4 days, 3 nights on a cargo boat
Highlight - We are in agreement that the highlight of our ´cruise´ from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt were the occasional sightings of Magellanic Penguins hunting in the calm waters of the Patagonian fjords. Other notables were the 20+ Minke whales spouting in the early morning light, smooth sailing and sunshine for the first half of the trip, no walking and no tents (post Torres Del Paine).
Upside - Being that it was shoulder season we scored an upgrade to a 4-bunk room rather than squeezing into the 20 bed dorm.
Otherside - With fewer tourists we didn´t make the high season stops in hidden bays to see glaciers, and there was no landing at Puerto Edens, one of the more remote settlements on Earth.
The Yosemite of Chile
Highlight - A rare April day of sunshine in the lush and verdant valley, camped out by a crystal clear river in a field with sheep, surrounded by granite domes.
Upside - As the only tourists in the valley at the time we were fortunate enough to partake in the end of year asado (BBQ) with the valley´s inhabitants.
Otherside - None. The shin-deep muddy tracks and high rainfall are present year round.
A 2,847m perfectly conical Volcano that resembles exactly those that you make with mashed potato in science class
Highlight - The summit! Just hold your breath for the sulphor fumes as you breathe in the panoramic views, including a handful of neighboring volcanoes. Witnessed a crazy phenonmenon at sunrise caused by the mountain casting its shadow on the haze. Also had the brillant experience using ice-axes and crampons to ascend the glacier leading to the summit, and got to sled back down.
Upside - Less people on the mountain. And we had the black sand beach by the lake to ourselves whilst we relaxed the next day.
Otherside - The hot springs we visited were neither particularly hot nor springy. Better described as ´tepid man-mades´.