Earlier this year I visited one of my top bucket list destinations. It’s one of the most mesmerizing places I’ve been for nature, wildlife and epic landscapes. I traveled with G Adventures and National Geographic Journeys, knowing it would be perfectly planned out and that we would see the best of the vast region. Below are photos to inspire you to visit Patagonia for yourself.
We journeyed from the north to the south of Patagonia, making stops in San Carlos de Bariloche, Puerto Varas and the Chilean Lake District, Torres del Paine National Park, El Calafate/Perito Moreno Glacier and Ushuaia.
I’ve also included some FAQs and travel tips at the end of this post.
30 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Patagonia
FAQs and Travel Tips
Where is Patagonia?
Patagonia is the roughly 300,000-square-mile area at the southern end of South America shared between Chile and Argentina. It encompasses the Andes mountains, lakes, rainforests, grassy plains, rocky coasts and the second largest continental icefield in the world, after those found in Antarctica. As one of the least populated areas of the world, there are about 1 to 2 persons per square kilometer.
Where was your favorite place in Patagonia?
Prior to visiting, I didn’t know Patagonia was so diverse and vast. We visited five main areas, traveling from north to south and crossing from Argentina to Chile and back again, and I enjoyed parts of each one. However, my favorite spots were exploring Torres del Paine National Park and spotting guanacos, trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier and our ferry ride through the Beagle Channel where we saw birds, seals, dolphins, humpback whales and ended on an island full of penguins.
Do I need to go with a tour?
We started and ended in Buenos Aires, and spent roughly 2 days in each location. I cannot imagine planning this trip on my own, or attempting to do it without experienced guides and drivers. The area is so remote, the roads are not always clear and the extreme wind makes driving difficult. I highly recommend going on a tour like the one I went on with G Adventures and National Geographic Journeys for traveling around Patagonia.
When is the best time to go to Patagonia?
The weather at the end of the world is extremely unpredictable, as to be expected! I heard stories of people experiencing rain, wind, sunshine and even snow in a single day. It’s difficult to predict what each day will bring. However, most tour companies recommend visiting mid-November to early March as that’s summer in Patagonia. It is great if you’re planning on trekking in popular spots like Torres del Paine. Keep in mind it’s also the busiest time with high costs for accommodation and tours.
I always recommend traveling during the shoulder seasons as that’s when you’ll get the least crowds and best deals. In this case, late March and early-November would be the transition period.
How do I pack for a trip to Patagonia?
As I said above, the weather is highly unpredictable so it’s important to wear layers and always be prepared. For example, I went in March and even though it was summer, it was mostly warm during the day and chilly at night. With temperatures ranging from lows in the 30s °F (around 7 °C) to highs in the 60s °F (around 18 °C), my staples were thermals, a fleece, windbreaker, raincoat, winter boots (insulated and waterproof), ski socks, yoga pants, jeans, hats, gloves, sunnies and hand warmers for the glacier trekking day. This was just for summer! I can’t imagine how cold it gets in winter, but that’s another packing situation.
What were the food and drinks like?
How do I get to Patagonia?
The two capital cities of Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina serve as gateways to Patagonia. We started and ended in Buenos Aires but many people start in one city and finish in the other.
Thank you to G Adventures for hosting me on this adventure to the end of the earth. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.