Patagonia Holidays | Patagonia, South America
Expedition & Adventure, Plan South America | Argentina Chile | 09.05.24

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Patagonia

Few places on Earth offer the promise of space and solitude quite like Patagonia.

Patagonia is a byword for isolation and raw wilderness. It is a humbling experience to stand at the foot of the mighty Torres del Paine or watch as vast shelves of glacier ice from Perito Moreno crash into the electric blue waters of Lago Argentino.

Local conservation efforts ensure that Patagonia remains truly wild and biodiverse. Guanacos and pumas roam the terrain, and penguins and whales populate the coast.

Adventure-seekers can walk the southernmost trek on Earth, and accompany the gauchos on horseback on cattle drives.

Whether planning a luxury honeymoon in Patagonia or a family vacation, you will find a broad range of accommodation, from working estancias and world-class lodges, to earthy cabins and hideaways. In Patagonia, there is an adventure for everyone.

Here, we’ve provided a region-by-region break down of some of the ultimate experiences and best places to stay to help realise your Patagonian dreams.

Northern Patagonia – Argentina

Big sky lovers revel in the magnificent Northern Patagonian provinces of Neuquén and Rio Negro. Here, Andean peaks slide into pristine lakes and rivers, creating landscapes that are seemingly made for fly fishermen and horseback riders. At Las Balsas, a lakeside hideaway located just outside the small town of Villa La Angostura, guests are pampered in their stone spa and Relais & Châteaux restaurant after the day’s exertions. From San Martin de los Andes, the estancias Rio Quillen, Alinco and Tipiliuke offer spectacular landscapes for walking, riding and fly fishing.

When to visit: All year. November – April offers the best hiking and fly fishing conditions. Autumn colours paint the landscape in late April and May. The winter months of July – September offer excellent skiing in Bariloche and San Martin de Los Andes.

Peninsula Valdes & the Whales – Argentina

Argentina’s Atlantic coastline, rugged and untamed, teems with marine life. Orcas and dolphins, penguins and sea lions populate the UNESCO World Heritage site of Peninsula Valdes, which serves as a sanctuary for some of eastern Patagonia’s most intriguing creatures. Once a tiny village of pioneering seaweed workers, Bahia Bustamante is today an outstanding eco-lodge with 360 views of the Atlantic and a remarkably diverse marine life. Estancia Rincon Chico is a fifth-generation conservation property focused on protecting the wildlife that exists at the doorstep of the lodge.

When to visit: Peak whale watching is from June – December, when southern right whales migrate through austral Atlantic waters.

Southern Patagonia – Argentina

Heading south to the glaciers of El Calafate and the hiking mecca of El Chalten. Southern Patagonia is home to some incredible properties, such as EOLO, with sensational views and unmatched location close to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Few hideaways can match the magic and isolation of Aguas Arriba Lodge – accessible only by boat – with views over the Lago del Desierto to Vespignani Glacier and mighty Mount Fitzroy. Estancia El Condor and the supremely remote 45,000-hectare Estancia La Maipu sit on the shores of Lago San Martin, the deepest lake in the Americas, close to Argentina’s border with Chile. The landscape looks like an unfathomably vast playground for dinosaurs, and includes some of our favourite places for riding and trekking.

When to visit: For longer, warmer days and supreme hiking conditions, travel December – February. October and November mark the arrival of spring blooms. Autumn colours start exploding in April. Be careful in the winter (May-September), when most accommodations close for the season.

Lake District – Chile

The sparkling lagos of Chile’s Lake District, known for its magnificent fjords that carve beneath snow-capped volcanoes, provide a year-round destination for nature lovers looking to balance thrill with serenity. Vira Vira is an impressive lakeside estate just 10 minutes from the city of Pucon that offers farm-to-table meals and nearly 40 different guided excursions.

On the shores of Lake Tagua Tagua, Barraco Lodge – hearty, earthy, honest – offers a blend of adrenaline-charged heli expeditions and more gentle adventures. On Chile’s Pacific coast, you can snap up a stunning oceanfront villa at Mari Mari, a hotel and nature reserve that specialises in personalised expeditions by land, sea, and air.

When to visit: Though the region can be visited all year, the summer months (October – March) offer the best conditions for horseback riding, water sports, trekking, and fishing.

Aysen & the Carretera Austral – Chile

Chile’s famous Route 7 highway, better known as the Carretera Austral (Spanish for “Southern Way”) runs approximately 1,240 kilometres through remote corners of rural Patagonia. Those who take this scenic route will pass through Chile’s Aysen Region, an area characterized by glacial plains, thick forests, and icy fjords. The most underrated Patagonian itineraries begin at places like PATA Lodge, where the region’s immaculate landscapes can be explored by foot, raft, sailboat, kayak, and on horseback. Continuing south, make a stop at Patagonia National Park, the impressive legacy of conservationists, Doug and Kris Tompkins. Book in for a spoiling few nights at Explora Patagonia, where the grasslands of the Chacabuco Valley meet the foothills of the Andes mountains. Hike to hanging glaciers and kayak down the Cochrane River with eyes peeled for deer, guanaco and puma.

When to visit: Though the region is considered a year-round destination, some accommodations only operate in the summer (December-March). January and February provide the warmest temperatures and best conditions for dry fly fishing.


Torres del Paine – Chile

Torres Del Paine National Park contains some of Patagonia’s most emblematic scenery. At Awasi Patagonia, guests overlook the postcard views of the staggering granite towers from one of their 14 timber cabins. Thanks to the work of their Puma Foundation, visitors may even catch a glimpse of an elusive puma, prowling through its kingdom. The striking architecture and interior design of Tierra Patagonia is another of our favourites, where floor-to-ceiling windows encircle the indoor pool so you can relax while watching guanacos and rheas roam the hillside. On the shores of Pehoé Lake and just steps away from the cascading waters of Salto Chico Falls, the original Explora Torres Del Paine luxury lodge brings the geographical breadth of Patagonia to each bedroom window. In the heart of the park, stay in one of EcoCamp’s 33 upscale domes, designed to honour the ancient Kaweskar tribal dwellings that stood there before, or at the original Explora Torres Del Paine mountainside luxury lodge. Patagonia Camp sits on the edge of the park, with incredible views and access to Torres del Paine. A stay at Cerro Guido, a 101,000-hectare working cattle farm, provides a window into the daily life of the remote Patagonian countryside and some of the best riding in Chile.

When to visit: Open season runs from September (the beginning of spring) through April, when the fall foliage begins to burn red and orange. High season includes the summer months of December, January, and February, though it is common to experience all four seasons in a single day.

There is a lot of ground to cover in Patagonia, and we’ve explored most of it. Get in touch with our travel designers to begin tailoring your own unforgettable Patagonia adventure.

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