If you are considering visiting Patagonia, there are some cities that you cannot miss. Currently, a lot of them have something that makes them worth a visit if you want to make the very best of your travel.
Best cities in Patagonia
As we have already mentioned, here you have the 7 best cities that you have to visit during your travel in Patagonia:
San Carlos de Bariloche
San Carlos de Bariloche is one of the top five cities in Argentina. In winter, it looks and feels a bit like Switzerland with its Alpine architecture, amazing locally-made chocolate and beer, and it has great skiing in nearby Cerro Catedral which is famed for its 30 ski slopes.
Bariloche is the lake district of Argentina and summer is the best time to enjoy its waterways. The town is perched on the glacial lake Nahuel Lapi and is surrounded by a glorious system of lakes and channels with a stunning Andes Mountains backdrop. There are lots of places to take in the stunning views, one in particular is Cerro Campanario.
El Chaltén is for hikers – adventure hikers and adrenalin seekers who use it as a base for exploration. The town is set up to accommodate the visitors who come in droves to experience some of the best hiking trails on the planet.
There’s a variety of different mountain and ice-hikes, but for many of the options from El Chaltén, you want to be in good shape. One of the most popular treks is the trail Laguna de Los Tres which leads to the base of Monte Fitz Roy – a stunning 21 km trail that takes 8 hours to complete in full and requires endurance. Those who make it do not regret it. El Chaltén sits in the Los Glaciares National Park and you can ice-hike on Viedma Glacier – one of the most famous ice-hiking locations in Argentina.
Patagonia is a choc bloc full of incredible places and landscapes, and Ushuaia is no exception. Known as the ‘End of the World’, it was also dubbed Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) by Ferdinand Magellan when he witnessed from the Beagle Channel little fires scattered along the landscape set by the local inhabitants. Now it’s known as a place to visit the local penguin colony and other wildlife, send a postcard from the world’s southernmost post office, and see the amazing forests and landscape where the Andes mountains and Patagonian sub-Antartic forest meet the sea. And, as a launch pad for cruises to fascinating Antarctica.
One of the major cities in Chile, this is the capital of the Chilean Magallanes area. It has some lovely European architecture and is the set-off point to visit the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in Chile. It is a sprawling city with lots of tourist services, so it’s a good base for exploring both the Torres del Paine national park and the Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
If offers great opportunities to go on whale, penguin and glacier tours. Isla Magdalena is known for its Magellanic penguins (check the season before you go, some penguin tours stop in April). And plenty of cruise ships leave from here to Antarctica. A curious museum to visit is the Nao Victoria Museum, with several replicas of important ships for the regions, including the HMS Beagle.
Heaven for hikers, this town is the set-off point for treks in the Torres de Pain National Park and Monte Fitz Roy and, of course, the famed glacier Perito Moreno, the most famous and visited glacier in Argentina.
Fives hours south of Bariloche, Esquel is a beautiful place in Patagonia, with stunning river, curious formations, not as well known as other towns, but full of lovely sites. The landscape, once covered by a glacier, is rich with rivers, lakes, mountains, and good food. It’s also a ski resort and the last stop on La Trochita, a stema train that once crossed 400 km through Patagonia.
One of the Welsh settlements in Patagonia famed for its remaining Welsh cultural artifacts. There were several flows of immigrants into Argentina from Wales in the 19th century, and they left behind Welsh culture in the form of architecture, religion, language and customs. It is conveniently near the Valdes Peninsular, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its penguin population, whale watching, and abundant wildlife.