Patagonia is a destination that makes it to every traveler’s bucket list sooner or later. This huge region spreads across Argentina and Chile and can take years to be explored in full, but there are some unmissable, iconic places that a first time visitor just cannot miss.
Here they are!
1 – Chubut region: Peninsula Valdés and Punta Tombo
A few places in the world are home for such a variety of animals: whale watching is a must here, while sea lions, penguins, guanacos and ostriches – to name a few – will stare at you in curiosity. About 2 hours south of Peninsula Valdés is Punta Tombo, a pinguinera (penguin colony) where you can see Magellanic penguins nesting, swimming and… crossing. Remember to yield!
In the same region it is also possible to see the beautiful Commerson’s dolphins, which are only found in this area of the world.
2 – Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego, “the land of fire” is split between Argentina and Chile. The most touristic side is the Argentinian one with the worldwide famous Ushuaia being the southernmost city in the world.
An excursion (even better camping) to the Tierra del Fuego National Park is a must, as well as a boat trip along the Beagle Channel which separates Chile and Argentina but also connects the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. How cool does that sound?
3 – Torres del Paine National Park
The Torres del Paine National Park is in the Chilean part of Patagonia and represents a dream destination for nature lovers and hikers, who flock to this remote part of the world for its challenging trekking opportunities: the infamous “W” trail for instance lasts about 4 days and takes intrepid hikers across epic landscapes such as glaciers, lakes and legendary mountains – the most famous being Torres del Paine and Cuernos del Paine with their unmistakeable (and unforgettable) shapes. It is also possible to visit the park without hiking, by car or with an organised excursion, to see its main beauties.
4 – Los Glaciares National Park
This huge National Park includes 2 of the most famous places in Patagonia: the Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy. Glacier Perito Moreno together with other beautiful glaciers (Upsala and Spegazzini) are located in the south of the park by the Lake Argentino. Sleeping in El Calafate is a the best option to explore them.
Mount Fitz Roy and its incredible range, another legendary destination for hikers from all over the world, is instead in the north of the park by Lake Viedma. El Chaltén is the “base camp” for some of the most breathtaking hikes you’ll ever have.