A much anticipated season in Patagonia brings new changes & a whole lot of new adventures.
As the saying goes ‘change is good’…and although the iconic landscapes of Torres del Paine and Southern Patagonia haven’t changed much, the way to travel here has! Due to its remoteness and stunning beauty, Chilean Patagonia remains at the top of the list for many who are waiting to travel south during the upcoming 2022/2023 season. Like anything new – whether a new pair of hiking boots or upcoming trip of a lifetime – expect there to be things that make preparing a must. So what should you expect for the upcoming season in Chilean Patagonia? Here are our top 4 spoilers that you won’t want to miss!
An Increased Number of Visitors. But an Increased Number of New Adventures! When Chile had tightened its entry protocols during the pandemic, Torres del Paine alone saw a huge decrease in visitors in 2021 – more than 20% less than years before – which impacted the tourism sector significantly. During the past 2 years however, local operators in Chilean Patagonia had the opportunity to re-think and reactive in more responsive ways in order to confront some of the new challenges that arose from the shutdown. The main one being the creation of entirely new adventures! In an effort to not only disperse the number of visitors anticipated for the upcoming 2022/2023 season (which is expected to be at least 300,000 visitors to Torres del Paine alone or greater) – but to also encourage travelers to explore brand new, exciting trips. New adventures like the W Trek + were designed to help to divert travelers from the usually overcrowded W Treks trails to other sectors within the park while still being able to experience the iconic highlights that Torres del Paine and the W Trek offers.
Other adventures such as Kayaking Cabo Froward which explores the Strait of Magellan over 6 days of sea kayaking or Rincon Bonito which takes travelers to a remote corner Patagonia’s extreme North are just a few examples of brand-new multisport programs that focus on Patagonia’s diverse potential to experience adventure tourism. Alternative programs that offer mountain biking with the all new Giant eBikes are also on the radar of adventure-seekers. Chile Nativo is the only local operator in Puerto Natales – the gateway city to Torres del Paine – who offers these unique programs where travelers can mix up their activities and experience the thrill of an eBike first hand along single track surrounded by mesmerizing landscapes. With the number of visitors to Torres del Paine and Chilean Patagonia rising for the 2022/2023 season – there are certainly plenty of new and incredible experiences waiting!
Relaxed Entry Protocols – But a Very Prepared Chile as a Destination. Chile remains as one of the top ranked countries in the world for it’s vaccination success and has been since the start of the pandemic. With more than 92% of of its population fully vaccinated, Chile is a destination that remains high on travelers’ lists. The country has recently relaxed its entry protocols for international travelers – perfect timing for the start of the 2022/2023 season in Chilean Patagonia. For those planning to travel to Chile, only a certificate of vaccination issued by the country where he/she was vaccinated is required. And for those who aren’t vaccinated or who do not have their vaccination schedule for their country, a negative PCR test within a maximum of 48 hours from departure is required upon arrival into the country. Anyone 18 and under do not have any requirements to enter Chile. With the new protocols now in place, this opens the doors for Patagonia to become a top destination yet again.
The Chilean government & health ministry, businesses, and tourism organizations have worked simultaneously to make sure that Chile is a safe and well-prepared destination ready to welcome tourists to all the incredible regions within the country. Creating tourism confidence and things such as the good tourist bible has put Chile on the top of the list for becoming a world-renowned tourist destination.
An Overwhelming Sense of Place and Extreme Beauty. With the success of the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s 2022 AdventureNEXT Patagonia Magallanes in September, this put Chilean Patagonia even higher on the radar for top travel destinations for 2022 & 2023. Southern Patagonia – and specifically the Region of Magallanes – was selected for this prestigious event as a way to reactive the tourism in this remote region of Patagonia. What participants got however, was a true experience of the essence of Patagonia. They connected with the locals and the value that their region and ancestry holds. The culture, the climate, the residents, and the landscapes are what make Chilean Patagonia so unforgettable. Anyone who visits Southern Patagonia leaves a little bit different than how they came. A strong sense of place is prominent throughout whether its the food shared together, the music that stirs your soul, the awe-inspiring views, or witnessing firsthand the love that local residents have for their pristine and dear Patagonia.
More access to more remote destinations – But not necessarily overcrowding at these remote places. During the past two years, a destination renovation has taken place within Southern Patagonia. Many of those remote places that were previously hard to get to before are now much more accessible in responsible and sustainable ways. Places like the Estancia Bahia Esperanza Outdoor Park or Rupestre Patagonia offer highly unique private adventures including remote hiking trails and other activities that are otherwise inaccessible by the public or large crowds. Places like these offer very different experiences that are also an important part of the local history and culture of region. It’s for these reasons that these places should be explored and enjoyed by travelers, but in a responsible way – a way that educates travelers about the importance and significance of the territory and the diversity. And in ways that both sustain and protect the diverse ecosystems and landmarks that can only be found at places like these. Newer – not fewer – programs are becoming more and more available for the 2022/2023 season allowing guests the opportunities to access and experience remote destinations in big ways.