Off the beaten track: Patagonia

Patagonia is arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, full of rare flora and fauna that has been written about for centuries. You can probably think of at least one very famous naturalist who spent a fair bit of time here: Charles Darwin. If you have made it to Argentina or Chile during your adventures around the globe, then Patagonia is a must-see destination. But what exactly makes it so special?

The National Parks

There are a variety of parks to visit but Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which makes it one of the most epic. As you enter the park you will Perito Moreno Glacier which is a component of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. The Ice Field itself has a whopping 48 glaciers that comprise it but this one is by far the biggest. It clocks in at 30 kilometers long. You will want to stay in the park throughout the day because the glacier itself starts to shift and then giant fissures occur which is a sound like no other.

Activities

No trip here is complete without a thorough examination of the flora and fauna which can be seen everywhere. Whale watching for Southern Right whales is a popular activity in the months between June and December when they begin to mate. You can see entire pods of them and watch them breach out of the water. The photos will be pretty epic. If you are a fan of horseback riding then you can opt to see the land via horseback like the gauchos of yesteryear. This is an excellent way to learn about how Patagonia itself has changed over the last 100 years and how cattle farming was a major source of income for a lot of the older families in the area. Trekking is also a great way to see the land if you’re not a fan of the four-legged beasts. You can trek through the mountains and through vast meadows all with the backdrop of the ocean, penguins, and lizards joining you.

Where To Stay

There are all sorts of guesthouses, Airbnb, and hotels along the way but no matter what you will want to spend at least a day or two Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. This small city has been dubbed as the “southernmost city” in the world. You will feel like you have finally reached the end of the earth which is quite the concept. But this small city is the stepping off point to all of the aforementioned sites. Also, Charles Darwin himself sailed on the Beagle through the channel right here.

Find your inner naturalist, bring your best camera, a good pair of sturdy shoes and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!