Last summer you joined us in British Columbia for a deluxe mountain vacation with great food, spectacular accommodations, and unforgettable days with reliable and comfortable helicopter access to the heart of some of the world’s most beautiful and unique scenery. Now winter is upon us, so where can you go for more summertime beauty?
The Southern Hemisphere, of course!
Sure, there are places in the Northern Hemisphere where warm temperatures will give you a break from winter weather, but the days are still short and you won’t really get complete immersion in summer like a winter visit to the southern latitudes.
The southernmost piece of continental land on earth is one of the most legendary travel destinations in the Southern Hemisphere: Patagonia. Like the mountains CMH Summer Adventures calls home, there is nowhere else like it on earth. Also like CMH, there are great mountain lodges known for warm hospitality and unbeatable views.
The two gold medal destinations in Patagonia are the Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile (photo above) and Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina (photo below). Some have called the Bugaboos the Patagonia of North America, but we prefer to think of Patagonia as the Bugaboos of South America.
For Los Glaciares, stay at Los Cerros in El Chalten, visit the glaciers of Perito Moreno where a boat ride takes you up close (but not too close) and personal with huge walls of ice hanging over - and sometimes falling into - the lake.
In Torres del Paine, the Hotel Salto Chico is undoubtedly on the short list of the world's most incredible mountain lodges. With well-established tourist infrastructure, arranging horseback rides in the area or fishing tours of the spectacular lakes is about as easy as ordering room service.
Worried about the legendary winds and ferocious weather in Patagonia? Across the Southern Ocean from the wind-whipped steppes of Patagonia lies an often overlooked wonder of natural beauty. The southeastern part of Australia, the state of Victoria, is home to plants, animals and geography that every adventure traveller should see at least once.
The Great Ocean Road is perhaps Victoria’s most famous destination, with the otherworldly 12 Apostles standing proud as the region’s most enduring landmark. Further inland, the Grampians Mountains and nearby “outback”, where kangaroos and koalas are more common than people, are an easy road trip from the more popular tourist destinations on the Great Ocean Road.
If you want to go off the map, so to speak, catch a catamaran ferry to the island state of Tasmania. Besides wild beaches and exotic hiking, the island’s bed and breakfasts are as friendly as visiting your mother’s house. While you're there, don't miss the seafood dining at Hobart's charismatic harbor restaurants.
Then, when you return home from a trip halfway around the world, you can appreciate North America’s most spectacular travel destinations that much more. If the Southern Hemisphere is not in the cards for this season - too far away, too expensive, too much time - winter is the ideal time of year to plan for next summer, and nothing is more comfortable than world-class adventure travel that can be experienced in a long weekend, right here in the Canadian Rockies.
Photos by Topher Donahue.