Patagonia is a land of extremes. The region encompasses the vast southernmost tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line. The Argentine side features arid steppes, grasslands and deserts, while the Chilean has glacial fjords and temperate rainforest. Here are five must-visit destinations in Patagonia.
This Patagonia park is known for its soaring mountain, brilliant blue icebergs and rare wildlife. It's a feast for the senses. Stretch your legs and soak up your surroundings. Explore the lakes, trails, rivers and glaciers in this stunning nature preserve. Don't miss some of Torres del Paine's most iconic vistas, like the Three Towers and and the horn-shaped peaks of Cuernos del Paine.
Cabo San Pablo is an isolated mountain in southern Argentina, distinguishable for its rounded shape. Just south, see the Desdemona at low tide, a shipwreck whose rusted hulk has remained unbudged for 32 years.
Located in southwestern Tierra del Fuego province, over the border with Chile, this national park is the southernmost example of the Andean-Patagonian forest. Hike one of many trails offering staggering views of the jagged landscape. You'll likely encounter some rare wildlife, like white goose-like cauquenes, black-eyebrowed albatross and a unique species of otter, the chungungo.
Moreno Glacier towers above the turquoise glacial water of Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park, exuding blinding white and cold blue hues. Unlike most of the earth’s other glaciers, Perito Moreno is still growing. Visit an observation deck to witness as thunderous bus-sized frozen chunks hit the sapphire aquatic surface.
Punta Arenas is a city near Chile's southernmost tip in the Patagonia region. Located on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it's often used as base for excursions to the surrounding wilderness and Antarctica. Observe wildlife and glimpse the Strait of Magellan, one of the most momentous water crossings on earth.