Hotels inside Torres del Paine: a necessary risk?

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Photo: Javiera IdePhoto: Javiera Ide
By Tomás Moggia
Translation by Rebecca Neal and William Mastick
Long before it became a national park, Torres del Paine attracted visitors from around the world drawn by its unique geography and natural beauty. Huge granite and ice formations, electric-blue and sparkling green lakes, rugged thousand-year-old glaciers, and stretches of impenetrable forests are just some of the unique mosaic that makes Torres del Paine one of Patagonia’s most iconic places.

Ríos to Rivers: training a new generation of river defenders

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By Cristóbal Pérez
Translation by William Mastick

The second version of the Chilean-U.S. environmental education program Ríos to Rivers, whose mission is to “inspire the protection and conservation of rivers through youth cultural exchange,” will culminate later this week by kayaking down the Klamath River which runs between Oregon and California.

Issue 14 - Defining Patagonia

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Patagonia means many different things depending on who you talk to, as we outline in the cover story for Issue 14. For sure, Patagonia is the name popularly associated with southern Chile and Argentina, but as geographer and travel writer Wayne Bernhardson writes, its precise borders -- and the definition of the concept -- are matter for debate. The Patagonia region is definitely a place with strong winds, which Michael Gaige explores in-depth. Tomás Moggia tells of a new movement to establish the lengthy, 3,000-kilometer Greater Patagonian Trail along the southern Andes. The phenomenal climber Alex Honnold was recently in Chile, and Pilar Lascar was there to interview and profile him for Patagon Journal. We also feature an interview with Don Weeden about the Weeden Foundation’s three decades of supporting environmental initiatives in Chile, a photo essay from southern Chile’s Cristian Aguirre, and Javiera Ide reviews some of the best hotels at Torres del Paine National Park. And this issue includes still more about nature, the environment, culture, travel and outdoor sports in Patagonia and the world’s last wild places.

Extracting moss from Aysén’s peat bogs: a dangerous no man’s land

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By Patricio Segura
Translated by Rebecca Neal
Between 500 and 1000 pesos per bag. This is the amount of money received in Caleta Tortel by those who work to extract Sphagnum, the cushiony moss that springs up in the peat bogs that cover vast landscapes in the Aysén region. In this southern zone, it also has the colloquial name of pompón.

Special event celebrating 5 years of Patagon Journal and the Third Patagonia Photo Contest

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More than 200 people arrived on Tuesday evening, May 30, to join Patagon Journal in celebrating 5 years of the magazine and the award ceremony and exhibition of the Third Patagonia Photo Contest.
The spectacular exhibition, which will be on display at the Centro Arte Alameda in Santiago for one month, features the 12 winning photos in the travel & culture, nature, environment and outdoor sports categories, as well as the winner of the Readers Prize and three honorable mentions.
The winner of the grand prize of the contest, Angel Adaro, received a trip for 3 days and 2 nights for two people to go on a winter trek in Torres del Paine National Park with Chile Nativo. In addition, he received a stay at Hotel Remota in Puerto Natales for two nights for two people, and tickets for two to travel on board the Navimag ship on their Puerto Montt - Puerto Natales route along the Chilean Patagonia coast.

The winners in each category received a gift card of 150.000 Chilean pesos (approx.. $US225) for purchasing products at the Patagonia stores in Chile and the second place winners received hand-crafted sun glasses from Karun. The winner of the Readers Prize won a stay for two persons for two nights, courtesy of Tompkins Conservation, at their Valle Chacabuco lodge in the new Patagonia National Park.
The panel of judges for the photo contest included Celine Frers, an Argentine photographer whose photos are featured in books such as Colores de Corrientes, Cielos Patagónicos and Tierra de Gauchos; Brian O’Keefe, one of the top fly fishing photographers in the world; and Pablo Valenzuela, one of Chile’s leading photographers whose works are also found in a plethora of photo exhibit-format books and expositions throughout the country.
Valenzuela also spoke during the award ceremony about photography in Patagonia, stressing the importance of capturing photographic moments with both the mind and heart. Other speakers included Hernan Mladinic, executive director of Tompkins Conservation, who gave a talk about the recently announced network of national parks in Patagonia that includes the creation of five new national parks in Chilean Patagonia; and Paulo Urrutia, a geologist, kayaker and member of the environmental group Bestias del Sur Salvaje, who spoke about how athletes who enjoy outdoor sports in the region should get more involved in confronting environmental problems in southern Chile.
The event also hosted the premiere of the documentary “Costa Perdida,” about a sea kayak expedition by Chilean explorer Cristian Donoso, who together with Spanish filmmaker Roger Rovira last year paddled 600 kilometers inside Bernard O’Higgins National Park.
After the video documentary, the attendees enjoyed a reception that included cheeses from Lacteos Futaleufu, wines from Viña Perez Cruz, and microbrews from Cerveza Quimera.
Below, more photos from the special event: 



Patagonia Photo Contest exhibition & premiere of "Lost Coast" documentary

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We invite you to join us for a special event celebrating five years of Patagon Journal on Tuesday, May 30, at Centro Arte Alameda in Santiago, Chile. 
The evening will feature the opening of the Third Patagonia Photo Contest Exhibition, and the official premiere of the documentary "Lost Coast," about a 600-kilometer sea kayak expedition in southern Chilean Patagonia. 
As well, renowned Chilean photographer Pablo Valenzuela will give a talk on photography in Patagonia and Hernan Mladinic, executive director of Tompkins Conservation, will speak about their recent, historic donation of one million acres to Chile toward the creation and expansion of eight national parks in the Patagonia region. 
Wine, beer and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
R.S.V.P. to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tuesday, May 30, 7:30 p.m.
Centro Arte Alameda                                                      
Av. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 139, Santiago, Chile

The anniversary of Villa la Angostura, my town

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Villa la Angostura. Photo: Diego MeierVilla la Angostura. Photo: Diego Meier

By Diego Meier
Villa la Angostura, in Patagonia, is my place in the world. I had the luck to be born here and then after moving far away for my studies, I chose to return. This place continues to inspire me to get outside and experience up close its forests, mountains and landscapes. And I enjoy simply greeting the people on its streets and getting to know them.

Restoring the Darwin's rhea at the future Patagonia National Park

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Photo: Justin LotakPhoto: Justin Lotak


By Cristián Saucedo 
Translation by Brent Harlow
Three years ago, Conservación Patagónica began its Darwin’s Rhea Conservation Program with the construction of a breeding center and the installation of park rangers to patrol, take censuses, and set up camera traps to monitor wild Darwin’s rheas and identify threats to their survival.

Can photography help us through environmental crisis?

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