Today, travelling with Pedro, we have Brazilian travel blogger Murilo Pagani, who blogs on Volto Logo (I’ll be back soon). Murilo knows Latin America like the palm of his hands and shares with us his tips on the top places to visit in the Argentinean Patagonia – without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
The world is vast and with plenty of amazing places waiting to be explored. It’s been a while since I realised that so, as a rule of thumb, I decided I’d not return to the same place again. After all, I don’t know if I’ll have the time (and the money) to see everything I want to. But, as we all learned at school, every rule has an exception. And Patagonia is my exception.
None of the places I’ve been to makes me want to return as much as Patagonia. None of them has landscapes so beautiful to make any picture a good one. And no other place can be so desolate and, at the same time, so welcoming that you always want to be back.
You’ll find mountains, lakes, glaciers, sea mammals and birds aplenty. In other words, it’s nature at its best!
Creating an itinerary for an adventure trip to Patagonia can be a daunting task, especially if your time is limited. So, in order to help you plan your Patagonia itinerary, I’m listing here the top places to visit in Patagonia. I hope you’ll find it useful! 🙂
TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN THE ARGENTINEAN PATAGONIA
1- TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK
Located only about 10km (6 miles) from Ushuaia city centre, make sure to have at least a full day to explore Tierra del Fuego National Park, the southernmost point in the Americas.
You can get there by public transport, rent a car or visit with a travel agency. If you choose the latter, you can buy a package that takes you on the “Tren del Fin del Mundo” or the “Train of the End of the World”. It’s a replica of the train that used to take the city prisoners to the park. The first part of the itinerary is by train, then you complete the trip within the park by bus or minivan, allowing you to stop for pictures, snacks and for a proper walk in the wild.
2- BEAGLE CANAL
If you sail through the Beagle Canal, you’ll have the chance to see one Patagonia’s most famous postcards: Faro Les Eclaireurs, or simply “The Lighthouse at the End of the World”, which gave name to one of Jule Vernes’s books.
The itinerary usually also includes a visit to Isla de los Lobos (Wolfs’ Island) and Isla de los Pájaros (Birds’ Island). It’s also a great opportunity to see many bird species in their natural inhabitat, as well as sealions.
3- ISLA MARTILLO
The island is a great place for you to watch penguins from a very close distance. For that reason, it’s also known as “Penguinera”.
Only one agency, Piratour, is licensed to offer tours around the island. So I highly recommend you book your tour in advance or, at least, as soon as you arrive in Ushuaia, for there’s a limited number of visitors allowed there every day.
These measures are extremely important to stop tourism from changing penguins’ behaviour. These cute animals live on the island from September to April.
4- MARTIAL GLACIER
This is a relatively short tour, but one that will reward you with great landscapes and amazing views over Beagle Canal. Make sure to have one full morning or afternoon to visit Cerro Martial. It’s only a few miles from the city and you can take a taxi or mini-bus to get there.
As the way up is too steep and tiring, I recommend you use the cablecar. Save your energy to walk around the area and for other routes.
5- CERRO CASTOR
If you wish to go skiing in Patagonia, then you can’t miss this place! Opened in 1999, it’s one of the newest ski pistes in South America and it’s only 15 miles from Ushuaia.
There are pistes for different levels, from very beginner to experts. This makes it ever so popular with tourists year after year.
6- PERITO MORENO GLACIER
City: El Calafate
Regarded as one of the most important freshwater reserves in the world, Perito Moreno Glacier is located in the south part of the Parque Nacional los Glaciares, 43 miles from the city of El Calafate.
From the lookouts, you can enjoy absolutely amazing views and see the grandiosity of the glacier. You can also hire a tour guide from one of the agencies in El Calafate, for the chance to walk on it. The “mini-trekking” tour on the clacier takes aobut one hour.
7- LAGUNA NIMEZ
City: El Calafate
Close to El Calafate city centre, Reserva Natural Laguna Nimez is very important for local fauna. It’s perfect if you want to go on short walks and have contact with nature.
8- ICE BAR
City: El Calafate
El Calafate has caught up with the trend that’s become extremely popular all over the world, and now has its own Ice Bar.
Everything there is made of ice: the walls, glasses, tables and there are even some sculptures.
After buying your ticket at the entrance, you will be given some special warm clothing and you can stay in there for up to 20 minutes. Drinks are included in the entrance fee.
9- EL CHALTÉN
City: El Chaltén
Located within Parque Nacional los Glaciares, about 137 miles from El Calafate, El Chaltén has become one of the most saught after places in the Argentinean Patagonia.
This small village is the starting point for some of the most beautiful hikes in the whole of South America. Those taht take you to the base of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre are only some of them.
El Chaltén is considered Argentina’s trekking capital and has many other options of treks and hikes. The paths are very well signed and you don’t need a guide. All you need is a map of the area, which you can get for freeand the tourist information office.
9+1: PARQUE NACIONAL TORRES DEL PAINE (CHILE)
Even though it’s clearly not in Argentina, it’s just close by. So you shouldn’t go back home without visiting it. See it as a bonus! 🙂
Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile, is one of the most beautiful natural spaces I’ve seen.
The easiest one and, let’s say, most superficial, is buying a tour from one of the agencies in town. You’ll go on a van and see some parts of the park in a single day.
The other one, more complex and requiring careful planning, is trekking. The treks can take from 3 to 10 days, depending on the one you choose.
So, do you feel inspired to go exploring the Argentinean Patagonia? Have you ever been?
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