Patagonia lies near the southern tip of Chile and Argentina and boasts turquoise lakes and rivers, snow capped peaks that shoot skyward into veils of clouds, glaciers, and some of the most incredible untamed wilderness in the world. With its unparalleled vast beauty, I have dreamt of visiting Patagonia since I was young. Last November I was finally able to experience the raw wind swept mountains of Patagonia and I didn’t want to return home.
Here are my top things to see while exploring southern Patagonia.
Where to stay: Tierra Patagonia in Chile; stay tuned for a post about this over the top luxurious property tucked into the rugged landscape.
One of the highlights of my trip (and a must for every adventure lover!) was the W trail to the base of the Torres Del Paine. This rugged 12 mile round trip hike is worth every grueling step! The thing I loved about this trail is you really get to experience such diverse landscapes AND weather as you trek to the base. You will find yourself hiking through dense forests, crossing hanging bridges over roaring rivers, boulder hopping, and more. Marvel at the power of ancient rock slides all while experiencing four different seasons in one day (we even got a little snow shower)! TIP: Make sure to bring plenty of layers, food and water!
Hike along the Condoreras (only available to guests of Tierra Patagonia)! This relatively easy hike will take you a thousand feet above the valley floor where you can experience grand views of Torres Del Paine. You can even get an up close and personal view of condors with a wing span of 6 ft – it is pretty incredible as they buzz overhead (they nest in the cliffs).
Get up and watch the sunrise with a cup of piping hot coffee! The most magical time of day is when the sun just peaks over the horizon and lights Torres Del Paine on fire. It is definitely worth the early wake up call!
Take a boat out to an active glacier on Lago Grey at Torres del Paine National Park (Chile). This half day excursion gets you up and personal with Grey Glacier. If you get lucky, you can experience it calving massive chunks of ice into the water! The boat crew grabs some fresh ice with a net from the pristine turquoise water and serves up fresh pisco sours with glacial ice as you cruise the beautiful lake.
Patagonia is known for its gauchos and their rich history with horses. Exploring the rugged landscape with our gaucho was an absolute highlight and is not to be missed!
Experience the power of the Moreno glacier by boat and foot in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares in Argentina (there is a maze of boardwalks across from the glacier that give you incredible views). Make sure to listen for cracking noises and you might even get lucky like we did and see a massive piece of the glacial wall calve into the icy water below.
One of the best ways to experience the Moreno glacier is by grabbing a pair of crampons and an ice axe and trekking out onto a glacier with a guide! This is such an incredible way to see and understand the magnitude of how massive this glacier is. Plus a bonus is a hidden stash of bourbon that awaits you at the end of the trek with fresh glacial ice cubes!
Patagonia is a place that will stay with you long after you have left, the power of it is almost indescribable. But don’t take my word for it: go get lost and explore the beauty of Patagonia yourself!