Trekking Through Southern Patagonia: Chile & Argentina
Day One: Patagonia Arrival
Welcome to Chilean Patagonia! The windswept plains of this southern region stretch on for miles, joining Chile’s rugged coastline and majestic mountain peaks into one of the world’s most awe-inspiring mountain environments, perched on the edges of the icy isthmus and fiords of the southern Pacific Ocean. Punta Arenas, the town in which iRise is residing in for the next two weeks, is the southernmost town in the world. The town itself is not connected to the rest of Chile; it is only accessible by sea or air transportation. Punta Arenas also happens to be one of the few places in the world where people can drink directly from the lakes, which is melted glacier water, safely.
Day Two: Scenic Cruise to Magdalena Island and The Penguin Colony
This morning, the iRise team and their constituents took a cruise across the Magellan Strait, made famous by navigators and explorers such as Francis Drake, Ferdinand Magellan and Charles Darwin. If they were lucky, they might have even spotted austral dolphins and overas toninas (another type of dolphin). Magdalena Island, which is protected and uninhabited by humans, is home to the largest penguin colony in Southern Chile, with around 60,000 breeding pairs of Magellanic penguins. The crew took a hike to explore the island’s nooks and crannies. After returning to the mainland they continued through the amazing landscape to Puerto Natales, located near the edge of Torres del Paine National Park, famed for its hiking. The cruise ride to Magdalena Island is one hour each way,