Who else has been dreaming about traveling to Patagonia…forever now? To me, it is one of the most gorgeous mountain ranges in the world and probably the easiest place on the planet to spot pumas (AKA cougars, AKA mountain lions).
In case you haven’t heard much about Patagonia or only know of the clothing brand, Patagonia is in the southern region of South America at the end tip of the Andes mountains and is shared between Argentina and Chile. 90% of Patagonia resides in Argentina, and 10% in Chile. The region is massive and includes over 1 million square miles of land and over 1.8 million square miles of sea. The western side of Patagonia is characterized by massive peaks, glaciers, fjords, and forests, and on the eastern side, you’ll find steppe, open plains, and desert. Nothing like a good rain shadow.
To virtually explore Patagonia and daydream about traveling to the region even more, I invited Liliana Kusanovic onto the show. Liliana’s grandfather immigrated to Chile from Croatia at the turn of the last century to pursue new opportunities for his family. He found an unforgiving land that supported little agriculture, and so he decided to start a cattle ranch. Liliana was born in Chile and raised in Patagonia on her family’s ranches, and always had a deep connection with the area. In the 90s after completing her MBA in the US, her father asked her to return to Patagonia to help him start a small lodge on his cattle ranch for tourists visiting Torres del Paine. Liliana returned home, and in the past 30 years, her family’s failing cattle ranch has become the Las Torres Reserve and a leader in sustainable tourism.
We discuss so much including why her father decided to go into hospitality when he had no experience in the field, how her family’s land went from being a failing cattle business to a thriving sustainable tourism destination called Las Torres Reserve, the methods they used to increase wildlife biodiversity on their land, how conservation and tourism in Patagonia have changed over the years, the sustainable practices they’ve adopted, and her hopes for the future.
Las Torres has been nominated by the 2023 World Travel Awards as a leader in South American Sustainable Tourism. After listening to this episode, check out the link below to cast your vote and help Las Torres win this prestigious award!
One last thing before diving in, I want to thank Bradinbeaverton who left the show a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and said, ”Brooke is a natural at podcasting and she finds interesting stories and people that inform and inspire.”
Well, Bradinbeaverton, I certainly feel that Liliana falls into this category. Please enjoy this conversation with Liliana.
Listen to this episode.
Watch this episode on YouTube.
Liliana in the Field
Links & Resources
Las Torres Reserve
- Vote for Las Torres to win a 2023 World Travel Award!
- “Women of Las Torres Reserve: Breaking Boundaries & Opening Up Paths”
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