Planning a trip to Patagonia includes finding the best place to stay during your trip. There is a suitable option for each destination! However, it will be wise to think about the activities you expect to do during your vacation. So, we prepare a guide to spare you some time! Short and sweet, find out which are the best places to stay on your next trip to Patagonia.
1. Best places to stay in Patagonia
For hiking vacations
There are two destinations in Patagonia for hiking vacations, El Chaltén in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile. Let’s see which one suits you best.
On the one hand, El Chaltén is near El Calafate, so if your travel itinerary includes a visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier, reaching El Chaltén would be very easy. Many people choose to visit both destinations on the same trip.
El Chaltén is a top hiking destination because its surrounded by mountains and hidden lakes. Consequently, many hiking trails are available just by putting a foot outside your accommodation. That is to say, mostly all hikes start from the little village.
To sum up, El Chaltén is the best place to stay if you want to taste some of the best hikes in Argentina. Don’t worry if you aren’t an experienced hiker! There are easy, moderate, and high difficult self-guided trails you can choose according to your need.
If you have 5 days to visit El Chaltén and El Calafate this is the best itinerary option: El Calafate & El Chaltén Hikes – 5 days.
Torres del Paine
This is the best place to stay in Chilean Patagonia if you want to discover a truly wild landscape. Torres del Paine is called to the National Park, but also a pair of mountains inside the natural reserve recognized by UNESCO.
Inside the park, you can choose to stay in a hotel but also one of the many shelters. There is also an option to go glamping! Glamping is the contractions between “glam” and “camping”, so you can imagine what are we talking about… Briefly, you can stay in amazing eco domes, in share nature.
There is a 5-day hike many travelers do each year. It combines some of the best hikes inside the park and a couple of nights camping in refuges. It is called the W Circuit because the trail depicts a “w” if you trace it in a map. There is no restriction to book this experience. To learn more read our W Circuit Hiking Experience.
If you want to enjoy the W Hike, this is the best itinerary for you: Trekking Torres del Paine W Circuit – 5 Days.
To see wildlife
The best place to see wildlife in Patagonia is Península Valdés, a natural reserve north of Patagonia. The second most popular destination for wildlife spotting is Ushuaia, the farthest region of Argentine Patagonia.
First, if you want to travel to Península Valdés you will have to book accommodation in Puerto Madryn the nearest city. Though there are some estancias inside the península, most travelers choose Puerto Madryn because prices are lower.
Península Valdés is famous for the southern right whale which reaches the península and the Golgo Nuevo each year from June to December. You can go whale watching and see mothers swimming with their calves. During this period, there is a good chance to see whales from the coast too! Even if you’re staying in Puerto Madryn.
Other wildlife tours include snorkeling with sea lions, visiting a beach where elephant seals gather, and a penguin rockery where you can walk between these incredible animals!
If you’re planning to enjoy a wildlife trip to Península Valdés this is the best itinerary for you: Fantastic Animals of Patagonia – 6 Days.
On the other hand, if you choose Ushuaia, prepare to set sail and navigate the legendary Beagle Channel. This is a regular tour where you can see the Wolves Island, bursting with sea lions and cormorants.
There is also a famous island where you can enjoy a 1-hour walk among Magellan penguins and a national park where you can spot beavers.
Finally, if you visit Ushuaia in winter, you can go dog sledding and meet the cutest husky dogs!
This is our favorite travel itinerary to discover Ushuaia: Ushuaia the End of the World – 3 Days.
For soft adventure & self-drive circuits
Looking for amazing landscapes and scenic routes? Your accommodation choice has to be Bariloche!
First, the city is great and beautiful, with many restaurants, chocolate amazing shops, bars, interesting nightlife, a downtown beach at the coast of Nahuel Huapi Lake, and all sorts of hotels. The most famous, though it is a few miles away from the city, is the Llao Llao, maybe the most famous 5-star place to stay in Patagonia. This is a premium accommodation, but also an accessible visit for occasional visitors who want to visit the park on Llao Llao hill and enjoy tea time.
Second, Bariloche is the best place to enjoy soft adventure because there are a couple of famous mountains which you can summit rather easily, like Cerro Campanario and Mount Tronador. But if you prefer skipping aerobic activity, you can also reach the summit by cable car or car. Upon arrival at the top, there will be some pleasant surprises, like a spinning cafeteria and the most reputed sky slopes of South America!
Thirdly, for self-drive lovers, Bariloche is the best place to stay for a couple of nights and then start the Route of the Seven Lakes. This is a 6-day trip through Nahuel Huapi National Park, from Bariloche to Villa la Angostura in the neighboring province of Neuquén. The scenic route is stunning! Especially if you take it on Autom. Read about this 6-day route here.
If you have 4 days, this is the best itinerary for you: Bariloche & the Lake District – 4 Days.
2. How to book and when
Booking accommodation in Patagonia is not always easy. Very often the best places to stay run out of capacity fast. That is why we always recommend that you put in contact with your travel agent months before your departing dates.
We came up with this after receiving feedback from our travelers and personal experience. So, here you have some important advice on the matter:
- Booking for springtime (from September to March in the southern hemisphere) and summer is more difficult than booking for visiting Patagonia in winter (weather is not great).
- Bariloche, El Calafate, Puerto Madryn, even Ushuaia are big cities. But Torres del Paine and El Chaltén are not. Book fast and way before you trip if you want to go there.
- Talk to your travel agent and find out the best promotion for your destination. As travel professionals, local operators share with us benefits and information you may not find on Google.
3. Our favorite hotels
This is taught one! We have been creating tailor-made travel experiences since 1999, so our taste in hotels has changed. Nowadays, we look to work only with small, family-run hotels and B&B rather than big impersonal chains. This doesn’t mean we don’t have luxury accommodations to offer! On the contrary, we can advise you on low, moderate, and high budget hotels, but with a special and local touch!
That being said, read our latest hotel guide to Patagonia and choose the best place to stay for your next trip.
Do you want to visit other destinations in Patagonia we haven’t mentioned? Chat with us and find out what you need. You can also visit our website’s favorite tailor-made trips to Patagonia, consult our Patagonia Travel Guide, or continue reading our blog. ¡Buen viaje!