Argentina, Blog

Aguas Arriba, Argentina – STAY

November 17, 2015
Aguas Arriba, Argentina

In a world where people are striving for more space, for peace and quiet and for privacy, Aguas Arriba is a welcome arrival.  This lodge is a place like no other, where there is no phone reception, no wifi.  You are in the middle of no where.  Your television is an astonishing view of Lake Desertios, Mount Fitzroy and a glacier.

A small lodge with five rooms, the only draw back is that it’s a bit of a mission to get here (4 hours drive from El Calafate and then a 15 minute boat ride across the lake), but it means that those who come here, really want to be here. And don’t underestimate the beauty of your journey – of the long road to El Chalten past glacial lakes, snow capped mountains and brooding skies.  The final hours’ drive through El Chalten’s National Park is remarkable – you understand why so many people make the journey to this hikers paradise. It is breathtakingly beautiful.  And the prize for those who make it this far? The sight of the majestic Mount Fitzroy, renowned for her steep, granite walls, making her one of the world’s most challenging mountains to climb.  Seeing Mount Fitzroy really is worth it, whether it’s partially hidden in the clouds, or the fog, or is basking in the Patagonian sun, or turned a pinkish hue at sunset.

Aguas Arriba, Argentina
Aguas Arriba is all about Mount Fitzroy; you wake up to it, watch it change colour and appearance during the day, and go to sleep with it – if you’re lucky – lit by the stars.  But Aguas Arriba is also so much more than that.  It’s balanced on the edge of Lake Desertios, with a glacier right in front of it (surreal), quiet, stunning forests and the Andes dividing Argentina from its neighbouring (and very close) Chile.  Its position is everything.
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Aguas Arriba, Argentina
Aguas Arriba, Argentina Aguas Arriba, Argentina
But there is more. Aguas Arriba is also about the people. They make the experience. Without them it would be a pretty, comfortable lodge in a remarkable location. With them it is one of the warmest, most hospitable places I have stayed. Pato and Ivo welcome you into their home like it is yours.  They tailor your trip exactly to how you want it; which hikes you do, when you want to fly fish or do a boat trip on the lake, or when you want to do yoga with Pato.  For those who want to take it easy, you can relax on the deck and drink in the view, or read a book by the huge log fire.
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Aguas Arriba, Argentina
Aguas Arriba, Argentina
The rest of the staff – 9 in total – are all as charming as can be, from the enthusiastic guides to the phenomenal chef.  The food was some of the best I had in Argentina which, considering its location and the effort it is to bring anything to the lodge – let alone fresh produce – is remarkable.  We enjoyed not just excellent steak, but also wonderful pumpkin soups, delicious salads, home made breads, avocado chocolate mousse and the best apple crumble I’ve ever had. Argentina doesn’t really ‘do’ vegetables, but here they do (I found the food very light and healthy – contrary to a lot of other places I stayed).  And if you consider the fact they get most of their vegetables from Mendoza (in Northern Argentina) it’s quite a feat.  It goes without saying that the views from the dining room – or the deck in good weather – are fantastic.
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Aguas Arriba, Argentina
Aguas Arriba, Argentina
Hiking is the main activity on offer. And bearing in mind I am no hiker, the hikes here are really something else and I loved every moment of them. It is just you and nature and no one else. We hiked up to a glacier on the other side of the lake and sat drinking tea by a green glacial lake with an uninterrupted view of the glacier (photo below). One afternoon we hiked high up to the top of one of the mountains, and every level we went up the views got more breath taking.  There were man-made wooden benches in different locations, designed for guests to enjoy the views in peace.  And when you return to the lodge, exhilarated and with flushed cheeks, you can flop on their comfortable sofas in front of a burning log fire and slowly doze off, still with the view of the lake through the huge glass ceiling to floor windows.
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Aguas Arriba, Argentina
Aguas Arriba, Argentina
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Forbes named it one of the special places to go to in 2015, and I agree.  It was one of the true highlights of my trip through Argentina, and I would recommend it to all.
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Aguas Arriba
Lago del Desierto
El Chalten 9301
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Photo credit: Aguas Arriba

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2 Comments

  • Reply Bonnie November 17, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    This looks and sounds stunning Aurelia!
    What a beautiful retreat with absolutely breath taking views from your window!your photography is on poi and girl! Keep the wanderlust coming!!!

    Bonnie x

    • Reply admin January 8, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Bonnie, I’m sorry for the ridiculously late reply. For some reason I was only alerted of your comment just now! Glad you like the post and thank you for your kind words. Take care! Aurelia

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