Posts labeled with Country ' Chile'

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On the night of October 3, 2015 –  TotalAdventure boarded  LAN’s 787 Dreamliner from Miami to Santiago. It was the start of a two week journey,  with the main focus on the Adventure Travel World Summit in Puerto Varas Chile.


The trip covered a huge range – from the snowy Andes to the steamy Amazon.


After clearing customs in Santiago, TotalAdventure boarded a 90 minute flight to Puerto Montt, which was near Puerto Varas.


It was a cold misty day – especially for someone who had just flown from the 95 degree heat of Miami.


TotalAdventure warmed up with a  piping hot bowl of Parihuela – a fresh spicy seafood stew. For TotalAdventure’s Chilean adventures – CLICK HERE !

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After a long and productive week at the Adventure Travel World Summit, where TotalAdventure met with hundreds of Adventure Travel companies who will be part of the TotalAdventure community, we headed back north to the sunny springtime of Santiago.

The next morning my host and I headed one hour from Los Condes to the top of El Colorado. October 12 was supposed to the the last day of a long season -El Niño has dropped many meters over the winter – but even more heavy snow later that week kept the mountain open to November 1 – the equivalent of May 1 in the Northern Hemisphere.

Afterwards we headed back down to Santiago so that I could catch my evening flight to Buenos Aires. The snow is only at the highest elevations.


THe temperature was nearly 70 degrees ( 21 C ) just one hour below in the Valley. For TotalAdventure packages in Chile – CLICK HERE ! 

Dec 30th
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ArcticTropic is now planning 2015 journeys. Three trips are shown here. The first , in February is to Southeastern Australia. The longest flight will be from San Francisco to Sydney – about 15 hours. In March – off to the Polar Regions of Iceland. September – Puerto Varas in Chilean Patagonia for the ATTA Summit. Several other ventures are in planning stage.

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At the end of a business trip to Western Argentina, followed by the flight over the Andes,ArcticTropic took an overnight excursion to Valparaiso ( known as Valpo to the locals) . Only about 2 hours from Santiago, and 4 hours from the slopes of Portillo, the city is in some ways reminiscent of San Francisco, without the freezing fog in the summertime.

A Miami bound ship is loaded with containers of wine.

Cool winds freshen the city , offering relief from inland summer heat.

The Hotel Reina Victoria.

Reminiscent of an old train car, this 100 year old funicular climbs ta mountainside overlooking the Port of Valparaiso,Chile on a beautiful summer’s day.

The sky becomes back as night from a forest fire that burned 60 houses and temporarily closed the road to Santiago.

The icy South Pacific never goes above 58 degrees ( 17 C ), as the Humboldt Current flows directly from Antarctica.

A delicious seafood stew , Parihuela, at Restaurant Caruso.

Artistic Graffiti is everywhere.

NIghtlife picks up around midnight and goes till dawn. Bar Cinzano is a throwback to the 1940’s but there are many electro-dance clubs around.

A nightclub singer at Bar Cinzano – straight out of the 1940’s.

Valparaiso is the main Pacific port for the Southern Cone – to China, Australia, the US and even Europe via Panama.

The Chilean Navy’s main base of operations – extending from Peru to the Antarctic and out to the middle of the South Pacific.



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ArcticTropic flies by Cerro Aconcagua, 22841 ft , 6962m, the highest mountain in the Western HemisphereLast Friday,February 3, ArcticTropic was returning to Chile after business meetings in Argentina. The Mendoza to Santiago flight was on a midsummer’s day. One can see the Argentina – Chile border post on the highway below, then Portillo Ski area in Chile, beside the bright blue Lago de Las Incas.

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An eight hour flight from Miami to Santiago,Chile bought ArcticTropic from a late rainy season tropical wave to a delightful Southern Hemisphere spring morning. As we approach Santiago, one can see the icy cold South Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Above, the final approach to SCL. What was supposed to be a one hour layover, turned out to be 3 hours as the flight was delayed due to the Puyehue Volcano erupting once again. Though 670 km south of Santiago, the ash cloud spreads far and wide. We are informed the Mendoza airport is closed and the flight may be cancelled. ArcticTropic began investigating  connections by bus, but at 1 PM ,it was announced that a window had opened and we ad to board quickly.
Up over the Andes, a crossing we have made many times.
Warm spring sunshine is softening the snowpack, providing ample water for the vineyards below.
On the Argentine side, the volcanic dust cloud was apparent. I was surprised we were allowed to fly. Volcanic ash can freeze jet engines  and make a plane drop out of the sky !
Disembarking our flight at MDZ.
Early evening, about 8 PM riding north through the desert  from Mendoza to San Juan.
Volcanic sunset. Tomorrow’s north  winds will blast away the dust and send temperatures soaring.
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Valarie D’Elia  – the Travel Reporter  for NY 1 – New York City’s 24/7 All News Station is airing a summer travel feature – “ Warm Up To Cool Ideas For Extreme Temperature Travel ” Along with great clips from Havana, Iceland and New York State is footage shot by ArcticTropic while skiing at Portillo,Chile last August. Portillo is the premier ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere – now enjoying 27 inches of fresh powder that fell over the weekend. Be sure also to check out Valarie’s site – Travel With Val – for the best travel deals all over the world.

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Portillo is soon to wind down the Winter 2010 Season. Arctic Tropic’s recent trip there, 3 weeks ago, was nothing short of amazing!
LAN 501 from MIA to SCL was a comfortable 8-hour flight. After exiting customs, a driver from Portillo met us and took our luggage. Two hours later, after a 10,000 foot climb up the Andes, we arrived at the Hotel Portillo. One hour later, we were on the slopes.
Portillo is almost like a private resort. The hotel usually has about 400 guests. Since there is no other accommodation in the area it seems there are never more than 200 or 300 people on the entire mountain at any given time. On weekends, perhaps 100 more skiers arrive from Santiago for the day. The longest line we ever encountered was a group of 5 people. It is very common to be able to ski or snowboard down the mountains by oneself.
Juncalillo Run – 10 AM.
Va I Venti lifts are unique to Portillo and get expert skiers up the mountain in minutes.
Skiing down El Plateau.
Lunch at Tio’s Bob’s !
ArcticTropic was part of a press group and we had the opportunity to sit down with the owner, Henry Purcell at teatime one day. The Purcell family, originally from the United States, has owned the hotel and resort for over 50 years. A very interesting history can be read HERE.
Après – ski is relaxing and very social. First, a bone –warming soak in the outdoor pools and hot tubs heated to 38 C.
Dinner, like all meals, is included in the one-week package, along with accommodation and lift tickets. There is no need to carry cash. One simply gives their room number if asked, or signs for extras, such as drinks.
Many of the staff have worked at Portillo for 20 to 30 years and greet their guests by name when they return each season.
After dinner a lively crowd gathers at the bar, with different bands every night. For the late night crowd, there is a disco that opens at Midnight. Roaring fireplaces keep all the public rooms warm.
At night the hotel almost has the feeling of a ship, -far away from civilization under the bright cold Andean sky full of the Southern Stars.
ArcticTropic will have regular updates from Portillo during the off-season and lots of news before next season’s opening in June ,2011. Updates are always available on the Portillo Website.
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On the morning of Saturday,September 11th, ArcticTropic visited a fish market in Santiago. The  icy cold South Pacific Ocean , fed by the Humboldt Current flowing north from Antarctica, is home to the world’s most abundant fisheries.

Uni – Sea Urchin – eaten raw, right out of the spiny pouch.
Oyster clam with ebi – raw shrimp !  We enjoyed an incredible feast of clams, oysters and other raw delicacies for about $ 8. The same assortment in the US would have been $100.
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On Friday, September 10th, ArcticTropic travelled back across the Andes, from Mendoza to Santiago, this time in just 45 minutes ! The highlight of the flight is a view of Cerro Aconcagua 6,962 m (22,841 ft), the world’s highest mountain outside of the Himalayas.

LAN has 3 daily flights to and from SCL to MDZ. Santiago – gateway to skiing at Portillo, and Mendoza, gateway to the Mendoza and San Juan wine regions.