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Travel to Chile: A Family Trip to Chilean Patagonia and the Atacama Desert

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Chile is a bucket-list destination that wows even the most seasoned outdoor enthusiasts with its wild landscapes. From the mist-covered mountain ranges and glacial lakes of Patagonia to the red-rock canyons and sand dunes of the Atacama Desert, it offers guided activities and cultural experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. Indagare member Jeremy Hitzig and his family recently returned from the spring-break adventure of a lifetime, during which they stayed at two of the region’s best lodges: Awasi Patagonia and Awasi Atacama. Here, he shares the highlights of their Chilean escape, which is sure to inspire your next expedition to the Southern hemisphere.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Chile. Our trip designers can match you with the hotel that is right for you and plan great meals and activities.

“The Awasis hit every possible high point, especially for families. We are still basking in the glow from our extraordinary visit, and I don’t think I can find enough superlatives to describe these two very special properties. They were far beyond special places to stay. They were destinations in their own right.

We were stunned by the vistas at Awasi Patagonia, as well as by the design of the main lodge and our cabins. Most of all, we were struck by the team. We were treated with genuine hospitality; every person there welcomed us warmly and showed true interest in and attention to our family. Our guides, Josefina, Jose Tomas and Cata, were such fun to be with. They were flexible and tailored our excursions to the interests (and stamina) of our family—a not-so-simple challenge, as we have four boys aged between nine and 14. The guides shared their passion for the region and engaged our kids in discussions on everything from geology and animals to ecotourism and music.

Related: Our Favorite Chilean Patagonia Excursions

Each day at the end of our activities, we returned to the lodge to a welcome pre-dinner “mocktail” made just for the boys. The meals were very special, and we loved the evening wine service, which included a discussion of the wines and a color-coded map of the regions that we could consult. We also appreciated the accommodations made in the meal choices, which gave the boys the opportunity to try new things—they loved the guanaco (an animal similar to a llama)—with the option of falling back on a simple but tasty pasta. The dining staff took particular care with our two youngest. I will always remember the post-hiking treat of just-melted provoleta prepared for us on an outdoor grill!

The service at the Awasi Atacama was equally superb. Our guides, Mabel and Jean, shared their passion for the outdoors and were incredibly accommodating and good-humored with our boys. An especially fun excursion was horseback riding and sandboarding in the Valle de Marte. We also loved how we were made to feel truly at home there—for instance, the dining room always prepared personal pre-dinner drinks and house-made potato chips for us, which we enjoyed fireside before sitting down to dinner.

Related: Chilean Patagonia vs. Argentine Patagonia

In short, I can’t say enough about how wonderful our experience at the Awasi properties was. We were humbled by the care and genuine hospitality shown to us. Our family debated the matter endlessly, but I think Awasi Patagonia and New Zealand’s Kauri Cliffs are in a dead heat for our favorite lodging experience ever. We’ve put ourselves in Indagare’s hands for our travel-planning for several years now, and you’ve never let us down. It was truly an outstanding experience from beginning to end.”

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Chile. Our trip designers can match you with the hotel that is right for you and plan great meals and activities.

– Indagare on September 28, 2018

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