The expansive area of Patagonia, separated between Chile and Argentina by the Andes Range, covers many national parks and boasts an epic amount of peaks, streams, valleys, reservoirs, and species of animals. Thanks to the stunning features of the area, the amount of things to do in Patagonia is vast and diverse. Patagonia is an enterprising explorer’s paradise with countless possibilities for trekking, camping, surfing, horseback riding, kayaking, and boating.
Chile and Argentina are hosting amazing Patagonia sights, and no journey is complete without experiencing both sides. If you’re curious about what to do in Patagonia, don’t go any further. Here is an all-inclusive compilation of the best activities to do in Patagonia:
Here’s the list of the Best Things To Do In Patagonia
1. Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park:
The country’s largest park, Los Glaciares, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1981 and is a section of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which is host to a remarkable 48 glaciers.
One of the most explored locations in Argentina is the Perito Moreno Glacier, a colossal ice sheet that occupies an incredible 250km2 (96 miles2) which stretches for 30 km (18.6 miles) rendering it the third-largest aquatic reserve on the earth. Hang around to see the scary, fascinating glacial ruptures to see the blues to whites spike as the daylight shifts.
2. Bahia Bustamante:
Argentina doesn’t necessarily contrast with its northern neighbor Brazil when it comes to beaches, but Bahia Bustamante’s coastal bid is just something else altogether. The village of Bahia Bustamante is also renowned for being a seaweed village, scattered with tiny coves hidden within geological formations that jut into the ocean.
Previously named “Rotten Bay” because of the amount of decaying seaweed contained there, don’t let your old nickname carry you away as this rare plant is now being collected for therapeutic reasons. Start exploring this idyllic underwater nature reserve on bikes or horseback for an immersive experience, and you will soon realize that this is one of the top things to do in Patagonia.
3. Atlantic Patagonia:
This magnificent Patagonian area, which surrounds the Atlantic Ocean and lies slightly east of the Lake District and above Southern Patagonia is made up of forest havens and picturesque Welsh villages. Here, you’ll find tea connoisseurs migrating to cities like Trelew and Gaiman in pursuit of great brewing and thousands of tourists gathering in the Valdés Peninsula during the whale-watching period. The fastest way to travel to Peninsula Valdés is by bus or car from Puerto Madryn a Trelew, the major cities of Atlantic Patagonia. Mary Valle, a reliable bus service, provides transportation from Puerto Madryn to Peninsula Valdés for around ARS 16.50 (about $3.75) per way.
Punta Tombo nature reserve, situated roughly 154 miles south of Puerto Madryn, is also worth a visit. Here you may see dozens of adorable Magellanic penguins mingling around the beaches. To get to Punta Tombo, start driving southbound on RP 1, which leads to the haven. This is one of the most unique things to do in Patagonia.
4. Mount Fitz Roy:
This jagged, granite-walled mountain tower is 11,000 feet above El Chaltén in Southern Patagonia. Mount Fitz Roy, which is usually covered by a veil of fog, was originally called “Chaltén,” meaning “smoking peak” in the ancient dialect of the Tehuelche people. Its title today memorializes Sir. Robert FitzRoy, the sailor who carried Charles Darwin to South America on the HMS Beagle.
Tourists find the mountain impressive since it is the tallest mountain top in the Glacier National Park. But they also caution of the stressful climb and the rough conditions that can obstruct even the most skilled hikers. Carrying your trekking shoes is a smart move, and be mindful that the conditions are difficult. If you are someone who loves adventure, this got to be in your list of top things to do in Patagonia.
5. Learn about Patagonia’s history at Parque del Estrecho de Magallanes:
The ancient sites of Puerto Hambre (Port Hunger) and Fuerte Bulnes are at the core of this privately owned park, an outstanding intro to regional history. The museum is the finest in Patagonia. Hourly demonstrations, mostly in English, offer a vibrant impression of the lives of indigenous people and adventurer settlers.
There is a reconstructed wooden castle, where a fence of honed stakes covers the blockhouse, the barracks, and the chapel. The 6 km trail network provides a glimpse of the Magellan Strait with a perspective of Tierra del Fuego.
6. Dive into watersports:
With fascinating shipwrecks and surrounding marine life, Madryn and the Valdés Peninsula have become the diving capitals of Argentina. Newcomer’s baptism dives range around AR$800; several providers also provide classes, night dives, and multi-day expeditions.
Are you a big fan of windsurfing or kayaking? In high season, the hut next to the Bistro de Mar Nautico provides lessons and leases standard and large boards and kayaks every hour. To the south of Muelle Piedra Buena, Tomás Curti is a popular windsurfing venue. For water sports lovers, we highly recommend this option as one of the best things to do in Patagonia.
7. Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina:
Founded in 1934, Nahuel Huapi is Argentina’s oldest — and largest — national park, stretching some two million acres through mountains, reservoirs, rivers, and beaches. Topography allows for a fun hiking or bike ride, but a road trip could be worth your time in sightseeing.
Begin in Bariloche, a mountainous resort town and haven for hikers in summer and skiers in winter, then stroll through the spectacular streams and ponds of the Patagonian Andes. Don’t forget the name of the park, Nahuel Huapi Bay, which gets its mystical milky blue color from the glacial melt.
8. Try horseback riding:
One of the best ways to see the landscape of Patagonia is by taking a direct horseback ride. Many of the Estancias (working farms) surrounding Torres del Paine sell horseback riding trips to the glaciers and the foothills of Cordillera Paine. You don’t require any special abilities to be able to mount one of these animals.
The Baqueanos (Patagonian cowboys) are great guides and can show you a lot about horse riding. Having visited one of these estancias is also a perfect way to understand more about the people and the harsh reality of day-to-day living in Patagonia. This one of the most authentic things to do in Patagonia.
9. Hike to Mirador Piedras Blancas:
This is one of the most scenic walks you can do in the tiny village of El Chaltén. The trail heading that begins at Hosteria El Pilar brings you to a spectacular mirador (vista point) that gives a wonderful view of the Piedras Blancas glacier. This is a mild climb, all through lovely woodland.
If you continue walking past the mirador, the road will lead you to the breathtaking plain from which you will see the glorious high mountains of Fitz Roy. This path goes to the Campamento Poincenot and from there to the popular Laguna de Los Tres, but this is a challenging walk.
10. Isla Magdalena:
More than 120,000 Magellanic penguins migrate to Isla Magdalena’s Los Pingüinos National Monument. Located approximately two and a half hours northeast of Punta Arenas by ferry, Isla Magdalena offers a well-marked path that tourists may follow to the penguin colony site.
These friendly penguins thrill guests as they call each other out and strut their stuff around the sea. Although several travelers were disappointed with Magdalena’s muddy sands and the pungent scent of her fowl dwellers, most were pleased to witness the experiences of her curious tuxedo inhabitants. Forget all the other penguin places across South America. This is the location. If you can’t travel to Antarctica, Isla Magdalena is the nearest thing to it. Many tourists consider this as one of the top things to do in Patagonia.