Top 7 spots in Patagonia
Best places to visit in Patagonia
Planning a trip to Patagonia is definitely a challenging task. Given the size of the region that (often mistaken for a country) extends over Chile & Argentina, it’s pretty hard to figure out an idea for either a short or long trip. On top of that, the choppy transport that even during tourist peak season doesn’t work so well, is also a big unknown variable that could inevitably affect your thought-out pre-planning.
Yes, you might have figured it out by now. Exploring Patagonia is not easy but with patience, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most amazing trips of your lifetime. The region is full of breathtaking landscapes, unique wildlife, amazing hikes and pristine places that you wouldn’t find anywhere else on the planet. In short, you could say that independently of how you decide to visit Patagonia, we’re sure you’d be in for a great adventure.
And like many adventures, it has to start somewhere. Therefore, here’s a list of our Favourite 7 spots in Patagonia that we would go back anytime if we had the chance to.
- El Chalten
Located on the Argentinian side of Patagonia, yet very close to the border of Chile, the town of El Chalten is what many would call a “hiker’s paradise”. The place gets a lot of attention during summertime but if you like nature, peace and mountains there’s really nowhere else you should be looking at. After spending ten days in El Chalten, we just kept falling in love with it to the point we even considered extending our stay there and rule out another destination on our bucket list. Just on the outskirts of El Chalten you can also find the northern bit of Los Glaciares National Park a.k.a. the most incredible spot in the whole region for trekking.
- Los Glaciares National Park
It might sounds a bit of a cliché but looking back at our patagonia trip, this spot was undoubtedly the place that shattered our expectations (in a good way!). The park extends over a massive surface (all belonging to Argentina) which essentially creates the border between Argentina and Chile. In the North, you can enter the park through El Chalten (one of the few parks with free entrance) and gain access to a vast network of paths winding among an unbelievable landscape of glaciers. To make the most of this place, make sure to allot at least 4-5 days of hiking + camping, always weather permitting.
- Perito Moreno Glacier
Following up on the Los Glaciares National Park, the Perito Moreno glacier is nothing but another entrance (this time in the South) to the above-mentioned park. Found just a couple of hours away from the touristy town of El Calafate, visiting this spot is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even though here you need to pay an entrance and there’s very little hiking involved, it doesn’t changed the fact that you’ll have the chance to see the walls of a moving glacier. Just imagine spectating enormous chunks of ice falling into the freezing waters of a mountain lake, literally just in front of you. Hard to believe, uh? And in case you didn’t know, Perito Moreno Glacier is also one of our planet’s glaciers that is not retreating!
- Punta Tombo
Across Patagonia, there are some locations where you can see penguins but given the size of the “region” these places are often thousands kilometres apart. On top of it, should you wish not only to see penguins but to walk among them then distances become even longer. Thankfully, visiting Punta Tombo gives you the opportunity to do both in an environment-friendly fashion. Nowadays, the Punta Tombo national reserve protect a population of around one-million penguins that get to this spot to mate and nest on a yearly basis. As long as you respect their daily routine, you’d be allowed to get close to them as you never did before in your life. TIP: Spend the night in Trelew to get here early morning and see them feeding in the ocean!
This off-the-beaten track tiny village practically tourist-free, is one of the gems that for us embodied Patagonia the most. After reading Chatwin’s book In Patagonia, you’ll feel like he was describing Puyuhuapi from top to bottom: a quiet lakeside village where time stopped long ago. On the outside, it does seem like you can’t really do much in Puyuhuapi nevertheless, if you look closely, you’ll find out this village has a very well-kept secret. Few people know that Puyuhuapi is the gateway to visit the unique hanging glacier of Quelat, something absolutely out of this world! Even finding transport from the town center to the glacier’s path can be hard but once there you’ll be aware with a very singular yet fascinating view!
Right in the heart of the Chilean fjords of Patagonia lies Chaiten, a lovely small port town still recovering from the huge eruption that nearly wiped it out back in 2008. Nowadays, the town is still far from being exploited - believe it or not we were there for the inauguration of the info point - but this is what makes it special. As the first Patagonian outpost if you’re coming from the North of the country, it is what you would expect it to be: green landscapes, complete wilderness and buckets of rain. Fancy hiking? Check out the walk to the top of the Chaiten Volcano: short but beautiful!
A fish-market full of sea lions, a wide network of canals and relaxed boat tours: that’s a short summary of what you can expect from Valdivia. The city itself is very laid back and can be the perfect starting destination for those who are looking to have a taste of the patagonian weather. That aside, the real strength of Valdivia is the vast selection of artisanal beers which gets produced on-site (e.g. Kunstmann). Valdivia’s beer are the among the best of Chile we can tell you right away that you shouldn’t miss visiting the breweries for some great tasting sessions. Here you can sample some of Chile’s best!
A massive thank you to Marta and Max for this awesome and inspiring blog all about their top 7 places to visit in Patagonia. The region is so vast and it's a great idea to have a plan of the places you want to visit. These top 7 places will make an awesome trip for anyone looking for the perfect Patagonia adventure! Please follow Marta and Max on Instagram at connected_horizons and check out their epic adventures through the blogs on their website www.connectedhorizons.co.uk
We hope this blog has inspired you to visit Patagonia, it's made us want to go even more that's for sure! Please let us know in the comments if you are planning to visit or have travelled to any of these places, we would love to know your opinion.