Patagonia

The wilderness at the end of the earth

Patagonia occupies a special place in travel lore: A wilderness of rock and ice, remote frontier communities and vast glacial landscapes. But you don't need to be an intrepid explorer to enjoy these far southern reaches of Chile and Argentina. There are easy-going hikes from homely and luxurious lodges, birdwatching and nature-spotting galore, not to mention expedition cruises of the fjords, or beyond to Antarctica. Everything you've heard about Patagonia is, probably, true. But that doesn't mean you've heard it all. Dig in, you might be surprised by what you find.

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Patagonia travel guides

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Things to do in Patagonia

Our recommended experiences and activities

Cruise Cape Horn fjords

Forget everything you think you know about cruises; the voyages between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas are genuine expeditions that get you up close to the dramatic fjords, glaciers and wildlife of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.

Typical stay: 5 days

Glaciers in action

The Southern Patagonian Ice Field straddles the border between Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, feeding most of the region’s glaciers. Visit Argentina’s Glaciers National Park to witness Perito Moreno calving building-sized blocks of ice or, better still, go for a guided hike on the ice itself.

Typical stay: 1 day

Frontier living

Gaucho (cowboy) culture is alive and well in Patagonia. Spend a couple of nights on a working estancia (ranch) and get stuck in with shearing sheep and long rides through the open country on horseback.

Typical stay: 3 days

Kayak the Marble Caves

Variously called the Marble Caves, Chapel or Cathedral, these spectacular turquoise formations on the shores of Lake General Carrera can be explored by boat or kayak from the frontier town of Puerto Río Tranquilo. The area is also great for hiking and mountain biking far from the tourist crowds.

Typical stay: 1 day

Photo safari in Chacabuco

Head to the hills of Valle Chacabuco for unrivalled wildlife spotting and nature photography. In abundance are the skittish guanaco (a cousin of the more famous llama), Chilean flamingo, and Andean condor. Look more closely and you might spot a puma or an armadillo!

Typical stay: 3 days

Hiking Torres del Paine

Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is renowned for its trekking and hiking, with excellent infrastructure for day hikes and multi-day treks. While the popular W and Circuit treks steal all the glory, other lesser-trafficked routes are available.

Typical stay: 4 days

Chaltén and Fitz Roy

Chaltén and Fitz Roy

Hot on the heels of nearby Torres del Paine, Argentina’s Fitz Roy Range (inside Glaciers National Park) is a contender for the most impressive hiking landscapes. The country around El Chaltén is truly jaw-dropping, with options for self-guided day hikes or multi-day camp-outs.

Birdwatching in Patagonia

What Patagonia lacks in megafauna it more than makes up for in rare bird life. There are Magellanic penguins on the Valdes Peninsula, Andean Condors soaring above Torres del Paine, flamingos in Tierra del Fuego, and much more everywhere else. Bring your binoculars!

Typical stay: 3 days

Patagonia recommended routes

Patagonia trip ideas

Journeys with our recommended operators