Issue 5 - Private Parks on the Rise
Our fifth issue
features a cover story on the rise of private parks in Patagonia; a photo essay from one of Chile's longtime photographer legends, Pablo Valenzuela; a special travel section on Chile's Lake District including stories from veteran guidebook author Wayne Bernhardson and British travel writer Gabriel O'Rorke; a report on sustainable fly fishing in Mongolia; and the story behind a recent, historic first winter ascent of Mount Sarmiento in Tierra del Fuego, among several other articles. Below is the full table of contents.
2nd Patagonia Photo Contest
Patagon Journal announces the launch of its 2nd Patagonia Photo Contest.
Open to amateur or professional photographers, from any country, we want to receive your best images of the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.
This is a part of the world that without doubt provides extraordinary possibilities for photography. Last year, our inaugural contest was a great success with an impressive display of photos
that made it difficult to decide the winning images. So, to help us with that honorable task this year, we have a distinguished panel of judges; they include:
Photo Gallery: Dynamic Chiloé
Editors Note: This is the sixth article in our special series "Travel in Los Lagos," sponsored by Sernatur Los Lagos.
Text and photos by Nicholas Gill
One of southern Chile’s most dynamic places for its landscape, food and culture is Chiloé, the stunningly beautiful archipelago hanging off of continental Chile, but twisted in some distinctive form. Though the main island can be reached via a short ferry ride across the Chacao Channel from the mainland, Chiloé has developed in large part in insolation, forming a culture unlike anywhere else in the country.
This is a place where tales of mythological figures such as sirens, witches and ghost ships are woven into the fabric of daily life. These superstitions were originally a product of the indigenous Huiliche communities, but when the Spanish arrived Chilote folklore began to fuse with elements of Christianity. That transition was sped forward greatly when Jesuit missionaries built hundreds of wood shingle churches, many of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The archipelago is a place of rolling green hills, dramatic beaches, and thick temperate forests, which together form one of the most unique collections of flora and fauna in South America. That ecological diversity has also helped give Chiloé one of Chile’s most distinct regional cuisines. While curanto - a potluck of meat, shellfish, and tubers that are cooked in an earthen oven – is the most representative dish, there’s much more to be found here. Traditionally a seafaring culture, the diet here is rich in fish and shellfish, as well as aquatic plants, though the patchwork of green pastures provides grazing room for lambs as fine as any in Patagonia and the growing of potatoes, which are used in almost everything.
Modern Chiloé is increasingly leaning on its past. In the capital of Castro the iconic palafitos, stilted wood buildings, are being turned into cafes and boutique hotels, effectively preserving them. Modern architects are building structures that resemble the hulls of ships. Natural resources, such as the Puñihuil penguin colony or the forests and swampland of Chiloé National Park, are being protected with help from the increasing number of tourists. An airport, Mocopulli, is even in operation here now, which means you can reach Castro by flights from Santiago and Puerto Montt, though the ferry system is more efficient than it has even been.
1. The cushy, all-inclusive 12-room Refugia Lodge on an isolated shore outside of Castro, used master Chilote woodcarvers to create the furniture and frame, while they filled it with hand spun, naturally dyed textiles from the archipelago.
Photo Gallery: The Cochamo Valley trail
Editors Note: This is the fifth article in Patagon Journal’s special series "Travel in Los Lagos" sponsored by Sernatur Los Lagos
Text and photos by Carlos Gutiérrez
Cochamó is located in the middle of the Andes, just a few hours from Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas. Nestled between mountains, fjords and sea, it is a true natural paradise. Trekking, horseback riding, and kayaking are among the outdoor opportunities here. It is also an important spot for rock climbers. For many, Cochamo’s granite walls are reminiscent of Yosemite National Park in California.
If you’re like us, the journey is more important than the destination: take your time and go for a long hike. You can contact a guide or you can simply do it yourself on the marked trails. You will be constantly rewarded by the native flora and fauna, and stunning Eden-like landscapes.
1.There are many attractive bridges on the hiking trails, often utilizing fallen trees.