Patagonia

The Land of Explorers

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Patagonia

In Patagonia, an honest connection with nature becomes an honest connection with your inner self. Hike and sail through the best tours in Patagonia and redefine adventure travel.

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FAQs

How can I travel to Patagonia?

You can take direct flights to Patagonia Argentina from Buenos Aires or to Chilean Patagonia from Santiago de Chile. There are also international flights and ground transportation to travel between Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia.

What is the best time of year to visit Patagonia?

The best time is from October to April (our summer). The weather is more pleasant for outdoor activities. However, Patagonia has a variety of activities available all year round!

What are the highlights of Argentine Patagonia?

From north to south, the highlights are Bariloche, the capital of the Lake District, Península Valdés, the most important wildlife reserve of Argentine Patagonia where whales come every year to breed their calves, El Calafate, where people go to visit the famous Perito Moreno Glacier, El Chaltén, the Argentine capital of trekking and, finally, Ushuaia, best known as the city “at the end of the world”.

What should I pack if I visit Patagonia?

Regardless of when you travel, bring warm clothes! Even if you travel during the Argentine summer and are blessed with a beautiful, warm day of sunshine, the winds can come out of nowhere and virtually blow you away in no time. So make sure you wear windproof/north-facing jackets, a hat, gloves, long pants, and scarves. Basically, warm clothes.

It is cold all year round in Patagonia?

Yes, it is important to have the right clothes to enjoy Patagonian nature. The weather can vary a lot on the same day and you can have the four seasons in 24 hours!

Which is the best clothing for hiking?

The best is to dress in layers, the weather changes a lot and it can be sunny and warm like a summer day, or it can rain, be windy, and even snow all on the same day! Wear shoes suitable for trekking, waterproof shoes are better. Sunscreen, sunglasses, a small backpack, and a water bottle that you can recharge.

What to do in Patagonia?

When you hear the word “Patagonia” you think of a vast, virgin, and distant territory in the southern tip of South America. Shared by two countries, Chile and Argentina, Patagonia offers beautiful and spectacular landscapes. Although this region shares its name between these two countries, the landscapes are completely different. 

Patagonia hosts stunning glaciers, and incredibly diverse wildlife, especially in Península Valdés.  The Perito Moreno Glacier, the penguins of Ushuaia, and the most reputed hiking trails of El Chaltén add to the highlights Patagonia charms travelers. 

Chile on the other hand is known by the fjords who many have sailed. From Puerto Montt to the archipelagos of Chiloe, Chonos and Aysen, and the mythical city of Castro, Chilean Patagonia offers different landscapes from Argentina. However, there is one place in Chilean Patagonia that overshadows any other destination,  Chile’s most famous national park, Torres del Paine.  With its three majestic pink and white granite towers guard, the park welcomes hundreds of hikers every day during summer.

To sum up, weather permitting, Patagonia is an all-in-one destination that offers something for everyone! You can choose between active trips, hiking journeys, or even family vacations to discover the best of Patagonia. 

Best types of trips in Patagonia

Best destinations in Patagonia

Patagonia features different regions and natural attractions. It is divided into the lake district, the coastline of Península Valdés where most of the Patagonian wildlife can be found, and the southernmost Patagonia which comprises Ushuaia, El Calafate, and Torres del Paine National Park. 

 

  • El Calafate, Argentina

Known as “the capital of glaciers”, El Calafate, is one of the most popular destinations in Patagonia. It was named after a typical blueberry that grows in the area (the legend says whoever eats a Calafate blueberry will always return to the city). It features the best of Patagonia in Argentina, giant glaciers, icy lakes, remote estancias, and no shortage of breathtaking views accompanying outdoor excursions such as trekking, kayaking, and horse riding. This is a small city, really easy to get around on foot, with beautiful views of Argentino Lake. The nearest airport has good flight frequency, this is the easiest way to reach El Calafate. The city and its glaciers (around 47 in the park) were discovered at the end of the XIX century. Today, El Calafate offers the famous Perito Moreno Glacier boat trips in Argentino Lake, day tours to Patagonia ranches to learn about the rural culture, visits to El Chaltén and Mount Fitz Roy to enjoy amazing views and adventure hikes and other activities.

 

  • El Chaltén, Argentina

     

Founded in 1985, El Chaltén is a little mountaineering village located inside the Glaciers National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Argentine Patagonia. For many years this secluded place remains the unexplored spot for intrepid travelers. Today, though it manages to preserve its little-town ambiance, El Chaltén is visited by many people every year who enjoy hikes of different lengths and difficulty levels. Is in this isolated corner of Patagonia where the famous Mount Fitz Roy can be admired. 

Mount Chaltén is another highlight near the village which was named after this colossal and sacred mountain for the Tehuelches, the natives of the region. Its summit, frequently covered by clouds, was called by the Tehuelches “Chaltén” which means “smoking mountain” in their language. In 2015, Chaltén was declared “National Capital of Trekking”, but travelers can also enjoy other adventure activities like kayaking, horseback riding, and sailing.

 

  • Puerto Madryn, Argentina

     

Puerto Madryn was founded in 1865 by a 150 group of Welsh that established on the area in 1886. Welsh, Spanish and Italian immigrants worked together to build the railway that would connect Puerto Madryn to the city of Trelew. Is in Trelew where today the nearest airport is located. 

Nowadays, the railway it’s no longer used, and many travelers fly to Trelew and stay in Puerto Madryn to visit the incredible natural reserve of Península Valdés, the most important wildlife hub of Patagonia. The Southern Right Whale arrives at the coast of the Península (but can also be seen from the very coastline of Puerto Madryn!) once a year, between June and December. On the other hand, from October to April, large colonies of Magellan Penguins can be seen too, making this coastal region a favorite among both wildlife enthusiasts and those in search of a truly once-in-a-lifetime Argentine experience.

 

  • Bariloche, Argentina

     

San Carlos de Bariloche locates in the Argentine province of Río Negro at the shore of the Nahuel Huapi Lake. In 1903, Francisco Moreno, an intrepid explorer, and scientist donated these lands to create the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the first in Argentina, and thus, Bariloche started to flourish. Few people know that the city is entirely located inside the park, famous today for its stunning lakes and mountains. Plus, Bariloche neighbors the Andes Mountain Range and features some spectacular mountains to be climbed like the Tronador, actually, a non-active volcano. 

Therefore, Bariloche is nowadays one of the most populated cities in Patagonia. It is the tourist hub for hiking or skiing, but also to taste the best artisanal chocolate and craft beer. In addition, the city is one of the most essential scientific poles in America. Students come to Balseiro Atomic Center and Institute to follow Physics and Nuclear Engineering studies.

 

  • Ushuaia, Argentina

     

Ushuaia is the capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego, best known as “the destination at the end of the world”. It is the southernmost tip of land in Argentina and a favorite destination for adventure traveling. To clarify, actually Tierra de Fuego is an island, separated from the American continent by the Strait of Magellan. From Ushuaia, you can sail through the legendary Beagle Channel too, and visit Les Eclereurs lighthouse. This is a popular outing because on the way travelers can spot islands covered by sea lions and cormorants. Moreover, you can hike in go kayaking in Tierra del Fuego National Park to enjoy a close encounter with the particular vegetation and wildlife of the region.

 

  • Torres del Paine, Chile

     

Torres del Paine National Park, created in 1959, is one of the most visited destinations in Chilean Patagonia. Its first inhabitants were the Tehuelches, a native community of skilled hunters. With its 227,298 hectares, extended hiking trails, glaciers, lakes, and stunning mountains, the park hosts thousands of travelers each year. In 1978, the park was declared as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, and the 8th wonder of the world in 2013. The “Torres del Paine” name refers to the three distinctive granite peaks of the Paine Mountain Range that soar more than 6,500 feet (nearly 2,000 meters) into the sky. The park welcomes more than 250,000 visitors every year and the 5-day “W” trek is the most famous hiking circuit inside the reserve.

 

  • Puerto Varas, Chile

     

Known as the ‘City of the Roses’, Puerto Varas locates is in the Lake District in southern Chile. It is located on the southwestern shore of the extensive Lake Llanquihue, which offers breathtaking views of the snow-capped and still active Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes. Traditional German-style architecture characterizes the city. Puerto Varas is a great choice for open-air adventures, excellent kayaking and angling are among the many activities this city offers. Renting a bike in Puerto Varas and riding to the beautiful Petrohué waterfalls while enjoying the many lakeside beaches on the way is one of the unique experiences we recommend. 

 

  • Puerto Natales, Chile

     

Puerto Natales is the nearest city to Torres del Paine National Park and features a nearby airport. Some of the highlights of Puerto Natales are the Milodón Cave, an archaeological visit that will make you travel 10,000 years into the past. The Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the Ultima Esperanza fjord. In Puerto Natales, you can navigate to see the largest glaciers in Patagonia!

What kind of people Patagonia tours suit best?

  • For animal lovers

     

Besides the great landscapes, another best thing about Patagonia it’s the native wildlife. On the Chilean side, the national park Torres del Paine is home to deer, foxes, swans, and solitary but still dangerous pumas that can be found chasing one of the funny-looking “cousins” of the llamas: the guanacos. Also, if you pay enough attention, you might see the Andean condor, known for being the largest bird on the continent.

Meanwhile, don’t think that the unstable weather and freezing temperatures of the end of the world have made it impossible for animals to survive: guanacos, rabbits, and aggressive beavers are all over Tierra del Fuego. The province is also one of the many penguin colonies of the region and if you jump on a boat, you may also get to see some Humpback whales. 

 

  • For athletic

     

Those who can’t stay still for a long time and enjoy playing sports even during their vacations can find great opportunities for enjoying adventure tours in Patagonia. Kayaking through the amazing fjords, rivers, and lagoons of the Lake District, skiing at the end of the world or the breathtaking Chilean volcanoes, horseback riding on the Patagonian steppe, climbing, mountain biking, rafting… the possibilities are endless.

 

  • For not that sporty but enjoy beautiful sites

     

The region is also perfect for calm visitors who enjoy watching and listening to nature for hours without having to undergo a great physical effort. Besides, one of the most amazing points of Patagonia is standing still, waiting for you, and being approachable by boat. Yes, I’m talking about Perito Moreno. Just watching the five kilometers of width and 60 meters over sea level that features this breathtaking ice mass is a once-in-a-lifetime experience impossible to forget.

The region is also perfect to take cruises that cross the fjords and glaciers of both countries. Another interesting option is to grab a car in Chile and jump on the Austral road that ends in the idyllic Lake O’Higgins after getting the most out of the beautiful region of Aysen. Meanwhile, on the Argentine side, one of the best drives is through the Lake District, where the stunning setting will make it impossible to resist not jumping out of the car a thousand times…

 

 

  • If you’re a cold-sensitive person

     

For those who are sensitive to cold, looking at the weather forecast can make them want to draw back from their adventure in Patagonia. It’s a huge mistake. It’s true that even if you arrive during the summer months (December-March), the temperatures will still be low and you’ll have to face fierce winds, but it’s worth it because it’s thanks to this unstable and harsh weather that this corner of the world has breathtaking scenery to offer. Besides, there are plenty of places to take shelter and interesting indoor activities, like the Paleontology museum in the city of Trelew, where the dinosaurs will help you warm up. Still, you MUST stay outside as long as you can. Put on your best winter clothes, and don’t forget to cover your feet, hands, and head. I guarantee you: it’ll be worth it.

The best trips including Patagonia

TourPriceDurationDescription
Best of PatagoniaFROM USD 15009 DaysExplore Argentina and Chile's most renowned locations during this 9-day active tour.
Hiking in PatagoniaFROM USD 421516 DaysDiscover the legendary vistas and unmatched natural treasures of Patagonia during this 2-week tour through Argentina and Chile.
Best of PatagoniaFROM USD 264013 DaysBegin your adventure in El Calafate and finish in Ushuaia, stopping along the way to see breathtaking glaciers and beautiful mountains.
Trekking Torres del Paine “W” CircuitFROM USD 15055 DaysHike to the renowned granite Paine Towers on this 5-day journey to Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia.
Argentine & Chilean PatagoniaFROM USD 469018 DaysYou'll travel from Argentina's glacier plains to Chile's fjords on an 18-day adventure to discover infinite Patagonia.

Planning your trip to Patagonia

In these hand-picked articles from our blog and our Covid-19 news section, you will find useful information for your next trip to Patagonia. 

 

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