Things to do in Argentina’s Patagonia
Patagonia is a vast and varied natural reserve home to perhaps the most diverse variety of landscapes on the planet. This is the land of glaciers, lagoons, fjords and snow-capped peaks, and there’s plenty to offer visitors who love the outdoors.
Argentina’s spectacular southern region of Patagonia is home to some of the world’s most idyllic places. Here you’ll find a spectacular array of landscapes in a small area, making it one of the most accessible and rewarding places to explore in the country.
Here are 10 things to do in Argentina’s southern region of Patagonia:
Visit Torres Del Paine National Park
Torres Del Paine National Park is the largest and most visited national park in Argentina. It’s also one of the most beautiful places on earth, with some of the most impressive natural formations to be found. The park offers vis
itors a spectacular array of hiking trails and breathtaking views of the Andes.
The park is home to an astounding diversity of ecosystems, from Patagonian forests to boggy shores, which are home to diverse mammal and bird species. You’ll also find several active volcanoes, including the imposing Estancia Paine Grande.
Trek to the base of Corcovado
One of the world’s most famous mountains, Corcovado is a must-see for any traveler. It towers over Puerto Natales, an old port town that has been rebuilt into a cruise terminal, and can be seen from miles around.
You can hike to the base from Puerto Natales or make your way up via boat or cable car. When you get there, you’ll find a small settlement at the base, with restaurants and stores in addition to a museum about the indigenous people who once lived here.
Once you have finished admiring this iconic mountain, visit the nearby El Calafate airport or take a boat out onto the Beagle Channel to see penguins at their best.
See the flamingos in El Calafate
El Calafate is the main town in Patagonia and is well-known for its resident flocks of pink flamingos. It has a penguin colony and you can even find a colony of sea lions on the beach at Playa Estero Lillo.
If you happen to visit El Calafate when it’s raining, don’t worry: the rain will actually make your experience more enjoyable with its fresh smell!
You can also spot plenty of other birds and animals during your visit to this area, from guanacos to condors.
There are plenty of hikes near El Calafate and many scenic spots where you can view the mountains, glaciers and fjords from afar. Be sure to take in the landscape from atop Cerro Torre, one of the highest peaks in Patagonia.
Or climb up one of two nearby volcanoes – Mount Fitzroy or Cerro Paine – for a 360-degree view over the region. You might also want to hop on over to Argentina’s highest peak, Aconcagua which is located just south of El Calafate. The summit offers spectacular views over the whole region.
Go dolphin watching in Bahia del Duende
Bahia del Duende is a bay on the province of Santa Cruz, which can be found in the region of Patagonia. This area is known not just for its stunning natural beauty, but also for its rare and endangered wildlife. This includes a variety of marine species, including whales and sea lions that live here.
Hang-glide over the Andes
One of the highlights of Argentina’s southern region is its Andes. You can fly above these mountains from Ushuaia, the country’s southernmost city, and enjoy jaw-dropping views.
You can also take a flight over the Andes to see fjords and glaciers in all their glory.
After a day of flying, you might want to visit Lago Argentino for some kayaking or hiking.
In the evening, head to El Chaltén for dinner and drinks at one of the many restaurants serving international cuisine. Or stay onsite for a more rustic experience at one of the lodges.
Visit El Chaltén
El Chaltén is the gateway to Patagonia and a world-famous tourist destination. The town is made up of just over 500 inhabitants, many of them climbers, who spend their days scaling the surrounding peaks.
In this stunning landscape you’ll find glacial lakes, waterfalls and towering mountains that come alive in the summer months when they are covered in snow. You can hike or ride a horse to one of these peaks, which are usually accessible by vehicle or on foot.
While your visit to El Chaltén will inevitably involve some climbing, there’s plenty else to keep you entertained – the town offers terrific hiking trails and plenty of outdoor activities such as paragliding, fly fishing and mountain biking. It is also home to a great range of restaurants that serve local delicacies alongside international fare.
Soak up the nightlife in Bariloche
A great spot for nightlife, Bariloche is the perfect place to enjoy a long weekend. With plenty of pubs, bars and clubs to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.
The city has a buzzing atmosphere and a bustling nightlife, which makes it one of the most popular places in Argentina.
Discover the penguins at Punta Tombo
This is the largest penguin colony on Earth. It’s also home to some of the world’s most endangered penguin species, including the Magellanic penguin and the erect-crested penguin, which were only recently discovered by scientists. Both live at a preserve that is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in Patagonia.
This reserve is home to more than 100,000 birds and other animals. If you want to be close to wildlife, this is the place for you.
If you want to see these amazing creatures up close, there are guided tours every day, as well as visits with a park ranger or naturalist who can help show you around.
Explore the wetlands of San Carlos de Bariloche
If you love wetlands, then San Carlos de Bariloche is for you. Here you’ll find a vast network of lakes and marshes that will make your heart race with excitement.
This area is so beautiful that it was declared the Ramsar site in 1991, which means it’s a wetland of international importance. You can take boat tours or hike through the marsh to see its stunning beauty up close.
You can also enjoy this area by staying at hotels like Hotel Cerro Castor or Hotel El Sur and enjoying some of the region’s most exquisite cuisine.
Argentina is a country brimming with natural beauty and cultural diversity.
The Earth’s southernmost country is also one of the most diverse in the world.
Although it is expensive to travel throughout the country, there are still many ways to enjoy Patagonia.
This article gives a list of 10 things to do in Argentina’s Patagonia.
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