Patagonia is a true bucket list experience. Utterly unique in landscape, native wildlife, and culture, Patagonia offers the opportunity to hike glaciers, observe unusual animals, and bask in the untouched beauty of its pristine national parks. Here are 5 reasons why you should add Patagonia on your bucket list.
1. Stunning Glaciers
Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park is aptly named, as there are 356 glaciers in the park, of which many are accessible for hiking. Los Glaciares is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the glaciers are still moving and flowing today, emptying into massive glacial lakes. The most famous glacier in Patagonia is Perito Moreno. Easily accessible for hikers and sightseers, this is the most popular place to go glacier hiking in Patagonia. Make sure not to miss the Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park as well, or trek out to remote glaciers like the Marconi Glacier and South Patagonia
The Perito Moreno Glacier
2. Unique Wildlife
When you think of Patagonia wildlife, think of penguins. Patagonia is one of the best places to see penguins—the region is home to Humboldt, Gentoo, Southern Rockhopper, Magellanic, and King penguins. The Magellanic penguins are endemic to Patagonia, and their breeding grounds are the islands off of Argentina and Chile in Patagonia.
To see penguins, go to the Santa Marta and Magdalena islands, where you can also spot colonies of sea lions and pink flamingos. Traveling inland you will meet more of Patagonia’s wildlife, including pumas, grey foxes, guanacos, and wild horses.
SOUTH AMERICAN GRAY FOX (Lycalopex Griseus)
3. Breathtaking Scenery
If you think Patagonia is just about the glaciers, you will be missing an abundance of natural wonders unique to the area. With ice-capped mountains, grey-blue glacial lakes, rugged fjords, and dramatic icebergs, Patagonia is pristine in its rugged natural beauty, and the diversity of landscape is unmatched almost anywhere else in the world.
The most popular hike in Patagonia is to Monte Fitz Roy, known locally as Chalten, or smoking mountain, because of a unique cloud formation that makes it look like a smoking volcano. For a break from hiking, take a horseback ride with a local gaucho to the basalt canyons and burial grounds of Tehuelche natives. There is also world-class fly fishing in glacial streams and even hot springs at Termas Puyuhuapi, perfect for relaxing after long days of exploring.
Monte Fitz Roy
4. Unmatched Star Gazing
Because Patagonia is so remote, the night sky over the national parks is one of the most amazing views you will see. Star trekking is now just as popular as glacier trekking, where you travel to one of the professional or public observatories in the area and spend the night under the stars. Find an observatory or a hotel in towns like Pisco Elqui, Vicuna, or Ovalle, and stay up all night star gazing.
5. The End Of The World
Patagonia’s Tierra del Fuego is the southernmost part of South America and is often referred to as the End of the World. From there, the Southern Ocean stretches out before you reach the ice caps of Antarctica. The town of Ushuaia perches at the end of the world and is home to fascinating history and culture.
Charter a boat through the Beagle Channel to see the Light House at the End of the World, which guided ships around the dangerous Cape Horn. While you’re out, keep an eye out for whales, which migrate to their breeding grounds in the cold southern waters from December through March.
Ushuaia, The Town at The End of the World
Book your next adventure to Patagonia with EXP Journeys and have the experience of a lifetime. Our team will work with you to create a custom itinerary and then manage all bookings and experiences A private guide will make sure every last detail is in place and that the entire trip runs smoothly. Contact us today to plan your trip to Patagonia.