Chile,  La Ruta de Los Parques,  Travel

Why La Ruta de los Parques?

Of all the things to do and places to go during a year off, why am I going to Chile?

Simple, I’m going on an epic road trip of La Ruta de los Parques (the Route of the Parks) in Patagonia with one of my best friends. It’s a new scenic route stretching 1740 miles and connecting 17 national parks (see map below), created in a public-private partnership between the Chilean government and Tompkins Conservation.

But still, why La Ruta de los Parques?

It was my 30th birthday present.

Just kidding, but its creation was announced on my 30th and I was struck by inspiration. I had requested a career break less than two weeks before, so I was busy thinking about all the things I could do during a year off. The options were endless! And so, the timing of the announcement of La Ruta felt serendipitous.

Then, as I was learning more about the work that went into forming La Ruta, I saw a graphic of Tompkins Conservation’s protected areas. Surprisingly, I had already visited one of them (El Cañi), and took it as another sign that traveling down La Ruta was meant to be. During a whirlwind three-week trip through Chile and Argentina in 2017, I’d only had time for two day hikes, but one of them was El Cañi. I realized I’d already been unwittingly lucky enough to see Tompkins Conservation’s work in action and wanted to see more.

And so, before my 31st birthday, I plan to drive the length of La Ruta de los Parques, camping and storytelling along the way (and yes, I know, some of the parks are only accessible by water).

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