Before we left California we had reserved this excursion thinking it would be an experience.
Here’s how it was described:
Highlights: Trekking in the hills surrounding the Andean Club.
Activity Level: High Adventure
Walking Type: Strenuous
On this half-day excursion, admire beautiful views as you trek the surrounding hills of Club Andino, or the Andean Club, a unique ski center located just outside Punta Arenas.
Departing the pier, venture on an approximate 30-minute drive to the Andean Club, one of the few ski centers in the world that has a view of the ocean. On arrival, begin your journey up one of the vistas by powered lift. On this lift ride, you will ascend nearly 5,000 feet to the top of your trekking slope.
At the top of the slope, take a moment to enjoy the spectacular views of Punta Arenas and the nearby Strait of Magellan.
As you begin trekking down from the descent point, you will pass various Patagonian trees including coigues, lengas and ñirres. After your approximate one-and-a-half-hour trek, you will reach the Andean Club, where you will enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate before returning to your Crystal ship.
Important Notes: It is recommended that guests wear comfortable hiking boots and warm, layered clothing. This excursion is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. The operation of this excursion is dependent on prevailing weather conditions.
Man, they weren’t kidding! We had brought boots that were waterproof incase of inclement weather. Hah! It was like trying to hike down a mud slide! Should we have worried when they handed out plastic ponchos on the bus? You bet! We had two incredible local trekking guides for our small group and one crew member from the ship acted as “broom wagon”. I must come clean and say I had a flicker or doubt as we all were lined up to take the chair lift up to the top of the mountain.
The guides were like gazelles leaping over streams and helping everyone through the mud. After I slipped and fell in the mud in the first 5 minutes I didn’t care anymore and just let go and had a fantastic time. Joe took so many photos on this excursion it was hard to choose our favorites so there are more here than we would normally like to include.
After hot showers we sipped our Picon Punch and watched the sun set.
Perfect end to a perfectly fun day.