Immense, breathtaking, peaceful and sometimes absolutely unbelievable: Patagonia is definitely one of the best places in the world to blend with nature, live an adventure and reconnect with one’s self. Its territory has an extension of more than one thousand square kilometers that occupy both Chile and Argentina, which are divided by the Andes Mountains. If your pick is the Argentine side, here are three Patagonia excursions you should definitely take into account:
Get a great delight from the serenity of Los Glaciares National Park
This 7,000 square kilometers national park is amazing from north to south and east to west. If you arrive through the top, El Chalten should be your starting point. Located just at the border of Chile, in summer, this curious town of small houses, huts and street dogs fills up with bohemian adventurers and experienced or first-time hikers who want to go horseback riding, climb or simply take a walk around the nearby mountains and lakes.
Chalten is sometimes known as the Argentine capital of trekking, as it’s mostly visited by those who want to ascend one of the most beautiful but yet complicated (for its rough geography and weather conditions) mountains of the world: Fitz Roy. Located between both countries, the experience of watching its peaks penetrate through hills, glaciers and clouds is unforgettable.
In the meantime, the south of the park harbors a completely different scenery but just as special thanks to the Lake Argentino –the biggest water mass of the country- and, of course, the glaciers. Trust me: contemplating the huge Upsala or walking on the unstoppable Perito Moreno (which advances 2 meters each day) is a once in a lifetime experience.
Discover penguins and whales in Península Valdés
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, this natural reserve gives you the possibility of enjoying wildlife on its “purest” and calmest state. Visit the quiet coast towns of Puerto San Julián, Camarones and Gaiman before you meet the birds of ría Deseado and the penguins of the natural protected area Punta Tombo, which are not only absolutely lovely but also form the largest colony of magellanic penguins of the continent.
Although for sure the greatest attractive of the Valdes Peninsula and one of the most practiced Patagonia excursions of them all takes place between the months of June and November in the city of Puerto Madryn. That’s exactly when the southern right whales take shelter in the bays to mate or give birth to their offspring and offer the visitors a real “show”. A show stared by huge cetaceous of up to 50 tons of weight… Do you think you can miss that?
Let the beauty of the Lake District blow your mind away
The northwestern part of the Argentinian Patagonia is a land of an incomparable beauty. The glacial bodies of water, the hills and volcanoes, the forests and the varied flora and fauna make the Lake District a work of art. Wine-tasting, fishing, trekking… the range of things you can do during your stay are endless, but perhaps the most extraordinary experience is what is known as the “Seven Lakes Route”. The journey is perfect to be done by car as the idea is to go along the national road 234 that starts in the city of San Martín de los Andes and ends in Villa La Angostura.
This trip will let you contemplate up to (guess what! Not seven…) EIGHT lakes without taking any detour. Lake Lácar, Machónico, Falkner, Villarino, Escondido, Correntoso, Espejo and Nahuel Huapi (which gives name to a 7,000 square kilometers national park) can all be observed in a four-hour trip, although it’s always a better choice to LIVE this kind of Patagonia excursions by camping on the surroundings or spending a night on a nearby town. When you finish this amazing tour, it might be a good idea to approach the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, that despite being one of the most touristic ones of the country, the great number of activities you can practice there and the gorgeous setting that surrounds it make it the perfect ending for this unique getaway.
Written by Irene Valiente