Begin a new world of adventure in Patagonia.
Nature can sometimes be a wonder, and sometimes a mystery. Patagonia is both - a mysterious wonder to explore, and a wonderful mystery to discover. A sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America, Patagonia is a region shared by the countries of Argentina and Chile. Cool and dry in climate, Patagonia comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains, with lakes, fjords, and glaciers to the Chilean west; and deserts, tablelands and steppes to the Argentinian east. The southernmost part of the world, Patagonia is home to some of the most breathtaking and significant natural UNESCO World Heritage sites on this planet.
Fjords, flora and fauna. These are the mainstays of Patagonia’s unique beauty. The best time to visit Patagonia is October through March when it is summer in the Southern hemisphere, where conditions are better compared to Northern hemisphere summers. Nonetheless, its weather is a harsh yet hearty handshake; temperatures can still drop quickly, so one should still pack warm clothes, especially if you plan on trekking.
Patagonia demands your time and attention, so 10 days to 3 weeks is perfect to explore and experience its chilly charm. Going on your own is possible; accommodation in hotels or guest houses are fairly easy. Buses cover long distances along Ruta 40 (Argentina’s own scenic “Route 66” parallel to the famous American one). You can also rent a car for a more free-and-easy tour, or check out Australis - one of the many tour providers for Patagonia, offering a wide selection of experiences which includes cruises through the fjords and even around the famous Cape Horn.
The main attraction of Argentine Patagonia is the Los Glaciares National Park. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1981, its name refers to the glaciers that are born of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which is the largest continental ice extension after Antarctica, Greenland and Iceland.
While the Los Glaciares ice fields contain the largest glacier in South America, the Upsala Glacier, its highlight is the Perito Moreno glacier. It might be a fraction of the Upsala, but it is unique for its movement - it creeps forward daily, with icebergs calving from its front walls in a spectacular sight. Trekkers might disagree though, as Mount Fitz Roy is equally spectacular. Arguably the most stunning peak in the Andes, its majestic granite peak is the payoff for those trekking along the Lake Capri or Laguna de Los Tres Panorama trails.
Meanwhile, the Los Alerces National Park is the lesser known sister to Las Glaciares that is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. What stands out about Los Alerces is that it is home to 4,000-year old alerce cypress trees. Another UNESCO World Heritage site you might want to visit here is Peninsula Valdes. One of South America’s finest wildlife reserves, it is home to sea lions, elephant seals, Magellan penguins, seabirds and the endangered southern right whale.
The main attraction of Chilean Patagonia is what many say is South America’s finest national park, the Torres del Paine National Park. Part of UNESCO's network of biosphere reserves, this national park is truly a natural wonder - azure lakes and emerald forests complement radiant blue glaciers, while guanacos (relatives to the llama) roam the steppes as condors soar the peaks. The park is one of the 11 protected areas of the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica (together with four national parks, three national reserves, and three national monuments).
The star attraction here is undoubtedly the Torres del Paine, which are three granite peaks of the Paine mountain range, namely Torres d'Agostini, Torres Central and Torres Monzino. Many trekking trails lead to various views of these peaks, and some of the best views are from Lake del Toro, made even sweeter when you gaze upon it while sipping on your morning coffee
Patagonia goes to the very end of the Andes, the longest continental mountain range in the world that stretches along the west of the entire South America. It is also home to the Southernmost cities in the world, namely Puntas Arenas (South Point) and Puerto Williams in Chile, and Ushuaia in Argentina. In Ushuaia, you’ll find a 100-year old heritage railway called the Southern Fuegian Railway, also known as the Train of End of the World. It leads into the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which can be either your starting point for exploring Patagonia or one of the best ways to end your trip.
A trip to Patagonia isn’t for the conventional tourist or city slicker. Time flows differently in Patagonia, where travelling takes days between the cities and national parks, and the stunning sights that greet you are meant to be savoured slowly, like the breath of cool, fresh air that Patagonia is