Sweeping across the border of Argentina and Chile, it’s easy to mistake the beauty of Patagonia for some B roll footage of a David Attenborough documentary. With everything from dramatic mountain ranges and valleys threaded with undulating rivers, to glittering glaciers and azure lakes, there’s never a dull moment.
To celebrate this incredible region, here are some of our highlights to look forward to on a Patagonian trek with Aurora Expeditions.
1. El Calafate
One of the gateway Argentine towns to the Los Glaciares National Park, El Calafate is known as the ‘capital of glaciers’. While we stop off in this wonderful town, you can wander down to Lake Argentino, the third-largest lake in South America, and home to a variety of water birds from swans to coots and flamingos.
2. Perito Moreno Glacier
One of the treasures of Patagonia, the Perito Moreno Glacier is part of the World Heritage Site of the Los Glaciares National Park. Just 80 kilometres from El Calafate, the Perito Moreno Glacier is a sight to behold. Measuring a staggering 5 kilometres in width, this is one of the few glaciers that are actually advancing, despite the effects of climate change.
Hold your breath as icebergs calve into Lake Argentino with a spectacular splash. Make sure you have your camera ready!
3. Torres del Paine
Across the border in Chile, the Torres del Paine National Park is a lush haven of plant and wildlife, earning it the status of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. At the heart of the 1810 square kilometre park are the incredible granite spires, the Torres del Paine themselves. On your Patagonian hike, you’ll see a sunrise unlike any other over these towering natural monoliths.
4. Nordenskjöld Lake
A tranquil sight in the Magellanes region of the Torres del Paine, Nordenskjöld Lake is a truly memorable sight. Surrounded by the snow-dusted crags of Cuernos del Paine, this 200-metre deep lake is renowned for the vibrant blue colour of its water.
5. Salto Grande Falls
Stemming from the Nordenskjöld Lake, the Salto Grande Falls gush through a narrow funnel in a thundering churn of water that emerges into Lago Pehoe.
6. Mirador Cuernos Lookout
As part of one of our daily excursions, we’ll head up to the Mirador Cuernos lookout from the Salto Grande Falls, climbing up to one of the most spectacular views of the mountains and lake.
7. Pehoe Lake
The crystalline Pehoe Lake in the Magellanes region provides a breathtaking mirror reflection of the mountain range, with its characteristic powder-blue water a striking contrast to the surrounding scenery.
8. Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres base camps
These base camps are the perfect place to truly immerse yourself in one of the world’s most stunning natural environments. Nestled at the base of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre mountains, the camps are a starting point for our adventures into the Patagonian wilds, where glacial lakes glisten in the sun and alpacas roam in lush valleys.
9. Birdlife of Patagonia
With such natural diversity throughout the region, there’s no telling what birdlife you’ll encounter on your hike. Spy the long limbed Chilean flamingo on the shores of Lake Argentino and the powerful Andean Condor soaring over the steppes, or get a little closer to spot the colourful Magellanic woodpecker and Austral parakeet.
10. Puerto Natales
Another gateway city to the Torres del Paine National Park, the picturesque Puerto Natales hugs the shoreline of the Seno Última Esperanza sound, a position that grants it an abundance of King crab – a local specialty. From our base here, we’ll explore both the Balmaceda Glacier, as well as cruising down the Serrano River in our Zodiacs.
Ready to explore the beauty of Patagonia for yourself? With Aurora Expeditions, you could find yourself in the heart of this stunning region, walking the trails and visiting the local gateway towns along the way. To find out more, take a look at our brochures online, or to start planning your trip get in touch with our knowledgeable team today.