There is a saying in Patagonia that goes “El que se apura en la Patagonia, pierde su tiempo” which can be translated into, “ If you rush in Patagonia, you lose time”. Planning is very important when visiting this area. Outside of a few areas like Torres del Paine, there is limited bus schedules, flights, and places to stay.
So where do you start? Well, I certainly can’t tell you that but I can suggest my list of 5 spots in Chile’s Patagonia that you cannot miss! They are not in any special order, in case you were wondering. ENJOY
- 1 5 Spots in Chile’s Patagonia that You Cannot Miss
- 1.1 Number 1: Lookout of Torres del Paine:
- 1.2 Number 2: 2-Day Hike with Estancia La Peninsula:
- 1.3 Number 3: Maqui Waterfall
- 1.4 Number 4: Lake Jeinimeni National Park
- 1.5 Number 5: Carretera Austral road trip:
- 1.6 Share this:
- 1.7 Like this:
- 1.8 Related
5 Spots in Chile’s Patagonia that You Cannot Miss
Number 1: Lookout of Torres del Paine:
Location: Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes, Chile
I’m sure that is one of the places that you already had your eye on and it’s for good reason. It’s absolutely breathtaking! Torres del Paine is definitely top of people’s bucket list and let me tell you, the pictures you’ve seen are nothing compared to what you’ll see in real life. You can go for the day without reservations or plan ahead and spend the night in a variety of places from hotels to campsites. From Puerto Natales you take a bus that will bring you the entrance of the park at “Laguna Amarga” and you must pay an entrance fee of 18.000 CLP for foreigners. From there you can start walking or take another bus that will bring you 7km closer. Take that bus (it’s only 3,000 CLP) and you’ll save energy and time instead of fighting with the dust. Once you arrive at the welcome center, you have anywhere from a 4-6 hour hike depending on your fitness level and the number of times you stop to take pictures. The whole way there you’ll pass several rivers and experience different landscapes. It’s quite a fun, long, but amazing day.
Number 2: 2-Day Hike with Estancia La Peninsula:
Location: Peninsula Antonio Varas, 30 minutes from Puerto Natales, direction Monte Balmaceda where the glaciers Balmaceda and Serrano are located.
Located right outside of Puerto Natales, this place is a perfect getaway from the crowds and you’ll see what the region really has to offer. Estancia la peninsula has an area that covers a little more than 45,000 acres and currently uses about 10,000 of those acres on farming and tourism. Our guide, Trish, was amazing and took us to an amazing 360 viewpoint of all the fjords in the area. You’ll see a variety of landscapes that will leave you a bit perplexed about why or how it’s possible; fossils, rivers, driftwood, mud, marsh, mountains and views that will leave you breathless. Everyone here just laughs and says, “That’s Patagonia”. You have to cross some rivers, nothing difficult, or least I thought. Check out my wipeout on Facebook. Your overnight stay is in a beautiful simple cabin that looks out to the water. The next morning you get up and make your way towards these caves that once had Kaweskar children dating back to about 250 years ago. Our day ended with a delicious Patagonian Lamb BBQ and then a shearing demonstration. This hike is totally different than the Torres del Paine National Park and should be up there on your list because I honestly felt like I got to see a part of the region that most people don’t have the time to do. For more info about the trek and how you can make a reservation, click here.
Number 3: Maqui Waterfall
Location: Puerto Guadal, Aysen, Chile
This spot has been a well-kept secret for the people of Puerto Guadal for quite some time. When you start the hike, you think it’s like any other hike. You’re walking through bushes and trees as you make your way up; the view is beautiful because you can see the General Carrera Lake the whole time. The trail isn’t very well marked so it’s best to go with a guide. I went with Felix, a German who has been living in the area for some time now and works with TerraLuna Lodge just around the corner from this waterfall. Then you finally arrive at a canyon where you see water is flowing so we followed it until we reached the waterfall. Our guide took us to the where the waterfall begins and lead us all the way back down to where it ends in the lake. It’s amazing how something that you might have thought wasn’t going to be too impressive actually takes the words out of your mouth. I’m not going to tell how many falls I saw but I will tell you that if you go during the months of January and February, there is a high chance you can take a dip in the natural infinity pool.
Number 4: Lake Jeinimeni National Park
Location: Chile Chico, Aysen, Chile
This untouched piece of nature is an outdoor lover playground right outside of a small town called Chile Chico. The national park is the 4th largest in Chile covering 1.6 million acres. You can come out for the day or spend a couple of days on their campsites. There is a wonderful 7.5 km trek, which you can do on your own but I would recommend going with a guide because there are a lot of historical points throughout the hike to learn about. After the trek, we had lunch by Lake Jeinimeni of grilled Salmon and some local craft beer. After lunch, we took a 1-hour bike ride towards the green lagoon. There are a few rivers that you need to cross. They are not difficult but because I have a thing with the rivers, I fell. And of course, it was recorded. Check it out here. If you want to do the same tour I did, check out Patagoniaxpress.
Number 5: Carretera Austral road trip:
Location: Aysen Region, Northern Patagonia, Chile
Grab a car and hit the road. You’re looking at 1240km from the starting point in Puerto Montt all the way down to Villa O’ Higgins. The majority of the road is gravel so you need to drive about 40km per hour and has several curves and smaller lanes. You’re not going to mind driving this slow because the views are so beautiful you’re going to want to stop constantly. Every 100 km on average you have an opportunity to sleep, eat, and/or explore the area. Most people can do the entire thing in 15 days but you can definitely take your time and stay longer. I was there for only 7 days and it left me wanting more. My detailed post about this road trip is coming soon. I’m working hard on it!
So that’s my top 5. I’m sure you’re going to want to do them all so the question is, which one are you going for first? Let me know if there is a place in Chile’s Patagonia that I missed. I know that Patagonia is shared with Argentina, but that’s a whole different trip that I haven’t visited, yet. You’ve got to visit one place at a time.
Please reach out to me if you have questions because I would LOVE to help you plan your visit to Patagonia.
Remember, when you give good you get good.