[PATAGONIA, CHILE] — Going to Torres del Paine in Patagonia was always  one of my lifelong goals, well, at least for the last 25 years. Then, I finally bit the bullet and decided to go, paired with a visit to the Atacama Desert in the northern half of Chile — the driest place on the planet (you can see that part of the trip here). These are some of the best hikes in Torres del Paine. Patagonia is a region that actually straddles both Chile and Argentina at the very tip of South America and I could never figure it out or decide which side to go to.  I finally just picked Chile and didn’t get a chance to see the Argentina side, which I’m saving for

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[ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE] — The Atacama Desert. Good lord. Nestled in the upper right corner of Chile — one of the longest and skinniest countries in the world — is this freak of nature, the driest place on our planet.  It’s only a few hundred miles from the Pacific, but has some areas with no registered rainfall since they started measuring such things, over 400 years. It’s also the oldest desert on earth, been rainless for close to 3 million years. I love this line from Wikipedia “Studies by a group of British scientists have suggested that some river beds have been dry for 120,000 years.” Dry. It’s dry here. I’ve read about it, saw films about it, including this remarkable one, and was just totally consumed with

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Tierra Atacama Hotel | San Pedro de Atacama | Chile

[SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, CHILE] — Chile is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, that few people know about. Dramatic, jaw-dropping landscapes and massive natural parks.  Chile has been the leader in preserving their amazing natural wonders and packaging them up with adventure tour packages, made easy with outstanding hotels like the Tierra, Explora, or totally luxe Awasi, which is more for millionaires.   All three brands have sister hotels in both the Atacama Desert, Patagonia and other regions (like the Lake District or Easter Island).  I chose the Tierra hotels for my trip in 2013. This is my review of Tierra Atacama, one of the easiest vacation I’ve ever booked, in the most remote locations on the planet. No matter which hotel

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This may be one of the coolest hotel experiences on the planet.

Tierra Patagonia | Torres del Paine National Park | Chile

TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE] — If you’re going to Patagonia the Tierra Hotel is the perfect base to explore Torres del Paine national park. It’s actually inside the park, with stunning views of the steep granite mountains called The Towers. Okay, here’s the deal: the Tierra Hotels in Chile have an awesome setup, all built around the adventure side of travel. There are two different sister hotels, one in the Atacama Desert in the north and the other right next to/inside the Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia. You pay one (hefty) price per day, but all your meals and drinks are included, but what is really cool is the “Guide Experience” that comes included. Each hotel has about 10-15 trained guides (and a dozen

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You Should Go Here in Santiago


[SANTIAGO, CHILE] — There are lots of great neighborhoods in Santiago — take some time to read about each one — I was just in and out for a night on each end of my trip to Chile, but these are some of my favorite places I stumbled onto. Santiago is so cool. Lots of barrios, each with their own personalities. And so clean. Everyone’s well-educated, with great style and gathering together to talk about what’s happening in the world. And Chile. And one thing I walked away with was the power that the internet has had on the world. Our world used to be dependent on manufacturing and industry, now all these great capitals are thriving with thousands of internet, app and web design firms popping

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A great boutique hotel in a very quiet part of Santiago

Hotel Carmenere | Santiago, Chile

[SANTIAGO, CHILE] — Santiago is a bustling city with lots of cool neighborhoods and great places to stay, but the Hotel Carmenere is a relatively new small little boutique hotel tucked away on a quiet street, within walking distance to everything, but serves as your own private oasis to get over the plane ride and chill before starting out into the city or come back for a little nap. It’s less a hotel and more like staying in a private mansion, with just a handful of rooms and an almost perfect backyard, with an extremely friendly staff that just all act so extremely pleased to have you staying in their little secret place. Here’s what TripAdvisor has to say about — a rarity with TripAdvisor

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You should eat here in Santiago

My favorite restaurants | Santiago, Chile

[SANTIAGO, CHILE] — I only spent two nights in Santiago, so didn’t have a chance to eat around much, but here are places that I liked and would recommend. In Bario Lastarria, which is where I’d just go an walk around, there are lots of cool places to duck into. In prime spot right on the corner is this nice little place with prime outdoor tables for great people watching, right on the corner of Paseo Barrio Lastarria…I think it might be called Gatopardo, but not sure.   You can’t miss it, by the awnings and cool building backdrop below.           Mercado Central — located just off the city center, Mercado Central is really outstanding. A huge lumbering Victorian iron structure with

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