Tag: Navimag

Chile Wrap-Up

Oh Chile, where do we begin? You were an expensive place to hang out but you were totally worth it. We’ll be back again someday, that we do know. Here is a quick wrap-up of the loving, loathing and eating that went on in Chile (in no particular order).


  1. Ferry Ride at Torres del Paine

    Friends far away – Getting to hang with Drew and Francisco in Puerto Natales was definitely the highlight of this great land. We knew we were headed all the way down to see them before we even left the US, and there are not many places we can say that about in regards to our trip planning.

  2. Torres del Paine ferry ride – The day we had was unfair to the many before us who have endured rain, snow and wind in this park without seeing a damn thing. The views from the boat and the water color we traveled through were just unreal.
  3. Navimag Party Night – The night started with the adventurous backpackers posing for pictures in just their bathing suits in front of the glacier, and ended with Sarah salsa dancing with a local Chilean named Mauricio. In between, we bonded with our British roommates, met some Dartmouth lacrosse players and were entertained by a Dutch airline pilot that is surely too young to fly passenger planes.
  4. First view of Cochamo Valley – Arriving by horseback to a wide open clearing and being surrounded by gigantic granite walls that climbers dream about was indeed memorable.
  5. Vicente Perez Rosales National Park

    Ted’s birthday celebration – A great seafood dinner, and some drinks with new friends.

  6. Staying at Francisco’s house – This man has good taste. His house is great, his view is from a postcard, his puppy is adorable and he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. We made ourselves at home.
  7. Walking along the shore of Vicente Perez Rosales National Park with our shoes off and feet in the water – Not your typical beach but a gorgeous shoreline along a fjord nonetheless.
  8. Rafting – Thanks to Gerardo and Adventures Within Reach, Ted and I got to kick off Ted’s birthday was a ½ day white-water rafting trip. We had a raft to ourselves (with a guide, of course) and had a hilariously wet time.
  9. Meeting inspiring people – Kurt and Armin have a pretty awesome thing going at Campo Aventura. A tourist operation in a foreign country may not be for everyone, but the point is that they had BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) and they went for it.
  10. Endless daylight – Okay, it doesn’t stay light all night like it does in Alaska and Northern Scandinavia but it stays light until after 10pm and brightens up again by 5am. We kept getting messed up with the time because the lighting outside did not reflect the time it said on our watches.


  1. Food on the Navimag – We have been spoiled with some amazing food on our trip but the food on the Navimag left something to be desired. Think cafeteria food.
  2. Rough Seas on the Navimag

    Big Wave night on the Navimag – I hate to be picking on the Navimag as we did thoroughly enjoy ourselves, however, the rolling waves on our second night at sea were intense and many people were miserable. We weren’t miserable, per se, but it wasn’t fun.

  3. First dorm bed experience – I thought being 30 and being married would somehow prevent us from sharing a dorm room on our travels however, I was wrong. The cost of stuff in Chile is not cheap and we opted for a dorm room at one of our hostels to save a little money (it would not be the last).
  4. Constant wind and cold – Particularly in the way southern part of Chile. We were there on the front end of their summer but you wouldn’t know it. I was walking around with my down jacket and my rain coat on top of it (as a wind-breaker) at all times.
  5. An unplanned long walk – We arrived in Chile by bus and having no Chilean pesos handy, we had to schlep our bags and our stuff for several miles from the highway to our hostel. At least Ted has an amazing sense of direction.


  1. Thanksgiving, Chilean-style

    Thanksgiving – We didn’t have turkey, but we did roast a bird (chicken). Drew whipped up an amazing gravy and some yams. We topped it off with mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls. Mmmm.

  2. Pisco Sours – Pisco Sours are a delicious cocktail served down here that we quite love. Peru thinks they invented Pisco Sours and Chile thinks they did. After drinking many in both countries, we’ve got to say that Chile has got our vote hands down.
  3. Amazing seafood dinner with Gerardo – Gerardo is the local Chilean that we met with several times and who owns the rafting company in town. We let him pick the restaurant and do the ordering and he hit the ball out of the park.
  4. Chino workin the dough

    Francisco’s Meal – Francisco was a busy man when we were down visiting him in Puerto Natales, but on one of the nights we were all around, he spoiled us with some delicious chile, fresh homemade bread and some of the best guacamole I’ve ever tasted.

  5. Homemade bread in Cochamo Valley – After our 5+ hour horseback ride into the Cochamo Valley, we were welcomed with fresh homemade bread for a snack. It was amazing. Our hostess proceeded to make more batches of fresh bread which we continued to eat for dinner and again for breakfast the next morning.

To see more of the great time we had here, check out our Best of Chile photos.

A Backpacker’s Cruise Ship

Except it’s not a cruise and it’s not just for backpackers. The Navimag Ferry is a converted cargo ship that takes passengers (and cargo) from Puerto Montt, Chile (in the Lake District) all the way down to “Extremo Sur” – Puerto Natales, Chile. The journey takes 3 days and 3 nights and is quite a unique way to travel the long distance between the two places – with the alternative being a 36+ hour bus ride. Rooms range from ‘dorm’ beds in a public hallway to private rooms with private bathrooms. However, the Navimag Ferry is far from economical so the private rooms are not an option for most.

The Navimag Ferry

Ted and I shared a window-less four bed bunk room with a lovely couple from the U.K. Our only criteria was that our roommates were normal and trustworthy and preferably non-snorers. We lucked out on all accounts.

Oli and Jo, our roomies

The boat travels all day and all night with only one stop on the whole trip. During the day there would be various presentations about the flora and fauna of Patagonia but mostly you entertained yourself by reading, talking with people or taking in the views from the outdoor decks.

Though we had good weather every day, we also had rain every day and lots of wind. One minute it would be lovely (though cold!) and everyone would be outside and the next you knew, it was a torrential down pour. But regardless, the views from the ship as you wove in and out of the islands, channels, and fjords heading south was pretty unbeatable.

Cruisin the Fjords

Cruisin the Fjords

Passing the time onboard

There was one night on the boat that we were not protected from any nearby land and we were exposed to the Pacific Ocean and its waves. We were all advised to take sea sickness medication and avoid drinking alcohol that night. Neither Ted nor I get seasick normally, but we thought we’d take the pills on this occasion – and I’m glad we did. The giant boat was dipping and diving in the 6m waves. You could barely walk straight without holding onto anything and in fact, Ted and I were eating dinner and through no fault of our own, the whole table with our trays of food (and us) just tipped over from one of the swells! It was quite hilarious though slightly embarrassing at the same time. We looked around, and other tables lost trays of food, but we were the only ones that managed to tip all the way over!

Rough Seas!

One of our favorite sights from the boat was a little detour we did to see a gigantic glacier coming into the sea. It’s called the Perito XI Glacier and it measures 6 km across and 80 meters tall. You can only access it by boat and it was breath-taking.

Perito XI Glacier

Another great thing about the ship was that passengers were allowed to visit the captain’s bridge which is the ship’s control room. It was a great view and very interesting to be in there when they were steering through narrow passages.

The Bridge

The last night on the boat is one big party. We met and talked with more people on the last night than we had on the rest of the voyage. We continued to run into our new friends for the next week around Puerto Natales as we all disembarked into the small town together.

Overall, the ferry was quite an experience and we’re happy we did it. It didn’t do great things for our budget but we were learning that Chile and Argentina were gonna to make that difficult for us all around.

Copyright © 1996-2010 Oh, the Places We'll Go. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress