Patagonia is ideal for visitors who love nature and hiking . An adventure that does, however, need forward planning during a trip to Patagonia , as some areas are very isolated. Among the many treks on offer, the best ones are: Los Glaciares National Park, El Chalten, the Nahuel Huapi Natural Park , the Tierra del Fuego National Park, and, on the Chilean side, the Torres del Paine Park.
The Patagonian region of Argentina boasts varied landscapes that will particularly appeal to nature and sports lovers. From rugged mountains to thousand year-old glaciers and turquoise lagoons, the scenery is incredibly diverse. Crossed by the majestic Andes, it's a great destination for those who enjoy mountain treks . It's one of the most isolated regions in the world, which allows visitors to connect with nature, but which also requires a certain amount of planning when it comes to organising a tour and deciding what to pack. The good news is you don't have be a world class athlete: there are treks for all levels, from those who fancy a little outing to those who prefer something more taxing. Plus you can opt to spend the night on a glacier!
Here are my favourite places to trek in Patagonia.
The most famous of the Patagonian glaciers is the Perito Moreno, where you'll find treks that will forever remain etched in your memory. You can catch a shuttle to the glacier in the town of El Calafate. You can choose treks of different lengths (between 1 and 6hrs), but make sure you book in advance.
Patagonia's geological and meteorological phenomena are quite spectacular. Rain-filled clouds blowing in from the Pacific crash into the icy weather front of the Andean Cordillera. The snow this creates gently settles and slowly turns to ice, forming Patagonia's famous glaciers. You can reach all the glaciers from the town of El Calafate.
More about El Calafate
Another superb Patagonian stop-off on the trekking trail is the town of El Chalten. Home to a few thousand inhabitants, its population doubles during summer, when hikers flock to the area. It's the departure point for dozens of superb treks. Two of the best lead to the breath-taking turquoise waters of Laguna de los Tres and the Laguna Torre, where you'll have huge icebergs for company!
Near to the town of Bariloche, in northern Patagonia, a stunning road winds its way around the region's lakes. Set in the heart of the Nahuel Huapi Natural Park, you can always explore parts on foot. It's the perfect place to breathe in a lush landscape and admire lakes that have been formed by melting snow.
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At Argentina's southern tip, you'll find the mythical 'Land of Fire', a windswept world that's covered with a thick blanket of snow for 9 months of the year. There are a few treks from Ushuaia that lead to the world's end...well, almost! Antarctica is further south, where, for information purposes, you can also go trekking.
This Chilean neighbour is also a hiker's dream. The famous 'W Trek' comprises of a 5-day journey across mountains that boast an incredible geological stratigraphy... Magnificent, to say the least! Remember to pack enough supplies and take a medical kit: some areas of the park are very isolated.
More about Torres del Paine