Explora Patagonia is the only hotel in the area with its own horses, bred and trained especially for the expeditions. The 26 horses of different breeds and crosses have been raised in the Ibáñez family estate in the central valley of Chile. Their care is the responsibility of a team led by Gaela Hourcq, veterinarian horse specialist. Included are all meals, bar, daily exploration activities, round-trip transfers from Punta Arenas. Dinners are always accompanied by a superb Chilean wine. There is also a menu of Premium wines for those that would like to try other alternatives.
Room categories include Exploradores Suite, Cordillera Paine room, Salto Chico room. explora facilities include dining room, Explorer's Bar, Ona Spa, store, horse stables. The Explorer’s Bar is the meeting place of our guides for planning explorations. Stocked with liquor and Chilean wines, the bar is frequently the meeting point of returning groups at nightfall. The Ona Spa, massage room and pool area are located 100 meters away from the main building, connected by a sloped wood path. It is equipped with a heated, covered pool, sauna, and four open-air jacuzzis with views to the Paine River. Inside, you can choose from essential oils massages: therapeutic, relaxation, energetic, and more. The store carries all the items necessary for taking explorations, along with local artisanal goods and books of the area.
Cordillera Paine Room
36 Cordillera Paine rooms measuring 28m² (300 feet²). Views of Macizo del Paine.
Salto Chico Room
7 Salto Chico rooms measuring 28m² (300 feet²). View of the Salto Chico waterfall.
6 Exploradores suites measuring 42m² (450 feet²). Views of Macizo del Paine.
Photo Safari to observe flora, fauna and birds
Itinerary: This exploration has an emphasis on photography and learning the flora and fauna of the park. During the journey it is very likely that you will observe guanacos, rheas, condors, foxes, skunks, ducks, geese, and other varieties of birds, especially during the spring. Views of the Horns and the Towers, the Almirante Peak and the Paine River Cascade.
Level: Easy. Duration: 3 to 4 hours, by van.
Walk along La Loma
Itinerary: This hike is for those who would like to go on a very scenic, but slightly more energetic walk after attending the Quincho Barbecue (during spring and summer months only). After departing from the barbecue site by van (20 min.), we start off by ascending a slight hill with sweeping views of the Patagonian Pampa to the south, the Chilean-Argentinean border to the east and the Baguales Mountain range. Next you continue ascending until you arrive at the highest point of the hill where one can see the granite Towers on a clear day. From there you will descend until you reach the road where the van is waiting. Return to hotel (1 hour).
Level: Moderate. Duration: 3 to 4 hours, walking 2 to 3 hours. Distance on foot: 6 km (3.7 mi).
There are over 100 species of birds that make up the avian population in Torres del Paine National park, many of them endemic to the area. Based on the time of year and the interest of the group, we organize an exploration to look for and view some of these inhabitants in the park. *A minimum of 4 people is required to join this exploration between November and April.
Duration: 3 to 4 hours by van.
Full day walk to Pingo – Grey
Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (40 minutes) toward the Grey Ranger Station. We trek along a relatively flat trail that follows the turbulent, glacier-fed Pingo River, through open prairies to the Salmon River Cascade. You return along the same trail to Lake Grey. Next you cross the hanging bridge over the Pingo River and trek through forests of lenga (nothofagus pumilio) to the beach before starting the ascent to the Lake Grey Peninsula, where we can enjoy views of the Grey Glacier and icebergs. You return by the same trail to the Ranger Station and head back to the lodge by van (40 minutes).
Level: Moderate. Duration: 8 hours, 6.5 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 13 km (8 miles).
Walk to the Horns
Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van toward the northeast (1.15 hours). Then, after a 15 minute trek across flat terrain, you begin a slow ascent over the densely vegetated foothills of the Mount Almirante Nieto. The trail continues through forests of Antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica) to the edge of Lake Nordenskjöld, where you follow a hilly trail around the lake, crossing small streams along the way. We stop at a rocky viewpoint to observe the impressive color of this glacial water lake, before starting a steep ascent of 320 meters (1050 feet) to the entrance of the Bader valley. You continue climbing for 30 minutes up into the valley where you can appreciate a breathtaking view of the Horns, the Sarmiento, Pehoé and Nordenskjöld Lakes and the Ice Fields to the west. You return to Hotel Salto Chico by van (1.15 hours).
Level: Difficult. Duration: 8.30 hours, 6 hours trekking. Distance on foot: 20 km (12.4 miles).
Walk to the base of the Paine Towers
Itinerary: Leave Hotel Salto Chico by van (1 hr) toward the Cerro Paine Ranch. Ascend 350 m (1,100 ft) through the Ascencio River Valley to the Chileno campground. Walk through century-old forests of beech and past gorges until reaching the Torres campground. Climb a glacial moraine until reaching the Towers vista point at the lake (a 350 m/ 1,100 ft climb). Picnic lunch and return to the Cerro Paine Ranch on foot, with a view of multicolored lakes. Return by van to hotel (1 hr).
Level: Difficult. Note: This exploration requires that participants be in good physical shape. Duration: 10 to 11 hours, walking 8 to 9 hours. Distance on foot: 17 km (10.6 mi).
Horseback Rides from “El Quincho”
Horseback rides in the Laguna Azul (Blue Lake) area begin at the barbecue site “el quincho” (about 1 hour from Hotel Salto Chico by van) and pass through a few of the estancias (ranches) in the area. Rides are designed for those travelers who feel comfortable handling horses in open spaces; the moderate to advanced options for those with advanced experience trotting and galloping. The following rides are only available during the Patagonian springs and summer months.