After my second season at Tierra Patagonia, I have had the unique opportunity to guide a lot of interesting people from many different countries and cultures. The best part of my job is to be able to show visitors my country and give them an understanding of our culture and the way of life in Patagonia.
Roberto Ignacio Ruiz Paredes was born and raised in Punta Arenas, Chile. After studying tourism administration, he spent some time as a flight attendant and then started working as a tour guide in Antarctica. During three and a half seasons of guiding on the white continent, he realized that his passion was showing people his homeland, and so trained to become a profesional guide in Patagonia. He has worked in the Torres del Paine National Park area for nearly eight years.
The best time to visit my lodge is... spring, around November. It is quieter, so you have a chance to see amazing landscapes and incredible wildlife.
It feels like you have the park almost to yourself.
My lodge’s best quality is... that it is in the middle of nowhere. It is camouflaged in the environment. The wood used is made of lenga tree and so it fits in perfectly with the environment. Plus, it is outside of the park which makes it quieter, and easier to enjoy the environment that we work so hard to take care of.
The ultimate authentic souvenirs... is a hat worn by local gauchos. The lodge's shop has a great selection.
My lodge really focuses on the local community by... employing local people, giving them the opportunity to get a good job and to share their cultures with the lodge guests. I really believe this is an awesome place to work.
The dish that my lodge makes the best is... barbecued Patagonian lamb, and the Calafate sour is its signature drink.
My favorite local custom is... horseback riding. I love sharing this experience with guests, because you see their faces all smiling and lit up. For some, it’s their first time on a horse, and I love watching them during this experience. To be up on a mountain, on a horse, is a fantastic way to see the vistas.
My favorite “lodge secret” is... the library. It’s so quiet, you can dive into our rich book collection or you could even take a nap!
The most beautiful/peaceful place at the lodge has to be... the spa. Don't forget to take a swim with a view of the Paine Massif.
If you want to get up close and personal with local wildlife... it’s easiest in the early morning to see birds and maybe even pumas. Excursions between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. give you the best opportunity to see the wildlife in the park. Try the Blue Lagoon for your best shot, but in the end, it’s all about luck.
If you’re up for an adventure/physical challenge... hike to the base of the towers. It’s very unique to this area, and is a full-day hike. But the views and the check off your bucket list are absolutely worth it!
To experience the lodge’s cultural side... don’t miss a barbecue with a local estancia (ranch) owner. You have different cultures, eating the same meat, all experiencing the same traditional experience from here in Patagonia. You get to meet the local gauchos and the owner of the estancia. It’s a great cultural moment.
If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), don’t miss... horseback riding. It’s fun for the whole family.
Watch out for... the weather. You need to prepare for four seasons in one day. The weather can change so quickly.
The world should visit my lodge... because to experience Patagonia's beauty authentically, to gain a different understanding of its wildlife, its fauna and its landscapes, Tierra Patagonia is the perfect place to be. The lodge is perfectly in harmony with the environment and the ethos of Patagonia.
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