Glaciers, Shipwrecks, and Penguins: What an Incentive Trip to Patagonia Looks Like
Clients planning incentive trips are constantly looking for the next unique destination; I’m often asked for input on places such as Iceland, Croatia, and Cuba. So when I was asked to participate on an advisory council visit to Patagonia, I jumped at the opportunity.
We flew three hours south from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Ushuaia is a surprisingly fresh destination offering travelers a brag-worthy passport stamp: “the end of the world.” Located at the southern tip of Argentina, Ushuaia is the gateway to Antarctica and offers up many charming and exciting experiences.
The group stayed at the Arakur Hotel and Resort, a member of Leading Hotels of the World. The venue sits atop a hill 250 meters above sea level on a private nature reserve, overlooking the city and harbor. Each of the 117 rooms and suites are decorated using indigenous Argentine materials, such as copper, marble, stone, woods, and leather. The relaxing atmosphere is augmented with state-of-the-art comfort technology including geothermal air conditioning, humidity control, and acoustic insulation systems.
The resort owner himself, proudly displaying his property, took us on hike to a nearby summit, pointing out trails that run through Reserva Natural Cerro Alarkén. We enjoyed stunning views of the city, valleys, glaciers, the Beagle Channel, Mounts Cortes, Olivia and Cinco Hermanos.
One day was dedicated to sight-seeing and being immersed in nature. We departed the port of Ushuaia and sailed through a landscape of sea and mountains, across the Beagle Channel, and past aptly-named Seal Island. We passed the shipwrecked Monte Cervantes and the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, some of the most photogenic sites in the channel. The highlight of the day was our visit to Penguin Island. We jetted to shore from our larger catamaran by zodiac and walked among the colonies of Magellenic and Gentoo penguins.
An ideal itinerary for an incentive trip to Patagonia would include two nights in Ushuaia and three nights in Buenos Aires. For those wishing to add more adventure, a stopover in El Calafate to visit one of Patagonia’s most spectacular sites, Glaciar Perito Moreno, would enhance the experience. Glaciar Perito Moreno is one of only two glaciers that appears to be advancing while others worldwide are in retreat.
Ushuaia’s infrastructure offers enough sights and dining options to entertain even the most well-traveled incentive winners, and I would highly recommend it for your group. It was an honor to attend this council visit with the Platinum DMC Advisory Council!