Torres del Paine, the shining star of Chile’s national parks system, is most easily accessed from the town of Puerto Natales, where everyone who does not stay in the park will spend the night before and after. The park, which is a couple of hours’ drive from Puerto Natales, is known for it’s turquoise lakes, frothy waterfalls, wide-open spaces, glaciers, and the giant geological features of the towers that give the park its name, as well as the cuernos, another giant rock formation that is a bit further inside the park.
Stunning, gorgeous, eye-poppingly beautiful — these are just a few of the adjectives used to describe Patagonia. But what are the most gorgeous places to visit in Patatonia? It’s all a bit relative, but assuming that you like contrasts, sharp light, soaring peaks, wildlife, lagoons, and glaciers (and if you don’t, maybe Patagonia is not the best choice for you), here are some view spots to get you started:
May 13, 2015 by esmith
Punta Arenas is the southernmost place you can fly in Chile on commercial flights, and also an important cruise ship stopover. Among the attractions in and near Punta Arenas are a church, a conservatory,a plaza, a fort and the duty free area, but let’s be honest, when you come to Patagonia, you’re looking for extremes. Penguins and windswept vistas and of course, glaciers. Below are some of the glaciers you can visit using Punta Arenas as a starting point.
When you think of Patagonia, a wild land with unpredictable weather and jaw-dropping, postcard-perfect vistas, you should think of Argentina’s southern trekking outpost of El Chaltén. This tiny town, which only recently paved streets and started working on anything other than a cash economy, has the privileged location that makes it perfect for a base […]
Puerto Varas is a small city on the shores of Lago Llanquihue, with loads of evidence of the German colonists that first made this place home. There is the German architecture, including the church that overlooks the city, some street names and perhaps most importantly, the prevalence of great kuchen, or fruit desserts. Many visitors […]
For many people, Ushuaia is a port of call on a longer cruise around the continent, or a stopover on the way to sailing to the Antarctic. And while either of these options will get you stunning vistas, people who have come to Ushuaia as a destination in its own right need not worry about being disappointed by the visuals. There is loads of wildlife to spot in this area, from penguins to cormorants, seals, sea lions and much more. Below are a few ideas to get you out there among the animals.
Puerto Madryn, in Northern Coastal Argentine Patagonia, which is about 1,000 km down the coast from Buenos aires (or a two-hour flight) holds many surprises for visitors. It is close to the Welsh towns of Trelew and Gaiman, where the afternoon teatime tradition is strong, with several teahouses offering a traditional Welsh tea. The area is also of great paleontological importance, with a well-outfitted paleontological museum in Trelew that will rival anything you’ve seen back home. But it’s not all dinosaurs and afternoon tea. Many people find that when they’re visiting Puerto Madryn, that they have a hard time keeping their eyes off the ocean, and the animals on, in, and under it.
El Calafate a medium-sized city in farflung Argentine Patagonia, has a lot going for it. That said, most everyone who comes to town is in search of one thing, and that is face time with the giant Perito Moreno Glacier, located in Argentina’s Glaciers National Park, just 50 miles from the city of El Calafate. And while you’d want to go there no matter what the weather, and you could easily get a set of balmy (if windy) warmish days in the summer, it’s also quite possible to hit a cooler and less cozy patch of weather, making spending a day indoors not a bad idea. Below are four ideas of places to go on a cold or rainy day in El Calafate.
Easter Island is best known for its moai, the giant, mythical statues that were erected all around the island on ceremonial platforms. They were later knocked over (on purpose, though why is not known), and later still, starting in the 1960’s, archaeologists took pains to re-erect them on reconstructed ahus (platforms). And this is the vision that most people have of Easter Island. But before they could be moved into place, stood up, knocked over and stood up again, they first had to be carved. And that is where the quarry, Rano Raraku comes in.
Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile with commercial air service is the jumping-off point for trips to Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, and cruises around Cape Horn stop here, as do longer South American cruises. You can also start a cruise to Antarctica from Punta Arenas. All this means that you might spend a couple of days in this city before heading to your next destination. And since you will have planned for the unpredictable Patagonian weather, you’ll be ready to participate in some of the following outdoor activities nearby.