Patagonia: Off the Grid But on the Radar

When I told people I was going to Patagonia, first reactions were usually a mix of jealousy and confusion. Many people know the wilderness of Patagonia through the eponymous clothing company, but couldn’t find it on a map.

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The mystique of Patagonia is perhaps its greatest allure. Straddling the Argentinian-Chilean border, many of the region’s more popular areas are an hours-long drive from the closest commercial airport. Traveling from the United States takes the better part of 24 hours, and cellular service is spotty at best. The result is a true off-the-grid experience, with nothing but beautiful nature as far as the eye can see.

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Off-the-grid doesn’t have to mean without amenities, though. My three-night stay at Tierra Patagonia was marked by incredible lake and mountain views from my bedroom, delicious food and local wines, and excursions throughout Torres del Paine National Park. That’s not to mention the lodge’s stunning architecture, a beautiful mix of wood and glass that seamlessly blends with the landscape.

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For those who want to be inside the park, Explora Patagonia fits the bill. Perched above the Salto Chico waterfall and with direct views of the monstrous Paine Massif, the vistas are almost unbelievable.

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Camp_9Image Credit: Patagonia Camp

For those looking to rough it a bit more, the domes, pods, cubes, and yurts at Patagonia Camp and EcoCamp Patagonia are ideal choices. Nestled amongst stands of trees, there’s no shortage of the requisite conveniences, but rather a closer connection with the surrounding nature.

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Make sure to allow enough time to experience some of everything. You’ve traveled this far, so being in nature should probably be the first priority. However, allow enough time for a morning or afternoon off, perhaps the perfect time to reflect, have a spa treatment, or recharge after long days outdoors.

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No matter how you spend your time in Patagonia, where you stay, or how you arrive, the natural beauty is sure to sweep you off your feet.

The Nature is The Luxury: Glamping in Dominica

Nestled between Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica, called the Nature Island, is a place where you might just feel like you’re the first to explore this gem. Dominica is much less traveled than its neighboring islands in the Caribbean, and the eastern side of the island even more so.

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If you’re looking for accommodation with easy to access to nearby adventures, yet feels far away from it all, Citrus Creek Plantation in the small town of La Plaine is a great option. Each of their eight cottages are named after the earth, but the one that drew me to explore this spot one afternoon in the first place was the Glamping Safari Canvas Cottage called AMBAZAMAN, amba meaning below, and zaman meaning the almond tree. As you step inside under the canvas tent, you’ll notice you’re walking on wooden floors that peek straight through to the bare earth below.

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“Our concept of luxury is different. The nature is the luxury for me,” says owner Herve as we walked outback of the canvas tent to check out the outdoor shower wrapped in Bamboo. “Cottages are simple. Beds are good.” He should know. Herve and his wife actually lived in it for a whole year, and I can absolutely see where he is coming from. There’s nothing to distract from taking your eyes off the luxury of the nature surrounding you as you step outside to lounge in the hammock with your morning coffee or listen to the sounds of the nearby flowing river literally at your feet as the hot water flows through your fingers in the outdoor shower built into the side of a tree. The Ambazaman sleeps up to four people and the perfect place to spend an afternoon grilling as there is a little BBQ bit in the yard.

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I also visited two other cottages perched up high above the others. The second floor of Avocado has lush skyline views and Banyan boasts the postcard worthy scenes out to the sea with bright green everywhere you gaze. Each cottage is equipped with a kitchen if you desire to cook in with a simple French style breakfast of toast, jam and chocolate provided. If you’d like others they’ll gladly accommodate you.

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For those wanting to laze around, they have a restaurant on property and what some expats describe as the best on Dominica. Riverside Café has a small French creole menu using as many local ingredients, some from their own garden.

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For those interested in creating a souvenir to take home, visit Patricia, a talented French expat who makes Mosaic art and take a class with her. She lives in the loveliest little rustic chic home just on the right as you enter the property. Ring the little bell and Patricia, a lovely petite French woman will come out to greet you.

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When you’re ready to explore the surrounding areas, venture just down the road from to Bout Sable Bay for a photography session, lazy beach afternoon, or a swim depending on the days tide.

You can also get a guide to take you on nearby hikes. One of my favorite on this side of Dominica is the Wavine Cirque. ‘Not for the faint of heart’, you might want to channel your inner Indiana Jones as you use ropes and roots to climb your way to the bottom. The view is all worth it. Other guided day trips are great like Glasse Point and Victoria Falls.

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Many of the guests who stay at Citrus Creek Plantation come from France and Germany. Herve tells me, ‘They have found what they’re looking for,’ as has many of them return year after year. After spending the day at Citrus Creek Plantation, I would say I’d agree that the simplicity is bliss here.

Kristen Kellogg

Exploring rugged to refined, digital storyteller and film producer Kristen Kellogg has a unique eye and flair for capturing the essence of a brand or destination that is immediately recognizable in the work she crafts through her Wanderlust Website + Creative Agency: Border Free Travels. Kristen’s work has been featured in Yahoo Travel, AFAR, and Microsoft among others. A Nantucket resident, when Kristen isn’t on the road, she is literally running around exploring her own backyard. Kristen is from Southern Illinois. Follow her daily adventures on Instagram here.

Top Romantic Destinations For Valentine’s Day

Every year on the 14th February we celebrate Valentine’s Day, the day of romance and love. It is the day to spoil our loved ones and enjoy some quality time together. If you’re looking for the perfect getaway for you and your partner this Valentine’s, here are some of the most romantic glamping spots around the globe.

St. Lucia
Sunny St. Lucia with its magical mountains, pristine beaches and divine sunsets is the ideal destination for an intimate Valentines getaway. The dense rainforests, wild orchids and fishing villages of the Caribbean Island appeal to all senses.

Ladera St Lucia
The Caribbean glamping villas at Ladera are located in exotic surroundings and offer private pools, luxurious amnesties and spectacular views.

Western Cape, South Africa
Western Cape is a unique destination and is said to be the most beautiful of the South African provinces. The scenic mountains reserves, stunning beaches and picturesque coastal towns are the perfect setting for a romantic holiday. The area offers plenty of relaxing activities like wildlife watching, scenic drives and wine tasting.

Zwartberg View Mountain Retreat Western Cape
Zwartberg View Mountain Retreat is located in a beautiful nature reserve offering guests breath-taking views of the Zwartberg Mountains and wildlife watching from the porch of the chalets.

Hawaii
Hawaii – the birthplace of surf with big waves, diverse landscape and beaches as colourful as a rainbow is the perfect place for a relaxing Valentine’s getaway.

Bali Cottage-Hawaii
The Bali House and Cottages are located in a romantic oceanfront setting at Kehena Beach, a long, black sand beach in the Big Island’s Puna district. Enjoy the exotic surroundings and choose from one of the many activities on offer, such as snorkelling, surfing or fishing to name just a few.

Granite Belt, Australia
Granite Belt, Queensland is a well-known premium food and wine destination in Australia. The area has a large choice of award-wining wineries, fruit orchards and boutique breweries, which makes it a foodie heaven and ideal for indoor and outdoor dining for two.

Alure Stanthorpe
Alure Boutique Villas in Stonthorpe offers luxury accommodation for your Valentine’s couples retreat in the coolest town in Queensland. This glamping destination is exclusive for couples to make sure you can enjoy your peace and quiet in the midst of this stunning wine region.

Image credits go to each property listed.

Maria Berz

A 26-year-old travel addict with an appetite for life, passion for international music and love for global cuisine. She has just relocated to her home country Germany, after spending six years in the beautiful North of England. Maria is the founder of Global Brunch, a freelance digital expert, writer, hobby photographer and radio host.