Can you recommend any great adventure trips to Patagonia?
—A.H., VIA E-MAIL
Mountain Travel Sobek (888/687-6235; www.mtsobek.com; February 10-20; from $2,590 per person) has a 10-day trip along the Rio Futaleufú, the best place for white-water rafting in Chile. In addition to braving the Más o Menos and Inferno rapids, you'll go mountain biking and horseback riding past glaciers and up high peaks, and even canyoneering down the 1,640-foot Gelves Canyon. Starting in Santiago, Geographic Expeditions' Trekking in Southern Chile (800/777-8183; www.geoex.com; February 12-25; from $3,795 per person) will take you south to the foothills of the Andes, which you can traverse via horseback or on foot, and to the Patagonian Ice Cap. For a spectacular glacier-watching expedition, sign up for the Peaks of Patagonia offered by Wilderness Travel (800/368-2794; www.wildernesstravel.com; February 11-25; from $3,795 per person). After hiking through Glacier National Park, you'll ascend the sculpted torres (towers) and cuernos (horns) of the Paine Massif, and hike on the Moreno Glacier.
I want to go to Jamaica this winter. Do you know of any affordable waterfront hotels?
—N.M., VIA E-MAIL
There are plenty of inexpensive options. One of our favorites is Jake's (876/965-3000; www.islandoutpost.com; one-bedroom cottages from $115), a seaside boutique hotel on the island's remote southern coast. The resort recently added four Moroccan-and-Balinese-style villas to its collection of 15 bohemian-chic cottages. Jake's also has an excellent beachside seafood restaurant—the lively Jack Sprat—and offers boat service to Little Ochi, a local favorite where the chef prepares fresh fish, shrimp, and lobster cooked to order. We also like the newly expanded Rockhouse Hotel (876/957-4373; www.rockhousehotel.com; doubles from $100) in Negril, with 34 rooms and a small on-site spa, a cliffside yoga studio, and a 60-foot horizon pool. The resort—just two miles from the beach—has private entrances to Pristine Cove, a perfect spot for snorkeling.
I have 100,000 miles in my US Airways account. How can I ensure that I don't lose them if the airline goes belly-up?
—J.K., VIA E-MAIL
At press time, both US Airways and United had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and Delta was on the brink. Though all three carriers have pledged to protect their frequent-flier members, Tim Winship, editor of FrequentFlier.com, cautions against the "do-nothing" approach. Historically, financially healthy airlines have absorbed a liquidated carrier's frequent-flier program. These days, however, this scenario is unlikely. "If you leave your miles in your account and US Airways liquidates, chances are your miles will be frozen and lost forever," Winship says. Instead, redeem your miles now on one of the 14 airlines that belong to US Airways' Star Alliance. Though Alliance members wouldn't be contractually obligated to honor a ticket should US Airways fold, says Winship, they likely would, if only to win over new customers. If you're already slated to fly US Airways in the next few months, use your miles to upgrade to first class. "Anything you can do to get value out of your miles in the short term is a good idea," Winship says.
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