Tag Archives: Patagonia

ACTIVITIES AND HISTORY AT CORRENTOSO HOTEL IN PATAGONIA

The oldest hotel in Patagonia provides an upgraded guest experience including some activities during the travelers stay. 


Founded in 1917 by Primo Capraro and Rosa Maier, one of the first pioneer couple of Patagonia, Correntoso Lake & River Hotel was born as a fishermen refuge and grew to become a perfect exponent of the hospitality industry. 

Today, being part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, it complies with all the standards of international excellence without losing the essence of those adventurers who came to the region so many years ago.

Located in Villa La Angostura at the mouth of Correntoso River in its union with Nahuel Huapi Lake, the hotel offers amazing views of the Andes Mountain Range and the National Park Nahuel Huapi.

Included with the accommodation rate, there is a wide range of tours and activities between historic and virgin places to enjoy the lake, mountain and forest through outdoor activities that respect nature, and indoor ones to relax on the premises. 

All of them are supervised by the hotel staff and are organized on a daily basis subject to weather conditions. Guests should enroll at the reception desk the previous day and may also be coordinated privately in the surroundings.

These are the activities included to improve the passenger experience:

Hike to the old bridge: A very easy trek. We meet at the lobby and start hiking, observing the ornamental species of the gardens, matched with the local flora in the neighborhood of Villa Correntoso, which is also part of the tour, eventually reaching a lookout point with great views of the two lakes that surround the hotel.

Ayur yoga class: An activity based on an open system that matches the lessons learned from the most ancient yogic tradition, the Nathas Siddhas, with the principles of Ayurveda, a traditional medical science from India.

Wine tasting: Thanks to the expertise of Mercedes, Correntoso’s sommelier and local host, you will taste various grape wine varieties, from diverse regions and for all tastes, in a cozy environment. You don’t need to be an expert in wines; it is just a space to know a little bit more about an icon of our culture.

Sailing on Doña Emma: We depart from the dock of the hotel towards Brazo Rincón, Última Esperanza and Machete. Sailing on Inalco and Arauco bays, Paradón de las Gaviotas and Menéndez Island.

100 years hike: The history of Correntoso is very rich and interesting. Joined by a host, go across the gardens and saloons of the most ancient hotel of Patagonia, observing the details and anecdotes of the first settlers. Learn about the different building stages and the challenges faced by the hotel during more than a hundred years of history.

Besides, short sailings to Fray Menendez Island, guided treks to the river, painting demonstrations, talks about the local flora and fauna, are some of the activities that will be included in the accommodation rate at Correntoso Lake & River Hotel.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Guests at Correntoso may request any activity at the front desk, free of charge. There are also other activities upon request, with an extra charge.
  • Activities are subject to weather conditions and may vary without notice.
  • All activities are available in English and Spanish.

 

KAYAKING IN THE RIO DE LAS VUELTAS IN EL CHALTÉN

This is a unique and unforgettable experience, sailing on Patagonian lakes and rivers by kayak for an enriching visit of the El Chaltén area.


The Rio de las Vueltas is born in the Lago del Desierto lake and, as the name implies (literally, river of turns) descends towards Lago Viedma lake, making numerous curves through leafy forests of lenga trees and vertical walls. It is one of the most important rivers in the area as it transports the meltwater from glaciers in the region.

This experience provides a privileged position aboard a sit on top kayak, for about  20 kilometers enjoying the best views of Mount Fitz Roy and its satellite needles, with a totally different point of view from the one that you get from a trail. This is an excellent complement to the traditional trekking trip to El Chaltén!

In the morning, the adventure begins at a local tourism office in town, where we take a transfer to Laguna Cóndor. After a 17 km drive, we arrive at the mountain refuge where we meet Loli, our expert guide for the day. While we drink a hot cup of coffee or tea, he introduces us to the activity; a full briefing including the itinerary, paddling instructions and safety techniques to keep in mind during our kayaking excursion. 

We try out the equipment and put on the full outfit (neoprene wetsuit, boots and gloves, safety vest and helmet) and we’re ready to rehearse the paddling movements before boarding the river.  

Finally, we get on the kayaks and properly practice our recently acquired paddling skills in the Laguna Cóndor (Condor Lagoon). If you never paddled before, it might take a couple of minutes to get used to, but overall it’s an easy task.

We follow a unique descend through the river and, if the weather allows it, we’ll get breathtaking views from the Fitz Roy Massif along the sail. Nature all around and the subtle sound of our gentle paddling is all we hear and observe, feeling really small at this environment surrounded by giants. 

Wind may blow and make the adventure more fun trying to keep the kayak on track. Don’t worry, Loli is there at all times to help and guide you! The kayaking route is 20 km but the paddling is really easy going. There’s no time pressure as the activity’s duration is adapted on the way according to the group’s size and skills.

The descent and paddling end at El Chaltén, where after a short walk we reach the office where we change our clothes, enjoy a deserved snack to recharge our energy and continue our friendly chat, joking around and remembering the experience that now has become a trip anecdote of an amazing day. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Included services: Transfers El Chaltén – Laguna Cóndor mountain refuge. Enabled expert kayak guide with basic technical English. Full neoprene-suit, gloves and boots. Jacket. Personal safety gear (life vest and helmet). Snacks, tea and coffee  in El Chalten. Radio contact with El Chaltén.
  • Not included: Transfers not detailed specifically. Tips. Box lunch (travelers have to take their own box lunch or book it through Kallpa in advance!). Services not specified in the program.
  • Please make sure to bring: Small backpack 20 lts. Extra clothes and shoes. Sunglasses. Sunscreen. Cap or hat. Jacket. Waterproof camera or protection. Box Lunch.
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate. Activity for people with good physical condition but not necessarily with rowing experience. Both beginners and experienced rowers can enjoy it. Requirement: ability to Swim.

 


 

HIKING TO THE EMERALD LAGOON IN USHUAIA

This is an active excursion, for those who enjoy walking and being outdoors in contact with nature. The forest, mountains and the glacier that surround it make the Emerald Lagoon an incredible place worth visiting.


This is one of the most interesting hikes to get to know the surroundings of Ushuaia and be surprised by the unique charm of the Laguna Esmeralda (Emerald Lagoon), hidden in the mountains.

The excursion begins in the morning with the transfer to the Valley of Tierra Mayor, just 20 km from Ushuaia on Route 3. Here we will start the walk of about two hours towards the lagoon, trekking through pristine forests, peat bogs, beaver dams, mountains and glaciers. Almost 5 km one way where we will cross over two valleys: Tierra Mayor, the largest in Tierra del Fuego  and also a Natural Reserve, located at 250 ms asl; and the Valley of Emerald River.

The trail enters the forest and then goes through a peat moss area where we cross a log bridge over the Emerald stream. From here we can see some beaver dams and part of the damage they cause in these forests. Not being a native species of this region, they cause serious damage to the local ecosystem.

From here, the landscape will alternate between forest and peat moss as we head deep into the valley. Along the path you will see incredible landscapes surrounded by mountains and snowy peaks, plus the crystal clear stream that comes from the lagoon.

At around 11 am, we will reach the beautiful Emerald Lagoon going up a hill, located at the foot of the Ojo de Albino glacier, between the Bonete hill and the Toribio cord. Its green waters live up to its name and contrast with the reddish color of the peat moss that surround it. We will enjoy the scenery for an hour while we take photos, rest and enjoy a picnic lunch in the mountain to regain strength for the way back.

We will return by the same path, and we might take a shortcut to see a gigantic beaver dam on the way. By 2.30 pm we will be back at the hotel


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • 6 hs regular excursion.
  • Departure time at 8.30 am.
  • Operates daily.
  • Distance: 10 km (6.1 miles) round-trip.
  • Includes: Round-trip transportation from hotels, picnic lunch with empanadas, fruits, cereals, alfajores and hot beverage).
  • It is recommended to wear hiking shoes or boots and a backpack. Bring sunscreen, a cap and sunglasses.

 

SNORKELING WITH SEA LIONS IN PUERTO MADRYN

Snorkel surrounded by curious and playful sea lions, who willingly take photos, hug and even smother you with kisses.


Puerto Madryn is the mecca of Argentinian diving activities and only 15 km from Punta Loma, a rookery of Southern Sea Lions. There are not many places in the world where it is possible to snorkel with these marine mammals, but this is one of them. That is why this experience is one of the highlights in the city.

From the service provider office on the coast in Puerto Madryn, we board speedboats and navigate for 25 minutes towards Punta Loma Provincial Reserve, a protected natural area that restricts the permanence time and allows 18 people at the same time. 

On the way, we enjoy a maritime scenario of beaches, cliffs, shipwrecks, whales, dolphins, cormorants and seagulls. Also we receive a briefing including an explanation about the animal’s behaviour, how we must conduct ourselves within the protected area and an introduction to the snorkeling activity and equipment. The neoprene suit we wear maintains body heat and also provides positive buoyancy, therefore, it is not a requirement to know how to swim (although advisable).

As we get closer to the spot, the sea lion noises get louder and louder. Soon, hundreds of them are all around! Adults and cubs. It’s time to get ready and dive in.

If you never snorkeled before, it might be a little uncomfortable at first to get used to the sensation and trying to breathe through the tube, but just try to relax and remember the instructions. Enjoy the experience, look around, paddle softly and when you feel more at ease, you’re good to go.

It’s a surreal feeling to be up close with these creatures, touching and playing with them, going underwater and see them swim so gracefully. Everywhere we turn, there are more sea lion cubs playfully swimming around us. It’s clear that they are used to divers and comfy enough to even kiss us and take selfies.

We remain in the water with the sea lions for 40 minutes, always joined by the instructor. We guarantee that in the end you will wish that the experience lasted longer, even if at first you thought that snorkeling isn’t your thing. To be able to have such an intense and close-up encounter, to observe and play with these curious marine mammals is a fantastic and cherished experience.

After the diving ends, we go back onboard and return to the office, where we return the equipment and change our clothes.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Duration: 3½ hs
  • This activity operates daily in the morning. Depending on the time of the year, departure time is adjusted according to high tide.
  • Difficulty: Moderate The passenger must be able to move with the diving fins for 40 minutes, taking into account that it is within a medium in constant motion.
  • Age restrictions: Minimum 7 years old – Maximum suggested 60 to 65 years old.
  • Min. 2 pax required.
  • The current regulations allow visits of no more than one hour and fifteen minutes in the area. The contact activity with the sea lions takes maximum 40-45 minutes.
  • Included: Neoprene suit, two pieces, helmet, boots and gloves. Coat jacket for round trip transportation on the boat. Snack service on board: water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, alfajores and pastries. Instructor and necessary briefing according to the activity.
  • Not included: Transfers to the service supplier office in Puerto Madryn. Dry suit. DVD with HD photos and videos.
  • The program may be modified or suspended depending on weather conditions, in which case the amount paid will be refunded if it’s not possible to reschedule. Sighting and interaction with the fauna depends on uncontrollable factors, such as climatic changes or reproductive time.