Visit Patagonia: Christmas in Austral

The best time of year to visit Patagonia is during their summer season, which for the southern hemisphere is November through March.

For this Christmas season, my family and I are traveling to Argentina and Chile to visit a number of the current Mirr Ranch Group listings and to enjoy the unencumbered beauty of the landscapes and rich culture of Patagonia.

The trip will originate in Denver, where we fly overnight arriving in Buenos Aires (BA) in the morning to Ezeiza International Airport. While we can immediately shuttle from Ezeiza International Airport to Jorge Newbery Domestic Airport and take another 2.5 flight to Esquel, Argentina I always prefer an initial day to unwind in BA.  The following morning we will fly to the border town of Esquel. We also routinely fly into Bariloche, Argentina and San Martin de los Andes, however, for this trip we are going to focus on the Chubut area of Argentina and the Aysén and Los Lagos regions of Chile.

Visit Patagonia | Playing at El Palenque
Using Four-Wheelers on El Palenque in 2004

Patagonia Sur will have a shuttle waiting for us in Esquel, where they will then drive us to Valle California (3 hour drive). Upon arrival in Valle California, we will live in the luxury accommodations provided by Patagonia Sur. Valle California maintains six luxury yurts, a cabin, and clubhouse to accommodate all qualified visitors who come to the property. Our stay will last three days and includes all meals and recreational activities offered by Patagonia Sur. These activities include fly-fishing, hiking, kayaking, white water rafting and a trip to Queulat National Park, one of the most spectacular natural features in the Los Lagos Region.

haley argentina 021
Traditional Patagonia Feast

After taking in all Valle California has to offer, we will drive to Fundo Los Leones by way of the Austral highway (Carratera Austral) (7 hour drive) followed by a ferry across the Palena River. The Carretera Austral provides access to the Aysén Region of Chile from the Los Lagos Region. The windy partially paved highway takes you through forests, glacial blue streams, islands, and snow-capped mountains unseen by most of the world.

Fundo Los Leones is one of those secluded and pristine areas of Chile. It is a one of a kind property on the protected shoreline of the Piti Palena Fjord. Fundo Los Leones has the six charming cottages with each meal prepared by the staff on the property. The Palena River borders the south side of the property and is home to world- class fly-fishing and rafting. The marine life is also spectacular on the coast.

From the Aysén Region, we will head back east to cross the Andes Mountains and journey back into Argentina where we will visit El Palenque, a property just south of Corcovado (7 hour drive). El Palenque is at the foot of the Andes and is intertwined with six-kilometers of a private stretch of the Corcovado River.  We will fish for one full day on this stretch of the river which will be led by a local guide in the region.

This will be the last leg of our trip through Patagonia. We will then head back up to Buenos Aires to experience its colorful culture for a few days before our big trip back home to Denver.

Argentina - Christmas 2004
Carlos Meyer and Family at Christmas 2004 – Buenos Aires

One of the biggest difficulties planning this trip was the available choices in the region; there are too many! From the opportunities with Patagonia Sur, or The Lodge at Valle Chacabuco in the newly formed Patagonia National Forest (spearheaded by the late Doug Tompkins) to the Eleven Experience, Chile is a paradise for the adventurer in all of us.

Patagonia creates lasting impressions on those who visit. Although Ken Mirr frequents Patagonia, the last time the Mirrs had the chance to explore the area together was in 2004. We are sure this time will be just as memorable. Upon our arrival back home, we will be sure to follow up and let you know how it went.

The Mirrs in Argentina 2005
The Mirr Family in Argentina, New Years Day, 2005

Although it may seem daunting to travel to Patagonia, the opportunities of exploration are endless. Qualified buyers have the opportunity to book trips to multiple Patagonia Sur properties and/or Fundo Los Leones. This is a once in a life time chance to experience the feeling of solitude and discovery in some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.


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