El Chalten or Torres del Paine? – Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 2nd, 2017

EL CHALTEN OR TORRES DEL PAINE

Patagonia is synonymous with adventure, mountaineering and wallpaper-like landscapes. If you love trekking, this should be high up on your bucket list of places to visit.

We love our trekking adventures, having spent ample time discovering the Himalayas during our Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, trekking to the Rinjani volcano crater, the 4 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and trekking to Ella Rock in Sri Lanka.

Patagonia has two trekking highlights to add to our list: Torres del Paine in Chile and El Chaltén in Argentina. Both offer stunning vistas, images to decorate your Instagram gallery and satisfying trekking adventures you’ll never forget. If however your time is limited, we compare the two to give you an idea of which is best to choose.

Trekking in Torres del Paine: Chile

Torres del Paine is one of the highlights of anyone’s Patagonia itinerary. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was voted one of the 8 Wonders of the World by VirtualTourist.com in 2013 beating off 300 entries from 50 countries.

The trails
The most popular trail is the famous W Circuit, so named because the trail on the map is in the shape of a W. This is normally done in 5-7 days. The climax is reaching the base of the famous Paine towers.

If you don’t like camping, you can instead stay in a nearby hotel and still visit the highlights of the W Circuit as part of day trips. Popular day trip treks include Glacier Gray, the French Valley (Valle del Frances), Mirador Los Cuernos, Mirador Condor, trails around the picturesque Pehoe Lake and the big one, the Base Torres trek.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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Ten Facts About Chile

Author: , August 25th, 2017

Torres del Paine Chile - Nomadic Boys

There are so many unique things about Chile, a country with one of the longest coastlines in the world, stretching 4,620 km (2,647 miles) from the Northern border with Peru right to the very tip of the Americas.

This is our 10 interesting facts about Chile as we travelled from the dry San Pedro desert in the North all the way to Torres del Paine in the breezy snowy Patagonian south.

#1 THE CHILEAN ACCENT: a new way of speaking Spanish!

Just when you thought you’d mastered the Spanish language, you arrive in Santiago totally confused, wondering what on earth anyone is saying to you…

Meet: the Chilean accent! It’s like nothing else you’ve encountered before and by far the most unique across Latin America. It’s fast, with a strong almost sing-song-like sound, with specific letters and phrases cut off from words and new ones thrown in for good measure.

For example, in Chilean Spanish, the letter s is usually avoided, so in a shop, “200 pesos” (dos cientos pesos), becomes do ciento peso. The word for thank you, gracias sounds like gracia and mas o menos (more or less) is pronounced ma o meno.

Chileans also take off the d from words ending with ado, so words like supermercado become supermercao and the Spanish word for fish, pescado sounds like pecao as both the s and the d are dropped. And for good measure, random words like po are randomly thrown in every other sentence, even after a simple yes or no: si po or no po.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

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Five Gay Friendly Chile Hotels – Nomadic Boys

Author: , August 16th, 2017

Gay Friendly Chile Hotels

Chile is one of the most developed countries in South America with a large gay scene in the capital city of Santiago. We travelled from the Northern tip of this long thin country in the San Pedro desert all the way to Torres del Paine in the South. These are our 5 favourite Gay Friendly Chile Hotels that we tried along the way, which we loved and felt completely welcomed as a gay couple.

#1 Alto Atacama: San Pedro de Atacama

Alto Atacama is the gay friendly place you need to base yourself in San Pedro. As well as being extremely welcoming to LGBT travellers, it’s a luxurious, exclusive resort with the backdrop of the Salt Mountain Range. It offers full board packages with guided tours tailored to each guest. It’s the best way to discover the landscapes around San Pedro, which rank as some our favourite computer screen backgrounds.

Meals at Alto Atacama are delicious and unique, with gems like ostrich carpaccio with raspberries. They also make delicious Pisco Sours, which is even more heavenly when enjoyed at one of their outdoor plunge pools. To find out more, read our about our stay at this gay friendly hotel in San Pedro.

All inclusive packages at Alto Atacama start from $650/£520 per person per night. You can check availability and read more about Alto Atacama on Tripadvisor.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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Gay Patagonia: Top Ten Highlights – Nomadic Boys

Author: , August 3rd, 2017

Gay Patagonia

Planning a trip to gay Patagonia is overwhelming. It’s a massive chunk of land: some 1.043 million km² to be exact. This sparsely populated region lies across Argentina and Chile at the southern end of South America, with a mix of Andes mountain landscapes, desert, grasslands and ocean. We spent a month travelling across Chubut, Santa Cruz in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile. To help inspire your trip, we’ve put together our 10 favourite experiences and things to do in Patagonia.

Stay in a yurt in Torres del Paine

Since our travels in the Gobi desert in Mongolia where we got to stay with nomadic families in their yurts, we really wanted to do this again, but in a luxurious way. Staying in a yurt at the Chile Patagonia Camp is a unique and memorable way to experience the Torres del Paine National Park. Located near the entrance of the Torres del Paine National Park by the shores of Lake Toro, the camp is surrounded by spectacular landscapes. The yurts are absolutely lush. They have a private bathroom, comfy king sized beds and even central heating. You can read more about our yurt glamping experience in our 5 gay friendly hotels to stay in Chile.

Have a conversation with a penguin

Punta Tombo on the coast of the Chubut province in Argentina is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in Latin America. They are around half a meter tall and absolutely adorable! Around 1 million Magellanic penguins gather in Punta Tombo between mid September and mid April where they come to nest, mate, breed and molt (shed their feathers). Interestingly, between April-September they migrate to the warmer climates in South Brazil, where they stay in the water the entire time, even when sleeping. When you meet them, they study you in a way where they turn their head from side to side. This is because their eyes are located on the sides of their face so they need to do this to maximise their field of vision.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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Gay Patagonia Hotels – Nomadic Boys

Author: , July 22nd, 2017

Gay Patagonia Hotels

Gay Patagonia is the place to come if you love adventure and are passionate about wildlife.

We spent 1 month travelling across Patagonia on both the Argentinian and Chilean side in Esquel, Puerto Madryn, El Calafate, El Chalten and Torres del Paine. Along the way, we stayed in some pretty unique places, which most importantly of all, welcomed us as a gay couple.

This is our top 8 favourite gay Patagonia hotels, which we tried, loved and recommend to all LGBT travellers.

#1 Dazzler Hotel in Puerto Madryn (Argentina)

We are one of the many who’ve been dazzled by the Dazzler. It’s a classy and modern hotel located by Las Ramblas, the fun sea front promenade of Puerto Madryn, which is always buzzing with life. When you see the eye candy waiting for you at reception, you appreciate just how gay friendly this place is!

It’s worth spending a couple dollars extra to get the ocean facing rooms so you can enjoy some killer sunrise views. Dazzler is also minutes walking distance from some of the best restaurants in Puerto Madryn, such as Nautico Bistro de Mar and En Mis Fuegos. For more information, check out our gay guide to Puerto Madryn.

Rooms at the Dazzler Hotel start from $65/£52 a night. You can check availability and read more about it on Tripadvisor.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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Ten Facts About Gay Patagonia – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , July 20th, 2017

Gay Patagonia

Patagonia! That massive chunk of land on the tip of the American continent, split between Chile and Argentina. This is the place for adventure travellers, home to some of the most incredible landscapes we’ve seen, exciting treks as well as a wide variety of wildlife. After a month travelling across this vast region, here are our 10 interesting facts about gay Patagonia we learnt on this stunning journey.

#1 Patagonia means ‘Land of the Big Feet’

The story goes that when Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, first set foot here in 1520, he found large footprints of the natives. Later when he met them, he alleged they were almost twice the size of normal human size, measuring around 4 metres (13ft)! Future explorers also wrote about meeting Patagonian giants, but later criticised for being exaggerations. Fantasy or not, the myth of the giant natives inspired the name for the area, which has been used ever since.

#2 It has the second longest living species on Earth

At 2,600 years old, the Alerces Tree is an interesting fact about Patagonia because it is the second longest living species on our planet. The oldest is the Methuselah (White Mountains in California, USA), which is almost 5,000 yrs old. This famous tree is located in the UNESCO listed Alerces National Park on the Western side of Chubut, Argentina Patagonia, near the Chilean border. The National Park was created in 1937 to protect this family of ancient trees. Can you believe this tree is older than Jesus Christ?

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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Gay Santiago: The Best Bars, Clubs and Hotels – Nomadic Boys

Author: , July 5th, 2017

Gay Santiago

Chile is well known as being one of the most economically developed countries in Latin America, but its society is still very conservative.

However, gay Santiago, the capital city has a huge gay scene, mainly around the Bellavista neighbourhood, with many gay bars, clubs and parties happening almost every day of the week.

After spending several months in Santiago and using it as a home base, it became one of our favourite places in South America. From our experience in Chile’s big capital city, we’ve put together this gay guide to Santiago, featuring our favourite gay bars, clubs, hotels and things to do in the city.

Gay Santiago Bars

Bombero Nuñez is the street in the Bellavista neighbourhood where you’ll find the majority of the gay bars and clubs of Santiago. Although most gay bars don’t get busy until after 10/11pm, there are a few gay restobars you can visit if you want to go somewhere beforehand.

Station Bar: Station restobar is one of the largest gay hangouts in Santiago, which gets busy after 6pm. We love coming here for early evening cocktails. Due to the licensing laws, you’re required to order food with your drinks, so it maybe worth having your dinner here as well. Station is open everyday except Sundays and is located at Antonia Lopez de Bello 064 in Bella Vista.

Bar 105: popular gay bar in Santiago and despite being quite small, always attracts a large crowd. For us Bar 105 was our favourite gay bar to warm up the evening with a few pisco sours before heading out to the nearby clubs. Bar 105 is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10pm till late and is located at Bombero Nuñez 105.

Burdel: this place gets busy because of its 2 for 1 drinks promotions and occasional drag shows. Burdel is open from Monday to Saturday from 10pm till late and is located at Ernesto pinto Lagarrigue 282.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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Recipe for Chilean Porotos Granados: Countryside Bean Stew

Author: , June 12th, 2017

Porotos Granados

Porotos granados is a traditional Chilean countryside stew made from cranberry beans, maize kernals and squash. It’s associated with the summer months because this is when the maize and summer squash are harvested in central and southern Chile.

Cranberry beans (also known as Roman beans) are similar to normal beans but slightly larger, popular in Latin America.

Porotos granados originates from the Mapuche indigenous people of Chile, who first cultivated bean. The word granados means pomegranates and word poroto comes from the Quechua word for bean: purutu.

This vegetarian recipe is courtesy of the Chilean Cooking School in Valparaiso and is for 6 people.

By Stefan Arestis – Recipe at the Nomadic Boys

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Recipe for Chilean Pastel del Choclo – Nomadic Boys

Author: , June 9th, 2017

Pastel de Chiclo - Sebastien

Pastel de choclo is one of the most famous Chilean dishes and considered comfort food. It’s a beef and corn pie, with a corn crust, similar to a Shepherd’s Pie.

Choclo is an Andean type of corn with large starchy kernels, but you can use any corn as an alternative.

Pastel de choclo is typically served in a clay bowl either as a main dish, or as a starter in a small individual portions. This recipe is courtesy of the Chilean Cooking School in Valparaiso and serves 6 people.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at SOURCE

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Killer Whales in Patagonia – Nomadic Boys

Author: , June 8th, 2017

Killer Whales

Peninsula Valdes is one the best spots in the world to see killer whales (orcas) in the wild. This is the place they come to hunt and entertain their enthusiastic audience watching on.

Orcas love this particular part of Argentina because of the large abundance of one of their favourite food prey: seal pups. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the orcas close up when they come right up to the beach to catch their supper.

Despite their name, killer whales are not dangerous and there is no evidence of them ever having attacked humans in the wild. Killer whales is the nickname given by the Spanish whalers in the 1700s when they noticed that orcas were hunting whales for food. They have no known predators, so they freely hunt without fear of being attacked by another marine animal. They feed on seals, sea lions, penguins, fish, dolphins, sharks and even whales.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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