Top Adventures in Patagonia

patagonia hiking

Spanning vast tracts of barely touched wilderness across the southernmost regions of Chile and Argentina, the glaciers, mountains and steppes of Patagonia evoke all the romance of adventure, drawing thrill-seekers from around the world.

Barely touched, let alone tamed, by human civilisation, Patagonia has become the adventurer's playground, perfect for trekking, ice climbing and skiing, but also the gentler outdoor activities such as birding, photography and wildlife spotting.

Here's a rundown on some of the most thrilling adventures in Patagonia:

At Los Glaciares National Park adventure seekers have the rare opportunity to explore an endangered resource in Argentine Patagonia. More than 40% of the park is covered in glaciers but the Perito Moreno Glacier is arguably the most accessible and dramatic in all of Patagonia. Ice trekkers of all ages can enjoy a short mini-trek around the glacier while hardcore thrill seekers can opt to hike the Big Ice Trek, complete with crampons and harnesses.

The small town of El Chalten is widely considered the hiking capital of Argentine Patagonia, with numerous single and multi-day routes leading out into Los Glaciares National Park. Some of the most popular hiking routes in the area are to Mt Fitz Roy or to Laguna Torre, a six-hour, easy going hike with magnificent views of the Cerro Torre peaks along the journey.

Keen hikers can rent camping equipment in the nearby town of El Calafate and embark on overnight trips into the park. Campsites are free, the glacial rivers provide abundant clean water and the trails are well marked and easily navigable using the park's handy trail map.

In Bariloche and Villa La Angostura, wintersport fiends can enjoy some of the best skiing in South America or enjoy kayaking, mountain biking and horse backing during the summer months.

Other ski resorts include: Cerro Catedral (the most modern ski resort in South America), Cerro Bayo, La Hoya Ski Area, Chapelco and Las Lenas.

Avid scuba divers will be in their element where those foolhardy enough to brave the bracing waters can swim with sea lions in Puerto Madryn, explore the submerged forest of Lake Traful or discover the artificial underwater park in Lake Nahuel Huap.

Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, is another of Patagonia's most popular hiking destinations. Hikers can either opt for a one-day trip to see Torres del Paine (large rock formations over a lake), walk the famous "W" (3-5 days) route or trek the full circuit which takes approximately 8 to 9 days.

Another great hiking destination, although unknown to many visitors, is Pali-Aike National Park also known as the "Pais del Diablo" (the country of the devil). The park has several hiking trails including a 1.7 km walk through flat lava beds to the volcano rim of the Crater Morada del Diablo (dwelling of the devil).

This brisk walk can be followed by a 2 km upward hike through rows of volcanic rock to the Pozos del Diablo (the devil's wells).

Browse our favourite Patagonia adventures below

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