Surrendering to Seven Sights in Chile’s Patagonia

20 Sep Surrendering to Seven Sights in Chile’s Patagonia

I had been hearing about Patagonia for decades. People said that it was a place of soaring beauty and soul-healing expansiveness, that they had lost and found themselves there. I’d seen photos of sharp towers and snow-covered peaks, serpentine rivers and glinting lakes. But as with so many of the planet’s special places, nothing could prepare me for the reality of experiencing Patagonia in person. Its scale was so humbling and exhilarating, its beauty so etched and all-encompassing. It swept me away until I lost all sense of self and became one more tiny part of something infinitely sublime. The only thing you can do in such a sacred place is surrender. And so I did.

Here are seven views that especially touched and transported me.

1. The Horizon

Torres del Paine, Patagonia

Photo by Kuniko George.

This was our introduction to Torres del Paine National Park, driving with our two engaging and enlightening guides into a spectacular early morning mountainscape.


2. The Clouds

orange clouds in Patagonia

Photo by Don George.

The clouds astonished us on our first morning – a sweeping sky-stream that mirrored the rivers below.


3. White Highlights

white peaks and streamfall in Patagonia

Photo by Don George.

White-billowing clouds, white-mantled rivers, white-frothing streamfalls – we were absorbed by the wide white world of Patagonia.


4. A Room with a View

view from Lago Grey, Patagonia

Photo by Kuniko George.

We stayed at the Hotel Lago Grey, which welcomed us with this sight on our first afternoon there.


5. A Room with a Shaking View

peaks of Patagonia

Photo by Don George.

Another view from our room at the Lago Grey: With the constant wind shaking the glass panes and driving the clouds across the thrusting peaks, without even moving from my chair, I felt like I was flying.


6. Lookouts

guanacos grazing in Patagonia

Photo by Kuniko George.

On daily excursions, we saw guanacos grazing – and keeping a watchful eye out for pumas – throughout the park.


7. Gauchos

gaucho in Chile's Patagonia

Photo by Kuniko George.

Timeless task: On a morning ride, a gaucho checks his estancia just as his father and grandfather did.


Learn more about activities and destinations in Chilean Patagonia through Chile’s tourism website. And go here for more information on Hotel Lago Grey.



Seven of the Adventure Collection’s member companies offer a variety of experiences and itineraries in Patagonia. Follow these links for more information:

Backroads: Argentina Patagonia Hiking Tour

GeoEx: All Group and Custom Trips to Patagonia

Lindblad Expeditions: South America’s West Coast

Natural Habitat Adventures: Patagonia Adventure

NOLS: Courses in Patagonia

OARS: 6 Epic Patagonia Adventures

Off the Beaten Path: Patagonia, Chile and Argentina

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Don George
Don George is the Adventure Collection’s Web Editor in Chief. A highly respected and pioneering travel journalist for more than three decades, Don is the author of "The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George," and of "Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing." Don is currently Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler and Special Features Editor for BBC Travel. He has also been Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications, Travel Editor at the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, and founder and editor of’s travel site, Wanderlust. In addition to authoring two books, Don has edited ten literary travel anthologies, including “The Kindness of Strangers,” “An Innocent Abroad," and "Better Than Fiction." He has won numerous awards for his writing and editing, and he speaks, teaches, and consults at campuses, conferences, and corporations around the world.
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