Hiking in Patagonia is a combination of exceptional landscapes and surprisingly accessible trails – many of which can be walked by those with little trekking experience. As a result, Patagonia is recognised as a true walker’s paradise: glacial-blue lakes beneath rocky, snow-capped peaks and exceptional panoramic views on each and every trail. If you’re looking to escape civilization and get back to basics, this list of Patagonia tours aimed specifically at hikers should be enough to inspire your next trip.
Patagonia tours in Nahuel Huapi National Park – Neuquén/Río Negro Provinces, Argentina
Covering 4,400sq. miles (7,100 km), the Nahuel Huapi National Park in the Patagonian Lake District is Argentina’s oldest and absolutely packed full of Patagonian wildlife. Hikers can expect to see condors and guanacos set within an outstanding scenery of ancient forests and snowy peaks.
Patagonia tours to trek through this magnificent national park can easily be arranged in nearby Bariloche. The most popular hikes include day and overnight treks around Cerro Catedral, while the more intrepid can enjoy treks of up to seven days exploring the lakes and hanging glaciers of the region; an exhilarating addition to a holiday in Patagonia.
Patagonia tours in the Cochamó Valley – Los Lagos Region, Chile
Often compared to the Yosemites in the USA, The Cochamó Valley is a unique destination for hiking. Only accessible on foot or horseback, it doesn’t experience the same high volume of tourists as many of the other more popular hiking spots.
The trails here are some of the most adventurous in Patagonia and were most famously walked by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid during their period of hiding out in Argentina when they were required to cross the border into Chile with their cattle. Advanced climbers will also be impressed by the routes up the almost completely vertical, granite walls that flank the Cochamó Valley.
Home to dense, virgin rainforest (one of only three forests of this type remaining in the world) and the native Alerce tree, an endangered species that can grow up to 200 ft. in height, Cochamó is an undisturbed paradise for nature lovers. It ranks as one of the top, but least known, Patagonia trips for hikers.
Patagonia tours in the Tierra del Fuego National Park – Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina
At the very bottom of the region, Tierra del Fuego National Park is located around 7.5-miles (12 km) from Ushuaia. The home of Subantarctic forest, icy waterfalls and steep climbs to arrive at panoramic views over the Beagle Channel, it’s worth traveling this far south when taking a tour of Patagonia.
The Cerro Guanaco Trail, which climbs to 3,200 ft. (980m) has the best views, while shorter trails and basic campsites are also available.
Patagonia tours in the Torres del Paine National Park – Magallanes Region, Chile
Offering the most well-known of all the hikes on this list, the Torres del Paine National Park in the south of Chile always makes the cut on the top Patagonia tours for hikers. From the four-day ‘W’ trek, to the seven- to ten-day full Circuit, the majestic landscape of Torres del Paine is globally renowned and rarely rivalled.
Easily counting as the most popular of tours in Patagonia for trekkers, the park comprises camping facilities, luxury accommodation and numerous companies offering guided trips around the trails.
Patagonia tours in Pumalín Park – Los Lagos Region, Chile
Chile’s largest private nature reserve, which was founded by the late Douglas Tompkins (former co-owner of The North Face), Pumalín Park has a whole network of well-maintained trails and campsites which are accessible to the public.
Opened as a way of conserving the fragile and unique fauna and flora found in this region, visitors can trek through pristine Valdivian temperate rainforest, admire vistas of the Huequi Peninsula and even approach the crater of the Chaitén Volcano which last erupted in 2008 and damaged the nearby town of Chaitén.