Mountain view in Patagonia

True Wilderness: The Best Places to Visit in Patagonia

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Niarra Travel

Stretching over 1,000 miles across Argentina and Chile down to the southernmost tips that reach out towards Antarctica, Patagonia is a place lauded for its thrilling expeditions and ethereal landscapes. Ranging from golden-grassed steppes to hardy forests to the towering mountain ranges of the Andes, the region is a haven for intrepid travellers seeking a true Latin American adventure.

Given the genuinely vast nature of Patagonia, it can be difficult to know exactly where you can experience the region at its most awe-inspiring. Here we take a look at some of the best places to visit in Patagonia where nature is at its most sublime.

Chile patagonia

Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Covering an area of 7,270 sqkm, this national park is the largest in Argentina, located right on the western border with Chile. It offers breathtaking views of snow-covered peaks and the Southern Patagonian Icefield.

Dominating the landscape is Mount Fitz Roy, which rises 3,405 metres above sea level. Its dramatic, jagged granite cliffs have made it one of the most iconic images of the Patagonian wilderness, as well as one of the most challenging peaks in the Andes, attracting adventurous climbers from around the world.

The park features several glaciers, whose meltwaters feed the vivid blue waters of Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma. As you explore this remote and surreal landscape, watch out for South American grey foxes, curious rheas, and the diminutive pudú - the world's smallest deer.

Access to the park is via the charming mountain village of El Calafate, known as Argentina's trekking capital and well worth a visit on your Patagonian journey. A boat tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier, stretching 5 km across, is a must-see with its magnificent 5 km wide ice wall, which is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in all of Patagonia.

Moreno Glacier in Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

This stunning park, located in southern Chile, is awash with natural beauty. Its colossal glaciers, aquamarine lakes, rolling grasslands, and snow-capped summits make it one of the best places to visit in Patagonia for an authentic experience deep in the wilds of the region.

The area's most defining feature is the three towering granite peaks known as the Cordillera Paine, from which the park aptly gets its name. Together they make up the enthralling Paine Massif mountain range, which pierces the skyline with its trio of impressive jagged formations.

Hike through the park’s famous trekking routes, the W Circuit and the O Circuit, which guide you through some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable, before taking in the mesmerising views of the Upsala and Grey Glaciers as they gradually calve gigantic icebergs into their azure lakes below. This region, along with neighbouring Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, make up over 90% of the South Patagonian Icefield.

See Andean condors gracefully in flight or flocks of long-legged Chilean pink flamingos, balancing on one foot in the shallows of the lakes. You might even spot the rare sandy-coloured guanacos, wild relatives of llamas, grazing on the grasslands, alongside Andean deer, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of a stealthy puma on the hunt in the open plains.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can saddle up with local gauchos on a horseback ride across the rich pampas. This is your chance to connect with the ancient Aonikenk culture and absorb the deep-rooted heritage that shapes this land.

Estancia Cristina in Upsala

Chile's Lake District

Located in the Andean foothills, this region is one of the most visually stunning in Chile. While not as rugged as some other areas of Patagonia, it offers an exceptional setting for relaxation.

Here, beautiful lakes meet volcanic cliffs, accompanied by winding rivers, flowing waterfalls, and thermal hot springs. Featuring lakes of emerald greens and dazzling blues, this region is extraordinarily picturesque and calming. Hike through its ancient forests and lush pastures, set against the backdrop of an epic volcanic mountain range.

To punctuate the more action-packed parts of your Patagonian adventure, you can explore the serene lakeside villages on the banks of Lake Llanquihue and soak in their charming German-inspired architecture. After a long day's hike, watch the sunset over the black sand shore of the lake as you savour Chilean delicacies and sip on a full-bodied red.

Chilean Lake District

Chiloé Island, Chile

One of the best places to visit in all of Patagonia is the fascinating Chiloé Island. The main island of an archipelago off the coast of southern Chile - a place that tells a tale of two landscapes.

To the east is where you’ll discover the island’s cultural charm with its idyllic fishing villages and over 150 wooden churches. Palafitos, or stilt houses, line the shores, perched above the eastern waters below. Meanwhile, the western side remains largely untamed, featuring national parks with lush evergreen forests, rolling hills and seemingly never-ending stretches of sandy Pacific coastline—excellent for wildlife watching and nature walks.

Here you'll find a bonanza of marine life congregating along the Pacific Ocean seashores with colonies of penguins and a cacophony of barking sea lions all there to greet you. This area is also a prime spot for whale watching, as various species come to feed and mate in the nearby waters. Watch for the blowhole spray as they break the surface and spot pods of dolphins playfully swimming alongside.

Tierra Chiloe

The best places to stay in Patagonia

Patagonia’s landscapes will connect you back to nature, and while the journey to these remote areas can be demanding, the serene beauty, thrilling adventures, and the chance to witness some of the planet's most stunning vistas make it all worth it. So now that you know the best places to visit in Patagonia, the question becomes, where to stay?

When looking for the best places to stay in Patagonia, there are many options to choose from, and it will depend on the region you are looking to visit and the activities you are looking to partake in. Here are our selections for bases from which to explore this spellbinding region and experience its Latin hospitality.

Estancia Cristina

Stay on a sprawling estate on a real Argentine homestead. This historic, green-roofed property is as beautiful as it is remote. Reaching it requires a three-hour boat ride, but upon arrival, you are transported into an authentic Argentine experience like no other. Comprising 20 guest rooms, it is the ideal place to visit the numerous glaciers and must-see attractions in Los Glaciares National Park.

Work up a sweat on energetic hikes and horseback rides around the estate and the sweeping pampas that surround it. Just a short distance from El Calafate, it serves as the best starting point for exploring the glaciers and landscapes that make this part of Argentina such a captivating destination.

Hotel AWA

If you are looking to explore the astounding Chilean Lake Region, Hotel AWA is an excellent choice. Situated right on the banks of Lake Llanquihue, this farm-to-table lodge offers a rustic experience with unrivalled views of the active Osorno Volcano, from the comfort of your bedroom.

The hotel allows you to easily explore the numerous national parks nearby. Featuring 21 guest rooms and a private villa, it is the optimal place to rest and recharge as you travel down through southern Chile.

Tierra Patagonia

If you are planning to visit Torres del Paine, a stay at Tierra Patagonia will not disappoint. Enjoy breathtaking views of the lakes and mountain peaks and feel instantly at one with nature.

The lodge boasts 40 beautifully designed rooms, complete with a spa and hot tub, all harmoniously blending with the natural environment. Located on the banks of Lake Sarmiento, you can paddle across the lake and take in even more of the stunning mountain scenery during your luxury stay.

So what are you waiting for? Begin crafting your epic excursion into the wilds of Latin America. Get in touch with our expert travel specialists on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK), +1 (833) 215 9353 (US) or at explore@niarratravel.com and experience the rugged landscape and untold magic of Patagonian.

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