Patagonia is a region spanning the south of Chile and Argentina and one of Earth’s most evocative places. It contains some of the most dramatic peaks, emerald lakes, pristine wilderness, and impressive glaciers in the world. Patagonia is home to some of the most iconic wildlife in the Americas, such as the Andean condor, Magellanic Penguin and Puma. It is also common to see guanaco, rhea, viscacha, and Chilean flamingo on the southern end of the continent.
This vast region encompasses one million square kilometres and includes the southern section of the Andes mountains as well as deserts, ice fields, steppes, and grasslands. And with a population density of just under two people per square kilometre, it’s easy to lose yourself in the majesty of this vast wilderness. The main gateways in Argentina are Bariloche, El Calafate, or Ushuaia (all with direct flights from Buenos Aires). While in Chile, you can fly from Santiago to Puerto Montt, Balmaceda, or Punta Arenas to start your Patagonian adventure.
When to go to Patagonia?
– Lakes District is an all-year-round destination and is ideal for self-drive through the scenic lakes route.
– Winter (June to August) offers excellent skiing centres in Bariloche, Villa La Angostura, San Martin de Los Andes, and Ushuaia.
– The months between May and December are the best for whale watching in Valdes Peninsula, Patagonia, Argentina.
– Visit Carretera Austral from October to April when the days are longer and the weather is mild.
– Book well in advance to travel to Torres del Paine during the summer months. Alternatively, go from March to November for fewer crowds and better chances of spotting the elusive puma.
– El Calafate can be visited all year round. However, to avoid crowds, consider travelling in spring or autumn.
Our Experts Choice:
– The Carretera Austral is perfect for self-drive holidays, with very little traffic and plenty of opportunities for off-road adventures.
– Discover the unique cultural heritage of Chiloe Island, a land of myths and legends.
– Travel to Bahia Bustamante, an exclusive seaside lodge surrounded by 360° of pure nature with a staggering number and diversity of seabirds and marine mammals.
– Board a cruise following the fjords of the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego, and explore the natural beauty of Patagonia with its glaciers, rivers, ice fields, and the mystical Cape Horn.
– El Chalten is the perfect base for many spectacular guided or self-guided hiking options. Laguna Capri, Piedras Blancas Glacier, and Laguna Torre are the most popular.