close

Patagonia Travel: Highlights Not to Be Missed

Written by Peter Lauffer
June 17, 2021

Head with us to the southernmost region of South America and discover the southern part of Patagonia, a dramatic, sometimes rugged region full of inspiring, memorable sites. One visit to this idyllic adventure playground spanning the border of Argentina and Chile, and you’ll quickly discover that nature isn’t called "great" for nothing.

What wonders make a trip here so unforgettable (besides our train journeys, of course)?

View from Cerro Otto over the Lake Nahuel Huapi and Bariloche
View from Cerro Otto over the Lake Nahuel Huapi and Bariloche

Experience magical forests and snowcapped mountains 

Located within Nahuel Huapi National Park, Cerro Otto reaches 1,405 meters (4,610 ft). Reachable via a 12-minute cable car journey from Bariloche, the summit offers panoramas that are divinely breathtaking and among the best in Argentina. Observe the spectacular Lake Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by lush green forests. Beyond the lake and forests tower the high, snowcapped Andes. At the summit of Cerro Otto, enjoy a glass of wine in the revolving restaurant and go for a short hike to take in the unforgettable views in all directions. 

Perrito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Argentina
Perrito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Argentina

Behold the Perrito Morento Glacier up close

The magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the greatest natural wonders in the world and one of the few advancing glaciers, increasing in size by an estimated two meters each day. This massive block of freshwater ice already stretches over 30 km across Lake Argentino in the "Los Glaciares National Park." The glacier towers more than 60 meters above the milky, mineral-rich lake. It is an eerie but unforgettable experience to stand close to this impressive natural sight. Occasionally, the glacier's face creaks and crunches, followed by an explosive rumble as a large chunk of ice calves off and crashes into the lake.

Rising Sun over Torres del Paine
Rising Sun over Torres del Paine

Watch the rising sun over Torres del Paine

With its imposing massifs and turquoise lakes, the Torres del Paine National Park is both an adventure and a photo paradise—making it a must-see site in the Chilean region of Patagonia. Take a walk before breakfast and observe sunrise over the towering granite pillars of the Torres del Paine massif. Watching the gray mountain range glow in glorious red, orange, and purple shades is an unforgettable way to witness the beginning of a new day. 

Port of Ushuaia, the southern-most city in the World
Port of Ushuaia, the southern-most city in the World

Discover the "End of the World"

Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, is located on the southern tip of Patagonia and is often referred to as the “End of the World.” Built initially as a penal colony in the late 19th century, the city's prison continued to house the region's most notorious criminals until 1947. A tour of the La Mision, Brown, and Solier neighborhoods provides a thought-provoking glimpse into the lives of the indigenous people who inhabited this remote coast before the English and Argentineans colonized it. The End of the World Museum features a display of the belongings of explorers and missionaries as well as the salvaged figurehead of the shipwrecked Duchess of Albany.

Australis Cruise around Cape Horn, Chile
Australis Cruise around Cape Horn, Chile

Set sail around Cape Horn

It doesn't get any more impressive than this five-day End of the World Australis Cruise Expedition from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. On this journey you’ll cruise the pristine waters of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego—one of the most remote and biodiverse regions on earth. You’ll encounter penguins up close, navigate fjords and glaciers, and explore on foot Cape Horn, South America's southernmost point. Crossing the fjords of Patagonian Chile and Argentina in a zodiac boat can be a truly humbling, life-changing experience as you feel insignificantly small in the shadows of mighty mountains and immeasurable chunks of ice. 

Patagonian Condor Lago Grey, Chile

Be on the lookout for an Andean Condor

Patagonia has no shortage of natural wild habitats, so it’s not surprising that the landscape is home to various fascinating bird species. At the top of most visitors' bucket list is the chance to catch a glimpse of an Andean Condor, one of the few giant vultures in the world. The majestic creature can be recognized by its striking black and white feathers and its white fur neck. When hovering in the sky, the condor is hard to miss—a massive bird with a three-meter wingspan.

Guanaco Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park
Guanaco Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park

Make friends with a Guanaco in the Patagonian steppe

As you travel through the Patagonian desert, be sure to keep an eye out for one of the weirdest creatures in the area, the Guanaco. This furry, long-necked camel, closely related to the Llama, is native to South America and is often seen strolling gracefully across the arid open landscape. But you have to look carefully, as the guanaco’s light brown, rust-red hue blends in with the surrounding terrain. Vigilant travelers can also experience other wondrous wildlife encounters such as with the Fuegian Fox, the Patagonian Armadillo, or the Huemul Deer.

Explore Patagonia on our Tour: "Patagonian Rail & Cruise" from 4 - 25 March 2022
Liked this post? Share this post with your friends on social media!