A trip along Chile’s National Route 7, the Carretera Austral, takes us into the stunning wilderness of Patagonia – a place that many German emigrants chose as their new home almost a century ago.
The Carretera Austral is straddled by mountain ranges, primeval forests, fjords, volcanoes and a huge ice field. It has taken decades to carve its way through the almost impassable terrain – even now a lot of traffic is forced to take a detour across the border into Argentina. The military dictator Augusto Pinochet made the construction of the road a national priority in the 1970s, sending thousands of soldiers to the region to work under the most adverse conditions. One of the last surviving members of Pinochet’s junta, former military police chief Rodolfo Stange, talks about the road’s strategic importance for the regime.
German marine biologist Vreni Häussermann tells us about a catastrophe in one of the Patagonian fjords – an event that underlines how economic expansion along the route has adversely affected the natural environment in southern Chile. On our journey we meet descendants of German emigrants who found a new home in Patagonia’s remote vastness after the First World War. An insight into the past and present of this unique region.
150 travellers who completed epic cross-continental cycling journeys were surveyed.
Each of the 150 cyclists got three votes to cast, and I simply tallied up the results. In the end, 80 different countries were favourited, which is pretty cool because that means most corners of the world have something, for somebody.
These are their top picks for the best countries for long-distance cycling »
10. 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan
9. 🇨🇱 Chile
8. 🇲🇽 Mexico
7. 🇦🇺 Australian
6. 🇮🇷 Iran
5. 🇮🇳 India
4. 🇨🇳 China
3. 🇹🇯 Tajikistan
2. 🇺🇸 USA
1. 🇹🇷 Turkey
According to Allegra Zagami, writer for Lonely Planet, on a drive along the Pan American Highway in 2019 »
» 1. Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
The Icefields Parkway, or Canada’s Highway 93, is one of the most scenic drives in the world with over 144 miles (232km) of adventure and overwhelming natural beauty between Banff and Jasper National Parks.
Suzette Barnett »
My adventure in Patagonia has been an incredible one, primarily for the vast landscapes and diversity of the region’s scenery with glimpses of every season within a period of just 13 days.
Guided by a National Geographic Expeditions Leader my time there was spent hiking, filming and shooting the time-lapses now used to create to this short film which has been graced by a stunning instrumental from musical geniuses. Please allow me four minutes of your time and turn your sound on.
I hope you can feel what I felt.
Martin Heck | Timestorm Films:
My second visit to the southern tip of South America. My first trip in 2015 was incredible and resulted in some of my most successful videos. Even though this was a work-trip and I just had 4 days to spend in the amazing Torres del Paine Nationpark in Chile is was sight to behold. Early in spring snow, wind and stormy winds were always part of the game. Weather completely flipped from warm and calm into a snow-storm within minutes. But that’s what we expect and makes Patagonia such a special and wild place.
The feature-length documentary “Blue Heart” launches in April 2018.
Find more information Patagonia’s Blue Heart Campaign page.
Marko Roth presents Together, a short travel film about his 1,200-mile journey through Patagonia.