Planning a backpacking trip around Patagonia can be intimidating. Your research will suggest both Chilean and Argentinian towns to visit, it’s fairly confusing to get around and hostels/activities can book out weeks in advance. But, once you’re there, all the hassle becomes well worth it.
Make sure to plan your route in advance, especially during high season (December–February). One way of seeing Patagonia is making your way down the coast of Chile to Torres del Paine National Park, the most well-known mountainous region on the backpackers’ circuit of Patagonia.
To do this, fly from Santiago to the quaint yet sleepy little port town of Puerto Natales. This town has long been considered the gateway to the endless expanse of the national park, and it’s about a two-hour bus ride to the base of the region. You can spend a night or two preparing for your trek in Puerto Natales, set on a serene lake with a downtown ideal for long strolls with a hot coffee in hand. Tip: Skip the bare-bones town of Punta Arenas if you can, although a lot of the national park’s tours pick up from the town.
Torres del Paine is breathtaking. You’ll cross wooden suspension bridges over rushing rivers, dip your water bottle into clear streams when you need a refill, hike 15 miles in one day to see the famed Three Towers and probably get rained on a time or two.
Most people who hike the trails make reservations at different refugios each night along the way. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, these refugios may have a campsite for people who bring their own tents or rent one in advance. If you’re looking for a more pampered experience, EcoCamp Patagonia offers incredible guided treks along the W Trail.
Somewhere between Paris, Provence and the border with Switzerland is the charming riverside city of Lyon, a burgeoning culinary capital in a country with one of the world’s best cuisines. Lyon’s reputation as a food destination grew within the past decade, and visitors flock to the less-crazed and friendlier town for a more laid-back approach to French cuisine.
Beyond being a major hub in the global transportation network, Hartsfield-Jackson is also proud to be a major hub for exciting, high-quality retail options through our award-winning concessions program, ATL Skypointe.
For winter hikes or cold-weather activity in general, it’s important to stay warm and protected from the elements. With that said, you’ll also be pretty active and may want to be mobile, able to remove or add layers and adapt to your changing body temperature. Consider packing some gear to help you stay on top of it all.
ONCE THE FINAL MEETING WRAPS and the last contract is signed and sealed with a handshake, what’s next? Do you catch a flight back home or do you take advantage of the destination? If your next business trip is to Italy, we suggest adding a few more days to explore the country’s most amazing hot spots. Make time for more than a mouthwater- ing Italian meal in these three cities.
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