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Alerce Mountain Lodge, Alerce Andino National Park

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Chile, Central + South America: Alerce Mountain Lodge
Carretera Austral, Km 36
Alerce Andino National Park
Tel: 56 65 286969's insider take:

Many Patagonian lodges fall within the hard-to-get-to-but-utterly-worth-it category, including this one, set on the border of a national park named for the 4,000-year-old redwoodlike alerce trees. But while its location may qualify as the Unabomber's ultimate fantasy, it's actually (relatively) easy to access. It's 90 minutes by off-road vehicle from Puerto Montt, the unofficial gateway to Patagonia—so if you only have a few days in the area (shame on you!), this is the place. It's still not easy: The roads are bumpy and the final stretch is on a raft across a small lake. The main structure, with six rooms, is constructed from the same 240-foot alerces you'll see outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, and public areas are warmed by a converted steam-train furnace. Three outlying cabins are connected by a network of catwalks—guests stutter-step to the main house for meals. You'll need at least two nights to make it worthwhile, but your days will be spent hiking past waterfalls to peaks carpeted with coigüe and mañío trees, or driving down to a nearby rodeo for a rowdy get-together with Chile's huaso cowboys (October–April). The chef produces inventive local fare; the guides are knowledgeable and entertaining; and sore muscles can be rejuvenated in the sauna and hot tub.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.