Join Celine Cousteau’s Sea Safari In Chilean Patagonia

Patagonia, a word that conjures remoteness … jagged snow-peaked mountains, glacial lakes, vast scrubby brush, brooding pampas, galloping horses, deep silence and Bruce Chatwin’s best-selling travel meditation on the “end of the world.”  Patagonia beckons with a distinct hint of eternality.

The Patagonia Sur Reserves, specialists in well-crafted wilderness and wildlife adventures, has announced a unique opportunity to travel in Chilean Patagonia with Celine Cousteau, world-renowned ocean explorer, photographer, documentarian, environmental champion.  She is the granddaughter of the legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau whose career inspired three generations of ocean conservationists.

Seems that she inherited the marine gene – big time.

In a recent interview at the World Resources Institute, she said, “I think on a very personal level, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a very charismatic, engaged person who was so passionate about what he did that he spoke of it in a very powerful way. I believe a great attraction for all of us is the exploration and adventure, like it was for him, but more importantly we have a desire to protect those areas that we know are fragile. In my family, we have been taught that we are active participants…”

Surf and Turf

Patagonia Sur Reserves encourages guests to combine their two distinct properties into one over-the-top experience: Melimoyu and La Estrella Ranch in Valle California, a short flight away.

Melimoyu excels in martime excursions.  A sea safari with Celine Cousteau elevates this trip from an adventure to an inspirational and possibly life-changing adventure.

Venture with Celine Cousteau into the private Melimoyu Reserve, a one-of-a-kind glacial bio-haven, home to a variety of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on earth. Wild and beautiful.  Set on the Gulf of Corcovado, Melimoyu’s rainforests, waterfalls, ice-covered mountains are all home to rare and unique species of animals and birds, such as Darwin’s frog, Magellanic penguins, pumas, pudú (an endangered miniature deer), gigantic blue whales, fur seals, and sea lions.

Chug along on with Ms. Cousteau in the touring boat.  Their pioneering study of blue whales in this area reveals its significance as breeding and feeding grounds for the largest creature on earth. Paddle the shoreline in double or single kayaks, hike in the temperate rainforest and visit the village of original settler descendants.  In the evening at the family-style dinner and before a hot tub soak, Celine will share her travel tales and ocean adventures.

La Estrella is their luxuriously rustic ranch in the Valle California Reserve, set along the river in the Andean foothills. The expert expedition team welcomes only 12 guests at a time, with a menu of experiential treats: horseback riding, river fishing in the pristine El Tigre River, hiking, kayaking, float trips, mountain biking, and limitless bird watching.

Only one departure this year features the chance to be with Ms. Cousteau: March 2 – 13, 2013, (it’s still summer there) with a maximum of 10 guests.

Patagonia Sur Reserves is dedicated to conservation in combination with rural community businesses and development.  The visionary and highly energetic owner and founder, Warren Adams promises to keep its environmental footprint small and its experience exclusive.


How To Explore The World’s Most Pristine Landscapes On Horseback

Explore two of the world’s most pristine and wild landscapes on horseback: the Torres del Paine National Park and the Atacama Desert (highest and driest) in Chile. Stay for five days and four nights in either of the world-class resorts, the explora Patagonia and explora Atacama, and jump onto their new program — guests and gauchos rise at dawn to drive cattle across the pampas (open grasslands) between remote estancias (ranches.)

Get your own Gaucho

The private stables in these resorts house the stellar Chilean Criollos (horses with ancient Iberian blood) and purebred Arabians – both trained for experienced riders. Each group is accompanied by a genuine gaucho.

Located far south in South America, the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978. Patagonia riders are eased into the five-day riding program with a gentle ascent and tour of Lake Toro before moving on to more advanced rides along the banks of the crystalline Serrano River. The epic conclusion to the riding program is a full day ride into the northern sector of the park for an intimate view of the Grey Glacier at Puntilla Pehoé.

Known as the driest, highest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert is full of surprises: mountains, volcanoes, salt flats, geysers, wetlands, hot springs and an abundance of animal and plant life. It also has a culture that dates back 10,000 years, ruins of which can still be seen today in the daily lives of the local Atacameños.  Experienced horseback riders will be guided to the mountain peaks of the Cordillera de la Sal to descend across the dunes towards the Valle de la Muerte (Valley of Death).  Love this!

Four luxury-lodge nights at explora Patagonia start from $2,780 US, or at explora Atacama from $2,640 (per person, double occ.

explora’s series of nomadic journeys, travesías, lead travelers across borders into Argentina and/or Bolivia on extended expeditions. For more information on these two horseback adventures or their other exotic trips click or e-mail:

explora P.S.  We’d like to emblazon their manifesto on our “Travel Trophy” flag:  Leave home, enjoy the journey, pack light, go far, forget the time, walk, deviate from the route, go outside when it rains, ask questions, try new flavours, don’t stop, stop, talk with people, listen to stories about the place, protect nature.

The really Deep South

Most people believe that Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. However, his two prior years in Patagonia on the H.M.S. Beagle was the experience that most influenced his ground breaking first book, Origin of Species.

In celebration of Darwin’s 200th birthday, the 64-cabin Via Australis (a five-deck ship built in 2005) is offering two unique cruises mirroring Darwin’s original adventure at the end of the earth. Sail through the fabled Straits of Magellan, the Beagle Channel and glorious Glacier Alley to explore Wulaia Bay and Mount Darwin. Peak experience here is a visit much farther south to Cape Horn, the ultimate southernmost tip of Chile. One more inch, and you are off the map.

While sailing through rocky inlets and vast wilderness, well-known Darwin scholars, John Woram and Gerardo Bartolome, who lecture in English and Spanish, offer enriching and educational lectures and easy en-route discussions.

The Patagonian summer sailing season starts mid September and ends mid-April … This fall the Via Australis will cruise for three nights from Ushuaia (Argentina) the southernmost city in the world, to Punta Arenas (southernmost city in Chile) $759 pp and/or four nights back to Ushuaia. $1,198 per person.

With more than 17 years of experience, Cruceros Australis owns and operates 3 special cruise ships that navigate the Southern Patagonia waters where Chile and Argentina get all mixed up in the zillions of fjords and archipelagos. For exact dates and more info, please click, email, or call 877-678-3772.