Patagonia, that magical place where culture and nature coexist in a beautiful way. Full of fjords, lakes, forests and glaciers to the west, and deserts, plateaus and steppe to the east. This region of southern Latin America offers a variety of different experiences to enjoy to the fullest the richness of the area. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the best things you can do in Patagonia, in order to inspire you to get the best Patagonia tours.
Kayaking in front of Glaciers
One of the best experiences in Patagonia is the possibility to observe the glaciers at a few meters. In Chile, in the western part of Torres del Paine National Park, you can go near the Glacier Grey, sailing in an area full of icebergs. It is called like this because of the amount of rock fragments that, combined with the ice, give a gray touch to the glacier.
In Argentina, you can kayak to see the Perito Moreno Glacier, the most famous glacier in the country, getting an even better perspective of its extraordinary size, rumble and movement. This glacier is located inside of the Los Glaciares National Park.
Trekking in Paradise
In Argentina, the capital of trekking is the town of El Chalten. This place is a villa located in Los Glaciares National Park that serves as a gateway to the trekking trails that surround Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy. This destination is essential for those who enjoy hiking.
Another possibility is to do the minitrekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier. You can enjoy the glacier from another perspective, a lot more personal and the views obtained from there are memorable.
Chile does not lag behind in terms of trekking, since the trails in the Torres del Paine National Park are very popular with trekking enthusiasts. One of the best-known circuits is the W Trek, of 76 km in total that take place inside the park. Its name is due to the fact that the route that these trails make has the shape of the letter W.
Something important about the Patagonia region is the variety of fauna. If you like to see penguins, Ushuaia is the ideal destination. Excursions can be made to walk among them. You can also see penguins on Peninsula Valdes (appointed World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999), but the attraction of this area are the whales. The sighting of Southern Right Whale in Puerto Piramides is one of the most requested experiences by tourists when going to Peninsula Valdes.
On the other hand, in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, you can observe pumas. Although these animals are usually very shy and elusive, the possibility of meeting one of them has become one of the most requested activities in recent times (and the chances are quite good).
Road tripping in Route 40, Lake District, Austral Road & Tierra del Fuego
Route 40 is one of the most iconic and scenic routes in Patagonia. It starts at Cabo Virgenes and ends in La Quiaca in the north of Argentina (around 5.000 kilometers). The southern section of Ruta 40 is probably the most popular among travelers. The most iconic attractions along the route are District of the Lakes (along the way you’ll pass by seven stunning glacial lakes: Lago Correntoso, Lago Machónico, Lago Espejo, Lago Hermoso, Lago Falkner, Lago Villarino, and Lago Lacar), Petrified Forest of Sarmiento and Cueva de las Manos (an archaeological site with cave paintings located in Cañadon Rio Pinturas). Near the Route 40 you can go visit El Chalten and El Calafate. The former is famous for being the capital for trekking in Argentina while the latter is where the famous Glacier Perito Moreno is located (like we talked before in this article).
Another scenic route is the final part of Route 3 which is in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost province of Argentina. The road trip passes through Rio Gallegos, Rio Grande, and ends in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world which you can only access after crossing the Strait of Magellan by ferry and driving a few kilometers through Chile.
The Carretera Austral Road Trip in Chile is also a must if you are visiting the Patagonia by car. Some roads are unpaved, or they have steep cliffs, but the views you take from the place are impressive. You’ll pass through charming towns like Puerto Montt, Coyhaique, and Puerto Tranquilo, where you can stop and explore local markets, savor delicious seafood, or take a boat trip to see the famous marble caves.
Cruising Chilean fjords to Cape Horn
This is one of the most beautiful ways to connect Argentina with Chile (or the other way around). You can take advantage of this route to go from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas and also enjoy breathtaking views of the Chilean fjords. One can take a private ship or go on cruises like Australis and do one of the itineraries they have to make the most of the trip.