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10 Best Places to Visit in Patagonia

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Hiker enjoying the view of Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia

Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia

From glistening lakes to pristine glaciers, endless pampas to raging rivers, you can uncover the wonders of South America’s inspiring mixture of land and culture with our best places to visit in Patagonia.

South America's wild and remote region has inspired centuries of myths and turned local cowboys into legends. The scenery is emblematic of natural drama and wildlife emerges from the edges of the sea to the highest mountain peaks.

Whether an active adventurer or eager to find a peaceful, romantic getaway, our recommendations will help you uncover Patagonia’s diversity and the right experiences for your trip.

  1. 1. Bariloche, Argentina
  2. 2. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
  3. 3. El Calafate, Argentina
  4. 4. El Chaltén, Argentina
  5. 5. Punta Tombo, Argentina
  6. 6. Puyuhuapi, Chile
  7. 7. Puerto Williams, Chile
  8. 8. Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile
  9. 9. Puerto Natales, Chile
  10. 10. Ushuaia, Argentina
  11. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Patagonia

1. Bariloche, Argentina

Bariloche, Argentina

Bariloche, Argentina

Overlooking the glacial lake of Nahuel Huapi, with views of the Andes Mountains, Bariloche is a brilliant gateway to Argentine Patagonia.

Chalets taking inspiration from Swiss architecture dot the lake’s banks and church spires rise above the rooftops. Beside the stone buildings, you will find boutique hotels and bubbly neighborhoods with sweeping lake views. Beyond the cathedral and town hall, artisanal chocolate workshops invite travelers to savor the Swiss influence dominating Bariloche and creating the unique atmosphere that makes it one of the best places to visit in Patagonia.

Hiking trails climb the nearby slopes for summer strolls and the winter brings snow to the Patagonian peaks for skiing trips in Argentina’s alpine wonderlands.

Highlights: Cerro Campanario • Nahuel Huapi Lake • Refugio Frey • Hiking trails • Artisan chocolate

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

2. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Where to go in Patagonia should take you to Torres del Paine National Park and the famous Towers of Paine. Still, there is beauty to discover beyond these iconic peaks as you enjoy hiking, kayaking, and relaxing in Chilean Patagonia.

The W Trek is the most impressive of the walks through the park, passing the Grey Glacier’s frozen formations and culminating at the Towers’ Base viewpoint. Your challenging hikes or light strolls in Torres del Pain will reveal the unspoiled beauty of Patagonia, from the reflections of the mountains in the shimmering waters of Lake Pehoé to the summits of Colca Canyon, where you might spot soaring condors.

A wide variety of accommodations makes accessing the national park comfortable and provides options for travelers who prefer to relax and appreciate the rugged landscape more leisurely. You can explore more possibilities for experiences around Torres del Paine National Park with best Patagonia itineraries

Highlights: W Trek • Gray Lake • Lake Pehoé • Towers of Paine • Mirador del Condor

Recommended length of stay: 4-5 days

3. El Calafate, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

The famous Patagonian jumping-off point of El Calafate lies just around the corner from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and Los Glaciares National Park.

The town is a base from which to explore and admire Argentine Patagonia’s endless glacial formations, specifically the Perito Moreno Glacier. You can see the enormous ice wall from nearby viewpoints or up close on glacial treks across its surface and into the depths of ice caverns. You can even sip whisky on the summit of the glacier with ice chipped from its walls.

Returning from day trips to Los Glaciares National Park, you can appreciate the simple luxuries of El Calafate, from artisanal chocolate tasting to estancias, cattle ranches, where local culture mingles in the wild. Considering our information on how to plan a trip to Patagonia for tips on ways to make your experience the best for you.

Highlights: Los Glaciares National Park • Glacier trek • Glacier cruise • Artisan chocolate • La Leona Petrified Forest • Laguna Nimez • Cerro Frias

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

4. El Chaltén, Argentina

Woman at Laguna de Los Tres with Fitz Roy in El Chaltén, Argentina

Laguna de Los Tres in El Chaltén, Argentina

Within Los Glaciares National Park, El Chaltén is the most accessible place from which to appreciate Argentine Patagonia’s glacial landscapes.

The mighty peaks of Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy surround boutique hotels that line the national park’s resort-town streets, beckoning travelers from their cozy accommodations into the Patagonian wilds. You can saunter to the calm melt waters of Laguna Torre or swim in the turquoise runoff of Huemul Glacier, raft down glacial rapids or cruise past the frozen walls.

The thundering waterfall of Salto el Chorrillo is also a walk away and there is a serenity to be found from El Chaltén on light strolls along the rural trails of Los Glaciares National Park.

Highlights: Cerro Fitz Roy • Laguna de los Tres • Cerro Torre • Laguna Torre • Huemul Glacier • Glacier cruise • Rafting • Salto el Chorrillo

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

5. Punta Tombo, Argentina

Magellanic penguins on the pebble beach in Punta Tombo, Argentina

Punta Tombo, Argentina

Patagonia protects several endemic species, among them the marvelous Magellanic penguins, whose colonies gather on the pebbled shores of Punta Tombo.

The best time to visit Punta Tombo to see the millions of birds is during the breeding season in October. The penguins swarm Punta Tombo’s beaches and waddle casually among the tourists who arrive on the coast and explore the wooden walkways.

Other wildlife calls Punta Tombo’s reserve home, including fuzzy guanacos and feathered rheas, with guided strolls from the educational Interpretation Center, making Punta Tombo a great place for families visiting Argentine Patagonia.

Highlights: See Magellanic penguins • Spot guanacos and rheas • Interpretation Center

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

6. Puyuhuapi, Chile

Hanging Glacier Falls in Queulat National Park, Chile

Hanging Glacier Falls in Queulat National Park, Chile

The southern Chilean village of Puyuhuapi is a restful part of the greater Patagonian region, a place in which to relax and recharge on an active adventure. Lodges and spas offer unrivaled views of the snow-capped mountains and lush vegetation, with emerald fjords to swim in.

You can make your way through the natural gardens surrounding the village to Puyuhuapi’s glacial waterfall that crashes down the mossy rocks due to ice melting towards its summit. Nearby, roads wrap around Risopatron Lake for spectacular scenic drives and hot springs bubble in Queulat National Park. From here there is also access to the exciting possibilities of a Chile tour and vacation.

A calming atmosphere shrouds Puyuhuapi and its spa resorts, building romance for intimate escapes far from Patagonia’s well-traveled paths.

Highlights: Puyuhuapi waterfall • Queulat National Park • Sendero Mirador Ventisquero Colgante • Risopatron Lake

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days

7. Puerto Williams, Chile

Mountains and alpine lakes of Isla Navarino, Chile

Mountains and alpine lakes of Isla Navarino, Chile

Navarino Island’s charming port town of Puerto Williams is an adventure destination with a rich Patagonian history. Beyond the incredible natural experiences, museums share artifacts and exhibits honoring the Yagán and Selknam people who originally inhabited the island.

Hiking is an excellent way to explore the beauty circling the town, from trails that cross the remote reaches of Cerro Bandera to walks within the protected gardens of Etnobotánico Omoro Park. You can sail to Cape Horn, race past fjords, and climb to viewpoints revealing the tooth-like summits of Dientes de Navarino mountain.

During your downtime, feel free to wander the town and connect with the friendly locals as you tuck into slow-cooked beaver or walk the piers of the Puerto Williams yacht club, Micalvi.

Highlights: Cerro Bandera hike • Etnobotánico Omoro Park • Isla Navarino • Martin Gusinde Anthropology Museum • Puerto Toro • Cape Horn excursion

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

8. Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile

Kayaker at the Marble Caves in Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile

Marble Caves in Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile

The Patagonian gateway to the Marble Caves, Puerto Rio Tranquilo, is a must-visit destination for a quick glimpse of the mesmerizing natural formations.

A boat can bring you closer to the caves, from which you can jump into kayaks and paddle the rest of the way. Approaching the phenomenon, you will see holes carved into the walls that you can float into to view the iconic marbled facades of the rock.

Beyond the caves, glacial treks are popular in Puerto Rio Tranquilo, guiding you through the Laguna San Rafael National Park to see the San Rafael Glacier of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field.

Highlights: Marble Caves • Glacier trek • Laguna San Rafael National Park • Kayak tour • Chile Chico Plaza

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 days

9. Puerto Natales, Chile

Milodon Cave in Chilean Patagonia

Milodon Cave Natural Monument, Chile

The Señoret Channel’s Puerto Natales is one of the few cities in Patagonia and is another option for travelers wishing to explore Torres del Paine National Park. The streets offer a peaceful place in which to discover the culture as you visit museum exhibits or savor the local cuisine.

The days are open for you to experience the wonders of Torres del Paine, be it trekking past the Grey Glacier’s pearl-white ice formations or entering the colossal Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument cave.

You can spend another day at an authentic estancia, a cattle ranch, where you can trot across the grasslands on horseback and learn about local cattle-raising traditions.

Highlights: Monumento de la Mano • Municipal History Museum • Grey Glacier • Milodon Cave • Channel of Last Hope • Mirador Cerro Dorotea • Bernardo O’Higgins National Park • Estancias

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

10. Ushuaia, Argentina

Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina

Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina

The southernmost tip of South America, Ushuaia, has earned its nickname, End of the World. As one of a small number of Patagonia cities, it is also the gateway to Antarctica and stands at the frozen southern reaches of the region.

Steep hills and snowy mountains swing around the center of town and provide memorable backdrops for your adventures across the Beagle Channel or into Tierra del Fuego National Park. From tours of Isla Yécapasela and Penguin Island to train trips at the foot of South America, Ushuaia’s active adventures are excellent for family vacations in Patagonia, while still connected to popular gateways like Buenos Aires during an Argentina tour and vacation.

You can embrace the local charms as you return from your activities, indulging in South Atlantic king crab or visiting museums honoring the Yamana Indian culture.

Highlights: Beagle Channel cruise • Tierra del Fuego National Park • Estancia visit • Isla Martillo • Laguna Esmeralda • Train to End of the World

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Patagonia

Laguna Torres with the Three-Towers at sunrise in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

Laguna Torres with the Three-Towers at sunrise in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Patagonia can feel like its own country rather than a region that spreads across the Chilean and Argentine borders. The scenery is wonderful, immersing you in the grand scale of an untouched world where luxury and enchantment meet on Patagonia tours or Argentina and Chile tours.

Whether cycling around a charming lake or trekking the rugged trails to view the granite Paine Towers, you can find inspiration in our top things to do in Patagonia or find the right time for your trip in our best time to visit Patagonia.

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