Despite being a born and bred Santiaguino, Rafael feels more relaxed in the midst of nature, hiking and taking scenic photos in a peaceful Andes setting on a Full Day Morado Trek
. While in the mountains, after a trek, Rafael likes to make the most of the wonderful vista and soak in natural hot springs at moonlight. He recommends visitors in his hometown check out the downtown highlights like the central market and Santa Lucia hill, on a Santiago city tour
Rafael is very proud of his country’s natural wonders and loves working in tourism where he gets to share his passion with like-minded people. Pro-active Rafael always travels with the right clothes, the necessary cash, a first aid kit, a camera (he’s quite the photographer!) and a let’s go attitude. He joined Cascada as a Wildlife Safari guide in 2010 and has been very impressed with the quality of care at EcoCamp and respect between all staff, irrespective of their job title. He’s also happy to be working at such a responsible company and getting to know interesting people on a daily basis while working in a job he loves. If he weren’t working as a guide he’d probably be trekking in Zion National Park in the US, a place he’d love to get to know, guiding somewhere else, or indulging in his favourite hobby climbing or favourite food pastel de choclo.
Rafael’s doesn’t have a favourite place in Torres del Paine, he loves the whole park, and his favourite time of year is January because of the colourful sunsets and sunrises and the variety of flowers in the park. On one trek Rafael’s group were lucky enough to witness the incredible sight of a female puma in a cave with her cub sleeping next to her. He has many tips on being eco-friendly in the park, including keeping to the designated paths, picking up and storing all rubbish, not feeding the wild animals and going to the bathroom at least 50m away from water sources. You heard him people, walk away from those trees by the river!
One of his funniest moment on a trek has to be when his group reached the Torres del Paine viewpoint and in a silent, wind-free moment a woman (nationality to remain undisclosed) began to sing, or more appropriately howl, a national song which echoed throughout the park. Another memorable moment came when he asked a quiet group member what he did for a living and the hiker suddenly opened up about his nuclear engineering work, giving a 30 minute explanation, to which Rafael (who’d understood nothing) replied ‘How does it feel to have the same job as Homer Simpson?’ The hiker was so surprised by his answer that he burst out laughing and was a lot more relaxed and chatty for the remainder of the trip.