Two share classes offer access and onsite home sites on Reserve adjacent to Torres del Paine National Park; explorations available to guests of Explora’s original lodge
Every guide needs something to lead, and Romina De Pieve’s is ensuring that every detail of Explora’s innovative conservation efforts are in place for its newest destination in remote South America: Torres del Paine Conservation Reserve. A 20-year veteran who started with Explora as a pastry chef and rose to lead the adventure travel company’s guides and explorations, as Deputy Manager of Conservation Reserves, De Pieve and her team are generating strategies to preserve the wilderness and wildlife of the almost 15,000 acres Patagonian expanse in perpetuity while making it an inspiration for travelers and a rewarding investment for people who desire to support conservation.
De Pieve’s efforts for the new Conservation Reserve are just a start for achieving Explora’s goal of impacting about 2.5 million acres throughout South America and more beyond. “With success here in Torres del Paine, we’ll show that our conservation concept is globally scalable and can be expanded to remote regions worldwide,” she says, noting that working together with local communities, such as gauchos and people of estancias in Patagonia, is key. “The preservation of culture is always central to our conservation efforts.”
Romina De Pieve, the Deputy Manager of the Explora Conservation Reserve
It has been 30 years since Explora began welcoming adventurous travelers to explore the dramatic beauty of Patagonia in southernmost South America. Now, after successfully operating three lodges in different destinations across the Patagonia region, the company is teaming up with the nonprofit Nature Conservancy to take a giant step forward with its first Conservation Reserve and is inviting conservation-minded individuals to join in safeguarding the natural and cultural wonders at its core.
An Authentic Expression of Patagonia
Nestled on the northeastern side of Chile’s awe-inspiring Torres del Paine National Park within easy proximity of Explora’s original lodge, Explora Torres del Paine, the Conservation Reserve combines two Patagonian estancias (cattle ranches). Though both offer authentic expressions of the richness of the region, right down to the gauchos who cling to age-old traditions as comfortably as to their saddles, each estancia has different ecosystems with Magellan forest, pre-Andean scrubs, steppes, and Patagonian desert across their combined hectares. The land is 40% forested, with two rivers along with wetland and lagoons, and more than 130 species of flora – 96% endemic – and 40 species of fauna including Puma, Chilean flamingo, and Southern Partridge.
The view of future homes on the Conservation Reserve
As impressive as is the region’s biodiversity, what truly sets the new Conservation Reserve apart is the solution that Explora has shaped for maintaining and funding its conservation. Key to the first is an “open standards” plan that encourages active participation from neighboring communities as well as social and environmental stakeholders in the creation of a territorial vision that prioritizes initiatives and conservation. Working jointly with Nature Conservancy, a US-based global environmental organization with more than 1 million members and over 400 scientists on staff, the conservation plan incorporates Explora’s industry-leading experience in exploring remote destinations and working to connect local populations with nature in ways that encourage them to protect it.
Legal and Environmental Protection in Perpetuity
As for funding the Conservation Reserve, Explora’s innovative plan is a model for solving the recurring problem of underfunded conservation projects all over the world. The plan includes operating the conservation of the Conservation Reserve in perpetuity by acquiring legal environmental protection for it, then committing to using only 2% of the land for hospitality, trails, access roads, and the like.
The onsite Explora-built Guest House
So what will the source of funding be for Explora Torres del Paine Conservation Reserve? The Reserve is offering 100 shares of ownership to individuals who wish to become a part of the conservation community. Two types of shares are on offer:
Conservation Shares (70 shares total) priced at $350,000/share
Conservation Estates (30 shares total) priced at $1 million/share
Among a host of benefits for ownership of either share type are use of an onsite Explora-built Guest House; year-round access; participation (in the case of Conservation Estates, double voting right per share) in the conservation strategy with board representation; access to onsite conservation and research activities; access to Explora-guided explorations via hike or horseback ride; possibility of internships for children… and more.
Private Lots with Views of Torres del Paine
Owners of Conservation Estates enjoy even more access, including the option to build a house of their own on a 3.7-to-5-acre lot with a view of Torres del Paine, with the option to work with a select group of architects that Explora has vetted and could suggest to investors; groceries pre-stocked in their house prior to their arrival; coordinated housekeeping, transportation, and explorations of wilderness areas surrounding the Conservation Reserve.
Exterior of the Guest House
Meanwhile, in addition to the public, shareowners aren’t the only people with access to the beauty and wonder of the Conservation Reserve. Accommodated just one hour from the site, guests of Explora Torres del Paine are invited to experience the Conservation Reserve as part of their Explora experience, with guided horseback riding and hiking explorations available to immerse them deeply into Patagonia.
Guests can also look forward to being hosted at a newly built quincho (Chilean barbecue), with food cooked traditionally and details of the conservation project presented by Conservation Reserve managers who are actively involved in the project. Moving forward, evolving details of Explora’s conservation plan will be shared with guests, while a new tree nursery will be used as a hands-on opportunity for guests to discover more about Explora’s efforts to restore and reforest the land.
A gathering area in the Guest House
“The Torres del Paine Conservation Reserve represents the way we plan to address and deepen our commitment to conservation,” said Gonzalo Undurraga, CEO of Explora. “This initiative allows us to incorporate our decades of experience exploring remote territories and all we have learned about connecting people with nature under the imperative need to work collaboratively to protect it.”
Added Deputy Manager of Conservation Reserves De Pieve: “The focus of our work is coordinating the resources and land management experience of Explora, the passion for conservation of our shareholders, and the know-how of the Nature Conservancy to protect the Torres del Paine Conservation Reserve for visitors, inhabitants, and wildlife. Taken together, I believe we have a perfect combination of resources to succeed.”