Things to do in Patagonia
Patagonia is shaped by some of the world's greatest geographical influences: the Andes Mountains, the faultline that lies beneath them, the Patagonian Ice Cap and the confluence of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
All these factors combine to create an area of extraordinary variety, from vast untouched glacier fields to mountains and volcanoes, lakes and fjords, and wild and often bleak landscapes. And, given Patagonia’s inaccessibility you will experience much of this in relative isolation. This makes for a vast playground for a range of different adventure activities. And in one trip to Patagonia it's possible to get a taste of all of them!
Adventure travel activities in Patagonia
Patagonia offers trekkers huge variety; both in terms of the scenery, the level of challenge and the duration of the trek. Day hikes around Mount FitzRoy and Lago Nahuel Huapi are relatively easy and yet incredible rewarding out of the towns of El Chalten and Bariloche; and the iconic W Circuit of Torres del paine is a 4 day adventure, but possible with just a small daypack. For those wanting a more challenging or remote experience the wilds of Tierra del Fuego and the Patagonian Ice Cap provide experienced trekkers with a chance to immerse themselves in Patagonia's wilderness.
>> Find out more about trekking in Patagonia
Kayaking gives travellers a unique perspective on Patagonia, accessing remote destinations otherwise inaccessible. Experienced kayakers can either enjoy the whitewater of the Futaleufu or Manso rivers in Northern Patagonia, or head down to Tierra del Fuego, the end of the world. For those relatively new to kayaking where better to learn than amongst the glaciers and fjords of Torres del Paine or the the beautiful lush Lake District.
>> Find out more about kayaking in Patagonia
As the water flows off the Andes mountains and its glaciers it creates some of world's most famous rapids on the Rio Manso and the infamous Rio Futaleufu. There's something for the hard core and for first timers and families as well. The region is stunning and you might base yourself out of a riverside lodge and combine whitewater rafting with other adventure activities. It's even possible to raft all the way from the Andes out to the Pacific Ocean!
>> Find out more about white water rafting in Patagonia
In such a vast region travelling by horseback, like those who explored it two centuries ago, is a wonderful way to see all it has to offer. You'll ride with the Gauchos and might rest at an Estancia overnight, or camp wild under the stars. The terrain is incredibly varied - you can explore Argentina's pampas and steppe, or ride through the valleys of Torres del Paine, or the mountain passes of the Lake District. Some itineraries are only suitable for riders who've spent a few years in the saddle, but there's plenty here for inexperienced riders too.
>> Find out more about Horse Riding in Patagonia
Most of our clients would shy away from the typical idea of a 'cruise', but the Patagonian coastline and the Magellan Straits are some of the most beautiful and dramatic waterways in the world. You'll explore Patagonia's fjords and witness incredible glaciers and varied wildlife. On many cruises you''ll get the chance set foot on barely visited land, with sorties on zodiac boats.
>> Find out more about Patagonia Cruises
Mountaineering and IceCap Expeditions
With the Andes and the Patagonian IceCap at the heart of Patagonia there are many opportunities for unique and exciting expeditions. To the North, Cerro Aconcagua stands at 6,962m, one of the 'Seven Summits' and the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Although the Southern Andes lose some of their height they lose none of their awe inspiring ascents and views. Ice Cap expeditions range from 3 days on the ice to 3 weeks, and some include ascents of the many peaks that sit amongst the vast ice sheet.
>> Find out more about Mountaineering in Patagonia
Climbing and Ice Climbing
Some of the worlds very best climbers converge on the Southern Andes to tackle its peaks, most notably Mount FitzRoy. And the Patagonian IceCap feeds numerous glaciers, some of which are more accessible for ice climbing than others. For the novice there are some incredible opportunities to try Ice Climbing for the first time: on the famous and beautiful Perito Moreno glacier, or the Viedma or Torre glaciers near El Chalten.
Mountain Biking is a relatively new sport out here, but the there's no doubt that it's growing in popularity and new routes are being opened up every day. There are opportunities in both the Lake District of the north and amongst the glacier filled valleys of the south. Several trips include a day of mountain biking as part of a wider programme, or for the more extreme there's a 1,000km adventure through Patagonia.
>> Find out more about mountain biking in Patagonia
Bariloche is one of Argentina's ski capitals and while its summer in the UK you can enjoy some excellent skiing in the Andes. The pistes and resorts are well set up, but you can also explore more remote areas with cross-country skiing and some incredible off piste trips down the side of volcanoes. Read our blog post about skiing in Patagonia or check out ski-touring trips in Patagonia.
Patagonia offers some of the world's best trout and salmon fishing. From the whitewater and creeks of the Lake District in the North to the wilderness of the Rio Serrano in the south the fly fishing is world renowned. By day you can enjoy Patagonia's dramatic landscapes and at night you can camp wild on the shores of the river or stay in an authentic Estancia or riverside lodge.
>> Find out more about Fishing in Patagonia
Guide to Patagonia
Patagonia spans over 1,000 miles north to south and landscapes ranging from forests, to glaciers, to volcanoes and deserts. Read our Patagonia Guide to find out: how to get there, when to go, what to see and how to find the best trip. Or find out about:
Tours of Patagonia
One way to see the very best that Patagonia offers is to join a tour that takes you to 2 or more different destinations in one trip. With these tours you'll be able to spend a few days in each area, hiking and exploring; and have all the logistics, transport and accommodation organised for you as you move around Patagonia. See all of our Patagonia Tours, or consider:
We've spent 15 years exploring Patagonia, and arranged holidays for over a thousand customers. We have a network of trusted guides, lodges, and local operators across the region and delight in helping people plan and arrange a great holiday.
You can book directly with our local partners in Chile and Argentina, or with our ATOL certified company here in the UK.