Cristian DonosoEpic journeys

Published in 2006icon-clockTime to read: 0min 53s

One of South America’s greatest explorers, Cristian Donoso has led expeditions to the wilds of Patagonia and other inhospitable places, not purely for adventure but to gather invaluable knowledge about climate and history.

locationChile, Argentina (Patagonia)

With its labyrinth of rocky islands, serpentine channels, icy fjords and hurricane-force winds, western Patagonia in southern Chile has deterred all but the hardiest explorers. Cristian Donoso and his team faced daunting physical and mental challenges as they surveyed this little-known area and carried out scientific studies, many of which show how the climate has changed over time. Following this Rolex-supported, dramatic 155-day expedition that took him to places never before visited by humans, Donoso explored Antarctica. He kayaked along its rugged coast, documenting the fate of wildlife endangered by climate change, and in a second trip with two companions combined kayaking with scaling the Antarctic Andes, investigating the effect of climate change on high glaciers.

I feel a passion for extreme and inhospitable environments, where the forces of nature are expressed in uncommon ways.

Selected in 2010 as one of Chile’s top 10 explorers ever, the lawyer/explorer has completed more than 40 major expeditions, including in the Arctic, in collaboration with scientists and specialists at universities in Chile, Germany and Italy. Millions of people follow him on the web and 800,000 have seen the film about his life of exploration. Donoso, who is now considered a leading authority on Patagonia, also produces television documentaries about his expeditions to raise public awareness.

  • 40

    Major expeditions

View all projects


Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Discover more