Outdoor Activities: Argentina & Chile
Patagonia hiking, fishing and climbing is some of the best in the world - but there's plenty of outdoor options for a Patagonia vacation.
A trip to Patagonia should have a certain amount of kicking back and enjoying the views - but if you're going to travel all the way down here, get outside and get into it! Here's a rundown of the most popular outdoor activities Argentina and Chile have to offer, such as fishing and climbing. If Patagonia hiking sounds like you, have a look at our 14-day Patagonia adventure 'Condor' trip for our picks of the best places to bike, kayak and trek in Patagonia.
Patagonia Hiking and Trekking
Patagonia hiking is unparalleled in terms of grandeur and unspoilt beauty and there are numerous tracks to choose from. Cloud piercing peaks, lush forests, barren plains, mirrored lakes, massive glaciers - well, you get the idea. There are some quite well-known walks, such as the 4-day "W" trek in Torres del Paine National Park, but also numerous spectacular day hikes to really get into the landscape. Don't miss Los Glaciares National Park.
Hiking and trekking in Patagonia is also a great way to encounter some of the unique wildlife in the region, such as penguins, wild horses, elephant seals, sea lions, guanacos (a relative of the llama), and much more. For a slightly less extreme experience with great Mediterranean style weather and more creature comforts, head to the Lakes District in northern Patagonia.
A popular option on our 'Condor' trip is to strap on crampons, pick up an ice axe and hike on the Grey Glacier. Led by specialist glacier guides you’ll take a private boat across to Nunatak Island where you can safely access the glacier. You’ll hike through these amazing ice formations checking out the crevasses, seracs tunnels and pools of glacial meltwater - no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice and make sure you make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice you’ll return by boat again to your group.
Patagonia fishing is something many fly fisherman all over the world only dream about. Fishing aficionados seek trout, salmon and native species like trahira in the rivers and streams of the Andean foothills from November through May. Hot spots include the waterways around Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego, where you will find experienced local guides.
Climbing PatagoniaThere are several famous peaks in Patagonia that mere mortals wouldn't dare even dream of, but there are also plenty of opportunities for more moderate rock climbing in Patagonia. There's no shortage of rock, especially in the western part of Argentina, and much of it still unexplored.
There are hundreds of big established routes on the more well known peaks, such as Monte Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, Fortaleza, the Torres del Paine, Escudo and Cuernos del Paine, but often extreme weather conditions and ice can make these climbs appropriate for more experienced climbers.
Lots of varied terrain makes it easy and enjoyable to bike in Patagonia. Rent bikes in El Calafate to explore Los Glaciares National Park on 2 wheels or there are popular circuits in Bariloche, Los Alerces National Park, San Martin de los Andes and Ushuaia. In the Lakes District, there are plenty of old farm roads to take you from town to town.
Kayak in Patagonia
There are so many waterways and bodies of water in the region, it's only natural to take a break from terra firma and kayak in Patagonia. Popular options include the Strait of Magellan from Punta Arenas and Grey Lake or the Serrano River in Torres del Paine National Park for glacier watching.