The Experience

Explora Patagonia

explora is an enterprise founded to encourage a new attitude towards travel, in remote regions of the Southern tip of South America.  explora has two locations: explora en Patagonia, Hotel Salto Chico, in the incredibly rugged and beautiful Torres del Paine National Park of Chile’s Patagonia region, and explora en Atacama in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Update 2013

We have just remodeled… 

explora patagonia

Located in the heart of Patagonia, 400 km (249 miles) north of Punta Arenas, Torres del Paine National Park encompasses 598,000 acres.  The park is surrounded by the impressive Paine mountain range (Cordillera del Paine).  The weather is mild due to its close proximity to the sea, with many sunny days a year.  With unusually-shaped mountains, glaciers, lakes and waterfalls, plus unique flora and fauna, Torres del Paine is considered one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Outstanding features of the park include an astonishingly rugged mountain range of 10,000 feet peaks, and the Cuernos del Paine (Horns of Paine) reaching 6,890 feet.  The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.  

Each of our lodges is designed around the concept of luxury of the essential.  To be in a very remote area – even if it is just for a few days – is an unusual experience. Our goal is to identify the essence of each moment of your stay so that we can offer exactly what you need to make your travel experience more pleasurable and memorable.  We always favor balance and originality in both our lodge facilities and our cuisine. Meals are made with the highest-quality ingredients, many of them locally produced.  For us, luxury is in the simple details, which are never superfluous.

Our Patagonia hotel lodge opened in 1993 on the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall. It affords an excellent view of the unique Paine Massif and two of the three impressive torres, or towers, which give the park its name.  The lodge has 50 rooms and a variety of inviting spaces. Situated on a 3-hectare (7.4-acre) site, the design borrows certain organic forms from the landscape itself, adapting to it with simple elegance. It was designed to create a dialogue with its environment, putting human beings in touch with the sublimity of their surroundings.

New Products:

1. Cruceros Australis combo with explora Patagonia

Brought together by a shared passion for remote and in-depth exploration, explora and Cruceros Australis are offering a 9-day journey through the remarkably beautiful yet intriguingly inhospitable region of Patagonia that stretches across the southernmost tips of Chile and Argentina.

The journey spends days exploring the peaks, glaciers, lakes, and rich flora and fauna of Chile’s famed Torres del Paine National Park before arriving in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego. From there, travelers board a Cruceros Australis cruise vessel and head off to explore mythical Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the Americas. Along the way they’ll discover Wulaia and Ainsworth bays; Tucker Islets; the stunning glaciers of Alberto de Agostini National Park; and Magdalena Island in the Strait of Magellan, a refuge for a large colony of Magellanic penguins that is as impressive as it sounds. For those preferring to spend their first days at sea, the adventure can be done the other way around.

2. Photographic Expeditions explora Patagonia and explora Atacama

These expeditions designed by explora and sponsored by Nikon, combine adventure and photography. You will be able to improve your photography skills under the expert guidance of a renowned photographer who has spent years capturing these exquisite landscapes. One of our explora guides will also accompany the expedition, giving you the knowledge to better understand the environment and enrich your photography.

3. Horseback Riding Expeditions, Patagonia and Atacama

The horseback riding expeditions that we offer at explora Atacama and explora Patagonia are designed for experienced riders looking for a new challenge, who are willing to explore the remotest corners of South America: Atacama, the world’s driest and highest desert and the cradle of a culture that is over 10,000 years old; and Patagonia, the southernmost inhabited region in the world, characterized by its rugged mountains, valleys, glaciers and its traditional gaucho culture.

4. Travesias explora – We know you will still have questions on this unique program; so please be sure to call us and allow us to offer insight and assistance.

The travesías are a unique kind of journey especially for people who are well-traveled and enjoy new experiences.

Each of these nomadic journeys takes several days, as we travel through little-known, remote areas of remarkable beauty. Throughout the journey, we will cross country borders, explore diverse areas and stay in many different places all adapted by us to be simple yet comfortable. We will enjoy high quality meals, perfect for the energy we will need for the physical exertion of the journey, always together with good company and conversation. We will travel in special well-equipped vehicles with satellite communication capabilities. Each group will have up to six people, accompanied by an expert guide, a chef and support personnel. All of these journeys leave from (or end at) one of our lodges in Atacama or Patagonia.

New Transfer Choices:

Now in addition to transfers from Punta Arenas in the South of Chile, there is a new alternative which will be ideal if your client’s itinerary included a couple of nights in Buenos Aires. Read on for details:

From Buenos Aires, Argentina,  arrange a connecting flight to the town of El Calafate which lasts from four to five hours. In El Calafate our staff will be waiting for you and will drive you in our comfortable minibus to Hotel Salto Chico, a journey of 232 miles which takes around 5 hours.

Transfer from El Calafate to Hotel Salto Chico

please email for details, as we are currently modifying schedule
 Calafate’s Airport between 09.00 am and 13.00 pm.

– Hotels in Calafate  at 09:00 am

Transfer from Hotel Salto Chico to El Calafate (airport or hotels in

Calafate) between 06.00 am and 12.00 pm.

Terms & Conditions

Programs Include: Transfers between local airport and your explora destination. Transfer schedules subject to change without prior notice. Inquire about transfer schedules at each explora destination.

Accommodations.   Full board. 3 Meals per day.  Bar.   Daily explorations with bilingual guides and equipment; boats, horses,vehicles and bicycles (max group size: 10 explorers per guide). Equipment varies at destination and there is Patagonia travel information available to you.

Notes:  Special rates for youngsters (up to 18 years old) accompanying their parents are subject to availability based in double, triple or quadruple occupancy.   Additional bed for children (4 to 12 years old) sharing their parent’s room. Maximum one extra bed per room.   Children under the age of 3 complimentary when sharing room with their parents.   Rates are per person expressed in USD dollars and subject to change without prior notice.   Rates in USD dollars are tax exempt according to decree D.L 825 art. 12 for guests who are foreigners, not residents of Chile and pay in dollars.   In the Argentinean portion of Travesias, rates do not include VAT.

Set among the twisted peaks of Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, explora Patagonia is an ideal base camp from which to explore remote Chilean wilderness. Days center around experiencing the surrounding wonders in small groups on foot or on horseback — more than 35 different adventures are available, all accompanied by expert bilingual guides. Return to one of 49 guestrooms featuring native lenga wood, hydromassage baths and captivating views. Take a swim in the heated pool or enjoy a massage before your dinner of local dishes such as lamb, southern king crab and fresh fish.
In the Know
explora also has lodges in Atacama and Easter Island; choose the explora passport program to save 10% when you combine two or 15% on three lodges plus other extras!Distance from Punta Arenas Airport (PUQ): 249 mi/400 km Guests Receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay
    • valid in the Hotel store only (no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability
Start with our vacation planner so we can match you with our most suitable travel advisor. We do it all for you, air, car, accommodations, tours, you name, it in a seamless luxury vacation experience you will treasure for a lifetime.