A guide to the patagonia region of argentina and chile
MY FAVORITE Patagonia SPOTS
Isla de Chiloe
Bariloche was my first stop on my Patagonia adventure and definitely a place I will never forget. Bariloche is nestled in the mountains overlooking the spectacular Lake Bariloche. This city holds some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever had the honor to look upon. It’s a popular destination for college kids to come on holiday, skiers, and, of course, backpackers. The city is very walkable and hitchhiking is one of the most popular ways to get around.
Stay: Design Suites Bariloche
Puerto varas + CHILOE ISLAND, chile
Chiloe Island is a little spot I have dreamed about for a while and Puerto Varas is the little gem I found on the road there. It took me three boats and four buses to get from Bariloche, Argentina to Puerto Varas, Chile, but let me tell you: it was so worth it! Puerto Varas is a beautiful little city nestled right on the Pacific Ocean. It is beautiful, friendly, and has a lot to offer a young traveler. It's also only about 2 hours from Chiloe Island which made it my ideal location to set up camp!
Punihuil Penguin Colony tour
Explore the city of Ancud
La Jardinera - make a reservation!!!!
Stay: Hotel Patagonica
Chilo Island. The ferry ride to the island itself was great! Take time to explore the colorful houses of Chacau and then head further down the island to the Punihuil Penguin Colony for the most amazing beach you've ever seen and fun little adventure. Don't forget to visit the fresh markets in Ancud either! I would recommend taking two days to explore Chiloe, if possible. I think the best way to see it would be to rent a car for those days!
torres del paine, chile
TDP gave me my first "typical" Patagonia experiences. From 125+ winds, watching a bus flip over, crossing rickety bridges, chasing Guanacos in an open field, to experiencing all 4 seasons in a matter of hours - this place put me through the ringer. I loved it.
*A guide is required for most of Torres Del Paine.
Glacier Largo Grey
The W Trail
G Sushi – stop for lunch in Puerto Natales on your way to TDP
Stay: Rio Serrano Hotel
el chalten, argentina
Nestled below the Mount Fitz Roy, El Chalten is a modest town famed as the trekking capital of the world. I spent a week here and never ran out of hikes to do – plus, you don’t need a guide for any of the trekks! This was the hands down best stop on my Patagonia trip. The weather can be very tricky here though, so I recommend spending at least week to ensure a good chance at getting clear skies.
Los Condores hike (2 hours – easy)
Chorillo del Salto (2 hours – easy)
Laguna Capri hike (5 hours – moderate, first half of De Los Tres)
Laguna de los Tres hike (10 hours – difficult)
Cerro Tores hike (8 hours – moderate)
La Panderia - go to for day pack lunches
B&B Burgers - 110 pesos for a burger, fries, and a pint of beer
FYI: Credit cards are not accepted anywhere in the town and there is only one ATM that works about 25% of the time. Bring cash!!
el calafate, argentina
El Calafate is one of the bigger Patagonian cities known best for the Perito Moreno glacier. Perito Moreno took my breath away and was definitely a highlight on my trip - so much so that I went back again! I would suggest staying in El Calafate for about 2 days. The first to see the glacier and the second to explore the city.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Don Pichon – beautiful water views + apple pie
Visit the flamingos in the lake
Calafate’s summer concert series
Stay: American Del Sur Hostel
Ushuaia, or as it is better know, "The End of the World," was the last stop on my Patagonian adventure. The city itself is a little quiet (and very cold) but the oppurtunity for adventures are endless! Ushuia is about a thirty minute bus ride from the famed Tierra Del Fuego National Park – full of beautiful hikes and glaciers, and the main attraction to the city. I also highly recommend taking a trip out to Isla de Martillo where you will have the chance to get up close and personal with King, Gentoo, and Magellan penguins! While you’re there, you can also ski, sail along the Beagle Channel, or even jump on a boat to Antarctica.
See penguins on Isla de Martillo – one of the coolest things I’ve ever done
Dublin's - one of the only bars in Ushuia
Maria Lola - if you love sea food, this is the place for you
Stay: Hostel Cruz Del Sur