If you practice yoga and plan to travel to Chilean Patagonia, find out about how you can keep practicing your asanas and conscious breathing during your visit.
In Chile’s far south you can practice yoga. And not only self-practice, as many have done until now, but enrolled in classes with a teacher and snow-capped mountains and Antarctic beech forests as an extension to the classroom.
Perhaps you have never done a yoga pose in your life, but Patagonia’s landscape will inspire you, no doubt. There are currently several alternatives for travelers to pack their conscious and healthy lifestyles in their suitcase.
If your final destination is Torres del Paine, the Patagom Lila school in Puerto Natales offers programs of up to 10 days that include a trip to the national park, daily yoga classes, detox food plans, Tibetan bowl massages, and other activities such as horseback riding and trekking.
Can you imagine starting the day walking through beautiful woods until reaching the dome where you will have your first yoga class in the southernmost corner in the world? Once inside, you will be able to enjoy picture postcard views of the Gulf of Almirante Montt at sunrise, while you start doing basic yoga poses to warm up your body.
Later, chai tea will be a perfect complement to a healthy and southern breakfast that they'll prepare during your excursion to the Milodon Cave, the Dorotea Hill or even an all-day trip to Torres del Paine, which includes a lunchbox, a pause to meditate or a relaxation class with Tibetan bowls.
This experience will give you not only a complete rest but also an opportunity to improve your yoga practice due to the contact with nature and possibility of practicing in an extreme climate.
Yoga in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park
An alternative trip is provided by Ecocamp Patagonia, located inside Torres del Paine National Park, which stands out for its sustainable architecture and design inspired by the Kawéskar culture, an indigenous Patagonian people.
The dome where you can practice yoga from Tuesday to Saturday, from 6 am to 8 pm, has active classes and other more restorative ones. In all of them, you can stop and see the flight of condors, passing hares, and also rain, rainbows, and sunsets, in one of the world’s most extreme and beautiful places.
In anticipation of a day full of excursions, the morning yoga teachers offer active poses, while classes from 6 pm in the evening are designed to end the day in a more relaxing way.
And if you decide to stay resting in your cabin, you will have alternative yoga practices that range from Hatha to Kundalini.
Company by vegetarian food
If you are going to Puerto Natales, you will find several eating options, specially designed for people who do not eat red meat or who want to try local and traditional products. Take note of them and include them in your itinerary.
A fresh seafood restaurant where the key attractions are its Calafate Sour cocktail drink, the oyster paella with cream and basil, and mate ice cream.
Carlos Bories 430
Artisanal beer, hamburger, and Mexican food restaurant, with a sandwich and vegetarian taco options.
- Mesita Grande
Pedro Montt 196
Pizzeria and trattoria that offers the best fresh pasta in Puerto Natales; also desserts such as pannacotta and tiramisu.
Have you already decided to travel to Patagonia? Although you are going to the end of the world, you do not have to abandon your regular yoga practice.
Quite the opposite. You will enjoy an unbeatable environment to practice your favorite poses alongside the Patagonian cold in the morning, the extraordinary experience of living in the midst of nature, the rain under the dome, and the countless stars at night. Now, breathe.
If sports are your thing but you want to take it easy, we tell you about three unique non-competitive outdoor alternatives you can practice in this region.
Patagonia never fails to amaze. Its second-to-none natural landscape, together with its well thought-out tourism options offer a wide range of non-competitive sports allowing you to enjoy adventure and relax at the same time.
Outdoor activities, gastronomy, and camping for the more adventurous and hotels, are just a few of the attractions that southern Chile has to offer.
Here are three non-competitive sports we recommend you to practice in Patagonia.
One of the most popular outdoor activities, the main idea is to walk independently in remote areas. You choose where to start the trek and whether to go with or without a guide as the trails are well signposted and secure.
Here is a list of what you need to bear in mind before planning this adventure:
- A good pair of shoes, ideally with ankle support to avoid sprains, good grip and waterproof due to wet terrain.
- Comfortable sports clothing and something to keep you warm (temperatures tend to change). Accessories such as sunglasses, sun cream, and a hat .
- A map or compass.
- Water (there are especially-designed light hydration packs that hold enough water), light food
- A knife or pocket knife, backpack, flashlight and first-aid kit
Now for the most critical question: Which trail to take?
There are thousands of options to choose from in Patagonia. If you are an experienced trekker, the best trails are in the Torres del Paine National Park. There are several circuits, but the best known are the O (7-9 days, medium-high difficulty) and the famous W (4-5 days, medium difficulty).
Other outstanding places to practice this fantastic sport are Cape Horn, Magallanes National Reserve, Laguna Parrillar National Reserve.
Take a look at this video to be inspired by the two most challenging treks in Patagonia.
Source: Yeti Adventure Films
2. Fly fishing
The south of Chile is unquestionably one of the best destinations for fishing lovers.
Fly fishing is a method that uses a rod and artificial lure, or bait, called a fly. Fishermen make this lure themselves in an artisanal way, using feathers, threads or hairs to mimic the insects that fish eat.
Unlike other types of angling, fly fishing is considered a recreational activity, it’s not competitive, and does not harm the environment given the fish is then returned to their habitat.
You need the following sports equipment for fly fishing: a fishing rod, hooks, reel, lines, flies, and backing. Besides, special clothes for water; waders, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses are required.
The right rod is essential for the experience to be successful. At the very least, one should have the following equipment:
- Fishing rod No. 5 or No. 6, 9 feet
- Sinking line reel, 150 grains
- Leaders, 5 to 6 feet, 2x for streamers
- Floating line reel
- Leaders, 9 to 12 feet, 3x for floating
- Tippet 2x and 3x
- Streamers No. 6 and No. 4, predominantly black, brown and green with a big head like Egg Sucking Leech
- Dry foam flies like Chernobyl or Fat Albert, in black and orange No. 6
- Stonefly Caddis, Mayfly, Hare’s Ear and Copper John nymphs, No. 14 to No. 6
- Wading boots
Where to fly fish?
Tourists’ favorite spots for fly fishing in Patagonia are Puerto Montt, Aysén, and Chaitén. The main reasons for this is the variety of fishing lodges and more accessible prices found in these areas.
Bonus: until recently, Melimoyu was an unexplored area of Chilean Patagonia, and it is undoubtedly a privileged place due to its location and geographic conditions. It has three distinctive attractions that give it a wild and challenging identity: the Melimoyu volcano, the temperate rainforest, and the Queulat hanging glacier.
There are a large number of places to fish at Melimoyu, all close at hand. Its pristine and crystal clear waters offer the opportunity to be alone in the midst of nature and see species such as brown and rainbow trout primarily. You will also find steelhead, brook and perch trout as well as Chinook and silver salmon, among others, for recreational fishing.
Watch this video to be inspired to do this entertaining and matchless sport:
3. Scuba diving
This sport is not as easy as the ones mentioned above. You must be over 12 years old, have taken a diving course and training previously, and have certification from the General Directorate of Maritime Territory if you want to dive with compressed air.
It is also necessary to be in good physical condition and emotionally prepared.
There is no doubt that the best place to practice this spectacular sport is the Strait of Magellan in Punta Arenas. There, you can see vessels that shipwrecked more than a hundred years ago and now lay motionless underwater, surrounded by seaweed and marine life. You will also listen to a long and fascinating record of anecdotes and legends about these shipwrecks.
This area of Patagonia has a unique marine flora and fauna, due to the influence of the Cape Horn current, making it an entirely new, unique, and forbidden world, meaning we can only view it with the proper equipment and training.
To dive in these waters, It is essential to be accompanied by a certified instructor who knows the area. The right equipment to start the adventure are:
- Isothermal wetsuit
- Air tank
- Depth gauge
- Water clock
- Decompression tables
- Pressure gauge
- Tube or snorkel
- Basic knowledge of diving sign language
The best time to do this activity is between December and March, when there is more sun allowing visibility of up to 15 meters deep.
This video will help you imagine what it is like to visit the depths of the ocean in Patagonia:
Source: Concha 'e Loco Divers
If you still have not had the chance to visit southern Chile, or have visited but not yet dared do these unusual outdoor activities, we invite you to enjoy one of the most exceptional experiences, in contact with the endemic flora and fauna of the south of our country.
We hope that this guide to non-competitive activities will inspire you to plan an unforgettable trip.
You can contribute to the conservation of Patagonia while traveling the southernmost region of the world or from the comfort of our computer at home.
From buying items made with recycled materials to donating money to help create new national parks. Find out how you can do your bit to protect Chilean Patagonia. And all online.
Chilean Patagonia hosts one of the most substantial diversity of landscapes, climates, cultures, and ecosystems in the world. You will be sure to notice this when you visit any of its attractions between the Gulf of Corcovado and Cape Horn.
For this reason, tourism in the area is characterized by exploring its different natural wonders, as well as conserving its geography, geology, ecology, and history. How? Through a series of initiatives that contribute to protecting this unique territory.
Even if you have no plans to travel to Patagonia but still want to collaborate, here are three ways you can support its conservation from the comfort of your own home. Take note!
Buy recycled products made in Patagonia
If you like original objects or giving gifts with meaning, while providing work to people in the northernmost part of Patagonia, the company Vivo en Pass recycles waste by making products and souvenirs that range from pictures made from pallets to mandalas made with canvas remnants.
The initiative is led by Pamela Silva, a young entrepreneur with years of experience in waste management and known in the area for taking recycling to new limits, such as giving a new use and value to worn objects. Given the lack of a formal recycling market in the Los Lagos region, she decided to dedicate herself to treating plastic waste.
This project not only allows Puerto Montt’s craftspeople to make crafts but also to exhibit their creativity in shops in this city and in Puerto Varas. The products are also available online for dispatch throughout Chile, packaged in 100% recycled materials.
Support Futaleufú Riverkeeper
In its effort to keep the planet’s waterways totally clean and defend the right to a healthy environment, NGO Futaleufú Riverkeeper has been protecting the Futaleufú watershed and surrounding area for six years.
This foundation belongs to an international conservation network and is responsible for informing and mobilizing community leaders to defend their rights to clean water and protect the Futaleufú River, famous worldwide for its Class V rapids, turquoise waters, and perfect fly fishing conditions.
If you support its cause, you can like its Facebook page, which will keep you up to date on all its activities and other initiatives to protect the area’s natural and cultural heritage. If you want to do more, you can donate money to the organization through a bank transfer.
Contribute to the creation of a new national park in Patagonia
Thanks to the land donation US business tycoon Douglas Tompkins’ foundation (Tompkins Conservation) to the Chilean state, the government is set to create a total of five new national parks in Chilean Patagonia and will expand three more.
Together with Pumalín National Park, the Patagonia National Park is another emblematic nature reserve which is already open to the public with 263,000 hectares dedicated to protecting one of the wildest places left on Earth. Nonetheless, environmentalists behind this significant initiative are calling for more people to participate in what they call a unique opportunity in life.
The foundation welcomes volunteers who want to join the restoration program through internships, taking on specific project tasks, as well as followers who talk about its work and progress, donors, and those who support its public campaigns through platforms such as Facebook.
The Internet provides different ways to support a mission as noble as the conservation of Chilean Patagonia. Better still, donating money is not the only way to help; it is enough just to have a little time and a willing disposition.
And if you still haven’t been to this corner of the world, visiting is an excellent way of contributing to its conservation. So get inspired and get tips on the best way to plan a trip to Patagonia.
Another way to explore Patagonia is by bike, an adventure that attracts thousands of travelers from different nationalities to the end of the world.
Traveling by motorcycle is a challenge at the best of times but even more so if the destination is southern Chile (or the end of the world). In this case, you need to take into account inclement weather, poor road conditions, lack of services and vast distances between cities, among others.
Although you have to be more prepared to make this trip, thousands of travelers prefer exploring an area this way.
What attracts motorcyclists to experience this adventure?
How can one prepare for a motorcycle trip? Motorcycle expert Hagai Yardeny gave GQ magazine several tips including being reasonable with the luggage, studying the weather beforehand to avoid surprises, and finding a reliable bike rental place.
But when it comes to Chilean Patagonia, you should take twice as much care. All the same, there are several ways to make a trip on a motorcycle; you can organize it independently or leave everything in the hands of expert agencies.
One of Chilean Patagonia’s must-see spots is Torres del Paine. So if you want to get there from the cities of Santiago or Puerto Montt you will have to travel long distances and, on many routes, you’ll have to take a ferry to cross fjords and channels.
From Portland to Tierra del Fuego
On their first date, US citizens Tara and Ernie talked about traveling to Patagonia by motorcycle. Sometime later they did. They toured from the city of Portland, Oregon, to the region of Tierra del Fuego to see the Magellanic penguins.
The Navimag ferry was one of the highlights of their trip. It allowed them to rest and see landscapes they would never have seen on another route.
What was the experience like? Why did you want to discover Chilean Patagonia in this way?
There are many ways to discover Patagonia. For those who ride a motorcycle, this destination is a great alternative to experience the freedom that travel gives and to enjoy nature.
If you are worried about distances and getting tired halfway, sailing on a Navimag ferry allows you to rest while continuing on your journey.
If you travel to taste the Patagonian flavors, be sure to take your stomach to one of these new gastronomic bets.
Visiting Chilean Patagonia means taking a total break or daring to experience an adventure.
But it’s always important to relax after a full-day excursion. And what better way than discovering one of the visitors’ four favorite restaurants in the country’s southernmost region?
Here’s a list of the unmissable places to eat out that are the locals’ best-ranked new gastronomical options.
1. For those who love tradition but with a modern touch
Are you looking for dishes made from fresh vegetables and herbs from an organic garden? Then don’t miss the Saltos del Paine Hotel and Restaurant. Fernando Valenzuela is the chef at this exclusive restaurant in Puerto Natales.
It’s the ideal place for exacting people who like a novel, fresh dishes, with a modern touch but which are still traditional. Also, if you don’t want to move too much after dinner, you can stay in the hotel and get a good night’s sleep in a quiet, cozy place close to the center.
2.- Aysén’s new Patagonian cuisine
If you want to try a restaurant where the accent is placed on local produce and which, since 2007, has created true works of art regarding flavor and color, you should visit Restaurant Dalí in Coyhaique.
This place is characterized by its new gastronomic offer using local products prepared with a creative personal touch, in which eating becomes a real experience. Also, the restaurant stands out for providing an ideal atmosphere to relax in good company with personalized and exclusive service.
Source: Patagonia Por Descubrir
3.- For fans of good beer and generous portions
It is one of the best restaurants in southern Chile in regard to quality and price. We’re talking about the popular Restaurant Villarrica in Villa Cerro Castillo.
The service is quick and attentive, and the best thing is the big portions, including the Churrasco Patagón (steak sandwich) and the Lomo a lo Pobre (steak, chips and fried eggs). It is best to wash it all down with beer.
After a hearty lunch, we recommend that you do an excursion to the spectacular surroundings of Cerro Castillo.
4.-Where Africa and Patagonia meet
Located in the city of Puerto Natales, Afrigonia is a fusion-type restaurant where Patagonian ingredients are mixed with the incredible flavors of Africa, such as Ceviche Malindi – made from salmon, coconut milk, mango, curry, cardamom, turmeric, and ginger - or lamb with mint sauce accompanied by Tsavo potatoes.
The owners are Chilean Nathalie Raffer and her Zambian husband, Kamal Nawaz. It also offers alternatives for vegetarians and vegans and gluten-free food.
The restaurant is characterized by having a select menu for demanding palates, as well as a mixture of flavors that turn out to be delicious. It also has a games room in the bar, another unique aspect that makes this place a must-see in Patagonia.
Source: Official Facebook page of Afrigonia, Puerto Natales
Chilean Patagonia offers a wide variety of gastronomic options, specially prepared by chefs who search far and wide for the best ingredients to enchant their guests.
Patagonian cuisine features different types of proteins, fish, and seafood, flavors brought out by the freshest and finest herbs.We hope these gastronomic temptations are a good excuse for visiting southern Chile.
Your alternative trip it's waiting!
Patagonia offers unique opportunities to discover it as a solo traveler or someone looking for alternative traveling. If you want to live something different, dare to live the experience of exploring this remote corner of the planet.