Franz Josef Glacier in the Eyes of Kiwi

Franz Josef Glacier is on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is on a popular tourist trail which leads to the party capital of Queenstown in Otago. The main attraction of the region are the Glaciers. In recent years the glaciers have shrunk thanks to climate change. It is now not possible…

Franz Josef Glacier is on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is on a popular tourist trail which leads to the party capital of Queenstown in Otago. The main attraction of the region are the Glaciers. In recent years the glaciers have shrunk thanks to climate change. It is now not possible to take a hike up to the glaciers on foot due to their rapid retreat.

Most New Zealander's who travel to Franz Josef can be excused for thinking that they must have stumbled into a different country because the majority of people you meet there with the exception of the locals are not from New Zealand and it is not only the tourists who visit the area. The summer season also brings an influx of foreigners on working visas. Staff at the restaurants and bars at Franz Josef are mostly foreigners. Certainly, many work places there resemble “the United Nations.”

The sad fact is that at a time when so many West Coasters are living off some form of government support they often get turned down for jobs in Franz Josef which instead go to foreigners to fund their overseas holidays. Franz Josef does offer an eye-opening experience for New Zealanders who are lucky enough to get work down there. It offers the locals a taste of overseas experience without leaving the country.

Working at Franz has many advantages compared with other tourist places and the main one is that accommodation is affordable making it easy to save money. Another great advantage of working at Franz Josef is that people who work there are entitled to reduced rates on tourist activities and in some cases they are free.

Then there is the opportunity to make new friends from other countries and with fellow New Zealanders who just seem to be as lucky as you to be accepted for work in the region. All of this while working among one of the world's most stunning scenery.

To summarize, Franz Josef is a great place to save money if you are able to get a job there but if you are a tourist then there are far better options because the disappearing glaciers means that its main attraction will in time be bound to the history books and besides that like other tourist areas in the country this is on a well-worn tourist trail which historically leads to the party-town of Queenstown and is not the real New Zealand.

8 Things to See in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in north-central Colorado. The size of the area is around 266,714 acres and consist of 60% forests, 18% bare rock and 13% alpine tundra. According to statistics, about 11% of the site is 11,000 feet high. Here is a description of 8 things you should see in Rocky Mountains.…

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in north-central Colorado. The size of the area is around 266,714 acres and consist of 60% forests, 18% bare rock and 13% alpine tundra. According to statistics, about 11% of the site is 11,000 feet high. Here is a description of 8 things you should see in Rocky Mountains.

1. Roads / Trails

You can explore the roads and rails on a vehicle or horseback, but if you are fit, you can also visit the sights on foot. Trail Ridge Road is a long stretch in the park and offers a spectacular view at a height of 12,183.

2. Peaks

The Rocky Mountain has over 100 peaks at a height of over 11,000 feet. Moreover, in the North, you can see snow-covered Never Summer Mountains in addition to 17 other peaks. Aside from this, Longs Peak is 14,259 feet high and is one of the most favorite destinations for hikers and climbers.

3. Glaciers

While the glaciers are retreating because of the global warming and other temperature changes, you can still find the sky-high glaciers over there, such as Sprague, Moomaw, Mills and Andrews, just to name a few.

4. Alpine Visitor Center

At a height of 11,796 feet, you can see the Alpine Visitor Center, which runs along the popular Trail Ridge Road. This is one of the top rest stop in the Rocky Mountains.

5. Water Sites

In the Rocky Mountains, you can find a lot of waterfalls, rivers, lakes and streams. They are ideal for photography, rafting, kayaking, fishing and sightseeing. Once there, you can choose Bear Lake Road, The Lock Sky Pond or Glass Lake, for instance.

6. Plants

The many environmental zones of the park offer a host of flora and fauna. For instance, the park offers meadows with tall grass and amazing wildflowers, dense forests, wetlands and Roosevelt National Forest. On the other hand, the high zones offer subalpine fir trees, shrubs and wildflowers. These plants will steal your heart and you will not want to come back home.

7. Animals

The fauna section of the Rocky Mountains include larks, sparrows, ravens, finches, falcons, eagles, mule deer, elk, sheep, bighorn, black bears, coyotes, lions and so on. Aside from this, if you are at higher elevations, you can find beautiful pikas, marmots, rabbits, deer mice, ermine, bobcats and red foxes.

Beside, the park is home to some endangered species, such as cutthroat trout, yellow-billed cuckoo and the Canada lynx. In addition, you can find over 140 species of butterflies and tons of species of other insects.

8. People

Every year, over 3 million individuals from different corners of the world head for the Rocky Mountain National Park. Visiting the RMNP will be a multi-cultural experience for you. You can talk to other park visitors in order to find out about their languages ​​and cultures.

So, if you are getting bored, we suggest that you choose the Rocky Mountain as your next tour destination. We bet this destination will take all your boredom away from you.

Perfect for The Body and Soul

As we are heading into spring, I can say it comes with a little bit of sadness. I know, spring! Crazy, right !? Do not get me wrong, I like spring. In fact, I like all seasons. The sadness comes from how much I enjoyed winter hiking this year. I have always enjoyed being active…

As we are heading into spring, I can say it comes with a little bit of sadness. I know, spring! Crazy, right !? Do not get me wrong, I like spring. In fact, I like all seasons.

The sadness comes from how much I enjoyed winter hiking this year. I have always enjoyed being active outdoors. In the past, my outdoor activity in the winter mostly consist of downhill skiing. But this year, a friend and neighbor pulled a hiking group together, consisting of neighbors, friends, and their friends and neighbors. Anyone and everyone was welcome.

This friend took on the task to plan which hikes we would go on and, in order to include as many people as possible, she organized hikes on one or two days each week. She would send out a group text a few days before and whatever could make it would come. I made new friends, got reacquainted with friends from when my children were youngger, and got some great exercise.

I know hiking and outdoor activities are not everyone's thing-and for some it's not possible. But then there are people like me: the ones who are going to work out even if it is done on an old treadmill in the basement. In fact, I will confess, I am one of those people who is obsessed with step counts.

The size of the groups varied every week from 4 to 15 women of various ages and hiking levels. The average age was somewhere in the mid-40s with some woman in their 30s and most in their 40 and 50s. We had women with young children, teenagers, young adults, and grandchildren. Trust me, this was not your average “grandmothers” hiking group. These women were in great shape and operated on high speed with busy living caring for their families, working hard at their carers, and serving in the community.

I not only made new friends, but I found myself edified as we challenged ourselves and interacted with one another. I learned so much from these women. I learned about great books, how to eat healthy, stories of family joys and challenges, and how to balance our lives, all while we coursed our way up mountains trails, over streams, and under snow-flocked trees. The scenery was spectacular and, at times, indescribable. While I have hiked a lot, before this winter, I had done it most often in summer and fall, but winter brought new challenges and a whole different perspective. Every week I came off our adventure and I rented it would snow again so that next week's hike could be blanketed in snow.

While getting outdoors and being active was a big part of the enjoyment, I believe I preferred even more from the social aspect of the hiking. It provided me with the balance I needed. I wonder if it is not so important what activity we engage in, but with what we do it with. I learned so much more than I expected from my interaction with this amazing group of women. It took some planning to get myself out there, some personal sacrifice, and I was sometimes tired from the excursion. But I felt more balanced having taken some time to explore and, most importantly, to visit with others and play a little.

I am looking forward to hiking the entire year with these women, through all the seasons, and getting to see the beauty that surrounds us while forming priceless friendships. Life is hectic at times, but I know from personal experience that while exercising alone is good for the body, exercising with others is perfect for the body and soul.

How to Pack Light for Hiking Trips

Hiking is all about fun, thrill, and excitement. All it requires is good stamina, a bit of patience, and a lot of energy. Walking with a lighter backpack can make your venture far more comfortable. You'll be able to hike better and for a longer period. With a heavy backpack, you'll soon feel tired and…

Hiking is all about fun, thrill, and excitement. All it requires is good stamina, a bit of patience, and a lot of energy.

Walking with a lighter backpack can make your venture far more comfortable. You'll be able to hike better and for a longer period. With a heavy backpack, you'll soon feel tired and your back, knees, and feet will start aching and you lose all your stamina in no time. You will not be able to enjoy the adventure.

A lightweight backpack is important for efficiency and enjoyment. So, it is important to pack everything intelligently. When you are on the trail, your backpack will carry everything you'll need to sustain yourself in the wilderness.

Here are 10 tips that can help you lighten the load but still carry everything you need.

1. Examine current gear

Check every piece of your gear. Try to weigh them first. This will give you an idea of ​​the weight of your load. You will be able to better decide which items to keep in the bag and which ones to skip.

2. Lightest equipment in bag

Select the lightest equipment for your bag. Choose the lighter sleeping bag, backpack, and shelter per your budget.

3. Keep yourself light

In summers, you can not predict how the weather will treat you. It can be hot … or it can be too hot. Wear light clothes and soft boots on your hike as they'll make you feel more comfortable.

4. Only select what you need

“Pack everything you think you will need, then get rid of half of it.”

This is the most important tip. Pack only what you need, not what might be useful. For example, a laptop is a luxury and not a must-have to take on a hike, skip it. Do not carry things just because you think they can come in handy. From experience, most of the time those “handy” items are never used; but you end up carrying them all the way.

5. Consume the heaviest food first

Food and snacks take a significant amount of space and weight. Carrying them for a long hike will make you tired. To lighten your load, eat the heaviest and freshest items first.

6. Try light options for liquids

Try to take juices and other liquids in powder form. Carrying the liquid bottles will add a significant amount of weight. For soaps, you can go for dry, thin, paper soaps and other dehydrated alternatives. If you're taking water bottles, place them in the side pockets of your backpack.

Survival skills

If you're experienced, you'll get to know how “survival” skills help you achieve many situations with minimal equipment or supplies. This reduces your backpack load. And if you are not experienced, do not worry! Head out and explore! From small to big, each challenge will impart upon you the tactics you'll need to deal with any difficult situations as expertise is acquainted through experience. The more you hike, the more experience you gain, and the more innovative you become. The more experience you have, the more exacting you become on carrying the right “stuff”.

8. Do not hang extra stuff

Always try to avoid hanging extra items from the outside of your pack. They will continue to move from one side to another while you hike. This can shake off your balance, can make unwanted noise, and can catch on tree branches or brush.

9. Distribute weight

* Start packing the hip belt and shoulder strap pockets first. These pockets are always easily accessible and great place to put small, important items that you'll need throughout the day.
* You can put a few energy bars and snacks in a hip pocket as it's important to have lots of small meals throughout the day.
* You can put your sunglasses, camera, lip balm, or sun block in your shoulder strap pouch.

10. Use common sense to pack

Have common sense of what you need to carry. You'll see, this is a process that is mastered as you gain experience. Make a list of all the items that you think will be useful during the hike. Try to take along multipurpose items.

Before, during, and after every trip, take the time to learn about your packing habits and get to know what items you used. Taking the time to analyze what you packed and if it was useful will help to reduce the amount of unnecessary weight and help you become practical on your next outing.

A lightweight backpack plays a very important role for a successful and revitalized hiking adventure. Carrying light loads and minimum amount of gear makes your bag much easier haul and less time-consuming to pack.

How To Hike in Bear Country

Maybe you live in an area where a bear encounter may happen and this is holding you back from enjoying a hike. There are ways to prepare for this, so that you can stay as safe as possible while enjoying the great outdoors. 1. Go with a partner if possible. There are lots of safety…

Maybe you live in an area where a bear encounter may happen and this is holding you back from enjoying a hike. There are ways to prepare for this, so that you can stay as safe as possible while enjoying the great outdoors.

1. Go with a partner if possible. There are lots of safety reasons to not head out solo, so if at all possible find someone who will go hiking with you. This said, you can still go hiking on your own in bear country, as long as you know what to do.

2. Keep bear spray on you in an easily accessible pocket.

3. Never run. Yes, this does go against human instinct. However, like many other wild animals, if you run this can make a bear give chase. So, you'll want to remain calm and know that walking is best.

4. Do not call attention to yourself. You may have seen on television that people out in the woods call out 'Hey, bear!' to make themselves known and keep the bears away. However, if a bear has already spotted you, it is best to remain calm. Do not throw anything at the bear and do not yell out in any way that may seem like a challenge.

If you see a bear when hiking and the animal stands up, sniffs loudly, or stomps his feet, these can all be signs that the bear just wants to find out who you are. This does not necessarily mean that the bear will attack.

The main goal is for you to speak in a calm voice, do not make sudden movements, and to slowly walk away while keeping the bear in your line of sight.

5. If the bear approaches you, now it is time to change tactics. Yell with as deep of a voice as you can and forcefully throw any objects that you can. Do not throw your phone, as you will need to have it.

6. If the bear attacks you while you are out hiking, do not run or try to climb a tree. The most current advice is to fight. That may seem impossible to you, however you will not have to think about this too much; adrenaline will kick in. Punch, kick, and yell.

Do not let your fear of bears stop you from enjoying hikes. I've seen maybe 20 plus bears during my hikes in Colorado. And only twice did a bear start to approach me.

The world is our playground, and there is so much to explore. Do not miss out on things you enjoy doing because of fear. If you prepare and know how to react, you can enjoy hiking or any other hobby, without worrying about the 'what ifs'.

Use Solar Backpacks: Alternative Energy Source for Eco-Friendly Living

The backpack is an important daily utility item for students, working professionals and even those on long outing, adventure journey etc. Why not consider the idea of ​​carrying a solar backpack instead of your regular one. In this article, you will find how amazing these portable backpackers are and how they can keep your small…

The backpack is an important daily utility item for students, working professionals and even those on long outing, adventure journey etc. Why not consider the idea of ​​carrying a solar backpack instead of your regular one. In this article, you will find how amazing these portable backpackers are and how they can keep your small devices charged when on the go.

The solar backpacks also called solar bags are very similar to the traditional laptop backpack with a difference. These trendy backpacks have integrated solar panels on the exposed outer surface. This kind of uniquely designed bags can serve more than a storage item.

These backpacks are designed with specially installed lightweight solar panels giving superb facelift to the natural sunrays. There are photovoltaic cells on these bags to convert the solar energy into electrical energy compatible for charging your gadgets and devices.

How Can You Use the Energy on the Solar Backpacks?

When exposed to the sunlight, the solar panels start charging the photovoltaic cells automatically. Using a connector to these small batteries, you can start charging devices like MP3 Player, Smartphone, Digital Cameras and similar small gadgets.

Key Advantages of Using Solar Backpacks

Portable and Lightweight

The solar backpacks are very light weight much like any ordinary trendy student bag. You can store all your essentials while on a journey while keeping your devices charged on the go.

Convenient Source of Green Energy When Outdoors

One of the prime reasons of rising popularity of the solar bags is the joy of using clean eco-friendly energy for charging the small appliances. The devices will receive the energy in the same form as from a powerbank or plugged in electricity. Here, you do not have to worry about damage issues when using the solar energy.

Better Alternative to Save Money on Energy Bills

Using the solar backpacks to charge your devices give some relief from the regular electricity consumption (though a partial amount). In the long run, you can save a reasonable amount on electricity bills.

Excellent Energy Source during Emergencies

When on a journey, it is not always possible to find a location to charge the important devices. During such emergency situations especially when in jungle safari or sports expedition, you will never run short of battery charge using these bags.

Weatherproofing Protection

There is weatherproofing protection on the solar panels and other parts of these backpacks. Minor exposure to rain, dirt or snow does not affect the functioning of the solar panels.

The Bottom Line,

The solar backpacks have become very popular among students on excursion, adventure journeys and much more. Today people prefer to carry hiking backpacks with preinstalled solar panels to keep them going with their portable devices during camping, journeys etc.

It is important to note that the photovoltaic cell batteries in these backpacks connected to the solar panels are very small and not suitable for charging larger devices like laptops. However, if you are carrying Powerbank, Smartphones, Mp3 players, or digital camera during an outing, the solar backpack can be helpful for partially charging such devices.

When Planning Your Trip Into The Wilderness

When you are planning your trip into the wilderness have a plan, even if you are hiking for a few hours. It is important to pack more water than you think you will use, nuts and dried fruit, layer your clothing for unexpected changes in weather conditions. You will want to bring a compass because…

When you are planning your trip into the wilderness have a plan, even if you are hiking for a few hours.

It is important to pack more water than you think you will use, nuts and dried fruit, layer your clothing for unexpected changes in weather conditions. You will want to bring a compass because cell phones are unreliable. Pack a blanket, extra socks, flashlight, matches, and flint; pack anything to help you survive a night in the wild.

Plan your route and dress according to the type of terrain you will encounter while walking. Check to see if there are any alerts about bears, fires, flooding or trail closures before setting out. It is important to tell a friend, relative, parents your destination and path, time of departure and arrival back to camp. If going by vehicle to your destination verbalize the type, color, and plate number to a trusted friend. Hiking alone is dangerous, so please call a friend to go along with you.

If you do become lost STOP

Stop: Start by taking off your pack and sit some place comfortable. Start by slowing your breaths down. Close your eyes, and as you inhale through your nose with a controlled breath, feel that breath start to fill your stomach and then your chest area. When you reach the point where you can not inhale another breath you will hold for 3 seconds and then slowly and with control, exhale through your pursed lips. Relax your shoulders and make your mind listen to the sounds and repeat.

Think: The reason for the above exercise is to help you think clearly about how to get the situation positively. You will be able to prioritize better if you have a clear mind and are not panicked.

Observe: Assess what you have in your pack, is there anything that will make a Shelter, are there plants or animals for a food supply and a water supply nearby? Do not move at all until you have a particular reason to take a step. As a very last resort, follow a stream downhill.

Plan: After completing the above task, plan your next step. How can you best adjust to your situation? You have a better chance of survival if you are thinking about a positive frame of mind. Put your plan into action by building a fire, obtaining water, and building / seeking shelter. Do not sit on the ground hiring to be found in an hour or you will DIE!

Hiking – A Healthy Activity

As we keep traveling and viewing the country side or when we sit at home and watch documentaries on television, we are in awe of natures creation and beauty. We always wish to be part of that beautiful scenery and enjoy the wonders of nature. Most people have a great hobby of experiencing the above…

As we keep traveling and viewing the country side or when we sit at home and watch documentaries on television, we are in awe of natures creation and beauty. We always wish to be part of that beautiful scenery and enjoy the wonders of nature.

Most people have a great hobby of experiencing the above by going on hikes to such destinations. Traveling not only gives you an enjoyable feeling but also is an exercise regimen for good health.

Doctors advise walking as a good exercise for one's health. Once you develop the habit and stamina for regular walking, venture out to ride which generally is on uneven surfaces. Start with small walking excursions and gradually build it up for more challenging hikes.

One of the main reasons why most people go on hikes is to get away from the daily mechanical lifestyles and simply enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Some of them travel with friends for party while some others enjoy the company of their family members for a picnic outing.

The following reasons should encourage you to pick up your backpacks and take a break from your daily rituals.

1. Outdoor Excercise: Hiking lets you get the much-needed exercise to keep your heart in good shape. Not only it helps you to control weight, but keeps you fit and energetic. The knee joints get the much-needed movement to keep it smooth and flexible.

2. Experience Natures Beauty: Imagine the smell of fresh air, the caressing breeze, the swaying trees and flowers with their magical fragrance. The warm sunshine, the chirpy birds and the crunchy sound of dry leaves under your feet. There is a joy in having your senses getting awakened to the wondrous world around you.

3. Freedom: Your body and mind relieve you of all anxiety and worry. You forget your office and business worries for those beautiful moments. It creates a feeling of spirituality and makes you liberated. Further, it helps you de-stress and rejuvenate.

4. Friendship and bonding: Going with friends or family members create a feeling of oneness. There is unity, love, and friendship that binds each one firmly. The destination and reasons are common as you trek along panting and laughing. A drink or a meal together on your journey can make your excursion a much more pleasurable experience.

So while you get ready to pack and go hiking, ensure that you carry all the necessary hiking accessories including drinking water, medicines, and first aid kits.

9 Excellent Tips for Hiking in the Heat

Summer is probably the best time for hiking, but at the same time, you can often feel like it's the worst possible time to go outside. The clear skies and long, fresh daylight hours attract most hikers but these skies and long days can bake you in the heat. When the temperature rises, it gets…

Summer is probably the best time for hiking, but at the same time, you can often feel like it's the worst possible time to go outside.

The clear skies and long, fresh daylight hours attract most hikers but these skies and long days can bake you in the heat. When the temperature rises, it gets tough to keep yourself motivated and calm.

You can still enjoy the beautiful outdoors in the same hot weather. You just need to take few precautions before heading out.

Do not let the weather stop you from making some beautiful memories.

Here are few tips for hiking in hot weather that you should know before heading out.

1. Check Weather

Do not just assume that you'd be fine on the trail. Hot weather comes with a lot of risks. It is important to check the weather forecast before planning a trip.

Humidity can be a sign of rainfall. Be prepared in advance.

Thunderstorms are also much more likely to occur when it's hot. Keep yourself safe in all situations. So, check the weather before going out.

2. Start Early or Finish Late

Another good way to avoid heat is to start your trip early in the morning or in the late afternoon or evening. Skip the midday heat, do not hike between 11 am to 3 pm Hike during the coolest time of day. Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl.

3. Choose Your Trail Wisely

Hiking in a shady forest is different from on an uncoovered mountain pass. So, it's important to choose your trail wisely. Your trail should include shady sections where you can rest for few minutes.

Try to find a trail that runs along running water / river.

You can get drinking water easily
You'll be able to refresh yourself and cool down.
A trail at a lower height is preferred if the weather is going to be hot because a higher trail offers a lower amount of oxygen and stronger UV rays.

4. Light Apparel

In hot weather hiking, try to wear synthetic clothes as you'll definitely sweat a lot and moisture-wicking clothes can prevent irritation.

It is better that you wear long sleeve shirts, hiking pants, and fine quality boots. The more of your body you can shield from the sun, the happier you'll be.

Your boots should have made up of breathable fabric so wet feet will not represent a problem during your hike. Your clothes should be in loose-fitting as it will allow for better airflow, which keeps you cooler.

5. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Staying hydrated is the key to every successful outdoor adventure. This is particularly essential when you're hiking in hot weather.

Your body loses about one liter of water per hour on a regular hike. A challenging outing in hot weather can double that amount. Make sure you replenish, otherwise you'll get dehydrated during a hike in hot weather.

6. Eat Salty Snacks

A hot weather hike will result in copious sweating. As water is essential to restore your body fluid levels, it's equally important to restock the electrolytes lost through sweat. The most important ones are potassium and sodium. They play a major role in managing your energy levels.

Make sure to bring plenty of snacks that have complex carbs. Do not go for simple carbs like sugary drinks and candy. You can have energy bars or fruit as they are great sources of complex carbs.

7. Take Regular Breaks

Continuous hiking in hot weather is near to impossible. Your tired body needs few minutes to relax. Regular breaks also allow your body to cool down and sweat to evaporate.

Put your backpack down, lay down, and give your body some much-needed rest. Drink water and have some snacks to restock your energy that will keep you going for the next few hours.

You may also want to take off your hiking boots and airing your feet and sweaty socks.

8. Be Aware of Heat Stroke

Be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke. Listen to your body and it will tell you when you can push yourself and when it's time to coast. Eat when you're hungry, rest when you're feeling tired.

Common signs of heat stroke

Throbbing headache
Dizziness
Muscle cramps
Nausea
Disorientation or confusion
Lack of sweating, despite hot temperatures
If you feel any of the above-mentioned symptoms, immediately find shade and try to cool down as soon as possible.

9. Protect Your Skin

In such a hot weather, it is important that you take care of your skin.

Sunburns can damage your skin
They also affect body's ability to cool itself, thus increasing risks of dehydration.
Apply a sunscreen with an SPF 30+, 30 minutes before heading out. Put it underneath your clothes as well.
Wear a hat or head covering to ensure that your head and neck area does not get too hot. Apply plenty of sunscreen and UV-blocking sunglasses
“Better safe than sorry” is always a good motto to live by.

Always carry a cell phone and let others know where you will be hiking. In case you run into trouble for any reason you'll be able to make a call for immediate help. So, do not just sit back thinking how hot the weather will be. Plan, prepare well, and head out!

Top Amazing Places in Patagonia Chile You Must Visit

When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is sunny and warm in the Southern Hemisphere. One good way to have a winter vacation is to head to Chile and to Patagonia (that, by the way, also extends to Argentina) and explore nature at its best. One can join a W hike Patagonia tour…

When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is sunny and warm in the Southern Hemisphere. One good way to have a winter vacation is to head to Chile and to Patagonia (that, by the way, also extends to Argentina) and explore nature at its best.

One can join a W hike Patagonia tour and explore the most popular circuit of this region with guides to help and arranged accommodation as well as food. Another option is the “O” tour that so many local Chilean tour operators offer. The best way, however, is to set out on your own and explore some amazing places that tour operators do not include in the itinerary.

General Carrera Lake Marble Caves

Close to the Argentinian border lies the General Carrera Lake and here one can find the beautiful marble caves. The experience of getting into a boat and navigating the echoing marble caverns is ethereal and just awe inspiring.

Exploradores Glacier

The marble cave tour over one can set off to the Exploradores glacier, possibly by joining a tour from Puerto Rio Tranquilo and trek to the glacier and try to discover new caves. This Glacier is the coolest one for tourists looking to venture out and explore in truly tough conditions.

Puyuhuapi's Bay

This is one of the tranquil places most tour operators will not include in the schedule but it is a haven of peace and quiet. Located in the Chilean fjords, Puyuhuapi is a small hamlet with campsites where one can stay and marvel at the placid waters, go fishing or go boating.

Queulat National Park and Hanging Glacier

The W Hike takes you to Torres del Paine, an astounding natural park but the Queulat National Park, about 22 km from Puyuhuapi, can be just as interesting, if not more so. It has the wonderful Queulat hanging glacier with a waterfall cascading from between the split, a sight to cherish. Getting there is not easy as one has to trudge through slush but at the end of it, the blue waters and the glacier can be quite rewarding.

Cerro Castillo

Black, blue and white colors come together to perfection at Cerro Castillo, one very special white glacier set against black rock and it leads to a lake with blue waters. Just visiting to the site is an experience in itself and when one comes here, the view is simply gorgeous.

One can trek the most traveled W Hike Patagonia tour in Chile or do more. Of course, taking in Torres Del Paine is a must but there are other equally interesting destinations in Patagonia that give so much more. The more adventurous hikers get a visa for Argentina too and that makes it so much easier to explore that side of Patagonia too. However, a week in Patagonia on the Chilean side is more than sufficient to visit a few interesting must-visit places. Spare more time and you can find even more hidden jewels.