Breckman, Shannon & Jowett, Andy – South America Exploration

June 27, 2020 | Lois Farley

Patagonia Trip – It all started with the penguins!  But as we read up on Patagonia/Chile and Argentina, we found more and more amazing sights and adventures we wanted to include on our trip.  The logistics were overwhelming!  We took our wish list to Great Canadian Travel where Lois Farley arranged the trip of a lifetime.

Lois managed to find the perfect balance on every front.  We enjoyed so many adventures “off the beaten track” (things we wouldn’t have found on our own) but always felt safe.  We had a very well-organized itinerary but it left flexibility for us to explore with curiosity and be in the moment.  We were a bit intimidated by the Torres del Paine W Trek but Lois researched and found a plan that suited our abilities and we had a fabulous experience. Whenever we had a guide we found them knowledgeable and interesting and adaptable to our interests.  Accommodation choices combined character, comfort and excellent locations.  Financially, Lois understood our priorities – when to splurge and when to go with basics.  Lois’s extensive knowledge of Chile and Argentina travel meant she could suggest amazing ways for us to follow our wish list as well as some other great experiences while we were “in the neighborhood”.

It’s hard to know where to start with highlights on this trip.

Santiago, Chile – beautiful, historic, great wineries

Valparaiso – so colorful and culturally vibrant

Easter Island  (Rapa Nui)– definitely worth the “detour”!  The mysterious moais…  the indigenous culture that has been resurrected over the last century from when there were only about 100 people on the island.  And you can forgive a $6 coke – it had a long way to go!

Torres del Paine – out of this world scenery and incredible trekking

Southern Patagonia – the penguins are incredible but don’t miss the sea lions (seen and heard from the safety of a boat skirting the island)

El Calafate – the Perito Moreno glacier is an amazing spectacle, so expansive and  calving with explosive force into the lake

El Chalten – more incredible hikes, superb restaurants with steak to die for.

Buenos Aires – a sophisticated, vibrant city with such moving history.  Here, Lois arranged for us to go to a milonga – a small neighborhood club where locals go to tango to a live band.  It felt like we’d discovered the heart of the city – so intense!  We also loved the cooking class she arranged with a local chef.  We made a terrific traditional meal and came home with recipes to recreate great memories.

We are so grateful to Lois, and her colleagues at GCTG who assisted, for all the expertise and hard work which made this trip so special!