For our third residency in Santiago, we were lucky that it straddled our new year’s holiday giving us an extended weekend off work and the opportunity to travel around Chile before classes started. For a trio of us that meant one place…our destination: Patagonia. Also known as the end of the world.
I never could have imagined taking a trip there—it always seemed out of reach and to require a lot of time. However, together with my classmate Karthik and my fiancé Sohil, who is also in the class, we made the long, thrilling journey to spend a few days there. It was quite the treat!
Flying from Los Angeles, the total travel time to the Torres del Paine National Park was almost 24 hours. We flew 16 hours by plane (Los Angeles, to Lima, to Santiago, and to Punta Arenas, with a stop in Puerto Montt). Then we had an additional 5 to 6 hours by car before passing the last town, Puerto Natales, which is an hour away from the national park, our hotel, and the last location for gasoline at the edge of the world.
If I ever get a chance to go back to Patagonia, I’d definitely extend my stay to visit attractions like the Milodon caves, hike the W trail (some classmates did this post residency) and experience more of the delicious food in Puerto Natales. This trip was a good reminder that there is a lot of beauty in this world and it’s good to take time to disconnect to enjoy it. It was also a great way to unwind before classes and the perfect atmosphere for getting pre-work done! I am grateful for the opportunity to tack on an once-in-a-lifetime trip onto our class residency and hope to have more opportunities with the upcoming international residencies!
Take a look at some of our pictures in the gallery below and click on one to see the full-size image—it was so serene that I feel like I photo shopped myself into them!
The road to Torres del Paine is called Ruta del Fin del Mundo—literally, the road to the end of the world with nothing in sight.
Once we arrived, the next day we took a tour to see the Glacier Grey in Patagonia—look at that blue!
Here’s another picture of Glacier Grey in Patagonia—my fiancé, Sohil (right), Karthik (middle), and our guide! She was extremely friendly—a common characteristic with all Chileans we encountered.
The next day we decided to go rogue and tour the park on our own. How many MBAs does it take to figure out your way around the edge of the world?
We made several stops around the park. Here’s one of the many—so picturesque!
We had several opportunities to do mini hikes where beautiful waterfalls could be found pretty much everywhere.
We encountered a number of animals on our drive…
…Llamas were in abundance and always available to pose.
We ran into the people from this truck decorated in Simpsons graffiti—the family was on a 5-month South American sojourn and had three weeks left when we met them here in the park. What a life!
My fiancé bought a new DSLR camera for this trip…poor Karthik had to deal with my “Papa…papa…paparazzi”
We made sure our Duke Blue Devils didn’t miss out!
Once we drove around the park, we came and relaxed at our hotel…Karthik took full advantage.
I don’t blame him…check out the view!
Our hotel was pretty isolated but one of the closest to the park entrance. Here we are, the tres amigos, overlooking our hotel grounds and national park.
On the day we drove back, we stopped over this cute town called Puerto Natales where you can find several artisan shops! We definitely helped the economy with our purchases there!
And last but certainly not least, as we approached the Punta Arenas airport, we took an hour detour to visit some penguins, yes PENGUINS and they did the waddle 🙂
We saw more animals, too—tons of sheep were on the drive back—so healthy and fluffy.
I'm from L.A., attended UC Irvine and work in entertainment and digital media. I love food and traveling, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with Fuqua's diverse student body and global education while a part of the CCMBA program!