We consider ourselves lucky at Craft Travel to have well-traveled, adventurous clients who come back year after year challenging us to up the ante. There’s nothing better than getting to know a client’s style and working on new and exciting itineraries that complement not only their interests but also their past travel experiences.
One client who always keeps it entertaining for us is Paul, a globetrotting architect from New York who has a passion for all things off the beaten path. Whether he’s tracking jaguars in the Brazilian Pantanal or encountering birdwatcher’s paradise in Ecuador’s Mashpi Lodge, Paul has an immense appreciation for remote and exotic locales with show-stopping scenery and aesthetics (he is an architect after all).
On his most recent trip with us, he and his wife Sandi explored the best of Argentina and Chile, heading from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, and then south to Patagonia, crossing from El Calafate on the Argentinean side into Chilean Torres del Paine. He enjoyed the journey so much that a local New York newspaper featured his incredible account of the trip.
His piece provides incredible insight into one of our favorite itineraries: the combination of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile with some time for wine in Mendoza and culture in Buenos Aires and Santiago. In fact, it would be hard to find a professional travel writer who could convey the experience as eloquently and accurately as Paul does.
You can read Paul’s complete account here and check out some of our favorite excerpts below:
ON BUENOS AIRES:
”Next was Buenos Aires, a vast world city. The ‘Paris of South America’, it really has every imaginable historic style of architecture, narrow crooked streets, wide Parisian-like boulevards slashing the city at oblique angles and, of course, the Evita balcony in the Presidential Palace. (Madonna was actually permitted to film on that balcony.) A futuristic, rotating footbridge, the Puente de la Mujer, by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, was designed in 2001 to incorporate and enliven a previously neglected warehouse section of the waterfront. The results have proven to be an extremely successful example of urban renewal. The bridge itself is a popular selfie destination. (Dare I mention Calatrava’s Westfield World Trade Center, a soaring monumental space in search of a purpose?)
The La Boca district, on a protected outlet to the Atlantic, was the port of arrival for immigrants through history, most prominently, the vast Italian migration beginning in the mid-1850s. Its wildly colorful tenements make this area a bustling tourist hotspot.”
ON PERITO MORENO GLACIER IN EL CALAFATE, ARGENTINA:
”The most visited site in the Park is the Perito Merino Glacier, which can be viewed via a very accessible network of footpaths, as well as by boat circumnavigation. The universal response to first seeing this glacier is an audible gasp.
The height of the ‘wall’ in these photos is over 220 feet, and this particular wall is two miles in length. The cavern-like void in the photo was the result of ‘calving’, which we were fortunate enough to witness. The sound was thunderous. We were told that this particular cavity would actually regenerate.
However, on one of our overland hikes, while standing on a tract of barren land, we were shown a series of photographs taken in each of the last five decades, illustrating how this land was once covered by a vast, continually receding glacier. The increasing acceleration of this process, per those photographs, needs no further explanation.”
ON CRAFT TRAVEL:
”Our travel agents, Craft Travel Group, with whom we are third-time clients, put together a rewarding, eye-popping, precision-packaged tour of the cone of South America, with a full appreciation of our preferences and constraints. Our countless internal connections went off without a glitch.”