Patagonia: how to get there and what to do? Where it is located, top attractions, photos, prices 2023. When is it better to go to Patagonia, how to dress, what to take with you?
Patagonia is a wild, sparsely populated, but very beautiful region at the tip of South America. Literally a paradise for lovers of hiking, trekking and similar amusements. Especially well suited for tourists who adore natural attractions and their own photos on their background.
The same glacier Perito Moreno (UNESCO World Heritage) enjoys incredible popularity today. As well as the extremely photogenic Fitzroy Peak.
Patagonia is located in the southern part of two South American countries, Chile and Argentina. Sometimes travelers also include Tierra del Fuego and even the Falkland Islands in its composition. But in the classic version, Patagonia is limited from the south by the Strait of Magellan.
The region got its name from the light hand of the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan. Struck by the growth of local residents (about 1.8 m) and called them Patagons. That is, from the point of view of Europeans – “giants”.
Patagonia is usually divided into western, belonging to Chile and eastern, Argentine. They are separated by the Andes.
The climate of the first is more severe and humid. Although it is claimed (by Wikipedia) that the natural profile of the region is mainly plains, the so-called pampas, this is partly true only for Argentina. The Chilean part of Patagonia is a mountainous country.
How to Get to Patagonia
Depending on the destination, the routes of travelers may vary. The central points for exploring the region are usually considered to be the cities of Punta Arenas and El Calafate.
Both operate international airports, in abundance and comfortable hotels. With reasonably high prices.
In El Calafate, for example, you will be lucky to find something decent cheaper than 70-80 €, except in the off-season. It does not lag behind, that is, even ahead of the Chilean Punta Arenas – for similar or even more money, you will be able to rent only a room in a hostel.
Note that most of the existing sightseeing routes are being built from the Argentine city. What to El Chatel and Fitzroy Peak, what to the “Blue Tower”. To Perito Moreno, as already mentioned, there is generally a direct bus.
Best Time to Go
It is better to visit Patagonia in the European winter, in the period from November to March. According to statistics, this is the warmest and driest time of the year here. At the same time, do not forget that mountains are not a plain. And take appropriate clothes with you.
If in many areas of the globe in the summer you walk through the mountains in shorts and a shirt without consequences, then Patagonia is not a joke. To visit here, you need to stock up not just warm, but also just the “right” clothes.
The Climate of Patagonia
It is quite cool and dry – especially the Argentine part. Because, according to climatologists, warm moist winds from the expanses of the Pacific Ocean cool down and dry out, catching on the peaks of the Andes. However, in the steppe part of Patagonia, roses of the south-western direction, blowing from Antarctica, prevail.
The region is located in the Southern hemisphere of the Earth, and with the seasons here everything is the opposite. European winter is as warm as possible, in summer it is better not to crawl out of the house.
In the period from December to February, temperatures live in the range of +12-20 degrees. In summer it is noticeably colder: up to -5-12. It’s on the plain! In the mountains, especially in windy weather, you can safely subtract another ten degrees. Snowfalls are sometimes significant.
The climate of the Chilean part of Patagonia is humid, with mostly cloudy weather. Argentina was more fortunate – the sun appears much more often in the sky above its Patagonian “piece”.
And the sky here spoils tourists with clean and juicy blue tones.
How to Dress
It is better not to take a sheepskin coat and fashionable ugg boots to Patagonia. You will have to equip yourself not just according to the latest world fashion, but also science. That is, to provide for multi-layered clothing and carefully consider its weight.
Warm underwear, thin shirts, but warm sweaters, vests, waterproof jackets and windbreakers with a windproof layer – will be perfectly in place. If your clothes have a visor-type securely fixed hood, so much the better.
It is necessary to provide a headdress with a brim or a visor – the local sun burns the skin once or twice. It would also be useful to think about how it would not be blown away – the local winds are really piercing and sometimes very strong.
Sunglasses are necessary. As well as comfortable shoes designed for cross-country walks. As well as some specific things that any experienced traveler will take on a hike.
What to Do in Patagonia
One of the main attractions of Patagonia is the Valdez Peninsula on the Atlantic coast – a favorite habitat for a host of walruses, seals, penguins. In the ocean near the coast, at almost any time of the year, you will be able to observe, if not smooth whales, then killer whales.
By the way, the peninsula is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage of Mankind.
An iconic and popular place is the beautifully shaped Fitzroy Peak near the town of El Chalten in the southern part of Argentine Patagonia. Tourists come almost en masse to the shores of the glacial lagoon de los Tres, from where especially wonderful views open.
A real ice country has become a well-known point of attraction for the tourist fraternity Perito-Moreno – get to it from El Calafate.
But the southernmost city of the Earth, Ushuaia, is located on Tierra del Fuego. And therefore it is not visited by every first person who comes to Argentina. An iconic landmark of Chile is the Torres del Paine National Park (“Blue Towers”) on the Pacific coast.