A visit to the Chilean Patagonia is an unforgettable experience. Not only is it the southern most part of the planet, but the natural setting is one of the worlds most extreme and impressive. A spectacular land of glaciers and icy peaks, southern Patagonia feels like no where else on planet earth. This is Chile’s most popular destination for visitors. A beautiful and unspoilt wilderness region with landscapes ranging from heavily forested mountains to wild and windswept peninsulas and breathtaking glaciers. Patagonia is sure to fascinate visitors with a sense of adventure and a love of the outdoors, who can loose and immerse themselves amongst its vast open spaces. The highlight of any visit is the Torres del Paine National Park. The “towers”, 3 impressive and distinctive columns after which the park is named, point vertically upwards to the sky, surrounded by imposing glaciers, turquoise lakes and thick forests of native trees.
The European-style city of Punta Arenas is the southernmost city in Chile and the gateway to Patagonia with a lively community, because further south there are only small towns. In this city the sun rises from the sea and sets on the mountains, a distinctive feature because in Santiago it happens the other way round. Originally named “Sandy Point” by the English, it adopted the Hispanic equivalent under Chilean colonisation. Punta Arensa is the centre for local sheep farming and fishing industries along with an important military base, Punta Arenas. Although the city has expanded rapidly in recent years, it still remains a tranquil and pleasant city. The climate and architecture give Punta Arenas a distinctively northern European style, very different from anywhere else in Chile.
Puerto Natales - Gateway to Torres del Paine
Puerto Natales is the main port for sailing the Patagonian channels to and from Puerto Montt. In addition to its role of the gateway to Torres del Paine and to the spectacular Balmaceda glacier, it is also the gateway to Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park, which is just across the border outside El Calafate and hosts the very famous Perito Moreno glacier.
Hotels and Accommodation
Accommodation in Patagonia can range from a luxurious 5 * hotel to a “Refugio” (refuge) half way up a mountain, you can find something for every budget. Please refer to our hotel links at the bottom of this page for more details.
There are city tours, quad biking tours, Penguin visits, cave tours and day trip tours to Torres del Paine. Please refer to our tours at the bottom of this page for more details.
Also available are cruises between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia with Cruceros Australis - please see the Highlight link at the bottom of this page, Cruise the Channels of Tierra del Fuego.