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10 Reasons to Visit Patagonia
2 Min Read
10 July 2023
10 Reasons to Visit Patagonia

Where is Patagonia? 

Cast your eyes to the bottom of South America, pointing like an icy finger towards Antarctica. You’re looking at Patagonia, a region shared between Chile and Argentina, and defined by its untamed nature, hardy locals, and dramatic remoteness. ‘Patagonia’ derives from 500 years ago when Portuguese sailor, Magellan, was the first European to meet the indigenous Tehuelches. Seeing their large size, he called them ‘Patagoni’ - Big Foots - and the name stuck. 


Here are 10 reasons you should visit Patagonia

  1. Visit the End of the World – Landing in Ushuaia during a midsummer snowstorm, a local said, ‘People say this is the end of the world, but maybe it’s the start of everything’. Throughout Patagonia, the feeling you’re a long way from home is inescapable. The landscapes, weather and towns are as wild and remote as you expect them to be. If you’re in the market for a spot of solitude, Patagonia’s the place to be. 

  2. Dramatic Mountains – Some of the world’s most iconic mountains form the Andean spine through Patagonia. Names like Torres del Paine and Cerro Fitzroy create an air of excitement for many would-be mountaineers but seeing them in person – hiking beneath their gaze - is unforgettably awe-inspiring.  

  3. Astonishing Wildlife – An unexpected mix of wildlife calls Patagonia home. Pumas move unseen while llama-like guanacos dot every landscape. Armadillos scurry and beavers dam. The birdlife is equally impressive. Penguins swim from Antarctica, ostrich-like rheas race across the pampa, hummingbirds flit between flowers, and condors circle above. 

  4. Rich Food Flavours – Patagonian cuisine embraces intense flavours. Cordero Patagonico (Patagonian Lamb) proves meat is best slow-cooked over a fire; while the skin is crispy, the smoky meat falls from the bone. To taste the sea, try Chupe de Centolla – creamy King Crab Stew baked with breadcrumbs and cheese. Facturas satisfy a sweet tooth - these dulce de leche-filled pastries are deliciously moreish. 

  5. Refreshing Drinks – While Chilean and Argentinian wine is world-famous, Patagonia’s craft beer is unknown. Criminal! Clean Patagonian water and a lively microbrewery culture give its beers a unique and refreshing taste. For something non-boozy, try the popular mate tea (pronounced ma-tay), Argentina’s national drink, known to rejuvenate and focus the mind. 

  6. Active Travel Hub – Patagonia hosts world-class hiking, canoeing, fishing, cycling, and horse riding. The hiking trails in particular rival anywhere in the world. For superb day hikes from your front door, Argentina’s El Chalten has you covered. For multi-day adventures Torres del Paine’s ‘W’ Trek is unbeatable.  

  7. Land of Gauchos and Pioneers – Patagonia is a hostile landscape…yet the warmth of the locals makes it a welcoming place to visit. You’re unlikely to meet many indigenous people, but their intimate relationship with the land lives on and unique customs and clothing remain central to Patagonian identity.  

  8. Front-row views of Giant Glaciers – Patagonia is a land of ice where you can get close enough to hear glaciers sing as they slide forwards, and watch house-sized chunks of ice calve away. Perito Moreno Glacier advances two metres per day, guaranteeing glacial drama, while Glacier Grey is a 6-kilometre-wide spectacle as it tumbles into the lake.  

  9. Sustainable Tourism – National Park recognition protects swathes of Patagonia, much of it thanks to brands like North Face and Patagonia. This offers a precious opportunity to visit places as untouched as they should be. When you visit on a Macs trip, your visit leaves the smallest footprint and preserves these places for future generations.  

  10. A Diverse Place – Patagonia’s landscapes are far more varied than just its mountains. Incoming weather slams the Andes and creates rainforests. Think dense vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and eternal rain. Travel east and people live in fertile valleys, a Goldilocks region with just enough rain and sun. East again, and the Andean rain-shadow creates dry pampa. 

Josiah Skeats

Written by

Josiah Skeats
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