Patagonia is a land of sparsely populated regions which comprises of deserts as well as grasslands, holds a part of the Andes Mountains as well as two coasts bordering the Pacific and the Atlantic. This is the southern end of South America and the two countries of Argentina and Chile share this region. Here are a few places that you should absolutely include in your to-see list while on your Patagonia Holiday.
1. Southern Chilean Patagonia
Its breathtaking landscape draws visitors from all over the globe. Chile’s southernmost province is also known as Magallanes in honor of Ferdinand Magellan. Southern Chilean Patagonia is the gateway to Antarctica and is secluded in itself. Separated by the Strait of Magellan and two ice caps, it retains its mystery and intrigue and is not so easily accessible. You will have to fly to Punta Arenas which is the capital city of Magellanes from Santiago. You can access this region from Southern Argentine Patagonia – all you need is a valid visa.
2. Torres del Paine National Park
If you are an avid hiker, you will love the spectacular hiking trails that dot the landscape. The vista is ever changing and you’ll find many natural wonders that will make your jaw drop. You have pristine aquamarine lakes that are abundantly found at every turn, lush forests, many wild animals like guanaco and candor as well as the soaring Paine Horns or the Cuernos del Paine. These granite mountains will soar into the sky and leave you speechless. There are two recommended routes – the ‘W’ and the ‘Circuit’. This picturesque landscape draws many admirers who want to experience nature at her finest.
3. Tierra del Fuego
This is a triangular archipelago that is separated by the Strait of Magellan from the southernmost tip of Chilean Patagonia. The name is translated to ‘Land of Fire’ which originated from passing sailors who saw the Yámana natives’ campfires blazing across the shoreline. Its gleaming glaciers and emerald toned bodies of water leaves many visitors captivated. If you are planning a visit there, you should definitely visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park which boasts a wide variety of wildlife as well as the famous Laguna Verde lagoon. Acting as the gateway to Antarctica, the adventurous visitors can hop onto the Transbordador Austral Broom ferry to get a rare glimpse and great views of the ‘end of the world’ as you skirt by Cape Horn via the sea.
4. Cape Horn
Its name has been part of legend as well as explorer’s tales from centuries past as many a sailor battled the fierce winds and tempestuous seas to see what lay beyond. Daring guests will get their first glimpse of the infamous ‘horn’ – the dark black cliff that signified the gateway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans before the Panama canal was constructed. Rounding Cape Horn is not for the faint of heart but will leave with an unforgettable experience as the Horn is the southernmost landmass before Antarctica. Just a word of caution – be prepared for the brutal winds and seas and make sure that your belonging are firmly secured to your body.
This place will offer you dramatic views no matter where you are entering from. It is enclosed by emerald lakes and lush green rolling hills and is shadowed by a large basalt cliff. You will find fishermen gathered there in the months from November through May to catch some of the finest trout and salmon that can be found in the Simpson and Coyhaique rivers. You may even get a chance to experience the Feria Artesanal which is an outdoor street fair which boasts of colorful craft stands for the enthusiastic traveler.