A story for tomorrow

I will do little to distract from the beauty of this piece filmed throughout South America but to say that this is maybe the best travel video I’ve seen in the last year. It’s a combination of several things — the narrative is rich and well timed, the landscapes are beautiful and lush — but I think that the most important thing is the way in which it appeals to the traveler. In a way, we’re all looking for some sort of solution when we travel, and the joy and energy in this production seems to hint that there’s actually an answer somewhere out there. Personally, I’ll take this as justification to keep searching.

Man arrested for stealing glacier in Chile

A glacier thief has been arrested in Chile. Late last week, law enforcement officials in Chile detained a man for allegedly stealing part of a glacier from inside Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, located in the Patagonia region. It is believed that the thief intended to sell the ice to various clubs in the capital city of Santiago, where it would be put into expensive designer drinks.

Police stopped the man, who was driving a large refrigerated truck, for a routine traffic violation, but were surprised to find that he had five tons of ice hidden in the back. Upon further examination, they discovered that the ice had come from the Jorge Montt Glacier, which is located not far from where the man was apprehended. So far, the driver has only been charged with theft, but officials are considering extending the charges to violating a national monument as well, since the ice came from inside a national park.

It is estimated that the five tons of ice would have sold for about $6300 had the man been able to deliver it to is buyers in Santiago. That doesn’t seem like a lot of money for harvesting so much ice.

Global climate change has played havoc on glaciers throughout Patagonia, and the Jorge Montt is no exception. Scientists say that is is currently retreating at a rate of about a half-mile per year, which is an alarmingly fast pace. The question now of course is how much of that is due to these nefarious ice thieves?

Witness the wonders of Patagonia in timelapse

There is no question that Patagonia is amongst the most beautiful and wild places on our planet. Stretching out across southern Chile and Argentina, it has long been a popular destination for adventure travelers, who are continually drawn to the snow capped peaks and crystal clear lakes that dot the landscape there. It is a breathtaking environment, and one that the timelapse video below captures incredibly well.

While only three minutes in length, this video still manages to mesmerize viewers with amazing images and equally beautiful music. It is also likely to inspire more than a few to want to visit the place for themselves.

PATAGONIA – ARGENTINA – TIMELAPSES from Ignacio Leonardi on Vimeo.

Adventure Vacation Guide 2012: Ushuaia, Argentina

Just a few miles out of Ushuaia you can stand at the end of the Panamerican Highway and imagine the long line that connects you to Alaska. Wild nature surrounds you, face one direction and you’ll see sharp granite peaks. Turn the other direction and you’ll see the Beagle Channel, that relatively placid waterway that leads to the Drake Passage, and then, Antarctica.

Antarctica exploration hit a milestone last year, Roald Amundsen was the first man to reach the South Pole in December 1911. With 100 years of exploration behind us, it’s now surprisingly easy to board a ship from Ushuaia and head out to that last place.

You can book an Antarctic trip from the comfort of home, but if you’ve got time to spare, head to Ushuaia during cruise season (typically January to March) and visit the travel agents that line San Martin. A last minute bookings can save you up to fifty percent.

Ushuaia vibrates with anticipation and exhilaration. The combination of Antarctica travelers both outbound and returning, cyclists (motor and pedal) who have completed the Panamerican Highway, and back country adventurers surfacing from the wilds of Patagonia make for a city where nearly everyone you meet is on an epic, once in a life time adventure.

[flickr image via 23am.com]

Tierra Patagonia hotel and spa opens in Chilean Patagonia

Tierra Patagonia is now open for adventure!Travelers who enjoy a little luxury mixed in with their adventure now have a new option when visiting southern Chile. Earlier this week, Tierra Patagonia opened for business, giving visitors a chance to experience the iconic Patagonia wilderness without having to sacrifice on the creature comforts.

Located on the edge of Chile’s famous Torres del Paine National Park, Tierra Patagonia is an all inclusive resort that features 40 rooms, a full featured spa, gourmet meals, and plenty of great Chilean wine. It is the sister hotel to Tierra Atacama, which we told you about awhile back, and as such, visitors can expect a relaxed atmosphere that is well integrated and respectful of the beautiful natural setting that surround it.

When referring to Tierra Patagonia as “all inclusive” that means the adventure is included as well. Guests have access to daily excursions throughout the region, with the hotel’s friendly and knowledgeable guides leading a variety of half- and full-day hikes into the national park. There are also options to explore the Patagonian wilderness on horseback, mountain bike, or by 4×4 as well, providing ample opportunity for visitors to experience one of the last great wildernesses on the planet in all of its glory.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous, romantic, or relaxed escape, you’ll find everything you need at Tierra Patagonia. Visit the hotel’s website for more information on what to expect and to book your own Patagonian adventure.