Perhaps best known as a destination for the adventurous traveller, Patagonia has an incredibly rich range of native wildlife and various options to enjoy nature. In this article we would like to give you some practical information for visting Patagonia.
Thanks to the rise in tourist numbers that the region has seen over the last decade, there are now plenty of good quality accommodations available in Patagonia. These range from guest houses, to boutique and five-star luxury hotels. Always consult with your hotel whether they offer tours as many can organize excursions into the local area at an additional cost.
Recommendations and tips for booking accommodations in Patagonia:
- Websites such as Booking.com, Hotels.com and Trip Advisor list thousands of properties to book in Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, while I-Escape, offers a list of exclusive boutique hotels.
- Expect to pay upwards of $75 per night for a double room.
- It’s possible to arrange a vacation package with some hotels which can include airport transfers, accommodations, full board and tours.
Transportation and getting around
International flights land in either Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina or Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago, Chile. To reach Patagonia from these capital cities, there are domestic flights from Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, etc.
Recommendations and tips to book flights for Patagonia:
- Flight prices increase rapidly so try and book at least a few months in advance.
- Flights that travel between Chile and Argentina are far more expensive than flying internally within one of the countries. For example, if you plan on visiting Punta Arenas from Buenos Aires, consider flying into Ushuaia or El Calafate and taking transport over the border.
Both Chile and Argentina have a well-developed infrastructure of buses to get you between locations. Expect modern coaches designed for long-distance travel and consider booking cama (a 160˚ reclining seat) if travelling overnight as these have a lot more legroom and comfort. Although this varies depending upon the country and region, some companies offer food and drinks during the journey.
Recommendations and tips for bus travel in Patagonia:
- Tickets can be purchased online using websites such as Platforma 10, Ticket Online and Andes Mar (Argentina) and Recorrido (Chile).
- You can also book tickets directly at the bus terminal of a city or town or through local tourist agencies.
- It is recommended to buy bus tickets at least a few days in advance, particularly when traveling during peak season in Patagonia (December through February).
International companies such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Budget are found in most main cities in Patagonia, as well as local rental companies. Expect to pay a significant amount more if you plan on picking up a vehicle in one location and dropping it off in another.
Recommendations and tips for car rental in Patagonia:
- Book early during the summer to ensure availability of vehicles.
- If planning on crossing between Chile and Argentina, you will require special documentation; this must be organized at least a week in advance of the rental period.
- Roads in rural locations in Patagonia are sometimes unpaved and can become muddy and impassable during periods of heavy rainfall. Consider renting a 4WD if planning on visiting more remote areas.
- Plan your route carefully, as gas stations are infrequent in rural areas.