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Patagonia (Argentina)

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Patagonia is a region in the south of Argentina bordered in the north by the Cuyo and Pampas regions, in the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and in the south and west by Chile.



Other destinations[edit]


Patagonia is massive, beautiful and desolate. You can go extraordinary distances without seeing much, other than the occasional Guanaco. As such you should always be prepared for whatever chance may throw at you. If driving, have spare blankets, food and water in case of break downs as the nearest mechanic may not be able to reach you in a day. If hitchhiking, have tents and appropriate gear in case you don't make it to the next town before nightfall. When in the back-country be sure to follow all rules and guidelines to ensure that damage to the native environment is minimized as much as possible as there are many endangered species in the area. If you get in trouble help may not be able to reach you quickly, so prepared to take care of yourself!

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Buses run constantly between Buenos Aires and Bariloche. They take around 24 hours but are very comfortable. Prices were running around 800 pesos but, as with anything in Argentina, prices are known to fluctuate wildly. Expect to pay around 100 US Dollars. Buses are also available all the way down to Rio Gallegos with stops along the way. This journey takes around 36 hours to complete

By plane[edit]

Flights from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos can save you the 36 hour bus ride if you're looking at heading down that far south. They sometime can be even cheaper than the buses, so it is definitely worth a look.

Get around[edit]

If travelling on the Ruta 40, note that as of Apr 2016, about 70km of the road between Gobernador Gregores and Tres Lagos are still gravel and mainly in bad condition. It goes through some hills, is very windy and offers few/no spots protected from the wind. Especially due to rain and snow, a 2WD car was struggling to pass some sections of this road, and some cyclists were really miserable.


by car or truck once you are sufficiently south in Argentina and Chile it is really safe to hitchhike. You can save some money on bus travel if you hitchhike through the south. However, a tent is advisable for safety reasons but also to save on accommodation. If you don't have a tent, try to hitchhike really early in the morning so you don't arrive after nightfall. New places are much more interesting and welcoming in the daytime.

Most often you will be picked up by truck drivers that are bored or are trying to stay awake. They usually want to talk. Try not to fall asleep when hitchhiking and be careful, even if it is Patagonia.

See[edit][add listing]

  • View the Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park from El Calafate.
  • View the Patagonian Ice Sheet from an airplane or nearby mountain.
  • Visit penguin colonies near Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.


Depends a lot on time, money and interest. Below a incomplete list of trekking areas from south to north:

Village Name Type Comment
Puerto Williams/Isla Navarino Dientes de Navarino (Teeth of Navarino) There is a rough hiking circuit around the range. Depending on weather conditions the trek takes 5 to 7 days. Unmarked (GPS); No infrastructure; No help. Nothing for novice backpackers. Ferry to Puerto Williams costs 100+ USD
Ushuaia Glacier Macial One-Day-Tour from Town
Ushuaia Lagoon Esmaralda/Valley of Lobos One-Day-Tour
Ushuaia Tierra de Fuego One or Two-Day
Puerto Natales Torres del Paine 8 Day-Cicuit [1] Listed in every Guidebook; Reservation Required.
El Calafate Perito Moreno Glacier Mini-Trekking or Big Ice on the Glacier - only with Tour possible Listed in every Guidebook;
El Chalten Los Glaciares Nationalpark/Laguna de los Tres One-Day Self-guided trek Viewpoint of Mt. Fitz Roy (3406m); 12km one way
El Chalten Los Glaciares Nationalpark/Laguna Torre One-Day Self-guided trek Viewpoint of Mt. Cerro Torre (3128m); 11km one way
El Chalten Pliegue Tumbado One-Day El Chalten is the trekking capital of Argentina and much more Treks exists
El Chalten Huemul circuit 4 days and 3 nights Crossing of Túnel River - wet shoes! No markings; Nothing for novice back-backer.
El Chaltén Border Crossing El Chaltén - Villa O’Higgins Multiple-days Needs research/organization - hike/bus/boat/hitchhike 120km from Border Crossing El Chaltén (Argentina) to Villa O’Higgins (Chile’s Carretera Austral’s southern end).

Involves crossing of Lago O’Higgins in Chile and Lago del Desierto in Argentina.

Villa O'Higgins Glaciar Río Mosco One-Day Villa O'Higgins is a gateway of Nationalpark Bernardo O'Higgins
Villa O'Higgins Los Glaciares del lago O'Higgins (english) Five-Day
Villa O'Higgins Cerro Submarino One-Day
Villa O'Higgins Cerro Altavista One-Day
Cochrane Tortel - Glaciar Steffen One-Day Cochrane is the gateway to Nationalpark Tamango
Cochrane Reserva Nacional Jeinimeni, Cueva de las Manos Half-Day
Cochrane Reserva Nacional Tamango One-Day
Cochrane Las Horquetas One-Day
Cochrane Circuito Las Horquetas - Pampa del Zorro Four-Day
Cochrane Glaciar Calluqueo One-Day
Cochrane Valle Aviles (English) Four-Day
Coyhaique/Cerro Castillo Village Cerro Castillo traverse 4 days, 3 nights 62km; Chile Chico is on the southern side of the lake; Puerto Río Tranquilo (north-east of the lake) has caves.
Puyuguapi Queulat Nationalpark with The Hanging Glacier Veintisquero Colgante
Futaleufu Laguna de Espejo Overlook Loop (4.5 km/ 1hour); El Mirador (The Overlook) (14 km); Piedra del Aguila (Eagle Rock) (12 km); Garganta del Diablo Circuit (Devil’s Throat) (20 km); Las Escalas Circuit (22 km); Cerro Teta Expedition (25 km); Rio Chico Circuit (33 km/1day) White Water Rafting; If you go to Puerto Montt then you can take a Ferry from Chaiten;
Esquel Sendero La Cruz 10km/3hours
Esquel Nationalpark Los Alerces Glaciar Torrecilla; Lago Krugger; ...
El Bolsón Hut-to-Hut Trekking Double-Check Safety in the area. Due to a recent incident, the tourist information office recommends you trek in at least a group of three.
San Carlos de Bariloche Nahuel Huapi National Park Many treks from half-day to multi-days
San Carlos de Bariloche Ruta de los Jesuitas 6-7 days
San Carlos de Bariloche Paso El León 5 days
San Carlos de Bariloche 5 Lagunas: Pampa Linda - Colonia Suiza 5 days
San Martín de Los Andes Laguna Rosales – San Martín de los Andes One-Day
San Martín de Los Andes Volcán Lanín One-Day There is a multi-day route with ice-axe required to Villarrica/Pucon
Puerto Montt Alerce Andino 3-4
Chiloé Chiloé National Park and Tantauco National Park Half, day, Multi-Day Treks Island south-west of Puerto Montt
Pto Varas Volcán Osorno. Half, day, Multi-Day Treks Parque Nacional Vicente Pérez Rosales
Villarrica Villarrica Traverse 6-8 days, 84km
Pucon National Park Huerquehue
Talca Circuito Los Cóndores; 8-10 days, Villages in the area: Vilches; Molina; Condor Circuit part of Huaso Trails;

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Motorcycle expeditions in Patagonia, Argentina [2] Compass Expeditions offers adventure Motorcycle Tours specializing in South America, in the the long vast expanses of Patagonia, tours from 10 days to 5 months. (In US 503 369 1955 or in Australia 613 536 86473).
  • Ruta 40. Patagonia is crossed by mythical Ruta 40. The highway takes beginning from the far north to the southernmost tip of Argentina and goes through the desert plains and lush vineyards, passes by the crystal lakes, glaciers and the peaks of the Andes Mountains. The 5224 kilometer route connects La Quiaca in northern Argentina with the southern town of Rio Gallegos. The road trip goes through 11 provinces, 20 national parks, 18 major rivers, 27 passes on the Andes.

Eat[edit][add listing]

In Patagonia, there are plenty of unique and delicious things to eat. As in all of Argentina, beef is important, but particular to the area is the cordero, lamb, which is of a very unique flavor (supposedly because the Patagonian lamb eats a unique mixture of herbs found only in Patagonia) especially when grilled in the typical parrilla (grill).

Dulce de leche, similar to caramel and made by adding sugar to milk and cooking it, is used on nearly all desserts, including facturas (pastries eaten for breakfast or tea, or to accompany mate, filled with dulce de leche, dulce de membrillo, crema pastelera, roquefort, or many other things), alfajores (traditional cookies that consist of tiny biscuits stuck together), and many other Argentine desserts.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Mate (pronounced MAH-tay), a bitter tea, is drunk very frequently. Adding sugar is not rare because of its bitter taste. Many different things can be added to the drink, including milk, sugar, lemon or orange rinds, and cinnamon sticks.

Get out[edit]

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