Shared across two beautiful countries, Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is a fascinating region that should be on the must-visit list of every nature lover. With mesmerizing deserts, grasslands, and arid steppes in Argentina, the temperate rainforest and the impressive glacial fjords of Chile, as well as the imposing Andes Mountains, Patagonia has something for every taste. If you are thinking about visiting this fascinating area, but can’t decide yet, continue reading this article and find out the 7 best places to visit in Patagonia.
1- Torres del Paine National Park
Located in Chile’s Patagonia region and known for the breathtaking granite pillars of Torres del Paine that dominate its landscape, this incredible park is one of the 7 best places to visit in Patagonia. But there is much more to see in this beautiful natural area. So prepare yourself for a memorable escape filled with diverse landscapes, rich forests, rivers, a stunning blue glacier, and many other surprises that promise to amaze your eyes.
To have a memorable experience you only need to put on your comfortable shoes and immerse yourself in a trekking adventure into the wilderness of this remarkable UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The park offers many beautiful spots, but the W Trek is Torres del Paine’s most famous hiking route.
The park also offers amazing activities for those who are not so active: sail on Lake Grey and let the eponymous glacier amaze your eyes, admire the jaw-dropping landscape, and don’t miss Cuernos del Paine, the impressive horn-shaped peaks or the three granite towers that gave the park its name.
Best time to visit: Travel in autumn.
Patagonia’s Torres Del Paine National Park is breathtaking – and the world does know it. It can get crowded, especially in the summer months (December – March). Sometime towards the end of May and early April, when autumn has well and truly set in, the visitor numbers drop considerably and you have the trails, campsites, transport and stunning vistas all to yourself! If you are planning to do the W trekking Torres del Paine, Mid-end of March I consider one of the best times of year to hike the more popular trails. The colors of the leaves are truly spectacular in autumn in Patagonia and the park is quieter. Days are getting shorter, but with daylight from around 7.30am to 8pm you’ll still have a full day of sun for your hike and The famous Patagonian wind is starting to die down.
How Long to Stay: Minimun of 4 days/3 nights
If you are an active traveler and the focus of your trip is hiking, exploring and experiencing the area the trekking options lasts between 4 and 8 days. Have at least 4 days/3 nights so you will see the three iconic highlights of the national park, Valle Francés, Base of the Towers, and Glacier Grey.
Where to Stay: Staying inside the park is the best way to experience it.
One of the reasons you should sleep in Torres del Paine and not outside the park is the daily round trips you will have to make if you are planning to visit the park more than one day. Read more about it: 5 best hotels and Camps to stay in Torres del Paine
2- El Chalten
Nature is not the only aspect that makes Patagonia such a great destination. The region is filled with charming villages, and El Chaltén is definitely one of its most beautiful. Famous for being the “Argentine Capital for trekking” this colorful cultural paradise is filled with curious visitors, travelers and welcoming locals. Overlooking the northern part of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, El Chaltén features incredible landscapes, and it is an oasis of peace filled with hippie values and trekkers thirsty for adventure.
Most of the trails are free of charge and you do not need any previous experience in the mountains to visit El Chaltén.
Best time to visit: October, november and april .
The tourist Season in El Chalten begins in october and normally ends in april. During this season with the warm weather and longer days you can do all hiking trails and activities. The higher number of visitors arrive during the summer from december to march, thats why we suggest october, november and april to visit the area.
How Long to Stay: Stay at least 3 days
You will need at least 3 days to do some of the short o medium treks and some of the excursions that El Chalten offers. If you are an active trekker take at least 5 to 7 days or you will want to come for more!
Where to Stay: El Chaltén offer all kind of accommodations.
From hotels with comfort and sophistication, which include restaurants, gym, among other services, mountain lodges, mountain refuges and the possibility of camping or Glamping. The most demanding time for accommodation is during january and february so we recommend booking at least with 3 month in advance.
3- Los Glaciares National Park
If you want to visit the glaciers in Patagonia, Perito Moreno Glacier is the best choice. Considered to be one of the most famous glacier in the world, its imposing beauty gives him a special place on our list of 7 best places to visit in Patagonia. Once you get there, you will see why this is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any Patagonia trip.
Surrounded by relaxing turquoise waters, this fascinating wonder of nature covers around 12 square miles, rises a height of about 240 feet above the water, and it is still growing. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the third-largest reserve of freshwater on the planet. It is one of the Seven Natural wonders of Argentina chosen by the people.
Best time to visit: the best time to go to Perito Moreno is in the summer (Dec – Mar).
As in the rest of Patagonia, autumn is a beautiful time to go as the leaves change color so the landscape is absolutely gorgeous and it is less popular. If you travel during the summer, try to visit the park early in the morning after it opens or before the park close to avoid the crowds.
How Long to Stay: Stay at least 3 days/ 2 nights
One day we suggest doing the mini-trekking or big Ice trekking in the Glacier and the second day enjoy one of the navigations to see the rest of the Glaciers or a Kayak experience surrounded by icebergs.
Where to Stay: The closest town is El Calafate.
El Calafate is the Central Hub to Patagonia, is the perfect place to fly into from Buenos Aires and connect by land to El Chaltén and Torres del Paine. You can stay in one of the hotels situated there. But feel free to stay outside of town in any of the Patagonia Estancias and live an authentic Patagonia Gaucho way.
4- Best Places to visit in Patagonia: Puerto Madryn, a whale watchers’ heaven
If you are an animal lover, a wildlife trip to Peninsula Valdes will make you very happy. There is no better whale watching show, than the one offered by this lovely place. And this is one of the reasons why Puerto Madryn is among the most important destinations on the coast of Patagonia.
People are fascinated by the unique spectacle given by the whales, and they instantly fall in love with the welcoming vibe of the city.
When to go for Whale Watching? From June to mid-December
Earlier in the season El Doradillo beach right outside Puerto Madryn is the best place to find them.
From around September, the whales head around the peninsula to base themselves on the northern bay, and thus it is better to stay in one of the Estancias on the Peninsula.
Whale Species will you see ? The Southern Right Whale mesures 20 meters in length and can weigh up to 50 tonnes in weight
Take your trip of a lifetime to whale watch in Patagonia. Check our suggested Wonderful Argentina from North to South trip.
5- Best Places to visit in Patagonia: Ushuaia, at the end of the world
Many people dream about arriving at the end of the world, and if you are one of them and you plan to visit Patagonia, you have this cool chance. Ushuaia, the town at the end of the world is the southernmost city of Argentina, and its location is not its only attraction. Boasting with parks, museums, amazing cuisine, and incredible landscapes this town is a must-see for every type of traveler.
Best time to visit: You can visit Ushuaia any time of year.
High season (summer) is from December – March and has the warmest temperatures, but also the most tourists. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are becoming increasingly popular due to mild day temperatures and fewer visitors.
How Long to Stay: 3 days/ 2 nights
We suggest staying at least 3 days, to explore the Tierra del Fuego National Park, take a boat navigate the beagle channel and a second day to visit Estancia Harberton, with short boat ride to Isla Martillo to see penguins.
6-Best Places to visit in Patagonia: Bariloche and the Lake District
Known by many as “Little Switzerland”, Bariloche is a stunning South American town with a very European feel. Located on the SouthWest of Argentina, Nestled on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi the city of Bariloche
has some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.
The many fondue restaurants and chocolate shops will make you feel like you are in Switzerland, but the real attraction of this place is the surrounding wilderness of the Lake District.
Explore the beautifully arranged streets of Bariloche and indulge in the mouthwatering dishes served at its restaurants, but don’t miss exploring the rest of Argentina’s wonderful Lake District.
Best time to Visit: November to march to enjoy outdoor activities
The weather is generally warm during the months of November to March so this is the best time to visit . If you have skiing and snowboarding in mind, visit the town during the cold months of June, july or august.
How Long to Stay: As long as you possible can!
Bariloche and the lake district is so diverse and has such a magnificent landscape that there is no limit in time to visit this magic town. The most visitors will spend 4 days here and if you hace more time extend your trip to San Martin de los Andes and Villa La Angostura.
7- Best Places to visit in Patagonia: Route of Carretera Austral
If you always wanted to enjoy a road trip, while in Chilean Patagonia, the superb Carretera Austral will satisfy this desire. The diverse scenery you will have the chance to admire on the road will instantly make you fall in love with Chile and its natural beauty. Get ready to drive through the wilderness for about 1,200 memorable kilometers
These are the 7 best places to visit in Patagonia, but as you probably imagine, this spellbinding region has many more surprises for you! So, pack your bags and let it amaze your eyes and fill your heart with its beauty.
Check our Patagonia Active Itinerary or contact us and make Patagonia your next destination!