The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected everyone around the world and travel has been put on hold temporarily.
While you cannot visit Latin America personally, we invite you to connect with our favorite destinations virtually.
We asked Alicia, who works for our local Patagonian partner company and lives in the small village Puerto Natales, gateway to Chile’s famous Torres del Paine National Park, how she experiences the pandemic in Patagonia.
Learn about the current daily life in Patagonia and how you can enjoy a part of Patagonia yourself, even during quarantine and self-isolation.
How Is the Situation in Your Region?
Here in Puerto Natales we are not under mandatory quarantine but it is recommended that each resident stays home and takes precautions in the case that there is a need to leave. Puerto Natales continues with only 7 confirmed cases as of April 21st and life remains simple and calm here in Patagonia as we prepare for the winter months that lie ahead.
Torres del Paine National Park is currently closed and the premature closure of the park and tourism has brought an abrupt quiet and stillness to Puerto Natales – something that the local residents are accustomed to during the off season and winter.
My family and I are enjoying this special time together after a long season. We feel especially grateful that we can be together each day cooking homemade meals, enjoying daily yoga & art projects, watching movies, reading books, and having individual free time & space to create and relax. We find ourselves still very much occupied with our projects that will help us prepare for the winter months and a better life following this all. Collecting lenga is a priority and finishing our greenhouse garden which we hope will provide us with fresh produce in the more difficult months has been our main focus.
As part of the Tourism bureau of the province of Ultima Esperanza the company I work for is also getting prepared for post-corona time: developing new procedures for when the travel industry starts to activate again, such as more space in the vehicles we use for transportation, working on new itineraries visiting less crowded areas of Torres del Paine National Park and other destinations in Patagonia (Tierra del Fuego or Navarino Island for example), as well as on new private trips based in our own private Deluxe Camp.
How Can People Bring Patagonia to Their Home While They Can't Travel?
There are so many great books about Patagonia! I would encourage anyone who has the desire to come to Patagonia in their future travels, read about the region, the rich history and unique culture. This will absolutely add to the experience of your travels if you have a general idea and understanding of the place in which you are visiting. A few books that I would recommend are “Patagonia” by Jaime Said, “Patagonia Wild and Free: Memories of William H. Greenwood” by William H. Greenwood and “Travels in a Thin Country” by Sara Wheeler.
And why not try out some typically Chilean dishes to eat while reading? Inacap has published a great selection of Chilean cuisine in their “Cookbook of Chile“.
For everybody who wants to “hike” one of the trekking routes in Torres del Paine virtually, I recommend our flyover videos, including one of our favorites treks, the Torres del Paine Circuit.
What Is Your Personal Travel Tip for Post-Corona Times?
I think it will be most important for us all to understand that how we travel after this will be vital to the well being of each other and our planet. I would advise that we travel to the less populated and lesser known places where we have less impact on the environment. This also gives us an opportunity to know and explore places as a privilege and not a priority.
Probably the first trips I want to do is with my family! Organize a private trip for your loving ones and reconnect with them after a long time without sharing time together! A trip that is perfect for multi-generational groups (especially if these include small children) is the Patagonia Family Trip.
How is the situation in your country? Would you like to tell us your personal “coronavirus story”? Or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Drop us a line, we look forward to hearing from you!