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Chile News and Notes

January 7, 2008 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent

New Park Hyatt Hotel Slated for 2009 in Southern Chile

The Global Hyatt Corporation will be building a new five star hotel - Park Hyatt Patagonia - as part of Said's Patagonia Virgen resort's $250 million development in the southern Chile city of Frutillar. This hotel is scheduled to open in 2009 and will sit on the shores of Lake Llanquihue


The "Park" designation in the parlance of the Hyatt hotel chain means the new hotel will be one of its most luxurious models. There are 753 Hyatt hotels world-wide, but only 24 belong to the Park line. Park Hyatt Patagonia will be the first of its kind in Chile, and one of only three in Latin America. The plan includes 14,000 square meters of constructed space and 138 rooms. The new hotel deal is the latest component of the very upscale Patagonia Virgen resort, which includes 557 homes, two restaurants, a spa, and an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

New Route to Torres del Paine Park Shortens Distance by 43 Miles

Travel Agent thought we should remind you of an announcement this summer that your backpacking and nature-loving clients might be interested in. A new alternative route now links Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine, with the Torres del Paine National Park. Opened in June, this new route cuts the 87 miles rode to the park to 44 miles. It offers scenery, incorporating areas such as the Tenerife hill, the Ventisquero and Rincon rivers, the Porte–o and Toro lakes, and the village of Pueblo del Serrano. Several hotel projects are being planned along this alternative route.

Museum Profiles Pinochet Regime Troubles to Open Next Year

The Chilean government plans to open a Memory Museum in Santiago in 2009 to memorialize the human rights abuses that took place during the 17-year dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. While the museum will expose the painful aspects of Chile's history, officials hope to also foster reflection through relevant objects, photographs and various documents in the library's archives. The museum will also include conference rooms, exhibition halls, theater rooms, a space in which documents can be exhibited and archives and a library. It is slated to be built in the Quinta Normal borough, an up and coming neighborhood with an emerging cultural scene centered around Matucana street.

Prehistoric Whale Cemetery Uncovered

Remind clients of the new archeological site worth checking out in Chile. An archeological site containing the bones of numerous whales - dating back five million years - was discovered near the community of Puchuncav’ in late May. Paleontologist Ver—nica Andrade unearthed the fossil-rich area while working with her paleontology students. According to Andrade, the whale cemetery spans almost five hectares and has within it an enormous concentration of whale skeletons. All the uncovered bones belong to the Balaenopteridae family, ancestor of the modern blue whale. Archeologists thus far have recovered a whale rib of almost six and a half feet in length, lumbar vertebrae, and an enormous jaw. A commission of scientists, paleontology students, and the Board of National Monuments has been formed to protect the area.

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