time at the park it was a little chilly and required a jacket but nothing really heavy. Most of the time I wore a light gortex jacket over a shirt or light sweater and if it was a sunny day a vest would do. We had sun, rain, wind, the whole gamut but this did not deter our wonderful experience.

The explora is a good hotel and yes it is pricey but for us it was well worth the cost considering you are really in the middle of nowhere. The food at that time was good overall and the rooms were very comfortable with fabulous views. The staff were very accommodating. Your view from the dining room is quite beautiful. It is a spectacular setting IMO. I think that 4 days will allow you enough time to see and do everything you would want.

As far as getting there from Santiago, we flew to Punta Arenas where we spent the night and then it was a 6 hr. drive into the park. The explora people picked us up at the hotel for the trip. If I recall it was not a direct flight from Santiago to P.A. and we had to stop along the way. For us it was well worth the time it took to get there.

Hope this helps. DJE
DJE is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 07:57 PM
  #3  
DJE
 
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P.S. to last message.
I would assume that if you are there in May it will be Autumn in Patagonia as the climates are reversed. We had spring weather which like I said did include some rain and wind but overall not cold. You may need to wear some warmer clothing for their Fall.
DJE is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 08:12 PM
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The best thing to do is to bring layers. We were there in January of 2000 and even though it is supposed to be summer there, Patagonia creates its own weather patterns. We went through every possible condition: shorts/tee weather, rain, high winds (!!) and even snow!

as for transportation, you would fly to punta arenas from santiago. from there you have to take a 3+ hour bus ride to puerto natales. when we were there, they had talked about totally paving the road, so it may be a better drive now. also see if they will stop at the penguin colony at seno otway. it was worth going to see the magellanic penguin! you may want to do an overnight at puerto natales to break up the trip. then take a bumpy, dusty 2 hour van ride into the park.

yes, it is in the middle of nowhere but i have not seen anything like it in my travels. it is so raw and spectacular. 4 days should be enough time. the hikes were great; try to see the paine towers, grey glacier and the french valley. (we actually saw the french valley really well - it started to snow!). you will love it.
quimbymoy is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 10:10 PM
  #5  
DJE
 
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It is quite a long drive from Punta Arenas into the park but I would say that I don't think it would be necessary to spend the extra night in Puerto Natales. We did stop there for a lunch break and that was fine before continuing on to Torres de Paine. If you want to spend an extra day I would do it in P. A. as there is more to experience there.

I agree with all of quimbymoys suggestions on things to see and do in the park and each day the explora offers a variety of outings to choose from. It is an amazing place for those who appreciate such rugged beauty in a remote destination.
DJE is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 01:49 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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My husband and I are considering visiting the Hotel Explora in Jan/Feb 2005. I was wondering if someone who has been ther can tell me about whether the hotel is at all accessible to those in wheelchairs. Are there rooms on the main level....are there heaps of stairs etc. Any thoughts are appreicated.

Virginia
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