She may be vast and brimming with dramatic, inhospitable landscapes, but Patagonia is still easily visited even when you’ve only got two or three weeks to spare. To help you in planning your holidays to Patagonia, we’ve prepared two itineraries that will introduce you to the region by bus, plane and even cruise ship.
Two-week itinerary for holidays to Patagonia
Days one and two: Buenos Aires
Fly into Buenos Aires and spend your first day exploring Argentina’s capital city. Stop by the main historical sites, such as the stunning Recoleta Cemetery, the resting place of Eva Peron; Plaza de Mayo, the city’s central square, and the impressive Greco-Roman style building at the end of Avenida Mayo, the Palace of the Argentine National Congress.
Relax after a day of sightseeing by soaking up the local café culture in the trendy Palermo neighborhood or visit at night to dine in the excellent restaurants along Humboldt Street.
Days three and four: Bariloche
Take a domestic flight to Bariloche, the nation’s chocolate and craft beer capital. Sample the homemade sweets in the shops along the main street or book a guide to take you hiking in the glorious landscapes of nearby Nahuel Huapi National Park.
Days five to eight: El Calafate and El Chaltén
Fly to El Calafate and join a tour to the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier located nearby. As one of only a handful of stable glaciers in the whole of the region, standing at the foot of this colossal block of ice will be an unmissable feature of your holidays to Patagonia.
Take a day trip or two to El Calafate to hike near to one of Argentina’s most iconic natural landmarks, the granite spires of Monte Fitz Roy. The best views are found by trekking to Laguna de Los Tres, a one- or two-day hike guaranteed to take your breath away.
Day nine: Ushuaia
Board a plane to fly to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. Learn about this city’s history of hardy indigenous groups and foreign settlers with a trip to the Maritime and Prison Museum and the Yámana Museum. Afterward, take the cable car up to Martial Glacier for lofty views of Ushuaia, the Beagle Channel and the ocean beyond.
Days Eleven to Thirteen: Chilean fjords
Join a three-night expedition cruise ship to sail through some of the world’s fiercest seas to land at Cape Horn. From here, your vessel will navigate the more tranquil waters of the glacier-rimmed Beagle Channel to reach Alberto de Agostini National Park – one of the remotest parts of Patagonia. Finish your cruise in pretty Punta Arenas.
Day fourteen: Buenos Aires
Take a bus back to El Calafate. From here, domestic flights will get you back to Buenos Aires in good time to board your plane home.
Three-week itinerary for holidays to Patagonia
Day one: Santiago
Land at Santiago’s Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport and get a bird’s eye view of the city with a hike up Cerro San Cristóbal or dive right into the city’s acclaimed food scene by dining in the trendy Lastarría neighborhood.
Days two to three: Pucon
Take a bus to Pucon and hike up Villarrica, a nearby active volcano. Relax tired muscles in the area’s famed hot springs or sip a cold glass of beer in the sunshine on a restaurant terrace along the town’s main street.
Days four: Bariloche
Cross the border into Argentina with a bus to Bariloche, Argentina’s chocolate and craft beer capital. Watch the sunset over Lake Nahuel Huapi or take the cable car up Cerro Catedral, the peak that dominates the surrounding area, for the best views.
Days five to seven: El Calafate and El Chaltén
Fly to El Calafate and visit Perito Moreno Glacier. Be spellbound as you watch huge chunks of ice calve from the foot of the glacier and splash into the milky waters of Lake Argentina.
Your holidays to Patagonia aren’t complete until you visit El Calafate, where Monte Fitz Roy, one of the most impressive mountains in the region, awaits. Leave summiting the peak to the experts and instead trek to Laguna de Los Tres, where stunning views encompassing the whole area await.
Day eight to twelve: Torres del Paine National Park
Cross back into Chile and Puerto Natales, from where you can take a tour to hike the famous ‘W’ trek in Torres del Paine National Park. Admire the area’s dramatic glacial landscapes and take a photograph posing in front of the spectacular granite towers.
Days thirteen to twenty: Chilean fjords
Take a bus to Punta Arenas to join a seven-night expedition cruise ship tour to follow in Darwin’s footsteps. Land on islets brimming with Magellanic penguin colonies and sail through the fjords of Alberto de Agostini National Park – one of the remotest parts of Patagonia. Venture past the glaciers along the Beagle Channel, land at Ushuaia and Cape Horn before returning back to port in Punta Arenas.
Day twenty-one: Santiago
Board a plane from Punta Arenas back to Santiago to catch your flight home.