In Argentina the area of what is called “Patagonia” starts at the southern Chilean border and includes the area around El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier, and the area around El Chalten, which includes the peaks of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. It also extends up to the “Lake District” area of northern Patagonia, around Bariloche.
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the natural wonders of South America. Our itineraries include a “mini-trekking” excursion on the glacier itself. This is a non-technical glaciar walking excursion, done in the company of certified mountain guides. You don’t need any experience in glaciar travel to participate. Crampons are provided. It’s not a strenuous hike; you spend about 2 hours total on the glacier itself. Other options for more challenging and adventurous hiking on and around the glacier also exist if you are interested.
About 4 hours north of El Calafate is the much smaller town of El Chalten, gateway to the northern part of Los Glaciares National Park. This area of the Park is home to the extraordinary towers of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, and you can hike to the bases of these peaks to admire them up close, along with the surrounding lakes, glaciers, streams, forests, and wildlife.
This is northern Patagonia in Argentina, and is also called the Lake District. This isn’t quite as rugged a place as southern Patagonia, but it is exceptionally beautiful and does have some dramatic peaks and landscapes. One of the highlights is Lake Nahuel Huapi, which stretches towards the Andes from the town of Bariloche, surrounded by evergreen forest. The area is great for exploring, whether by foot, raft (there is great rafting in the Manso River of varying difficulty levels), sea kayak, or horse.
Tierra del Fuego has fascinated travelers for hundreds of years. Sitting on the windswept Beagle Channel, there are many options, from hiking the coastal trails of Tierra del Fuego National Park, seeing penguins and other Patagonian marine life on boat trips in the Beagle Channel, to exploring mountain lakes and historical settlements such as Estancia Harberton.
The crown jewel of the Chilean side of Patagonia is Torres del Paine National Park, which offers stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and innumerable options for exploring. To get to Torres del Paine National Park, you can either arrive via Punta Arenas, or arrive from the Argentine side of Patagonia near El Calafate. Getting there is the better part of a day or can be broken up into a couple days of traveling, stopping to see the small towns, glaciers, and other sites along the way.
Another spectacular option in Chilean Patagonia, for those interested in an even more remote and adventurous option, is Aysen, where you can do trekking expeditions like the Aysen Glacier Trail. If you are interested in getting way, way off the beaten path, this is a great option. Contact us for details.