Glaciers, fjords, wildlife, mountain peaks, rushing rivers, idyllic lakes—Patagonia is one of the most scenic regions on Planet Earth. The area is vast, divided between Chile and Argentina at the southern tip of South America. Given the size and beauty you’d think that it would be difficult finding that one hotel with the best view in Patagonia. But it isn’t. One resort outshines the rest: The Hotel Salto Chico.
The Salto Chico’s views come courtesy of its stunning location on a little outcropping of land. Lapping up next to the hotel is Lago Pehoé, whose waters redefine the color turquoise. Straight out from the Salto Chico are the peaks of the Paine massif, laid out in an arc like God’s amphitheater.
The best part: The Hotel Salto Chico is virtually the only man-made structure for many miles. And guests can choose from 25 different day trips—including treks, horseback rides and boat discovery tours—to explore all that nature. Fortunately, the hotel also has a bath house with a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, four jacuzzis and massage services to help you recover from all that activity.
Rates for all this gloriousness is as high as the hotel’s surrounding mountains. A four-night package for two will set you back $2,660 per person, though that is an all-inclusive price that includes transfers to/from Punta Arenas airport, all meals and an open bar. Crucially, the rate also includes all the excellent hotel-run excursions. Just don’t get so caught up in the activities that you forget to look up and take in the view.
If you go: Temperatures can vary widely throughout the day—and between sun and shade. Given that, and the ruggedness of the conditions, clothes specifically designed for travel (of the sort offered by ExOffico or REI, for example) are highly suggested. As is, of course, a good travel camera.
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