If you are looking for a trip that’s wild and rugged but serene and tranquil at the same time, here are my top tips on the best Patagonian destinations to visit. Patagonia: beautiful glaciers and turquoise lakes.
Are we allowed to travel yet? Because if we are, I’m heading straight to Patagonia. Patagonia has made it to the top of that list after watching Hudson and Emily’s vlog from the region. Like most travel junkies, I’ve spent lockdown planning all of my upcoming trips for the next 50 years or so.
The Grey Glacier
Amongst the most popular sites to visit in the Torres del Paine National Park is the Grey Glacier. It’s located on the western bit of the Paine Massif.
Its front wall towers over Grey Lake, and the hundred feet-high sight with its icebergs and edges is absolutely stunning.
The source of the glacier can be found in the Southern Patagonia Icefield, and since its terminus is at Grey Lake, it forms a wonderful location to explore, either by boat or catamaran. You can also choose to kayak if you’re good on the water. Or, you can climb up the glacier if you’re not afraid of heights and have the stamina to tackle the ice.
Speaking of the Paine Massif, a mountain group located in the Torres del Paine National Park, you should take a bit more time to explore it than merely seeing the Grey Glacier.
Its rocky surfaces have been shaped into all kinds of interesting sights over the centuries, like the Cuernos (the horns), two peaks that are among the park’s most recognizable landmarks.
In the interior, you can also take a stroll down the French Valley, where you will find the Sword and the Shark Fin, other interesting rock formations that will prove to be a great background for your photos.
You will best be able to explore the region in a rented vehicle, which will allow you to see as much as possible in a day. You can always jump out and walk when the mood strikes you.
If you’re more into cycling, you can also take a bike around the lake district of the region. It will require more effort, but it might be just the adventure you’ve been looking for.
The other famous mountain you need to see in Los Glaciares is the Cerro Torre, a cluster of spikes that resembles a crown. Several mountains make up the range; Cerro Torre just happens to be the most prominent one.
It is a beloved spot of mountain climbers, as there is a bit of a myth surrounding the first-ever summit (and whether there has actually been one in the first place). Because of the winds and the extreme weather conditions, the climb is only ever attempted by the most experienced climbers. Sadly, many of them have lost their lives on the ascent.
While you may not be able to get to the top, the view from below will be just as breathtaking. So, make sure you find a good vantage point and take in the air and the majesty from the safety of lower ground.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno is an advancing glacier in Patagonia and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Argentina, given the fact that it is one of the largest glaciers in South America.
Its wall climbs an astonishing 300 feet, and its ever-changing surface makes it such an incredible sight to behold. As it’s among the rare glaciers that keep swelling, it’s safe to say it will look quite different by the time you get there.
There are guided tours that will take you as close as you can get, as well as cruises you can take on Lake Argentina to see it in all its majesty.
You will find El Chalten at the foot of Monte Fitz Roy, surrounded by glacial lakes and astonishing sights to behold in every direction. It’s known as the Trekking Capital of Argentina, and it has certainly earned the nickname.
The Ice Fields are breathtaking, and their rugged terrain will challenge your stamina. You can take a day hike if that’s what you prefer, but there are also plenty of multi-day hikes available. One of them will take you to Lago del Desierto, a scenery of forest and waterfalls unlike any other.
Make sure to choose your hike carefully, though, as the terrain can get incredibly rough. Don’t overestimate your fitness levels, and rather go for something lighter and shorter if you are unsure.
Final Thoughts on Patagonia: Beautiful Glaciers and Turquoise Lakes
Patagonia is one of those places you simply have to see to believe. Its lakes and glaciers are among the most stunning in the world, and you will definitely enjoy your time in the South American nature.
- Chile, official tourism site
- On our site: We have more great articles on more South American destinations.
-All photos as credited. Cover photo by Arto Marttinen on Unslapsh.com.