At Chile Nativo, we are local specialists in Patagonia active travel and professionals whose greatest joy is making adventure come true. Our programs are packed with hands on experiences in the pristine wilderness of Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine, Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Navarino Island and other unearthly corners in Chile’s extreme south. When it comes to creating active programs in Patagonia, our creativity, knowledge, detailed eye and years of experience make us true trail blazers in our field.
THE CHILE NATIVO DIFFERENCE
Three key factors set us apart:
· We travel with very small groups of a maximum of 8 people. This way, we are able to give our uttermost attention to each and every guest.
· Our offices are in Puerto Natales, resulting in quick, effective logistics and operations services.
· We are continually connected with each guide on terrain via VHS radio, meaning we can respond to emergencies extremely quickly and efficiently.
As horse lovers from the Netherlands and looking for a new unforgettable experience we decided to look for a horse ride in the Patagonia area. After some search on the internet we came to the Chile Nativo site and found a perfect ride for us. From our point of view we had an incredible trip and would recommend Chile Nativo for arranging you’re riding tour, giving you the opportunity to really enjoy. For horse riding and nature lovers the thing to do at least once in a lifetime.
It was our first introduction to Chile and Patagonia and an experience that we’ll never forget. Excellent planning and great recommendations from the Chile Nativo staff for the entire trip (including the Perito Merino excursion), and as for the W, Pelin’s guiding was far above and beyond our expectations.
Chile Nativo’s service from booking to final drop off was fantastic! Really great value. We were a small group of 6 trekkers and you provided great tents and gear. Our guide, Armando, was extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the park. With 20 years guiding experience he was still very professional and engaged with our group and clearly very passionate about the area. It’s a fantastically beautiful place! I would definitely recommend Chile Nativo to anyone looking for a quality, authentic Torres del Paine trekking experience.
Very smooth with bus vouchers and vouchers for the Refugio’s and park fees. All went very smooth and hazel free.For people who like to travel & hike independently this is a wonderful way to go with Chile Nativo. Not speaking Spanish it would have been difficult to arrange the logistics of this trek ourselves.
As founder, Gonzalo is responsible for maintaining and developing the characteristics that Chile Nativo is famous for: top notch service, excellent outdoor programs and a continued commitment to sustainability. Eternally optimistic Gonzalo is an eternal fan of Chile’s great south, its sublime landscapes, moody weather and uncharted canals and islands. His Patagonia travel tip? Choose the shoulder season: bursting with flowers and baby animals in spring; followed by crunchy copper-toned leaves, empty trails and more stable weather in fall. Besides Patagonia, his heart belongs to Chile’s superlative seafood (unfortunately the same can’t be said for melon - he’s never liked it!). Adventures on horseback across Mongolia, traveling the Trans-Siberian railway and exploring Vietnam and Japan top Gonzalo’s bucket list.
Camila loves the activity and dynamism of her work in Operations, as well as the chance it gives her to continue learning about tourism and how to continue growing sustainable practices through education. Water is very important to Camilia: she relaxes by fly fishing and if open water swimming was an Olympic sport, we’d see Camila on the podium. If she had a superpower, Camila would choose teletransportation to save time and money traveling the world. Or, with a little extra dose of magic, she’d use that superpower to travel to Hogwarts and dive into the world of the wizards.
Born in Buenos Aires and now based in Chile’s Rancagua, home is anywhere Marina’s husband and daughter are. When trekking in Chile, she’s continually amazed by the feeling of smallness against its vast landscapes. Her favorite season in Patagonia is fall, when the trees burst into vivid color and the winds and crowds subside. Never without her camera, Marina loves capturing landscapes and counts Iceland and its ethereal natural wonders among the her greatest travel experiences.
Santiago-born Daniela especially loves Patagonia when its colors transform from greens and blues to reds and yellows. Speaking of changing landscapes, Daniela is a fan of the new age of Chilean cuisine. However, she advises travelers start simply with a mote con huesillos or completo italiano, or meat-and-sides-laden sandwich at a traditional “fuente de soda” restaurant. If she wasn’t in Chile, Daniela would live in Japan - a country whose culture, people and food really surprised her. When traveling, Daniela’s advice is to enjoy each moment (even the difficult ones). Why? Because traveling is the best school of life there is.
While born and bred in Ohio, Alicia is more than at home in Puerto Natales where she works as a travel specialist. She’s full of travel tips for Patagonia’s adventurers: pack plenty of chapstick and clean socks, and don’t, whatever you do, decide to walk 30 kilometers in Crocs (that’s experience talking, folks!). On her personal bucket list you’ll find three beautiful I’s: Ireland, India, and Iceland. If she could become an instant expert in something, she’d choose mycology (the study of fungi) and to be able to cook the perfect curry each and every time.
Santiago born and bred, Lila particularly adores Patagonia during the fall months when the trees blaze with red, orange, and yellow hues. Take a peek at her bucket list and you’ll find historical and sites galore, with Egypt, Petra, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, Rapa Nui, and Antarctica vying for first place. Her best tips for Chilean dishes to keep you happy? Steak “a lo pobre” (with onions, fries, and fried eggs), or for something a little more veggie-friendly, typical Chilean tomato and onion salad topped with basil alongside “porotos con mazamorra”. (That last one—a hearty bean dish —takes Lila right back to her childhood!)
Valparaíso-born Gabriela is delighted to be behind the scenes turning our clients’ Patagonian travel dreams into a reality. With family from the far-away island of Juan Fernandez, tourism just had to be in her blood. Gabriela counts Japan and Europe among her next must-see destinations and you can bet you’ll find her backpack well-prepared with waterproof clothing and boots. Feeling cold and suffering wet feet can ruin a great trip in no time, she says. Advice taken! Especially when traveling to Chile’s south!
When not trekking through Patagonia, you can find Fabiola immersed in books of figures. After all, she’s the gal who crunches the numbers to make our trips run smoothly! Taking advantage of what the Earth has gifted to us is extremely close to Fabiola’s heart: in fact, if she could have any super power, she’d choose to travel back in time and recover the natural resources humans have squandered. Fabiola’s Chile travel advice? Enjoy each minute as if your trip will end at any moment—and eat plenty of pastel de choclo!
Luis is one of our indispensable members. He has been driving guests through the wilds of Torres del Paine for years. As if being an amazing and safe driver wasn’t enough, he also has an eagle eye for spotting pumas.
Felipe is responsible for logistics at Chile Nativo, which suits this mountain-lover just fine. If he wasn’t working for the company his ideal job would be as a beer critic (or polishing the Olympic gold medal he’d win for loving and respecting dogs). A native of Puerto Natales, Felipe’s a quiet, laid-back, sporty kinda guy who heartily recommends curanto (a seafood, meat and potato extravaganza from the island of Chiloé) and would happily eat bananas and avocado for the rest of his life.
Armando has more than 20 years experience guiding in Torres del Paine. Born and raised in Punta Arenas, he’s always been deeply interested in wildlife and uses this expertise leading bird watching trips all over Chile. His real passion though, is mountaineering. Armando has hiked and skied all over Andes and leads most of our tailor-made trips and Paine Circuit programs.
Mauricio is a born mountain lover and finds his bliss trekking and scouting Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego island. Born in Colombia, you’ll mainly find him guiding our Paine Circuit and W Circuit treks.
Happiness means freedom for Francisca, which is why she’s more than at home guiding in Patagonia and being able to transmit her love of the mountains to visitors and locals. Coming to Chile? “Don’t pack your fears, leave them at home” is her best travel advice. Oh, that and eat plenty of avocados and drink glass after glass of mote con huesillos; a sweet peach-based drink perfect for refuelling after a hike. Francisca is optimistic to the core: for her, laughter is the key to every situation and Patagonia inspires because everything is possible there.
Hailing from the Swiss Alps, Gabi was born and raised with a love of mountains in her veins—though she’s equally fascinated by the Patagonian fjords, geology, and biodiversity. A skilled skier, her superpower would be to summon snowfall and dispel the winds in order to create an ideal skiing environment in an instant. The way to Gabi’s heart is through an endless supply of Swiss chocolate or a traditional Patagonian lamb barbecue. But whatever you do, don’t season anything with fennel: She’s just never managed to understand the fuss about it.
A Santiago de Chile native, Rodrigo’s most memorable trip took him through Washington state and Oregon, where he was unexpectedly surprised by the beautiful landscapes and sustainable living attitude. As a trekking and horseback guide, Rodrigo loves showing guests Patagonia’s vast landscapes, and pointing out little-known facts (such as that Torres del Paine sits at a similar latitude to London and Vancouver!). Rodrigo loves a good meal and is prepared for anything now that he’s over his childhood aversion to tripe. He’s nothing if not adventurous: Iceland, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan all top his bucket list.
Pelin arrived in Puerto Natales via Turkey and the Netherlands. As a guide, she particularly loves the fiery colors of fall; and aims to be insatiably curious, always showing guests just how geographically diverse Chile is. (A favorite fun fact: Chile has 500 potentially active volcanoes.) Born and raised in Istanbul, Pelin is no stranger to delicious food - though is quick to sing the praises of Patagonian king crab. Given a lifetime supply of just one hiking item, Pelin would ask for an unlimited stockpile of Cliff bars. Bhutan, New Zealand and Greenland are her next must-explore destinations.
Born to Chilean parents in Australia, travel has always been part of Fernando’s life. Now living in Puerto Natales, Fernando is as amazed by Torres del Paine’s untamed beauty as he was on his first day guiding. As a guide, his goal is to show guests why the park is considered the eighth wonder of the world and to encourage travelers to wander, relax and open their minds to new destinations in Chile. If he could, Fernando would ask for an unlimited supply of hiking boots and peanuts - or superhuman strength to carry anything on the road. Until then, his trekking advice is “pack light...but remember you can never have enough socks.
Raised just outside of Philadelphia in the U.S., Sarah planned to spend a year in Chile and found her new home instead. More than eight years later, Sarah still adores Chile’s caring people, great surf, gorgeous beaches, multicolored deserts, Patagonian wilds and of course, its exceptional wine! Come summer, her favorite Chilean food are humitas with fresh tomato. Sarah belongs in the mountains and adores meeting guests, breathing in Patagonia’s pristine air and keeping active. Having hiked through the Himalayas, she’s now set her sights on exploring Japan, Alaska and Norway.
Jaime spent his early childhood traveling through Chile with his parents before finishing his schooling in Santiago. Nowadays, he’s mad about rock-climbing and names Canada’s Squamish among the locations he’d most love to climb. Jaime’s favorite Chilean food is pastel de choclo, as it brings back memories of his family eating together. (Chickpeas come a close second - as long as his mother doesn’t cook them. He says she’s never quite got the hang of them!). Jaime’s top tip for hikers? Remember to distribute your belongings evenly throughout your backpack, so as not to overbalance when on hills.
Rodrigo is a guide based in Puerto Natales. He adores guiding as it gives him the chance to meet so many interesting people, and is proud that his work makes him responsible for showing travelers a place as unique as Patagonia. Rodrigo relaxes cycling, taking photographs or spending time with his super-spoiled cat, and would happily eat lasagne followed by icy cold mote con huesillos (a Chilean summertime drink) forever. His ultimate packing advice? If it doesn’t fit in your backpack, don’t take it: prioritize your needs and take only what’s absolutely necessary.
French-born, Tim quickly took to Chile’s unofficial national food, the avocado. In fact, he happily declares he’d eat avocados (and avocados only!) for the rest of his life. A guide for Chile Nativo, he adores his job and considers it an honor to be an ambassador for the natural world and introduce travelers to Chile’s wilderness and ecosystems. Patient to his core, the most out of character travel thing Tim has ever done was visit Burning Man. However, his best piece of travel advice holds true for all: “Remember that traveling is an investment in yourself.”
Hailing from Santiago, Camilo loves guiding as it allows him to meet people from all backgrounds and “travel the entire world” from Patagonia. Food, family, and friends are all close to his heart—though he says he could win an Olympic medal for eating (particularly if steak or pastel de choclo were on the menu!). Given the chance, Camilo would love to travel back in time and experience Patagonia before it became the tourist destination it is today. To that end, his travel advice is all the more pertinent: “Relish your trip. You never know when there’ll be another, or when things will change.”
For Gonzalo, happiness and adventure are intricately interconnected; combining the freedom to leave your comfort zone alongside loved ones and new friends. One of our trekking and horseback riding guides, Gonzalo relaxes by trail running, adores the smell of coffee, is reenergized by Patagonia’s sunrises and sunsets, and would happily drink banana-orange smoothies for the rest of his life. Coming to Chile? He recommends you try caldillo de congrio for its particular taste and the fact that it’s so representative of the country.
Josefa was born in La Serena north of Santiago, though now calls Puerto Natales home. She’s a porotos con riendas and soup fiend, adores the smell of books and of Patagonia’s “chocolate flowers” or Nassauvias (ask your guide to point them out to you!). When she’s not out guiding Josefa winds down by rock climbing, stretching, writing, reading, and drawing. Her chosen superpower? To be able to soar Patagonia’s currents like a condor and see the mountains from the skies whenever she felt like it.
Born in Santiago, Baru has lived in Brazil as well as the deserts, forests, mountains and pampas of Chile. His next ideal stop? Outer space - though given a chance he would first create create new techniques for sustainable architecture here on Earth. As a guide, he knows that travelers are often drawn by Chile’s spectacular landscapes - though hopes to show guests how these singular landscapes have created a beautiful spirit in its people as well. While he dreams of soaring through the skies, seafood is how he fuels his adventures: “...it’s what we wild ones eat,” he says with a smile.
I was born in Santiago where I attended basic and middle school. Then I moved to Valparaiso to study a degree in biology. My love for mountains and nature is a legacy from my parents. With them at an early stage, I learned to love the outdoors world which was also the motivation to study biological sciences. Later in life, tourism appeared as a platform that united outdoor life, travel and the possibility to offer my knowledge which allows a greater entailment with the southern ecosystems. In this context I have taken mountain, glacier and first aid courses, and I have a diploma in cequa, always tending to improve in this profession. A little over ten years ago I came into contact with the world of horses; they have allowed me to travel to amazing places in Patagonia.