Sometimes isolation is the best luxury.
If you’re in search for your happy place, here ya go.
Said happy place is Eolo, a luxury Relais & Chateaux lodge set 30 minutes outside of El Calafate in Argentine Patagonia. It stretches over 7,400 acres in La Anita Valley and has activities like riding on horseback, eating the best Argie cuisine, lounging in the finest leather interiors, or simply just gazing out the picture windows. Who knows, maybe you can even make a friend or two out of the many cows that roam outside.
How ’bout That Ride In
The drive from Aguas Arriba in El Chalten to Eolo in El Calafate took a total of three hours in my very own Jeep. I tell you what. It doesn’t matter if we were dead tired from the day, caked in our own filth from a 20km hike. Sticking the key in the ignition in our own Jeep, on our own time, washed the tension away. To explore Patagonia is one thing. To explore Patagonia in your own Quasar Expeditions Jeep is another. Imagine getting behind the wheel in this vast wilderness with the sun setting over Fitz Roy in your rear view while listening to your own playlist through the sound system or the simple silence of the surrounding landscape. Swoooooooon.
With our GPS guiding us and Bieber serenading us (yep, guilty), I was a happy girl. These familiar mountains felt like home.
The Condor Suite
With only 17 rooms at Eolo, guests arrive knowing what they are getting themselves into: peace, quiet, and relaxation. Upon walking through the stable doors of this paradise, I was immediately put at ease when handed the keys to the corner Condor Suite. How did they even know I liked Condors, one of the largest and longest-living birds on earth and a symbol of power, health and liberty for the people of Patagonia? Eolo knows all.
Wade and I decided to hike the famous 20km Laguna de los Tres hike the same day that we checked into Eolo. After arriving to the hotel around 11:30pm caked in mud and sweat, Eolo’s amazing bar staff happily served us a midnight snack. Then, at what I can only assume was to the delight of the staff, I immediately transported myself from bar to bathroom where I tried my best to contain the dirt/mud/dirty clothes to their respective, pristine corner before throwing myself into the rain shower that doubled as an oversized soaking tub. HEAVEN.
Entranced by the many acres that make up Eolo Lodge, the hotel is situated miles from the main road, so many miles that you wonder if you’re even heading in the right direction to check-in. This was one of my favorite features because it allows one to feel at home in their own universe without another soul around…
…until your significant other comes to join you on the terrace. I could visit Eolo on a regular basis (that sounds so dreamy) and never tire of its rustic vibes and secluded location. I spent a long while squinting at the peaks of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park in the distance, which brought up the ever growing debate inside my head: Argentine Patagonia or Chilean Patagonia? That’s like choosing between candy or chocolate. You don’t choose. You have both. For now, though, Argentine Patagonia (specifically Eolo) had my heart.
I don’t always add an entire paragraph about a hotel’s staff when discussing its highlights. Only when they go above and beyond do they deserve some real estate on the blog post. Eolo’s Manager, guides, and wait staff were ready to accommodate even the smallest ask from us during our stay. Not invasive, yet very attentive while knowing when to give guests their privacy – It’s an art, and they’ve got it down to a science.
And one more thing. I’ve never met a more decadent french toast in my life than here at Eolo. Many many many compliments to the chef!
Activities Around El Calafate
A bike around the spacious Eolo grounds is reason enough to stay on property all day, every day. Its close proximity to famous growing glacier Perito Moreno, however, warrants a visit to the landmark. Advice: Partake in the Mini-Trekking or Big Ice at Perito Moreno with Hielo & Aventura where you’ll enjoy whiskey on the rocks (aka glacial ice) afterwards! There’s also an ice museum in El Calafate called the Glaciarium that I’ve passed multiple times and keep meaning to go in for a drink at their ice bar. Also, don’t miss the local chocolate or cordero (lamb). The region is huge on these two goodies.
When to Visit
The best time to experience this magical setting is from October to April, which is spring (~64 degrees) and summer (~68 degrees) in the southern hemisphere. My personal favorite time to visit is late March/early April. Perito Moreno National Park is closed during winter. Note: Intense winds are common inside the park, creating gusts of up to 70mph at times. In only minutes, the winds can darken the sky or even disperse the storm clouds. Be cautious!
Many thanks to the Eolo staff who welcomed us onto one of my favorite properties in the world. We hope to return one day very soon!
See more images from my time at Eolo below!