Travel to Patagonia with Aemster

Travel to Patagonia with Aemster

Published by Aemster Journalist on 30th Mar 2022

Patagonia, also known for its beautiful nature, hikes, glaciers, Argentine culture, and gauchos, you find yourself in another world. The purity and the surroundings of this county give you a powerful energy boost and leave a lasting memory. The creators of Aemster were so inspired by this magical place and named the fragrance Lemon Lagunas after it. Lemon Lagunas was inspired by one of the many beautiful walks in Patagonia Argentina, called Laguna de Los Tres.

Lemon Lagunas essential and aroma oil blend for diffusers

Lemon Lagunas is a citrusy essential oil and is all about fresh lemons, rosemary, and jasmine. All our oils are cold-pressed, sustainably sourced, and 100% vegan. The fragrance contains the softness of citrus leaves and the woodiness of lemon bark. Together, this results in an exotic citrus blend that gives a fresh impression with top notes of lemongrass and also softens with a pleasant woody base. 

Travel to Patagonia with the founders of Aemster

El Calafate 

Our starting point was Buenos Aires. From Buenos Aires we travelled to Bariloche and from Bariloche to el Calafate. El Calafate is primarily known as the gateway to Los Glaciers National Park. Almost everyone who visits this village is here for one reason - the name says it all - to see the glaciers. You can plan your activities here and visit the town. Just outside of town, you can visit an interesting museum, where you can learn a lot about glaciers. 


Horseriding at Nibepo Aike

We watched an episode of 3opreis together, in which an estancia in Patagonia was visited, and we were immediately sold. We would like to do this too. An estancia is a large private plot of land that is used for agriculture or cattle breeding. Because these parcels of land have an enormous size, think of twelve thousand hectares, the estancias are often situated in remote locations.

At first, we look at the option of making a horseback riding trip of several days to the "out-posts". We then ride a horse in five days through the nature of Patagonia and spend the night in huts in the outposts. The season starts in November, so we are here just a bit too early for that. Maybe it is just as well because we have not ridden a horse for a long time and wonder if we will be able to walk after those five days.

We decide to do a day tour at the same estancia and combine it with a guided tour. Good choice, it is great fun!

We drive in a van for one and a half hours over a sandy path to Nibepo Aike, on the way we see the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in the distance.

On arrival, we find everything we hoped for. Between the high mountains and the green fields is a small warm wooden house; the room inside has been prepared for our group. We are welcomed by a fireplace and get to know the super nice group of today. A pleasant combination of international travelers. Together with a Gaucho, we walk through the activities of the Estancia. He shows us how the animals are taken care of and how this place is completely self-sufficient. It has a water pump, solar panels, and a pumping station.

Horseriding at nibepo Aike

After lunch, and two large glasses of red wine, we are hoisted onto a horse. It has been a while for us, but we both enjoy it immediately and are at ease. No explanation or safety briefing is necessary here and we sit on the horse with good confidence. The ride can begin. The two Gauchos are in front and we happily hobble along. On the way, we see the most beautiful landscapes, snow-covered peaks, lakes, and birds of prey and a fox walks with us for a while.

We also see several cow carcasses. The carcasses are food for the birds of prey in this area. This is a black vulture and, with its wingspan of 3.2 meters, the largest bird in the world. 

By bus to El Chalten

We bought a ticket, stood at the stop, threw our suitcases in the back and we could go. What an easy, quick, and simple way to travel here. The ride from El Calafate to El Chalten takes 3.5 hours. Between the two villages, we don't see much. The bus is reasonably full and mainly young travelers undertake this trip.

El Chalten

El Chalten is a small nice village and consists of "everything for the hiker" in two main streets. This is again a typical place where everybody comes with the same goal. Upon arrival, we are briefed in the information center about the hikes, the weather conditions, and the rules in the National Park. Then, from the bus station, it is only a few minutes' walk for everyone to their accommodation. We still have a few hours before the sun goes down, so we decide to drop our bags and do a short hike to the viewpoint over both the village and Mount Fitz Roy. Tonight, we will be diving in early as we have a long hike planned for tomorrow!

Hiking The Lagunas De Los Tres

A clear blue sky and a bright morning sun illuminate the still fresh street of El Chalten. It is early and the village has not woken up yet. We walk through the main street and know that we have a long journey ahead of us today. The bakery smells good and is open; we step inside. We go inside and buy four empanadas and some croissants, two big bottles of water, and some other goodies. Some other people are walking in the same direction, all of them in sporty clothes with a backpack. We walk to the same point, at the end of the main street, the beginning of the Lagunas de los tres trail.

We walk all morning. In some parts, we climb a bit but it is mostly flat and doable. On the way, we see beautiful views and Mount Fitz Roy comes closer. A varying landscape makes for a super nice morning, we easily reach the starting point of the climb, the 10th kilometer to the endpoint of the way.

In an hour, we climb the steep part and end up in the snow. Just when we think we're there, the last bit of climbing begins, and then a big smile appears on our sweaty faces. We have reached the foot of Mount Fitz Roy. Two high points stick out above everything. An impressive sight. We hang around for over an hour and look around us. We are in a very beautiful place! In the meantime, we meet two Dutch people who are also making a long journey and exchange tips. Then it is time to start the same route back, we are only halfway.

The way back is a bit heavier and especially the last part is a real struggle. But when we reach the main street of El Chalten again, we are very happy. It was a good day! 

After spending the night in El Chalten, you prepare for your hike to Mount Fitz Roy via a beautiful route in about 3-4 hours. The last part consists of a steep climb, after which you will see the moon-like landscape appear over the ridge. With a bright blue lake and the wondrous beauty of the mountain's high peaks, we can only take a deep breath and admire the beautiful nature here.

Hiking the Perito Moreno Glacier

We had to wait for a while, but today it is our turn. We will be picked up in a few minutes and then we will visit the extraordinary Perito Moreno Glacier. Not only are we going to visit, but we are also actually going to walk onto the glacier!

After a drive of more than one and a half hours through the typical Patagonian landscapes, with low vegetation and extensive views, we arrive at Los glaciares national park. Half of this park consists of the Patagonian ice field, which is the second-largest ice field in the southern hemisphere after Antarctica. There are 47 large glaciers here, 13 of which run into the Atlantic Ocean. Today, we will visit the Perito Moreno glacier, known for its constant movement and stable size. The ice that falls off at the front grows on the back the same day. We would like to see that up close!

We are dropped off at the viewpoint that we recognize from the internet and television. This is the must-see of the National Park. We walk down a wooden path and see the enormous ice mass appear right in front of us through the trees. What a bizarre sight! The snow-white iceberg is as high as two blocks of flats and has an undulating wall that cuts into the water and runs for kilometers to the back. Between the mountains, the glacier continues for hundreds of kilometers and covers an area of 254 km2, slightly larger than the city of Buenos Aires where 5 million people live.

Pointed ice spikes go in all directions and give the whole a rough appearance. We walk around and look at the Perito Moreno from different angles. Once in a while we hear the ice break and a loud bang follows, a piece of ice falls with a delayed effect into Lago Argentino and causes a tidal wave. A spectacular sight. The formation of an ice bridge between the shore and the glacier has recently started, a special phenomenon that occurs at the Perito Moreno. The ice bridge eventually collapses by a natural process and always makes the news.

A quick coffee, a churro and we put on our waterproofs. After another short ride, we transfer to a boat that will take us to the left corner of the glacier in 15 minutes. The group is divided into 4 groups of 10, the maximum number of visitors on one day is also 40, and a few minutes later we start the hike up, now still over land. Our guide, Fernandez, sets the pace. And believe us, the pace is good. Warmed up, we arrive at the last base camp "on land" and are given snow irons and a harness. We have now walked up along the glacier for about four kilometers and from here we go out onto the ice. The surface is as hard as a rock and we have to use force to get a grip on the snow irons. Fortunately, the ground soon changes to a softer substance and we can then walk reasonably normally. Still not knowing what to expect, we start the glacier walk. It is much warmer than we had thought, it is even 0 degrees and there is no wind at all. We follow Fernandez in a line, he tells us about the glacier and takes us to a beautiful bright blue lake within two hours. This is the lunch spot, and what a one! It is also bizarre to realize that the ice on which we are now sitting is at least 500 meters thick! The route soon continues through the jagged ice. Deep grooves and high points require a certain attention to where we put our feet but also provide adrenaline. We need that too as we are walking a total of 15 km today!

By the end of the afternoon, we arrive back at the base camp and drink a whiskey with the guides on the boat ride back. What a great day! 

Ushuaia, The most Southern point of South America. 

From El Calafate you can either drive or fly to the most southernmost city in the world; Ushuaia.

For a long time, we considered this city on the Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains with snowy peaks and a glacier, as the endpoint of our journey. The plan was to travel down from Canada step by step, via America and Central America to the southernmost spot of South America; Ushuaia. However, in Canada, we completely changed our plans and are now "already" here. All the more reason to tap the city letters as a real milestone. A feeling of "we made it!"

The city of Ushuaia

We expected this to be a small coastal town with just some houses and a few visitors. Yet many cruise ships dock here every year and the small harbor is well filled with touring offices. This is the base for cruise ships and also for ships that sail from here to Antarctica. We cannot get any closer to Antarctica!

History

The city is very remote, so remote that from 1884 Ushuaia was used as a place of exile for criminals. Prisoners served their sentences here under miserable conditions until the middle of the 20th century. The prison, Presidio de Ushuaia, is now a museum and open to the public. We also visit it.

Tierra del Fuego

Ushuaia is also the ideal base for exploring the nature of Tierra del Fuego National Park. When the Portuguese explorer Magelhães sailed past here in 1520, he saw fires along the coast. These were the Yamana and Onas Indians, they stoked them. For this reason, he gave it the name Tierra del Fuego.

We try to avoid the tourist route and take a taxi ourselves to the National Park. There we walk the coastal route with very nice views of the Beagle Channel and we see sea birds. We also make a boat trip on the canal and see the sea lion colony on the island Isla de Los Lobos and the Magellanic penguins. 

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