If Patagonia has never been on your travel bucket list, then it’s time for an update. This region is the ultimate destination for those looking for adventure and inspiration in the great outdoors, where Mother Nature is the star of the show. Patagonia is known as one of the most pristine areas of the world – a place where jagged peaks, glacial waters, towering mountain peaks, vast grasslands and lush greenery encapsulates the senses and revitalises the mind.
If inner peace is not on the agenda, Patagonia is a hub of activity for those in search of adventure, with hiking trails, whale and penguin watching, and opportunities for exploration at every turn. This, along with its well-established network of hiking trails and excellent tourist infrastructure makes Patagonia a dream for intrepid travellers and a leading backpacker destination in the world. If you are in the market for a brand new adventure off the beaten track, we suggest these five natural spots in Patagonia.
This glacier is located on the outskirts of Bariloche, Argentina, and access is only accomplished after an 18km trek on foot. Cerra Tronador is one of the few glaciers where you can sleep right next to, and come morning, you will be able to watch one of the most breathtaking sunrises imaginable. Travellers can enjoy exploration the rocks that form part of the glacier itself, while the glacial melt form pools and tiny lakes all over its surface. And the best part? The panoramic view, which is simply awe-inspiring at any time of the day.
Hike to Hotel Refugio Frey
Access to Hotel Refugio Frey is either via a walk up a forest path or a climb over rocks. Either way, it will appeal to adventurers looking for a unique experience during one of the many Patagonia tours available throughout the year. Getting to the hotel is a full-day hike from the Bariloche ski resort, but once you get to the top, it will be completely worth the effort. The hotel itself is the ideal location for those looking for a respite from the day’s adventures, with a big lake to hang out around and fellow travellers to mingle with.
Chaitén’s Haunting Beach
Chaitén is a northern town in Patagonia, which was covered in ash and debris after a volcano erupted in 2008. Since then, the town has slowly been brought back to life, but you will still be able to see the eerie remains of ash-covered trees that dot the beach as well as houses still buried in ash. Visiting this area is a peaceful and poignant experience, while the sadness that ravaged the area just a few years back will surely help put some things into perspective for travellers on a spiritual path.
The Marble Caves
The Marble Caves is situated over the General Carrera Lake and is one of the most famous attractions of the area. These caves have been carved out by the clear blue lake water, with some of them being big enough to travel through by boat. There are boat tours that take place every hour, offering you the chance to discover the caves’ swirling formations and fantastic colours of yellow, grey and white.
This picture-perfect lookout point is located just above El Chaltén and a great spot for quiet reflection and watching the sunrise. It is only a 15-minute walk from the ranger station in town, which means your journey is not a treacherous one and more accessible than many of the other spots scattered throughout the region.