life on pine ✧

a rustic northern patagonia retreat: barraco lodge

Kate ParrishComment


barraco originally came on to our radar by way of some deep internet searching by our friend and pro-trip-planner adam. he found the lodge and was immediately convinced this place was made for us based on a brief description and a few photos. it was a splurge, for sure, but it's a splurge worthy spot that will leave you changed and in awe of the natural beauty of northern patagonia. 

this place is out there – i'm talking a 3 hour drive from puerto varas, to a long dirt road, to another dirt road then finally a boat ride across the puelo river. from there it's an UPHILL climb to the lodge or a ride with the oxen, but the reward is a feeling of pure tranquility. originally a vacation home to the owner's, jaime and marcela, they built the lodge 30 years ago when the land was virtually uninhabited other than the native locals. only a few years ago, the lodge as we know it, was born to share this raw and unique part of the world with travelers seeking authentic outdoor experiences, a taste of patagonian culture & hospitality, and the opportunity to slow down for a bit.


WHERE: rio puelo, {northern patagonia} chile
TIME OF YEAR: march - april [warm days with plenty of sunshine and clear nights for star viewing] 
HOW TO GET THERE: 3 hour drive from puerto varas, then a short boat ride across the lake
PRICE PER NIGHT: all inclusive pricing (meals, activities, drinks and transportation) depending on how you want to spend your days, reach out on their website
ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE: horseback riding, SUPing, heli-fishing, fly fishing, hiking, heli-adventures, waterfalls, cooking classes, boar hunting... you name it and they will try to make it happen.
THE EXPERIENCE: you arrive, are greeted by two of the cutest dogs on earth [reina and titan], and welcomed with pisco sours and a tasty snack. from there, you settle into your cozy lake-view room, and later choose activities for your stay [however, it's better to arrange your activities before you arrive]. we only had 2 nights (recommend 3 at minimum) and chose to spend our adventure day fishing on the lake – luckily we were successful and ended up eating fresh salmon & roe for dinner! 


 our time was spent enjoying the wood fired hot tub, delicious food, unforgettable views and warm-by-day, chilly-by-night weather. we caught a clear night with thousands of stars and a clear milky way that is still a very vivid memory. barraco is one of those places where you can do everything or nothing and feel equally satisfied with your time here because of the surroundings. 


fishing on the puelo or lake tagua tagua is an experience that is hard to find in most places. the backdrop is wild and the crystal clear water is loaded with trout, salmon and other native fish. whether you decide to troll or fly fish, there is a good chance you will hook something and even if you don't, it will be a day well spent.

to help your odds, barraco staffs many of the native fly fishermen who grew up and still live in this remote land, where they have relied on these waters for hundreds of years. for the adventurous  fly fishermen, you can have them helicopter you into glacial streams and rivers where only a few humans have ever been. we didn't get the opportunity to do this, but heard many fishing tales and even a few photos to prove it.


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exploring santiago: a mini weekend travel guide

Kate ParrishComment


and, well, i disagree. i'm not saying i want to move here but hanging around for a few days is 100% worth it. we stayed a total of 5 nights in santiago, and would recommend you check out the below. 


  • STAY AT CASA ALMA: this cozy little bnb is perfect in every way. clean, safe, cozy, includes breakfast, and is in a hip walkable neighborhood. we stayed multiple nights and loved it! castillo rojo is another great boutique hotel in a fun neighborhood, but slightly more upscale. hotel carmenere looks cozy and fancy if you are splurging.
  • TRY THE EL LOMITO: chile's most iconic sandwhich from fuente alemana. but maybe split it with your friends, this sandwich packs a punch. 
  • BAR LIGURIA: come here for at least one pisco sour. we loved having dinner at the bar and their back room is pretty dreamy. you will often find crowds of locals gathering to watch the soccer games. 
  • SILABARIO COCINA LOCAL you won't find delicious food everywhere in chile, but this was easily our best meal. dinner here was creative, candle lit and accompanied by live guitar on the patio. make sure to get a reservation!
  • COOL OFF AT EMPORIO LA ROSA: some of the tastiest ice cream in santiago, perfect on a typical warm sunny day.
  • HAVE A BEER AT LA PIOJERA: santiago's oldest and best dive bar, usually with live music!
  • BOCANARIZ santiago's best wine bar, showcasing chile's diverse and famous wine culture
  • HAVE LUNCH OUTSIDE AT INPASTA: wasn't cheap, but their pasta was insanely good and authentic. their street-seat scene is a fun place to hang on a nice day and people watch. 


  • SWIM OR SUNSET AT TRAMANTO TERRACE: the city's best rooftop bar and view over the mountains and skyline. come here on a hot day to swim and have lunch or for sunset drinks 
  • MALLINKRODT JARDIN a biergarten in bellavista that is covered in ivy and looks like more fit for brooklyn or san francisco. it's new and a popular place in town for a small bite or drink.
  • MUSEUMS museo chileno de arte precolombino or casa museo la chascona (former home of famed poet pablo neruda
  • ANTIQUE SHOPPING IN BARRIO ITALIA fun to stroll around here after lunch on the weekends, it's bustling and you may even find some souvenir gems. 
  • MERCADO CENTRAL: around since 1872, this market is fun to grab a snack at one of the many food stalls, or just browse the aisles and aisles of fresh fish, veggies and other local goods. 

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how we booked 5 international flights for $2,500

Kate ParrishComment


i had always heard of "around the world tickets" – which sounds really great but always seemed to have a ton of hidden rules and restrictions. on top of that, most of them make you get on the phone with a travel agent or a drawn out email back and forth...what is this 1980?! when we decided to get serious about taking our extended travel trip, we came across the website INDIE, a simple and powerful way to book multi-stop international flights. we started to play around with their web interface – entering the cities we were interested in, rough dates, and then clicking around to see the prices change based on dates, airlines, routes, etc.

before we knew it, we had 5 destinations across 4 continents at a price we assumed was 100% incorrect. for $2,500 we had all of our "big leg" flights covered. it helped that we were able to fly tuesday - thursday and there were a few weeks between each of these flights – giving us the flexibility to book smaller trips in between.



no. every airline we flew was top rated and safe, we were able to choose our seats just like on any other flight and include our loyalty numbers. we were even upgraded on our flight to kathmandu via air india. 


normal fees apply if you want to change any of these flights – however, we used world nomads for all of our travel insurance [including health], and they will cover you, if your plans change. they also proactively email you if any of the flights in your itinerary have changes, cancellations or anything else notable. 


P I N  F O R  L A T E R:

hiking in chile's lake district: volcano osorno

Kate ParrishComment


known as the symbol for chile's lake region, volcano osorno is a breathtaking landmark and natural beauty. osorno is one of the most active volcanoes in the southern andes and the several eruptions over the past couple hundred years leave the trails pristine and sprinkled with lava rocks. straddled between llanquihue lake (chile's lake tahoe as we dubbed it) and the turquoise todos los santos lake, the setting makes it pretty easy to understand why this is chile's most visited national park. we did the hike in early march, only passing 1 other group and getting great weather. thinking of checking out this national park? check out the details:


DISTANCE | anywhere from 5-12 miles, depending on the route you take
TIME | about 4 - 5 hours
WHERE TO SLEEP | the hike is about 1.5 hours from puerto varas, which is likely the best place to stay. scroll down for more information about our cozy cabin.
NEED TO KNOW | we rented a car and drove, which is probably your best bet. taking public transit will limit your freedom to explore, but it's cheap and will get you close to the trailhead. bring your own lunch & water, the top is a great place for a picnic. you can find a bit more information HERE


if you're going to spend some time in the puerto varas region, we really enjoyed these cozy cabanas right on the lake. the cabins vary in size, and we chose the smallest based on our budget. a studio style room easily slept 4, with a well equipped kitchen and grill for preparing your meals. i only wish we could have stayed here longer! about $200/night


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rustic & modern luxury at hotel AWA | lakes district, chile

Kate ParrishComment


the moment you step foot into AWA, you are overcome with a feeling of chic, that also manages to feel incredibly welcoming and cozy. this family owned project has been in the works for over 10 years and only opened its doors to guests less than a year ago. for a long time they wanted to open a family oriented bnb, but after researching the local market realized that historic wooden lodges were a plenty. a modern cabin meets boutique hotel, though, would be extremely unique and special to the region. their astute attention to detail stands out as they seem to have found the perfect balance of architectural design with the comfort of a friend's home. they've thought of everything in between too. from the handmade pisco goblets to the rustic yet comfortable furniture, perfectly situated fireplaces, ever-so-hip drink coasters and one of the most intriguing coffee table book collections i've ever seen. immediately after checking in, i found myself questioning if we should add another night.

tucked on the shores of the vast llanquihue lake with incredible views of volcano osorno, staying here is a very special experience. everything is built and crafted with luxury in mind, but we felt right at home in shorts and flip flops. stepping out the back door of the hotel, you feel as if you've crossed into a far away land - black sand beaches, sparking blue water and a snow capped volcano in the horizon. it's no surprise that after all the deliberation they chose to build AWA on one of the most beautiful stretches of chile's lakes region, showcasing the natural beauty that is almost taken for granted around here.


we didn't leave the property once during our 3 day visit, because you really don't have to. that being said, there are many adventures to be had in the area which AWA can easily arrange for you. with their high quality culinary experience, a complete spa with full lap pool & jacuzzi, a private beach down at the lake, SUP boards and kayaks to use at your leisure...adventure or relaxation, whichever you seek, their location allows you to have privacy and find tranquility. 


WHERE: puertos varas, chile
TIME OF YEAR: march - april [perfect weather, i'd recommend beating the heat and coming in the fall!] 
HOW TO GET THERE: 2 hour flight from santiago to puerto montt (PMC) airport
PRICE PER NIGHT: starts around $200 per night with breakfast (the best!) included
ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE: kayaking, SUPing, swimming (lake and lap pool), full spa, biking, hiking, and other outdoor excursions.


with floor to ceiling windows, authentic local decor, cozy bedding and a bathroom you want to live in – the rooms are hard to leave. and there's no fear of getting a "bad room" – as everyone is situated with essentially the same view. we would start the mornings with coffee in bed, followed by an afternoon cocktail at our corner table. i notice so often that when we stay at hotels we never spend *that* much time in the room. this time, we wanted to change that. 



we could not get enough of the food here. even if you're not staying at the hotel, no problem – their restaurant and bar are completely open to the public. they have fostered direct relationships with the fisherman, farmers and other producers in the region. if they can't get fresh salmon that day, then it won't be on the menu. this region of chile is rich in diversity and abundance of great food from the land. here's what an average day [food wise] looks like:

breakfast: included with your stay, fresh yogurt, juices and fruit, granola, pastries, eggs to your liking, pancakes [if you want!]
lunch: not included with your stay, served on the patio if the weather is nice and is usually consists with a salad or starter and a main course. about $30–50 USD [will let the pictures speak for us here!]
dinner: not included with your stay, served in the dining room and the menu changes each night based on the fresh ingredients available. about $30–50 USD

^^ we also celebrated my 29th birthday here and this delicious little cake was on our bed when we arrived back from dinner. 

                                                                           * this stay was part of a collaboration, all opinions are my own. 

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