The Torres del Paine National Park is a biosphere reserve celebrated for its majestic mountains, vast glaciers, thunderous icebergs and pampas grasslands that are home to some spectacular wildlife. Nowhere honours nature's wonders more so than Explora, located on the shore of Lake Pehoé in the heart of the national park. Days here are to be spent revelling on foot and horseback, wending your way along picturesque rivers, from prairie to forest.
The lodge's expert team have curated 40 adventures that offer something for the cautiously curious to dauntless traveller alike, each masterfully led by bilingual local guides trained at explora's guide school. A half-day walk might explore Salto Grande's hanging glaciers that calve into the turquoise water below, or a horseback ride with plenty of wildlife spotting might end in an exhilarating gallop across the pampa and edge of the Grey Lake. The 26 horses in the stables are a variety of breeds, but all raised on a family estate in central Chile. Well-suited for riders of all abilities, they are looked after by a resident veterinarian horse specialist. A trip to explora's 6,000-hectare ranch is another opportunity to soak up gaucho culture as you share some mate.
The property itself puts an emphasis on peace and privacy. Minimalist rooms all present breathtaking views of the Paine snow-capped peaks like perfectly framed postcards, with white walls, chic bare wood trims and an air of absolute serenity - especially since WiFi and televisions are confined to the common areas below. A sloping wood path leads to Ona, a smart spa with an indoor pool, outdoor jacuzzis overlooking the Paine River and a wonderful essential oil massage menu.
Food is locally sourced and seasonal, served at the panoramic restaurant where delectable meals are served with well-paired Chilean wines. Weather permitting, spit-roasted lamb is prepared at the quincho (outdoor barbecue). Guides can be found planning for the next day at the bar, which serves local vintages, liqueurs and Pisco Sours.
Lodge Activities & Facilities:
- Ona spa - essential oil massages, sauna, heated indoor pool, four outdoor jacuzzis
- Guided walks and mountain trekking
- Riding through Patagonian landscapes
- Full-day excursion to meet gauchos and watch them at work on estancias (seasonal)