You may have heard travelers describing Patagonia as ‘the end of the world’, this Southern region of Argentina and Chile is full of surprises. Coastal treasures, magical lakes, ancient forests and impressive glaciers, these do all belong to Patagonia’s delights. The area includes more than 40% of both Argentina and Chile, but as only 3 million inhabitants, making it an undisturbed nature and wilderness paradise.
The name Patagonia is derived from the word Patagon or giant that Magellan used in his description from 1520 of the area that was then though to be inhabited by natives of enormous size. You now may ask yourself, what are the most beautiful places to visit in this enormous area, what is it you should not miss out on when visiting Patagonia? We’ve listed the ultimate activities and places that will show you Patagonia’s true beauty.
Peninsula Valdes Whale Watching
Peninsula Valdes is one of the most impressive marine wildlife reserves in the world with whales, orcas, seals and penguins to be found in huge numbers both there and at neighboring sites, such as Punta Tombo and Punta Norte.
The Peninsula is the perfect place to glimpse the Southern Right Whales that come to the area every year between September and December. Whales can be seen from the shore, but we strongly advice to hop on one of the boats, the best way of watching the whales. Whale watching tours depart several times a day, but the most special departures are certainly those that include the sunset.
Walk on the Perito Moreno Glacier
The Perito Moreno Glacier is the largest glacier in the region and one of the most important natural wonders that can be visited in Patagonia, because of its constant advance. The glacier can be visited by boat and from the side, but have you ever thought about a mini-trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier. Yes, you’ve heard that right, with Class Adventure Travel you will be able to actually hike on the glacier, while many visitors stick to looking at this impressive glacier from the sideline.
The glacier is 30KM long, 5KM wide and 60 high, you will of course only cover a part of this gigantic surface during the mini-trekking and expect to be rewarded afterwards with a nice glass of whiskey, cooled with the ice of the glacier, right there on the Perito Moreno Glacier. Can it can any better?
Stay at a luxury Patagonian ranch
Give yourself the opportunity to become one with the vast and unreal Patagonian scenery and stay on one of the luxurious Patagonian ranches. Estancia Cristina is the perfect pick with several walking tracks, horseback riding options and 4×4 excursions. There is of course as well time to relax and enjoy the lovely surroundings.
Delicious Patagonian lunches and dinners will be served. Admire views of the mountain chain while enjoying your stay at a typical Patagonian ranch.
Views of Lake Nahuel Huapi
The widely stretched lake discrict reaches into both the Argentinean and Chilean sides of Patagonia and with a number of interesting routes, every visitor will be able to select their ideal route. Half and full day tours of the Circuito Chico and the 7 Lakes Route are the ideal way of exploring the Nahuel Huapi Lake from Bariloche. The Andes scenery and the lake views are impressive at every corner of this route. If you have more time a lake crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas is a must, sail the waters to Puerto Frias and Puerto Varas while enjoying spectacular views of several volcanoes and birdlife along the way.
Ushuaia ‘The end of the world’
The city lies on the shores of the Beagle Channel and the capital of the Tierra del Fuego island. It’s one of the leas populated areas in the entire region and can feel like the end of the world with its wide open spaces and never slowing winds. However it’s more than worth it to make a trip down to Ushuaia. The city is the perfect base for excursions to the Tierra del Fuego National Park and for a boat trip on the Beagle Channel that include the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, Seal island, Bird island and Paso Chico. Besides that it serves as the closest port for cruises to Antarctica.