Argentine Patagonia

Perito Moreno Glacier Patagonia Argentina

Argentine Patagonia, the southern half of Argentina, is a remote, wind swept land of plains, mountains, lakes and glaciers.

The main airport is at El Calafate which is the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park.

Nearby is the mighty Perito Moreno glacier where you have the opportunity to get up close to the ice on one of the many walkways or on a boat trip.

El Chalten, a  3 1/2 hour drive from Calafate, is the trail head for treks in to the base of Cerro Torre, Fitzroy or for the more intrepid, on to the South Patagonian ice-cap.

Ushuaia, on the Beagle channel, is the southern most city of Argentina. Ushuaia is fascinating for historical interest, is rich in wildlife and is departure port for many Antarctic cruises


Chilean Patagonia

The Horns in Torres del Paine National Park Chile

Chilean Patagonia is a pristine wilderness of fjords, glaciers, plains, mountains and forests.

Southern Patagonia’s main attraction is the Torres del Paine National park. The granite spires attract many visitors to what some have called the 8th Wonder of the World. The park is a trekkers paradise with two classic treks, the Paine W and the Paine Circuit.

Northern Patagonia, the Aysen region,  is one of the least populated parts of the country and is blessed with spectacular countryside.

The main airport is Balmaceda near the city of Coyhaique and must see places include Lake General Carrera and the Marble Caves, The San Rafael Glacier,  the Quelat Hanging Glacier as well as driving the Austral Road.

The Futaleufu River is a must for white water enthusiasts.

The region also offers great horseback opportunities as well as kayaking ones. Nature enthusiasts can admire the impressive scenery, imposing glaciers and fascinating wildlife and flora.


El Calafate, Argentina

Calafate flowers Patagonia

El Calafate is situated on the southern shore of Lago Argentino, and is your starting point for discovering Argentine Patagonia.

Most trekkers will come through El Calafate en route to Chalten and Fitzroy National Park.

Nearby attractions to El Calafate itself include the Perito Moreno Glacier – one of the few glaciers which is still advancing. There are a series of walkways mean that you can get up close to the 75 m high and 5Km wide glacial wall.

Other glaciers which can be visited are the Upsala glacier and the town has its own Glaciarium – ice museum.

The town offers a wide range of accommodation options and restaurants as well as outdoor shops.


Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

torres-del-paine-np-chile-patagonia

The granite spires of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park are one of the great draws to Patagonia.

The Horns of Paine and the Towers of Paine look down on a network of valleys and lakes punctured by the odd glacier, which are a trekker’s paradise.

There are two classic treks, the Paine W and the more challenging Paine Circuit.

As well as the spectacular scenery the flora and fauna are great attractions and you will find many herds of guanacos as well as rheas, the odd Pudu – a rare miniature deer.

And if you are lucky, even a puma.


Peninsula Valdes, Argentina

hiking-piramides-to-punto-pardelas-peninsula-valdes-argentina

The Valdez Peninsula on the northern coast of Argentine Patagonia is a paradise for nature lovers.

The Southern Right whale can be spotted from June to December, killer whales from September to April and Magellanic Penguins from September to March.

Sea lions, dolphins, seals as well as guanacos, rheas and armadillos can be found all year round.

There are lots of shells, fossils and natural history on full display in the rocky cliffs.

The gateway airport is at Trelew and the ideal base for exploration is Puerto Madryn.


Aysen, Chile

marble-caves-aysen-chile

The Aysen region is one of the great undiscovered destinations of Chilean Patagonia.

Here you will find the world renowned white-water of the Futaleufu river, the marble caves on Lake General Carrera, the San Rafael Glacier, the Quelat Hanging Glacier and stunning scenery.

This part of the country is the least densely populated, so if you want to get away from the crowds this is the place to come.

Access has always been difficult to the region – the principal airport Balmaceda and it was only opened up less than 30 years ago, with the construction of the Austral Road from north to south.


Bariloche, Argentina

Hiking Bella Vista, Bariloche, Argentina

Bariloche is the jewel in Argentina’s Lake District Crown.

Beautiful mountains, forests and lakes make this area perfect for anyone who likes the outdoors.

You can kayak, bike and hike around the stunning scenery of Nahuel Huapi National park.

Or perhaps hike to amazing viewpoints with panoramas over a geographically stunning area of great beauty.

Bariloche also offers the Cruce Andino Lake Crossing into Chile. The best time to visit the area is October-April.


Chile Lake District

Osorno Volcano Lake District Chile

The Chilean Lake district is an area of snow capped volcanoes that overlooks pristine lakes surrounded by forests and rolling countryside.

The Northern gateway is Temuco Airport. A short drive is Villarrica Lake overlooked by the volcano of the same name. The monkey puzzle tree is autochthonous to the region and can be found all over particularly in Conguillio National park.

The town of Pucon is a great base from which to explore the nearby National parks, hot springs, Mapuche indigenous settlements and for the more adventurous rafting, canopy, trekking and climbing.

In the middle of the region you will find the private Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, a protected area of Patagonian cold rain forest.

The Southern sector, whose gateway is Puerto Montt, is dominated by Lake Llanquihue and the conical Osorno Volcano.

A popular base is the town of Puerto Varas on the lake shore from where one can visit the local beauty spots or set off on adventures that include biking, kayak, trekking, rafting and much more.

This area combines very well with the Argentine Lake district and the towns of Bariloche and San Martin de Los Andes.


Puerto Natales, Chile

monument-to-the-wind-puerto-natales

Puerto Natales has the feel of a small frontier town.

Located on the banks of the Last Hope Sound this town had its origins in the shipping out of lamb from the local estancias.

Now it is the gateway to the Torres del Paine National Park and boasts an impressive selection of accommodation and restaurants.

Nearby attractions include the Milodon Cave and a full day sailing tour to the Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers.

If you have time it’s worth trekking to the top of the nearby Dorotea hill for a spectacular view of the surrounding country side.


Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia Tierra de Fuego Argentina

Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, is Argentina’s southernmost city and is perched on the Beagle Channel.

What was once a remote penal colony is now a bustling port and the gateway to Antarctica.

Ushuaia is historically interesting, Charles Darwin wrote much about it, and it is home to some interesting museums of naval history.

Visitors can take a sailing tour on the wildlife rich Beagle channel, visit a Penguin colony during the season, trek into the mountains behind the city and kayak in the Tierra del Fuego national park.

Cruises set off from here for Antarctica or Punta Arenas in Chile – via Cape Horn.

 


El Chalten, Argentina

El Chalten Patagonia Argentina

El Chalten is the trailhead for the trekking trails into the Glaciares National Park – Fitzroy!

Day treks include the Torre Trail (to Lake Torre), trek to Laguna Los Tres at the base of Mount Fitzroy, and the Loma de Pliegue Tumbado Trek.

The town is also the departure point for expeditions to the Southern Ice Field.

Other options in the area include horseback riding, kayak, mountain bike and glacier treks.

This small settlement has a variety of accommodation options.


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