Reviewed on Mar 24, 2020
Reviewed on Dec 15, 2019
Reviewed on Sep 2, 2019
Luring explorers, naturalists, authors and outlaws, Chile’s Patagonia Region is a land that has captured the imagination of travelers seeking the end of the earth.
With its glaciers emerging from tranquil lakes, rugged fjords and wind-whipped forests, Chilean Patagonia may appear to only be hospitable to its resident Magellanic penguins. Spend some time in the breathtaking Los Lagos or visit the gateway towns of Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, however, and you’ll find lively communities and a rich history of adventure in this magnificent landscape.
Explore Chilean Patagonia’s breathtaking Lake District, which stretches from Puerto Montt to Aisén in the region’s north. This region contains the picturesque Sur Chico, where snow-dusted volcanoes drop into tranquil lakes.
Puerto Natales is a popular gateway for adventures in the Patagonia Region. Make your base in this cheerful town to explore the nearby Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, where granite towers seem to pierce the sky. Hike around the awe-inspiring Paine Massif and see emerald lakes and mystical ice rivers. Check out the caves of Cueva del Milodón or the monumental glaciers of the Parque Nacional Bernardo O’Higgins.
Punta Arenas is the region’s lively provincial capital and overlooks the turbulent Magellan Strait. From here, you can see raucous penguin colonies and visit their home on Isla Magdalena.
Continue south to visit the town of Porvenir and see the jaw-dropping landscapes of Tierra del Fuego, a world of colossal mountains, serene glaciers and hardwood forests split from the rest of the peninsular by the Magellan Strait. This majestic gateway to Antarctica presents the opportunity to navigate Cape Horn and see views of the southernmost tip of the continent.
At the end of the day, treat yourself to a warming meal of fresh seafood and Chilean wine in your lodge and plan your next day in this remote wilderness.
The Patagonia Region is cut off from the rest of the country by two large ice caps and is only accessible via air, water or through Argentina. Catch a bus or a passenger boat to Puerto Natales from Puerto Montt or fly into Punta Arenas from Santiago.
Visit between November and March to experience the region’s rugged beauty in a moderate climate.