The name Patagonia conjures up images of towering mountains, raging rivers, deep fjords and stunning glaciers. Covering the southern part of Chile and Argentina it is a huge area similar in size to the province of Ontario and 1.5 times the size of Texas. If you are planning a trip you may be wondering what the highlights of Patagonia are? Read on to discover places like Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno Glacier, Fitzroy and Ushuaia.
Lying well south of the capital Santiago, Chilean Patagonia is defined by spectacular Torres del Paine. And sure enough, there are no views like it on earth: the towering granite pillars of Paine, reflected in the waters of Lago Nordenskjöld. Combine it with the expanse of Glaciar Grey, the azure lakes, the hiking and trekking routes meandering through forests and over mountain passes, leading to spectacular viewpoints, the large herds of guanacos and the overwhelming sense of being in the wilderness, and you begin to understand why UNESCO protected Torres del Paine is a must-see for every visitor to Patagonia.
Chile is also well known for its fjords and a cruise through them will get you breathtaking sunsets, stunning fjords and mountains and fascinating wildlife.. Choose from 3, 5, 6 or 7 nights and enjoy side trips to the far reaches of the continent, including legendary Cape Horn.
Near Punta Arenas in the fjordlands in the south of Chile, 120,000 Magellanic penguins can be found on tiny Isla Magdalena. The colony at Seno Otway is smaller but easier to reach.
Travelling across the border in to Argentina, Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the easiest accessible ice fields in the world and walking one of the boardwalks along its five kilometre long face is one experience you will not soon forget. Icebergs and chunks of ice calve off the glacier and plunge in to the depths of Iceberg Channel.
Located just outside the homely village of El Chaltén, north of Perito Moreno, the Fitzroy range offers world-class hiking, ice climbing and camping amidst some of the most spectacular mountain scenery you will see anywhere in the world.
Dramatically hemmed in between mountains and the icy waters of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia, lying at the end of the world, is the gateway for Antarctic cruises as well as for visits to and hiking in spectacular Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Travelling up the Argentine coast, Península Valdés is home to a staggering array of wildlife – sea lions, killer whales, elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, guanacos, rheas and numerous seabirds. Southern right whale breed here between June and mid-December.
Finally, and not often thought of as being part of Patagonia, lying as it does at the northern extremity of it, San Carlos de Bariloche, or Bariloche for short, is the prime holiday destination for Argentinians. People come here to experience the stunning landscapes of the surrounding mountains and the lake district. Enjoy one of the many activities on offer: hiking, horse back riding, mountain biking or fishing to name but a few. Bariloche is the gateway to the Ruta de los Siete Lagos, a picturesque road showing you the sparkling waters of seven Patagonian lakes as they shimmer in every imaginable shade of blue.
Travel to Patagonia is at its best from mid-November through mid-March. No matter where you go in Patagonia you will have an amazing tour. Contact us for more information or tour suggestions.