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.
Zoe lives in the small village El Chalten located below the Fitz Roy Massif, on the Argentine side of Patagonia. We asked her how she is experiencing the pandemic in her village, how you can bring Chalten’s mountain spirit to your home while you cannot visit the area and what is her travel advise for post-corona times.
How Is the Situation in Your Region?
Our lockdown, in El Chaltén, started mid-March. Lockdown at the start was strict – you could not go out, do exercise and there was a curfew at night. The police controlled the streets and you really couldn’t go out unless it was to buy food.
El Chaltén’s population is young so there are few corona risk cases luckily. There haven’t been any tested cases so since the second week of May we have been allowed to go out for a bit of exercise. This is great as our winter is on its way – we are accustomed to hibernating in June/July but not in April – we as a community love the outdoors and love to make the most of it before the winter arrives and the days are a lot shorter. It is weird though as we are surrounded by the National Park Los Glaciares but we are not allowed into it… we have to explore other places! Fingers crossed the authorities will let us out more soon!
How Can People Bring El Chalten to Their Home While They Can't Travel?
There are many great books about El Chalten that will bring the area’s mountain spirit to your home: for those who like climbing and want to dream of hanging off a Patagonian granite rock face I’d recommend: “Patagonia Vertical” – by Rolando Garibotti and Dorte Pietron. If you love to step back in time and want to learn about the pioneering adventures of a century ago I’d recommend books written by the Danish Pioneer, Andreas Madsen. And for those that are looking for a great informative book on trekking, the history, geology, etc. of El Chaltén you’ll enjoy “Trekking En Chaltén“, by Miguel Alonso.
For those who prefer films to books I’d recommend a film that debuted in November 2019 in El Chaltén – local actors, local filming – “Pueblo Chico, Invierno Grande.”
What Is Your Personal Travel Tip for Post-Corona Times?
I love travelling and will not stop, but I’ll definitely be doing my homework before hitting the road! I’ll be looking for places similar to home: quiet, adventure activities, less visited destinations.
Patagonia is a fantastic destination post-corona. It is an outdoors destination and it doesn’t have the crowds of a city. One of my favourite trips which encompasses a bit of the best of our area is this ADVENTURE in Chaltén and Calafate.
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!