The Patagonia region, located at the southern tip of South America, straddles both Argentina and Chile. Within Argentina, this southern region offers spectacular wild and majestic scenery in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glaciers National Park) - an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981 and a land of colossal mountain ranges crowned in snow and pristine glaciers descending into turquoise lakes. There are two accessible areas in the Glaciers National Park: El Calafate is the most accessible and is the perfect base from which to visit the stunning and mighty Upsala and Onelli glaciers by catamaran and the Perito Moreno Glacier at the far western end of Lago Argentino. Stand, listen and watch and if you are lucky you may see blocks of ice carving off the ice cliff into the lake below.
Alternatively, or as an extension to your Patagonia holiday, continue north for a few hours to El Chalten, which stands at the foot of the jagged peaks of the spectacular Fitz Roy Massif. This is the base for some of Argentina's most rewarding trekking, amongst the peaks of Mts Torre and Fitz Roy. It's possible to cross from El Calafate over the border into the famous Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.
Journey to the very end of the world - a Patagonia holiday
Travel writer Nick Boulos visited Patagonia and says “there’s something rather thrilling about journeying to the very end of the world; the allure of the unknown, the promise of wild landscapes and scenes of remote grandeur.
Descending from the skies, I gazed below to a world where soaring peaks, dark and jagged, plummet into shallow waters and glaciers are the size of cities. Welcome to Patagonia. Despite being so remote, Patagonia - the southern stretches of Argentina and Chile - is surprisingly easy to get to. After a short three-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, I was standing amongst some of the finest scenery known to man. Ushuaia, famed for being the southernmost city in the world and gateway to Antarctica, is the perfect introduction to Patagonia.
Dramatically framed by the snow-capped Andes and the Beagle Channel, it’s surrounded by wildlife and nature with penguin colonies and the iconic Tierra del Fuego National Park on its doorstep.Travelling north, I became transfixed at the Perito Moreno Glacier, the main attraction at Los Glaciares National Park. Its towering frozen plains and electrifying blue crevices that tumble into the icy depths of Lake Argentino continue as far as the eye can see. So vast, in fact, the glacier is the same size as Argentina’s capital.
Getting around Patagonia is a doddle too. Like much of South America, the region is blessed with a network of efficient and comfortable buses. The shifting scenery beyond the window will hold you captive as mountains give way to infinite flat steppes with scatterings of grazing guanacos. Above, Andean condors circle in wide swoops.
Across the border in Chile, things don’t get any less impressive with legendary natural wonders at every turn. Exploring the unspoilt landscapes of Torres del Paine and hiking to Mount Fitzroy are experiences that will stay with you long after you return home, much like Patagonia itself.”