65 Photos

To Chile, Argentina and Back Again - The Trip of a Lifetime

I’ve spent years pouring through my share of Outside Magazines and National Geographics; watched hours of Discovery Channel Programs and marveled at the beauty of nature; heard the tales of many of my well-travelled friends as they detailed their harrowing and exciting adventures. But with all of this, at 30 years old, I had never been outside of the United States. Yes, you heard that right. While I would have given my left arm to be able to say I was an adventurer, the most I had ventured from home was across the U.S. At least that was the case a year ago, when (for my 30th birthday) my boyfriend Jay surprised me with the trip of a lifetime – halfway around the world in South America. He had heard about Adventure Life through a few friends (and a few reads of Outside Magazine himself) and booked the trip without my knowing. Flash forward to March 2010 when, after months of planning, Jay and I board a flight bound for Santiago with an itinerary set to take us to the end of the world and back – and offer us experiences we wouldn’t soon forget. I had no idea what was in store but was soon to find out…

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Maria, our guide
Author
Jesson Burnam
We finally headed back to our hotel for one last restful night’s sleep, and to prepare for our journey home. Our trip is something Jay and I will not forget for a long time to come. The natural …
At Concha Y Torro
Author
Jesson Burnam
We awoke the next morning at dawn to board a bus to the 60 meter high Perito Moreno Glacier in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. It took us about an hour to get to the boat that would take us over to …
At Concha Y Torro
Author
Jesson Burnam
We had to get up at dawn to prepare for the final leg of our trip, and leave before the other “eco-campers” got up. As we took the last bumpy ride out of the park, we saw the sun rise …
La Luna
Author
Jesson Burnam
After a solid (and much needed) night of sleep, we headed off to the French Valley – named for the hikers who discovered it - for our last official trek in Patagonia. On our way, we saw a huge …
Our patio at Hotel Bonaparte. We sat out there every night
Author
Jesson Burnam
We headed off to breakfast bright and early to tell our newfound friends the big news and received a round of applause from the whole camp! Then, it was time to get down to business. We had a VERY …
Stunning view from the top
Author
Jesson Burnam
After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast of eggs, cereal and tea, we packed our own bag lunches with all of the Chilean basics (cheese, avocado, tomatoes, salmon) and headed out on our …
And we're still climbing...glad we decided not to walk
Author
Jesson Burnam
We had to take several flights to take us to our next destination of Torres Del Paine – it’s that remote – and flew from Santiago to Puerto Mont, then finally to Punta Arenas. …
It's a LOOONG way up to the top of Cerro San Cristobal
Author
Jesson Burnam
With Jay at the helm, we conquered the Santiago subway system and boarded a bus headed for Valparaiso – a quaint port town and home of the late artist Pablo Neruda. After a daylong excursion in …
Enjoying our very first pisco sour!
Author
Jesson Burnam
The day began bright and early as we met Eugene at nine in the morning, to drive us out of the city for a wine tour at Concha Y Torro (which means – shell and bull). Maria, our guide at the …
Hotel Bonaparte
Author
Jesson Burnam
We set out from Philadelphia, PA and landed on solid ground the following morning (and on my first piece of foreign soil!) at 6 AM Santiago time. The sun had just come up and as we headed off the …

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