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Things to do in Patagonia

Things to do in  Patagonia

Welcome to Patagonia

Travelers in search of wide-open spaces and solitude will find both in abundance in Patagonia, which stretches over Chile and Argentina. The enormous expanse of wild South American land is home to windswept steppes, dramatic mountains, glacial lakes, and one lonely road: the famous RN 40, which runs parallel to the Andes. Explore the Perito Moreno, Upsala, and Spegazzini glaciers by kayak; visit Torres del Paine, Los Glaciares, or Tierra del Fuego national parks; or trek on the Patagonian Ice Field. You can also ride the train to the end of the world in Tierra del Fuego, or take a sailing expedition on the Beagle Channel.

Top 15 attractions in Patagonia

#1
Tierra del Fuego National Park

Tierra del Fuego National Park

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When travelers make their way to the far southern reaches of Argentina, chances are they’re heading into Tierra del Fuego National Park. The country’s only coastal national park protects the Andean-Patagonian forest, a land of peat bogs, beech forests, glistening lakes, remote beaches, and snow-capped peaks ideal for outdoor adventures.More
#2
Beagle Channel

Beagle Channel

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The narrow Beagle Channel, separating Argentina's island chain of Tierra del Fuego to the north from remote Chilean islands to the south, serves as a waterway for the world's southernmost city, Ushuaia. It’s also one of the most important bodies of water in South America.More
#3
Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier

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The beauty of Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia has earned it the nickname of the "Eighth Wonder of the World” in Argentina. It’s the planet's third-largest reserve of fresh water and one of the continent's last advancing glaciers, slowly making its way in crackling celestial blue from the granite spires of the Chilean Torres del Paine into Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park (Parque Nacional Los Glaciares).More
#4
Argentino Lake (Lago Argentino)

Argentino Lake (Lago Argentino)

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Encompassing a colossal 566 square miles (911 square-kilometers), Argentino Lake (Lago Argentino) is the largest lake in the country. El Calafate, the UNESCO-listed Perito Moreno Glacier, and the Upsala Glacier are all perched on its shores, so the lake serves as the gateway to some of Patagonia’s most impressive glacial landscapes.More
#5
Lapataia Bay

Lapataia Bay

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With deserted beaches, rocky isles, and glittering waters, and bordered by the snow-capped peaks of the southern Andes, Lapataia Bay serves up some of Patagonia’s most enticing views. Located at the very end of the Pan-American Highway, it’s one of the many highlights of the Tierra del Fuego National Park.More
#6
Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

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Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is often mistaken for “The Lighthouse at the End of the World,” made famous by novelist Jules Verne. Verne was actually inspired by the San Juan de Salvamento lighthouse, further east, but it’s a fitting description nonetheless: Les Eclaireurs is the last landmark many sailors see as they sail south to Antarctica.More
#7
Los Glaciares National Park (Parque Nacional Los Glaciares)

Los Glaciares National Park (Parque Nacional Los Glaciares)

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PaLos Glaciares National Park (Parque Nacional Los Glaciares) protects Argentina’s wild Patagonian expanses of icy glaciers and mountain lakes. With a massive 47 glaciers, the Andean ice cap is the largest outside Antarctica and Greenland. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to several natural wonders, including Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy.More
#8
Esmeralda Lagoon (Laguna Esmeralda)

Esmeralda Lagoon (Laguna Esmeralda)

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The Esmeralda Lagoon hike is a popular afternoon and evening activity just outside of Ushuaia. Set in a wide valley in the Fuegian Andes, Esmeralda Lagoon is ringed by native coihue and lenga forests. The hike traverses several peat bogs, which cover much of Tierra Del Fuego’s low-lying lands, before arriving at the shore of the lagoon.More
#9
Estancia Harberton

Estancia Harberton

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Overlooking the icy waters of Beagle Channel, Estancia Harberton offers a glimpse into the history and wildlife of Tierra del Fuego. The oldest residence in the area, the still-working property dates back to 1887 when it was established by English missionary Thomas Bridges and remains in the hands of his descendants.More
#10
Lake Escondido

Lake Escondido

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Lago Escondido, which translates to Hidden Lake, is surrounded by the Fuegian Andes just north of Ushuaia, Argentina. Many tourists choose to visit on a day-trip from Ushuaia; however, Hosteria Petral provides a lakeside basecamp for anybody interested in taking advantage of its status as a popular sport-fishing destination.Brown and Rainbow trout can be caught in the lake itself, while brook trout are most often landed near stream inlets or around the many beaver dams that surround the lake.Other popular activities in the area include horseback riding along the lakeshore, boat and kayak tours on the crystal-clear waters, and, oddly, Canadian-style wildlife watching. Lago Escondido is an excellent place to watch Canadian beavers, which were introduced to southern Patagonia in 1946 with false hope to spur a declining fur trade.More
#11
End of the World Train (Tren del Fin del Mundo)

End of the World Train (Tren del Fin del Mundo)

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For the ultimate end-of-the-earth adventure, ride the world’s southernmost train to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Leave from outside Ushuaia and follow the historic convict train route, passing beech forests, peat bogs, and reminders of the timber-felling worksites of Ushuaia prisoners from 1901 to 1941.More
#12
Upsala Glacier

Upsala Glacier

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South America’s largest glacier, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Los Glaciares National Park near El Calafate, measures 35 miles (56 kilometers) long and 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. Upsala Glacier is among seven glaciers feeding Lake Argentino, where boats dodge icebergs the size of small islands en route to the wall of ice.More
#13
Lago Roca

Lago Roca

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Completely surrounded by the Guanaco and Piramides Mountain Ranges, both sub ranges of the Andes, Lago Roca is a stunning emerald-green lake protected by Argentina’s Tierra Del Fuego National Park.The Lago Roca hostel and campground is the easiest starting point to explore this section of the national park. Fishing is popular on the lake, while several trails lead around the lake and into the surrounding mountains. The Cerro Guanaco Trail is a steep climb to a mountain summit. The views from the top are massive, overlooking Lago Roca, the Beagle Channel, and across the border into Chile.It’s a lake with an identity crisis, too, as Lago Roca – named for former Argentinean president Julio Argentino Roca - is just the most recognized of its three names. The western most portion of the Lake crosses the international border into Chile, where the lake is known as Lago Errazuriz, after Chile’s former President Federico Errázuriz Echaurren. Roca and Errazuriz share a history in Patagonia, as both were recognized for the Abrazo del Estrecho (the hug of the Strait of Magallanes) when they met in Punta Arenas to find a friendly solution to conflicting Patagonian land claims.Prior to being renamed Lago Roca and Errazuriz (depending on which side of the border you visit), the lake was known as Lago Acigami, the yagan native name.More
#14
Ushuaia Maritime Museum (Museo Marítimo y del Presidio)

Ushuaia Maritime Museum (Museo Marítimo y del Presidio)

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The Ushuaia Maritime Museum(Museo Marítimo y del Presidio) shows off much of Tierra Del Fuego’s impressive maritime history with few original artifacts. The majority of the displays include scale models of tall ships and merchant vessels that first plied these waters, maps and charts used by early explorers, including Ferdinand Magellan, Francis Drake, Thomas Cavendish and Oliver van Noort, and the first voyage of the HMS Beagle.Outside, a replica of the San Juan de Salvamento lighthouse stands alongside a decaying example of canoes used by the island’s American Indian populations.The Maritime Museum(Museo Marítimo y del Presidio) is one of four museums housed in Ushuaia’s Old Prison Building, so it’s fitting that the final exhibit tells the story of the Argentinean navy vessel 1 de Mayo, which carried the first prisoners to Tierra Del Fuego in 1896. It’s a natural transition, as the next exhibit marks the entrance to the Old Prison Museum.More
#15
Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio (MEF)

Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio (MEF)

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Argentinian Patagonia is a massive chunk of land, extending from wind-whipped southern shorelines to snowy Andean peaks. Animals have walked and hunted this landscape for hundreds of millions of years—and much of it is documented right here in this museum of paleontology. When visiting Egidio Feruglio, stare in wonder at a dinosaur skeleton that’s 150 million years old, or the fossilized bones of an ancient turtle that lived 60 million years ago. You’ll also find the history of peoples who settled Patagonia, enduring the harsh, challenging landscape and finding a way to survive. While exhibits date back all the way to microorganisms, it’s the dinosaur fossils from the Mesozoic Era that make the museum stand out. Whenever fossils are found in Patagonia they often end up in these halls, where teams of some of the world’s best paleontologists will study them and put them together. In total, over 1,700 fossils are found inside the museum walls, from marine life and plants to early mammals and fearsome, furious dinosaurs. Add in some fun-filled children’s exhibits and a stream of new discoveries, and the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio (MEF) is a fascinating stop in Trelew.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in El Calafate

How to Spend 3 Days in El Calafate

Hiking Perito Moreno Glacier

Hiking Perito Moreno Glacier

How to Spend 3 Days in Ushuaia

How to Spend 3 Days in Ushuaia

How to Spend 2 Days in Ushuaia

How to Spend 2 Days in Ushuaia

How to Spend 1 Day in Ushuaia

How to Spend 1 Day in Ushuaia

Top activities in Patagonia

Beagle Channel navigation with mini trekking by Patagonia Explorer
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Full-Day Tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier including Boat Safari
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Full-Day Minitrekking Perito Moreno Glacier
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Perito Moreno Glacier Day Trip with Optional Boat Ride from El Calafate
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Glaciers Full Day Sightseeing Cruise on board 'Maria Turquesa'
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Full Day Chalten Soft

Full Day Chalten Soft

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31
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$80.00
Full Day El Chalten

Full Day El Chalten

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$88.00
Full-Day Perito Moreno Ice Trek from El Calafate
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Minitrekking in the Perito Moreno Glacier by Patagonia Dreams
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Tierra del Fuego National Park Private Tour

Tierra del Fuego National Park Private Tour

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per group
Tierra del Fuego National Park

Tierra del Fuego National Park

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A day in El Chaltén with Trekking by Patagonia Dreams
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Recent reviews from experiences in Patagonia

star-5
Incredible views of the Andes.
Julie, Feb 2020
Full Day Chalten Soft
El Chaltan is a must for travelers to see the Patagonia region.
star-5
Good to see the animals from Patagonia
Jackeline_G, Mar 2019
Half-Day Boat Trip to Penguin Colony from Ushuaia
That is a good oportunity to see the animals from Patagonia.
star-5
No tour in Patagonia falls short...
Oswaldo, Nov 2017
El Chalten Full-Day from El Calafate with Lunch
No tour in Patagonia falls short from being exciting and this one was not the exception either.
star-5
Excellent experience. Patagonia is...
William J, Jan 2015
13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks
Patagonia is an amazingly beautiful place and this tour gave us a great mix of locations and activities.
star-4
This tour is of particular interest...
John T, Feb 2018
Puerto Madryn Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Trelew and Gaiman
One of the main attractions in Gaiman is to visit a Welsh tea room which, of course, tend to open in the afternoon.
star-4
The Good: El Chalten is a must...
Ubi, Dec 2017
El Chalten Full-Day from El Calafate with Lunch
Aside from the logistic shortfall, everything else was fantastic.
star-4
Really enjoyed this tour...
Janine T, Jul 2017
Peninsula Valdes Tour from Puerto Madryn With optional Whale Watching
Our guide was personable and knowledgeable and it was a huge help that he spoke such good english.
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This was a really interesting tour...
Pamela S, Feb 2018
Shore Excursion: Private Day Trip to Peninsula Valdes from Puerto Madryn
We were lucky to see pretty well all the animals on the national park leaflet.
star-5
Such a great day! Picked up from our...
Bandit, Dec 2016
Full-Day Tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier including Boat Safari
The glacier itself is so impressive - a once in a lifetime experience to visit something like that.
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Dear Sir/Madam: Here is an...
Nesrin Y, Apr 2017
13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks
Planet Patagonia was sloppy and unorganized the evaluation form they gave us to evaluate the day's activities was already used by someone else.
star-4
My wife and I purchased this 5-day...
Charles C, Sep 2016
5-Days Discovery Ushuaia and El Calafate
We did all the excursions included in the 5-day itinerary: Tierra del Fuego National Park, Austral Feuguino train, Beagle Channel boat ride, Pertio Moreno glacier, and the Punta Bandera boat trip to see Upsala glacier.
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We were picked up and taken to the...
VLMD94, Oct 2014
4-Day Tour to El Calafate by Air from Buenos Aires with Perito Moreno Glacier
There are walk ways that allow you to see different views of the glacier which are not strenuous and very doable.
star-5
My daughter and I took the 13-day best...
nesyoung, Jan 2017
13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks
My daughter and I took the 13-day best of Patagonia tour with additional activities like the kayak tour in La Leona River and Walking with the Penguins at Martillo Island.
star-4
I booked this trip for my wife and...
david.kennington, Nov 2015
13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks
You are practically guaranteed to see a piece break off and fall into the lake.
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