10 reasons to visit Patagonia
Patagonia is a region at the southern end of South America, shared by the countries of Argentina and Chile. It is a place of immense beauty and the ideal destination for exploring on foot.
Here we reveal 10 of the best attractions on a walking holiday in Patagonia.
1. For fabulous landscapes: Patagonia is home to the southern section of the Andes mountain range, deserts, steppes, grasslands, lakes and two long coasts. It boasts huge glaciers, icebergs and designated national parks. Wherever you go and walk, you’ll be wowed by the stunning scenery.
2. To see glaciers close up: Until you have seen a glacier at close quarters it is difficult to describe the breath-taking beauty and incredible size. Patagonia is famed for its glaciers and a superb place to visit is the Los Glaciares National Park, which is home to the largest ice cap outside of Antarctica and Greenland.
Perito Moreno Glacier
You can hike on the immense Perito Mereno Glacier, which soars up to 70m high in places, to see the other-wordly landscape of the ice formation, including crevasses, lagoons, gullies and streams. The park also has specially contructed walkways so that you can walk close to the head of the glaciers.
3. Drive the road to El Chalten: Between the town of El Calafate and the village of El Chalten the road heads through a magnificent landscape of high mountains and mighty peaks. Give yourself twice as long as you’d expect to do this journey because the chances are you will want to stop to take photos every five minutes or so!
4. For flamingos: While the town of El Calafate is famed for its nearby glaciers, it also boasts the fabulous sight of pretty flamingos on Lake Argentino.
5. To walk in the Capital of Trekking: El Chalten is a village located at the base of two mountains, Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy, which are popular with climbers. For this reason it is named the Trekking Capital of Argentina. It is also a place of immense beauty thanks to the soaring and mighty peaks. Many hiking trails offer the opportunity for exploring these immense granite mountains and reveal famous views of the Andean landscape.
6. To sail Viedma Lake: The lake is famous for being one of the largest glacially formed lakes in Patagonia. A boat trip offers spectacular views of Viedma Glacier and also Mt Fitz Roy in the background.
7. For Torres del Paine National Park: The fantastically beautiful national park is located in Chilean Patagonia and is an absolute must-visit in this region. You can hike on trails through valleys and alongside lakes, all the while with breath-taking vistas of soaring mountains, electric-blue icebergs that cleave from glaciers and golden pampas lowlands. Don’t miss the high Salto Grande waterfall and the horn-like rock formations of the Cuernos del Paine, from which the park takes its name.
8. For vibrant city life: Both Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile are exciting cities to visit and wander around. In Buenos Aires you might like to visit the exclusive neighbourhood of La Boca and see the sights of the Colon Theatre, the National Congress and the Presidential Palace.
9. For Tango dancing: See the lively dance of the Tango performed for you at an exciting show in the city of Buenos Aires. If you fancy trying some of the moves of this traditional South American dance you could also book a lesson or two.
10. For wine tasting: Chilean wine is famed worldwide so while you are here you should really visit a winery. In Santiago you can take a tour at Concha y Toro winery to see the cellars and sample a few delicious wines.