As tourism has increased, so has the range and quality of the accommodations that you can expect to find here. During the summer months, accommodations should be booked at least three months in advance, as refugios and hotels, particularly in some of the prime destinations such as Torres del Paine, will be fully booked during this period. Accommodations during the spring and fall seasons in popular tourist destinations should also be booked in advance and prices are often lower during these periods. In winter, it is best to confirm that your lodgings are open, as some companies close for the season.
Types of Accommodation in Patagonia
A swathe of luxury hotels can be booked throughout Chilean and Argentine Patagonia. The larger towns of Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Bariloche and Ushuaia unsurprisingly offer the best selection of top-end accommodations, but four and five star options are possible even in some of the more remote locations.
El Calafate, Chaltén, Torres del Paine and various smaller towns along the Carretera Austral can surprise with the quality of their hotels. In some cases, accommodations include a commitment to eco-sustainability and unbridled access to splendid scenery. Boutique and exclusive hotels generally provide locally-sourced dining options and lengthy wine lists with vintages hailing from the internationally-renowned wine regions further north in Chile and Argentina.
How to Find Patagonian Hotels
I-Escape comprises a list of boutique hotels that are bookable online, while Booking.com has a list of thousands of properties, each with extensive reviews to help you make your selection. Trip Advisor also provides hundreds of searchable luxury accommodations in Patagonia, while Hotels.com offers a similar service.
Prices for hotels in Patagonia start from $75 per night for a double room. All-inclusive packages can be arranged directly with hotels and may include airport transfers, accommodation and full-board. Tours will depend upon the location of the hotel, but may include horseback riding through rugged countryside or hiking in any one of Patagonia’s impressive areas of natural beauty.
Working sheep or cattle ranches with comfortable accommodations are mainly, but not exclusively, found on the Argentine side of Patagonia, where the windswept steppe is encircled by low mountains. This form of accommodation will bring you into contact with local people, from gauchos to estancia owners, many of whom who have worked the land for generations. Spending a couple of nights in an estancia is a rewarding chance to find yourself in the depths of the countryside and to learn about the daily lives of the Patagonian people.
Dining options range from the traditional Argentine asado, to high quality, seasonal menus, while views of the surrounding, largely uninhabited wilderness will be second to none. Activities may include horse riding tours on criollo horses, whose strong, sure-footed and responsive nature make them ideally suited to the harsh Patagonian terrain. Fishing in remote lagoons, trekking through ancient forests or exploring the day-to-day life on these working ranches, which could include a cattle drive or sheep shearing, can also be organized as part of your visit.
How to Find Patagonian Estancias
Estancias are best booked as part of an organized tour through Patagonia. Visit the Australis agencies and operators finder for further information about companies offering this service in your home country.
Camping opportunities in Patagonia abound. During the summer months, camping can be a fantastic way to sleep under the stars and watch sunrises over some of Patagonia’s wildest spots. As some of the luxury camping options are equipped with central heating and homely log fires, this form of accommodation can even be experienced during the winter.
Whatever your preconceptions of camping, it doesn’t have to be cold mornings and lumpy mattresses: luxury can be found even in the wild heart of Patagonia. Yurts and geodesic domes scatter mountain sides, while lodges and luxuriously cozy cabañas with skylights for watching the impressive clearness of the Patagonian night sky are also available.
How to Find Patagonian Camping Accommodations
Glamping.com offers a selection of the best “glamping” (“glamorous camping”) options that are bookable online. Prices start from $190 for an en suite double and many of these luxury campgrounds include access to Wi-Fi. All-inclusive packages can be arranged, particularly with those campgrounds located in the Torres del Paine National Park.
Boarded on all sides by coastline, Patagonia has seen a rise in cruise tours that enable visitors to go where few others have been before. Many of the most notable explore the wilderness of the very southern extremities of the continent and deliver a degree of luxury that is in line with the most exclusive Patagonian hotels.
Starting from Punta Arenas in the Magallanes Region, Chile, or Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, cruise ships pass through sections of the historic Beagle Channel, encounter tidewater glaciers plunging into the ocean below and visit colonies of Magellanic penguins in the Chilean fjords. Some even stop off at Cape Horn to appreciate the rugged desolation of this promontory overlooking the stormy Drake Passage, and where they can pay their respects to the thousands of sailors who lost their lives navigating these seas.
Cruises include all-inclusive services such as buffet lunches and four-course evening meals, open bars and on-board libraries. Comfortable and spacious en suite accommodations with expansive windows for viewing the unfolding landscape is also guaranteed. These cruises make use of an onboard staff of multi-discipline experts who deliver detailed lectures about the history, geography and environment of the locations visited on the cruise.
How to Find Patagonian Cruises
Australis have designed some of the best cruises in their class on their ship, the Stella Australis. Three night cruises start from $1,189 per person.