Patagonia is remote. With less than one person per square kilometer, it is one of the most sparsely populated places on earth. Patagonia stretches from the very southern tip of South America to the Chilean and Argentinean lake districts – approximately 2000km. Its backbone is the Andes Mountains. In the North the areas around the lakes are heavily wooded and in the south you will see some of the most magnificent glaciers in the world.
Around the glaciers are many activities like trekking, sightseeing or photography. Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina is where you will find Perito Moreno Glacier, Upsala Glacier, and Spegazzini Glacier. All these glaciers flow into the majestic Lago Argentino, and El Calafate is the place to stay. Use it as a base to explore the area, there are hotels to ensure your comfort.
Nibepo Aike is a traditional Patagonian estancia, with quaint rooms (including family rooms), traditional Patagonian barbeques (including fantastic lamb!). The estancia is home to resident sheep and cattle, as well as having a few dozen horses that are available to ride with a local guacho.
After El Calafate, you must travel to the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Only 32km away, a road transfer takes around 5 hours, or 280 kilometres. It’s a wonderful scenic journey.
If you like wildlife, be on the look out for Guanacos (a relative of the llama) to Darwin’s Rhea (a small ostrich-like bird that roams the countryside) to Patagonian skunks, Andean Deer and even the elusive Puma. Bird watchers will also enjoy spotting Southern Caracara, Austral Parakeets and Green-backed Firecrowns. Chilean Flamingos, Upland Geese and steamer ducks! In the water – Andean Condors , southern right whales, Magellanic Penguins, Orca and elephant seals. Fabulous subjects for your camera!
Torres del Paine National Park is an area of valleys, rivers, lakes and glaciers. In the park there is a huge variety of activities. For example if you stay in the family friendly 3 star Hotel Las Torres, the hotel has over 30 daily excursions!
Patagonia has good roads and is great for the independent travellers, so renting a car is a good option. But if you prefer not to drive, most hotels offer transfers and most of the activities are included in the hotel tariff, anyway.
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