Chilean Patagonia

Why Visit Patagonia

  • Drive the remote Carretera Austral and visit Patagonia Park, Chile’s newest national park
  • Stunning landscapes of islands, glaciers, icebergs and mountains
  • Endless activities including fishing, hiking, kayaking and rafting
  • Track and photograph puma in Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Visit king penguins on Tierra del Fuego, one of the only places outside Antarctica to see them

About Chilean Patagonia

Patagonia covers the tip of the South American continent, shared by both Argentina and Chile. The area is about the same size as Britain but with less than one person per square kilometre. The rugged and varied scenery is the big draw to this region with over 50% of Chilean Patagonia being Protected Wilderness Areas.

Chile has 36 national parks and almost half of these are in Patagonia, our favourite ones to visit are:

  • Puyehue – a park with natural thermal springs, volcanoes and forests
  • Hornopiren – a park with rugged mountains and pristine Valdivian temperate rain forest.
  • Pumalin – an area with snow-capped mountains, rich Valdivian temperate rainforest and endangered Alerce trees.
  • Corcovado – fourth largest national park in Chile, contains high mountain peaks, alpine lakes, ancient forests and on the coast marine mammals.
  • Bernardo O’Higgins – largest of the protected areas in Chile, located on the southern end of the Carretera Austral, and includes part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.
  • Torres del Paine – probably one of the most well-known of Chile’s national parks. An area with mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers and rich in wildlife.
  • Yendegaia – located at the very bottom of Chile on Tierra del Fuego, the park contains mountains, glaciers, lakes, fjords and Valdivian temperate rainforest.

In the north of the region lies Aysen, a stunning mountainous area with lakes, forests, glaciers, snow-capped mountains and glacial-fed streams. Aysen region is perfect for self-driving, the 1,240 kilometre long Carretera Austral winds its way through this area giving access not only to amazing scenery but also to world class fly fishing, trekking, ice climbing and kayaking.  This region is home to Chile’s newest national park, Patagonia Park, An unspoilt wilderness that richly rewards travellers’ with the inclination to explore this little known region of Chile

Southern Patagonia is home to Torres Del Paine National Park, probably the most iconic and well known park in Chile. There is not only the mighty granite towers but also meandering rivers, turquoise lakes, glaciers and endless hiking. Wildlife in this area is also abundant with condors, foxes, guanacos and puma all found in the park. The nearby town of Puerto Natales is an alternative base to staying in the park itself, a colourful place on the edge of the Senoret Channel. A great trip from Puerto Natales is to cruise along Ultima Esperanza Bay and view the imposing Serrano and Balmaceda glaciers.

Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan is the jumping off point to visit the wilderness island of Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America, Cape Horn and also Antarctica.

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