When I am planning an adventure I tend to look at pictures. I am a terrible terrible hoarder and I have years worth of back issues of National Geographic and boxes full of photos I have cut from magazines or postcards people have sent me. Every one of these pictures and articles gives me the drive to go somewhere and do something. It doesn’t have to be far but it should be somewhere new. Or an old favourite in need of being rediscovered…
Patagonia is an area in the very south of the South American continent shared by Chile and Argentina. It is a massive, sparsely populated area – approx. 1,043,076km² – with both Pacific and Atlantic Coasts and a huge variation in flora and fauna.
These photos are my favourites from the month and a half that I spent in Patagonia – I hope they inspire you to book some flights too!
#1 – Patagonian Fjords
I took this photo from aboard the Transbordadora Austral – a Ferry which took me between Caleta Tortel and Puerto Natales in Chile. This trip was one of only a few things I did in Patagonia which felt properly off the tourist track. You can see my full post about this trip here.
#2 – Volcán Villarica
There is some discussion as to where the Northern limit of Patagonia is and whether this can be included but, for the purposes of this post, let’s count Volcán Villarica as a Patagonian adventure. Climbing this 2860m high ice-covered volcano was a highlight for me despite not making it all the way to the top. It is Chile’s most active volcano having last erupted in March 2015. The views were insane and wearing crampons and carrying a pick axe was a really fun way to spend the day. If you make it to the top you may see lava…
#3 – Penguins and Whales
Oh my goodness! Aren’t they sweet?! My New Years Resolutions for 2016 included seeing a wild penguin so a trip to the south of the continent was a must. I went to see these adorable Magellanic Penguins and some incredible Southern Right Whales in Peninsula Valdés in Argentinian Patagonia. I actually took a day trip from Puerto Madryn to see these guys and some Elephant Seals and I went on a boat to see the whales close up. It was well worth the expense and, at the right time of year – September to December – you will not be disappointed by the number of whales you see. A total must for any animal lovers!
#4 – Torres del Paine National Park
See my full post here. I did a 9 day trek through the most famous National Park in Chilean Patagonia and it did not disappoint. Snow-capped mountains, glaciers, bubbling streams, snow, rain and sunshine! What more could you want? I’m not the only one who thinks this is one of the Top 10 Places in South America!
#5 – Walking on Glacier Exploradores
One of the things you can do easily from the small town of Rio Tranquilo is to do a trip to Glacier Exploradores. Here you spend the day (with a qualified guide) walking on top of the glacier and climbing into ice caves. A slightly cheaper Chilean version of Glacier walking than the popular Perito Moreno trip. A very cool experience in both senses of the word… take warm clothes!
#6 – Caleta Tortel
I spent a few days in Tortel, a beautiful peaceful village built into the side of the cliffs. All the houses are built on stilts and are connected by wooden walkways. It is towards the end of the Carretera Austral (a road which many travellers take to guide them through Chilean Patagonia) so is easy to reach by bus or car. It was a quiet haven in the midst of some serious adventuring and I really enjoyed my Patagonian beach break!
#7 – The Perito Moreno Glacier
This is one of the only glaciers worldwide which is still advancing so it really is a dying breed. This Argentinian monster stands at 74m above the water on average, stretches around 5km across and 30km in length. It cracks and crunches while pieces the size of small cars fall off right in front of you. A completely awe inspiring place to visit.
I hope this very small (and difficult to decide-upon) selection of my photos inspires a couple of Patagonian adventures. You certainly won’t regret it!