Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico
Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
At a Glance
Stunning views of the Paine massif
Expert guides to lead the daily explorations
Indoor pool and four open-air jacuzzis
Lodge has its own stables and horses
Considered one of Chile’s most outstanding hotels
Location is simply stunning, looking out over the blue waters of Lake Pehoé
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Early summer (November) can be lovely, and in late summer and autumn (March) the colors are stunning. But if you’re planning to go riding in the open steppes, midsummer is wonderful. At any time of year, Torres del Paine has its own microclimate: unpredictable. People will often tell you to expect all seasons in a single day.
From mid November to early March Explora operate set packages with fixed entry and departure dates, however the rest of the year has flexible dates for arrival or departure.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico or take a look at our itineraries to Patagonia
The Explora Salto Chico is one of Chile’s finest hotels set in truly spectacular surroundings overlooking Lake Pehoe and the towering granite peaks of the Torres del Paine in southern Patagonia. A luxurious base from which to explore the region.
The cutting-edge Explora Salto Chico is set in a 600,000 acre breathtaking wilderness of glaciers, snow-capped peaks, beautiful lakes and forested valleys. This unique landscape is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
There are 37 luxury guest rooms and seven suites, all with fabulous views over the park. Beech floors, pale wicker furniture and the subtle use of natural and artificial light combine to provide a sense of intimacy with, rather than seclusion from, the elements. The Explora Salto Chico also offers mouth watering local cuisine such as Magellanic lamb, southern king crab and delicious fish and vegetables.
The Explora concept mixes luxury with adventure. A range of excursions are available to suit every ability and include sailing to the magnificent Grey Glacier, horse riding to the Laguna Verde and hiking alongside the towering Cuernos del Paine and the southern shore of Lago Sarmiento with its bizarre lime formations.
The lodge is the only one in the area with its own horse stables bred and trained especially for its guests. At the end of an epic day of adventure, one can relax in one of the four open-air Jacuzzis, all with views of Lago Pehoe and the Macizo del Paine peaks.
Accommodation at Explora Salto Chico comprises six Exploradores Suites measuring 42 sq m, all with views of the Macizo del Paine, 36 Cordillera del Paine Rooms measuring 28 sq m, also with views of Macizo del Paine, seven Salto Chico Rooms measuring 28 sq m, all with views of the waterfall and two Rio Paine Rooms overlooking the river. Each room has a small living area, hydromassage bath and incredibly comfortable beds, designed for a deep, relaxing sleep after a day's exploring.
Children are welcomed at the Explora Salto Chico although there are no specific facilities. Explorations are recommended for children aged 12 years and above.
Facilities at the Explora Salto Chico include a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, two open-air Jacuzzis, massage service, restaurant.
Daily guided treks, horse rides and road excursions are offered to guests staying at the Explora Salto Chico, to explore the beautiful Torres del Paine national park, with its stunning lakes, peaks and glaciers and an abundance of Andean wildlife. Boat trips to the Grey glacier can also be arranged. There are explorations suitable for all different levels of ability and each afternoon the lodge's expert bilingual guides meet with guests to explain the different options on offer for the following day. Longer full day excursions typically include an outdoor picnic lunch.
Camilla Greenwood (Staff)
Extreme weather is common in Torres del Paine, and this can sometimes get in the way of certain activities, but horse-riding is a great cloudy, windy or rainy day activity and will pretty much always run. I did it in the pouring rain and I still enjoyed it. Explora have their own stables and beautifully well-trained, spirited (and fast if you want them to be) horses, for those for are keen riders you can do a full day experience which allows you to gallop to your hearts' delight and then enjoy an indulgent picnic out in the national park! Also if the guides have spotted a puma earlier in the morning they will try their best to retrace their steps and lead you to where they were to give you a chance of seeing one, failing that however you will see plenty of patagonian hares, eagles and condors.
Ali Andino (Staff)
The location within the park is unbeatable and the views from the hotel rooms on a clear day are insane! All the staff was friendly and I really enjoyed the excursion I did to the viewpoint of the massif. The guide was excellent and we got there before the other groups got there which is another advantage of staying so close. You can beat the crowds. I had high expectations for this hotel and they met them! The rooms are comfortable all with a view of the towers, they are not overly spacious (entry level, cordillera rooms) but would be fine with 2 people. I thought the food options were good as well. They also have a store in case you need to buy anything (although it is expensive). The spa is in a seperate building.
Katie Aston (Staff)
I will never forget my first stay at Explora Patagonia, arriving at night and so excited about the prospect of the view the following morning that I kept my curtains open all night. 12 years on and that same mesmerizing and in-you-face sight of the turquoise lake and granite peaks of the granite horns which epitomize the Torres del Paine National Park are just as incredible. Nowhere else has come as close since. With a recent refurbishment the hotel, which was radically designed 20 years ago, still looks up-to-date - interiors mix the wooden curves of a luxury sailing yacht with Nantucket beach chic and its simplicity means it's all about the view. Because Explora Patagonia is one of the few lodges in the Torres del Paine National Park itself the choice of experiences organized in small groups with expert guides is second to none (over 50) with travel time to visit the highlights of the park a minimum. They even have their own horses and own boat to cross Lake Pehoe.
Explora in Patagonia has garnered more fame than any other hotel in Chile, and deservedly so. It's a one-stop shop for an unforgettable experience. Few hotels in the world offer as stunning a view as does explora, perched above the milky, turquoise waters of Lago Peho and facing the dramatic granite amphitheater of the Paine massif. It is terribly expensive, but worth the splurge if you can afford it. Explora's style is comfortable elegance, and its handsome interiors belie the contemporary exterior: softly curving blond-wood walls built entirely from native deciduous beech, a band of picture windows wrapping around the full front of the building, and large windows in each room. The furniture was handcrafted using local wood, and the crisp guest rooms are accented with Spanish checkered linens, handsome slate-tiled bathrooms, and warming racks for drying gear. Explora now has 50 rooms, making it more of a hotel than a cozy mountain inn.
The hotel has begun completing certification with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) body to recognize its many efforts to promote sustainability. All-inclusive prices cover airport transfers, meals, open bar, and excursions, on regular 4-day rotations. Excursions range from easy half-day walks to photo safaris. The set menu is limited to two choices, generally a meat and vegetarian dish, and it must be said that the food quality has at times been uneven -- but never bad, and the food is remarkably fresh given the extreme distances from any decent market. Americans make up a full 60% of the guests, who typically indulge in the open bar, make new friends, and leave thrilled with their visit. Guests will want to consider explora's Viajes, add-on journeys to Chaltn and the Fitz Roy National Park and Calafate, both in Argentina.
Enjoy this interesting half day walk along the north perimeter of the park before returning to Explora Patagonia for a barbecue.
Glacier Del Valle Del Frances Walk
A great full day walk around one of the park's most stunning areas: Valle del Frances and the Cordillera del Paine departing the hotel by boat or foot with lunch.
Glacier Grey Walk
A full day hike around the Glacier Grey. See some beautiful icebergs, rivers, gorges and forests, a great opportunity for keen photographers.
Lago Grey Peninsula Walk
Explore Lago Grey Peninsula on foot with a half day hike. See the beautiful Glacier Grey and icebergs along the beach.
Laguna Azul Walk with BBQ
A full day hike north of Patagonia with a rewarding barbecue of traditional lamb and vegetables for lunch with fantastic panoramic views.
Mirador Condor Walk
This half day walk suitable for all levels gives you a great feel of Patagonia. Depart Explora Patagonia by foot and climb the Mirador de los Condores, descending through the park toward Lago Pehoe.
Mirador Del Toro Walk
With the choice to begin this half day hike from the hotel by foot or car, explore the surrounding area of Mirador Del Toro.
Mirador Donoso Horse Ride
Enjoy a full day horse ride with a picnic lunch. Ride through flower filled meadows, down narrow trails through the forest and see some stunning lakes in the area.
Refugio Pehoe Horseride
Refugio Pehoe Horseback Ride around Patagonia. A full day horse ride with a picnic lunch. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Macizo del Paine and the Lago Grey with the exceptional icebergs.
The Quincho Horseback Ride
A half day afternoon horse ride after a barbecue. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Sierra Baguales, Torres del Paine and Rio de las Chinas. Ride through the Antarctic and deciduous beech forests.
Chile in Style
Atacama, Sanitago, Torres del Paine and Winelands
from $9800 pp 12 nights
- An outdoors enthusiast's paradise, with excellent hiking and horse riding available throughout
- Contrast the arid Atacama desert with the lakes and mountains of the Torres del Paine
- Mix in some time soaking up the culture and colonial architecture in Santiago and the verdant landscapes of the wine country
Buenos Aires, El Calafate, Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine & Santiago
from $9800 pp 14 nights
- Combine outdoor adventures in Patagonia with the vibrant and cosmopolitan cities of Buenos Aires and Santiago
- Explore the spectacular landscapes of Patagonia by cruise and on land - sailing up from Ushuaia and staying just outside Torres del Paine National Park
- Enjoy fine wines and dining in Buenos Aires & Santiago, both of which enjoy a fantastic gastronomic scene
Highlights of Patagonia
Buenos Aires, El Calafate, Torres del Paine & Santiago
from $7600 pp 10 nights
- Experience the absolute highlights of Patagonia, trekking on the surface of the vast Perito Moreno glacier and exploring Torres del Paine National Park
- Watch a world-class tango show at Esquina Carlos Gardel in Buenos Aires
- Stay in accommodation with the most privileged locations throughout
Location & directions
Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico is located right at the heart of the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in central Patagonia. The varied and untouched landscapes of this area led UNESCO to declare it a biosphere reserve. Located 113 kilometers to the north of Puerto Natales, between the Andes and the plateau.
How to get there
4-hour domestic flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas and 5-hour road transfer. It is also possible to transfer to Torres del Paine by road from El Calafate in Argentina, which is approx 5-hours depending on the border crossing.