Where to Go in 2018
Antarctica may get all the attention, but the southern Patagonian ice fields are gradually melting, too. Luckily there are several new avenues for travelers who want to get there sooner rather than later. Bespoke travel company Black Tomato now offers a journey to the untrammeled area of Aysén, letting adventurers explore caves, hike glaciers, and ride down rapids in the least-populated region in Chile. On the shores of Lake Llanquihue is Hotel Awa—a marvel of concrete and glass that adds to the country’s collection of remote, contemporary luxury hotels. It makes a great home base for fly fishing, hikes up snow-capped Osorno volcano, and authentic cultural encounters with indigenous communities.
The areas further south are becoming easier to see by boat: Starting this month, Australia’s new, 210-passenger ship, the Ventus Australis, will sail four-night itineraries through the fjords of Tierra del Fuego; by the end of the year, luxury line Azamara Club Cruises Inc. will introduce a three-week journey that takes in the length of Chile, starting in Lima and winding up in Buenos Aires.
When to go: Early March—the tail end of peak season—when crowds have dispersed, hotel rates dip, and temperatures hover at a comfortable 60 degrees.
When not to go: July. Winters are cold and wet, and most hotels are closed.