Having spent more than 30 years living and traveling in southernmost South America, Wayne Bernhardson is the author of Moon Handbooks to Argentina, Buenos Aires, Chile and Patagonia, and the National Geographic Traveler guide to Argentina. He is also on the editorial advisory board of Patagon Journal, is the South America editor for the website Bindu Trips.
Wayne has a PhD in Geography from the University of California at Berkeley, and has done research in Peru, Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Islands. He resides in Oakland, California, but spends four to five months every year in southern South America, where he owns an apartment in Buenos Aires’s Palermo neighborhood. He can be contacted through www.southernconetravel.com.
Long before the city of Puerto Natales became a gateway for Patagonia vacations and a ferry terminal for Chile’s northern fjords, tiny Puerto Bories was one of the region’s economic powerhouses. A century ago, when the granite needles of Torres del Paine symbolized little more than the presence of pasture to graze sheep, Bories […]
When you’re planning a Patagonia vacation, architecture is probably not one of the first ideas that comes to mind. Without the grandeur of its mountains, forests, fjords and waterways, the region wouldn’t have the worldwide reputation it does, but its cities, towns and countryside display a wealth of memorable vernacular constructions. To see the richness […]
Almost everybody who takes a Patagonia expedition hopes to see penguins, and there are many places to do so. Passengers sailing Cape Horn from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, though, sometimes miss one of the top penguin-watching destinations, on Isla Magdalena in the Strait of Magellan. Still, that doesn’t preclude a trip to the island – […]
Some travelers who are visiting Patagonia confine themselves to either Argentina or Chile, but many if not most see both countries, which offer similar but often complementary attractions. In 1979, when I first saw the startling granite needles of Torres del Paine, it was hard to imagine anything more exhilarating than the time I spent […]
Some two decades ago, Argentina toyed with the idea of moving its capital from Buenos Aires to the city of Viedma, in its northern Patagonian province of Río Negro. In the end, Porteño politicians preferred visiting Patagonia to permanent residence there, but Buenos Aires still offers reminders of the far south – one of my […]
On the Patagonia cruise tours between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, there’s plenty of wildlife, including elephant seals, sea lions and penguins, but whales are relatively uncommon. Chile has enacted legislation declaring the country a whale sanctuary, and populations are increasing, but in the eastern Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel they’re usually vagrants […]
Recently, in Punta Arenas, I paid my first visit to the Instituto de la Patagonia in several years. It’s actually an academic research institute, founded by local historian Mateo Martinic in the 1970s and affiliated with the Universidad by Magallanes, but it also features the Museo del Recuerdo, a mostly open-air museum that makes an […]
As I wrote recently, my own semi-spontaneous Patagonia excursions differ from those of visitors who cannot devote so much time to the Patagonia region that I enjoy every year. In contrast to that earlier itinerary, today I’ll suggest a rather different but overlapping trip to Patagonia; it starts in Buenos Aires and ends in […]
Visitors on a Patagonia adventure cruise are usually well-traveled people, and may notice that South America’s Pacific coast is a mirror image of North America’s. Southwest of Puerto Montt, the island of Chiloé has a geography similar to Canada’s Vancouver Island – a verdant, densely forested Pacific coastline that alternates rocky headlands and seemingly […]
Looking at the map, many travelers planning a Patagonia cruise overestimate South America’s remoteness because, beyond the tip of the continent, the next thing they see is Antarctica. In reality, at a latitude of 56° S, Cape Horn is almost exactly the same distance south of the Equator as Edinburgh is to the north, but […]