In October 2015, I was lucky to attend an Adventure Travel World Summit in Puerto Varas, Chile, in which North Face founder and billionaire Doug Thompkins delivered a keynote presentation. I remember feeling skeptical about his vision for the vast land donation his foundation was making to Chile’s government in order to create national parks. Back then he remarked to Wanderlust reporter Graeme Green, “we’re working towards a plan to make the Carretera Austral, the Southern Highway, a 2,000km scenic highway from Puerto Montt all the way down to Puerto Williams on Tierra del Fuego, with access to 17 national parks. There’d be no road like that in the world that has access to 17 national parks. That’s pretty amazing.”
It took three more years – until late 2018 – for the La Ruta de los Parques (Route of Parks) to launch, an exciting milestone for nature exploration and conservation.
Adventure tour operators are bringing the Route of Parks to life through a wide variety of experiences. One example is an itinerary called “Route of Parks of Patagonia & Carretera Austral”, put together by longtime ATTA member and new Tomorrow’s Air Champion Raffaele di Biase, a naturalist guide and founder of BirdsChile. On this trip, guests are guided through nine days of hiking and paddling along lakes and glaciers, with snowy peaks in the distance, sleeping at night in small boutique lodges.
The President of the Route of Parks committee, Ximena Castro Rojas, is effusive about the Aysén Region, “it’s like a paradise, this place – the wildlife, plants, natural hot springs… I used to go there in my 20s, my journeys in this place transformed me and marked the beginning of a life spent traveling and exploring.”
For BirdsChile founder Rafaelle di Biase the decision to join Tomorrow’s Air and “walk the talk” when it comes to his company’s sustainability commitments was an easy one. While birds around the world are threatened by climate change, which is decreasing the number of suitable habitats and altering typical ecological interactions among species, in Chile, many migratory birds face particular challenges. “Tomorrow’s Air, in combination with our rewilding initiatives, reassures our team and our guests that travel with us really does help make a difference, both on the ground and in the air.”
Di Biase is supporting carbon removal education and carbon removal with his monthly Champion subscription and as a Traveler Benefits Provider offering exclusive discounts to Tomorrow’s Air subscribers.
Learn more at tomorrowsair.com/act/traveler-benefits.