Once you have made the wonderful decision to visit Patagonia, your first question will likely be how should I explore the region? With Patagonia located in both the Southern region of Chile and Argentina, you have plenty of different options. Depending on the destinations, time frame and activities you are interested in will dictate whether you should travel by land, cruise ship, or both! I personally recommend combining a Patagonia land package and cruise to see the best highlights of Patagonia. Click here to see our top Patagonia Tours.
Torres del Paine National Park – Start your Patagonia Tour in Punta Arenas. From Punta Arenas, take a 5 hour bus or private transfer traveling through Puerto Natales into Torres del Paine National Park. You can make this trip in a day if you would like, but I recommend spending a night in Puerto Natales and then taking a day excursion to Torres del Paine. Once inside the park, go on a trekking tour and complete the famous “W Circuit.” If you want something more comfortable, spend some time at a beautiful lodge. Take a look at some of our favorite lodges in Patagonia.
Los Glaciares National Park – After spending a few days in Torres del Paine, take a transfer back to Puerto Natales where you can easily visit El Calafate. This allows you to see both the Chilean and Argentine regions of Patagonia. From El Calafate, it takes roughly 6 to 7 hours to cross the border into the Argentine side of Patagonia where you can pay a visit to the beautiful Los Glaciares National Park. Here you can see El Perito Moreno glacier. Besides the glaciers, another popular option in Los Glaciares National Park is an Estancia stay. Here you can see the typical Argentine “gauchos” and see how the cowboys in the area used live.
Read More about our Estancia Tour Options.
There are a few different cruise options, but if you want to explore some of the best parts of Patagonia, I highly recommend the Australis cruise. The Australis Cruise leaves from either Ushuaia in Argentina or Punta Arenas in Chile. If you choose to take a cruise that departs from Argentina into Chile, then you will need to fly into Ushuaia, also known as the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is not only an important port city for Argentina, but it is also a beautiful place to visit. I recommend flying into the city a few days before your cruise departs so that you can visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. It is just simply nature at its best!
On the cruise, you will spend 3 nights/ 4 days navigating towards Cape Horn, through the different fjords and untouched areas with virgin forests and massive glaciers. Not to mention you will enjoy great food on board. During the cruise, you will have plenty of options to disembark and explore your surroundings. Hike through the different forests to glacial waterfalls in the Garibaldi Fjord and take in the majestic Glacier Alley as you travel through the Beagle Channel. The cruise finishes in Punta Arenas, so it is the perfect combination for both a land and cruise to discover this breathtaking region in South America. Ready more about our Australis Cruise options.