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Patagonia bucket list

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The base of the towers of Paine, Patagonia Chile

 

Patagonia as a destination has inspired many an explorer, author, poet and simple traveller and is on many a bucket list.

 

Below you will find a sample bucket list that we hope will inspire the explorer, author, poet and traveller in you, and which would be entirely feasible in one incredible holiday to the end of the American continent.

 

A Patagonia bucket list

 

1) Visit the Magdalena Penguin Island near Punta Arenas.

Just off the coast of Punta Arenas in the Magellan Straits is Magdalena Island, home to a colony of over 120,000 Magellanic Penguins which can be visited during the season from mid October to mid April.

 

2) Sail Last Hope sound to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers from Puerto Natales, Chile.

A great day can be had setting off on a boat excursion from Puerto Natales, sailing the Last Hope sound to the Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers. It is so named because the navigator Juan Ladrillero in 1557 felt sailing it was his last hope to reach the Magellan Straits but found it came to a dead end at the glaciers. You can follow in his footsteps on an incredible sailing journey.

Last Hope Sound, Puerto Natales, Chile, Patagonia

Last Hope Sound from Puerto Natales

 

3) Trek to the base of the towers, Torres del Paine National Park.

Three granite towers (torres in Spanish) are what give the Torres del Paine National Park it’s name. This iconic park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, attracts many a visitor, especially during the main season from October through to April. Famed for its natural beauty, wildlife and trekking circuits, the most famous of which are the Paine W and the Paine Circuit or O. Both these circuits include the trek to the base of the towers. This 8 hour trek is demanding with a steep moraine that has to be climbed to reach the goal, a blue lagoon that nestles at the base of the towers. It is the best spot for lunch in the region!

Morraine Torres del Paine Trek Patagonia Chile

Moraine before base of Towers of Paine

 

4) Kayak on Lake Grey, Torres del Paine National Park.

The Grey Glacier flows southwards splitting in two as it flows into Lake Grey over a 6 km front. As it calves,  the chunks of ice splash into the water and the floes then float off. The nearest refuge and camp site is Refugio Grey. The site is used by those doing the Paine Circuit Trek and can be included in the W trek too. There is the option of signing up for a kayaking excursion from Refugio Grey on the lake, amongst the ice floes, and with incredible views of the glacier.

View point Glacier Grey Torres del Paine Patagonia Chile

Lake Grey

 

5) Explore the walkways at the Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina

Any visitor to El Calafate has to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. Vast in scale (over four miles wide and 60 metres high at its face!), this almost surreal spectacle is set amid a labyrinthine system of iceberg-filled waterways, and backed by deciduous beech forests and snow peaks.

There is network of wooden walkways with view points along the southern and eastern flanks of the glacier which enable one to get close enough to the glacier to hear it cracking and grumbling as it advances. There are also options for a sailing tour near the glacier and even an ice hike.

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Walkways at Perito Moreno Glacier

 

6) Trek to Laguna de Los Tres in the Glaciares National Park near El Chalten, Argentina.

Mount Fitzroy dominates the sky line around the area of El Chalten in the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. El Chalten is a small town from which you will find the trail heads for several spectacular treks within the Glaciares National Park. These can be done on the same day from the town. One of the most rewarding is the trek to Laguna de Los Tres, also known as the Mount Fitz Roy Trek. It covers a distance (as a day trek from El Chalten) of around 26 Km and will take in the region of  8 hours.  It is not a demanding trek but there is a steep  trail for around 40 minutes to reach the lagoon. Laguna de los Tres is a small lake which lies in the shadow of Mount Fitzroy. This trek can be part of a self guided itinerary or an escorted group trip.

arriving-through forest argentina

En route to Laguna de Los Tres

 

7) Sail the Beagle Channel to Cape Horn.

Cape horn, the end of the American continent can be reached on cruises from Ushuaia in Argentina and also from Punta Arenas in Chile. You can take a 5 day cruise which will stop, and weather permitting allow you to disembark in the Cape Horn National Park. Maybe this one should go to the top of your list!

australis parry-glacier-chile-patagonia

Shore excursion from Australis Cruise

 

Fulfilling your Patagonia bucket list.

The above bucket list can easily be incorporated into a holiday of two to three weeks. If you have a Patagonia bucket list which you wish to fulfil then do get in touch with us at Andean Trails and we will help make that bucket list into reality.

 

 

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