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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 10 attractions in Patagonia

#1
Laguna Torre

Laguna Torre

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There’s no doubt the small town of El Chaltén has incredible scenery. Located about three hours from the city of El Calafate, it is known as the hiking capital of Argentina, with the trail to Laguna Torre as a hard-to-beat spot.The trailhead is easy to find and begins with a gentle uphill walk through native beech forests. The Fitz Roy River flows alongside, and just 15 minutes into the hike, you’ll come to the first viewpoint over the Cascada Margarita waterfall. The hike continues uphill for a couple of hours, until the final ascent up the steep moraine that arrives at the Cerro Torre Mirador lookout. From this point you can see Cerro Solo, the Adela range, the 10,000-foot, near-vertical Cerro Torre with its distinctive surrounding “mushroom” of snow and also Mount Fitzroy.To get closer, continue to the DeAgostini base camp. After about another 15 minutes in, you will come to Laguna Torre itself, which sometimes has icebergs floating in it.More
#2
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
#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
Lapataia Bay

Lapataia Bay

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Lapataia Bay is where Argentina’s RN 3 road ends, a road that is a continuation of the Pan-American Highway, which stretches all the way to Alaska. Roadies are always stopping to pose next to the sign here in Lapataia Bay, and it’s worth thinking about how far they’ve come to get there! According to the sign, the distance between this spot and Alaska is a whopping 11,090 miles (17,848 kilometers).Most visitors don’t take the land route to Lapataia Bay, however, and instead fly into Argentina. The bay is within Parque National Tierra del Fuego, a popular day trip from Ushuaia, which sits only 10 miles away. The park offers a chance to get out into nature, overlook azure lakes and bays, walk through native beech forests and in season, catch both the firebush, which blooms bright red, and the spooky-looking orange “pan de indio,” golf ball-sized mushrooms that grow on some of the trees.If you have more time, try out some of the other trails in the park, which covers almost 150,000 acres of this island off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland.More
#5
Mt. Fitz Roy

Mt. Fitz Roy

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Mt. Fitz Roy, the highest mountain in Los Glaciares National Park, rises 11,171 feet (3,405 meters) above the snow-blown landscape of Southern Patagonia to a granite peak that only serious climbers should consider. This recognizable landmark was named after Sir Robert FitzRoy, who once guided Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle.More
#6
Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

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The Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse marks the dangerous rocks at the entrance to Ushuaia Bay in the Beagle Channel. Locals often wrongfully call this the Lighthouse at the End of the World, which is technically incorrect because the lighthouse Jules Verne made famous in his novel lies further east, but it’s oddly accurate, too; it’s the last mainland reference most sailors see on their way to Antarctica.Located just five miles from Ushuaia, Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse is a common destination for short tourist sailing trips. The waters surrounding the lighthouse are a sea-goers dream, as penguins and both South American and fur sea lions are spotted regularly. Bird life is abundant, too, with black eyebrow albatrosses, steamer ducks and upland geese often seen on the nearby islands. Many tours also include landing on Karelo Island.It’s worth mentioning that the region is stunning, but harsh. The weather – and most commonly the wind - can be fierce, but it’s all part of the southern Patagonian experience.More
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Ushuaia

How to Spend 2 Days in Ushuaia

How to Spend 3 Days in Ushuaia

How to Spend 3 Days in Ushuaia

Hiking Perito Moreno Glacier

Hiking Perito Moreno Glacier

How to Spend 1 Day in Ushuaia

How to Spend 1 Day in Ushuaia

How to Spend 3 Days in El Calafate

How to Spend 3 Days in El Calafate

Top activities in Patagonia

Half day excursion to the Tierra del Fuego National Park

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Half day excursion to the Tierra del Fuego National Park

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Beavers Watching

Beavers Watching

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Recent reviews from experiences in Patagonia

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Good to see the animals from Patagonia
jackiegiusti2019, Mar 2019
Half-Day Boat Trip to Penguin Colony from Ushuaia
That is a good oportunity to see the animals from Patagonia.
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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.
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I am so happy I took this excursion...
Corinne S, Mar 2017
Kayak Tour in La Leona River from El Calafate
I truly feel I got to see the area in ways I otherwise may not.
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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.
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Absolutely great!
sarahkenneth19, Jan 2020
Full-Day Tour to the Torres del Paine National Park
The tour guides were fantastic, spoke English well and were very helpful in answering questions throughout the day.
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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.
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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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The tour itself was great and an...
andrew.petrozzi, May 2018
Kayak Tour in La Leona River from El Calafate
The tour itself was great and an amazing and unique way to see this part of Patagonia the guides were all friendly and helped us get ready and suited up in all the gear necessary and provided great commentary in English and Spanish during the tour.
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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.
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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.
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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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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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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.
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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.
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If you want to spend an entire day...
PaulGBoston, Nov 2012
Full-Day Tour to the Torres del Paine National Park
There is no formal stop for lunch - a lot of this tour is moving in the vehicle to see the park as it's a fair distance from El Calafate.
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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.
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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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