Patagonia has an almost surreal quality to it, so it's no wonder our Patagonia adventures are synonymous with intense rugged beauty and world-class hiking. You would struggle to find a more intensely beautiful, rugged, and diverse countryside, from vivid green alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers, to glacier fields stretching as far as the eye can see.
Where is Patagonia?
Patagonia is a distinct geographical region at the base of South America spanning the lower sections of Argentina and Chile. On the Chilean side, it starts in the Araucanía region extending down to the extreme southern tip of the country. On the Argentine side, it begins in the province of Rio Negro and carries on all the way to Tierra Del Fuego.
The bottom of South America is also the closest landmass to Antarctica (New Zealand is the second closest), so it's a popular jumping-off point for Antarctic voyages and cruises.
How big is Patagonia?
The vast Patagonia region covers about 777,000 square kilometers (300,000 square miles) of Argentina, which is about a third of the country, and another 340,000 square kilometers (131,275 square miles) or nearly half of Chile.
Is Patagonia a country?
No, Patagonia is a region situated in the countries of Chile and Argentina, which are both democratic republics.
What is the Patagonia population?
Many regions of Patagonia have very low population density. The total population of Patagonia is about 2 million, which is in Argentina and Chile combined, with the large majority living in Argentina.
What is Patagonia famous for?
Patagonia boasts incredible national parks with spectacular scenery. The Andes runs through the middle of Patagonia providing beautiful backdrops of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and lakes. Fjords plunge dramatically into the ocean on the Pacific coast and there is an abundance of wildlife such as penguins, guanoco and the iconic Andean Condor.
What is the time zone in Patagonia?
Argentina is three hours behind GMT. Chile is four hours behind GMT. From October to March both countries observe daylight saving, putting their clocks forward by one hour. Basically, this means that most of the time Patagonia is within one or two hours of USA Eastern Standard time.
What language do they speak in Patagonia?
The official language of Patagonia is Spanish but there are small pockets of indigenous communities within Patagonia who speak Mapuche. In larger cities, you're likely to meet locals who know some English, but in rural areas this is rare, so knowing basic Spanish travel phrases (or travelling with a guide that knows the language) is very helpful.
What are the main gateway cities?
Punta Arenas (Chile), Puerto Natales (Chile), El Calafate (Argentina), Ushuaia (Argentina - Tierra del Fuego)
What are the currencies of Argentina and Chile?
The local currency is the Argentinean Peso (ARS) which is divided into 100 centavos.
The local currency is the Chilean Peso (CLP), which is divided into 100 centavos.
What is the Patagonia climate like?
The summer season in Patagonia runs from December to March. The highest rainfall is during the Patagonian winter (June to September) but days are changeable and can be hot and sunny one day, to wet and windy the next year round. Summer season is definitely the best time to travel to this part of the world, as winter months can be harsh and inhospitable.
Are vaccinations required in Patagonia?
You should have hepatitis A and tetanus vaccinations as well as chicken pox and measles if you've never caught them before. However, no vaccination certificate is required to enter either Chile or Argentina. Rabies and malaria medication is not considered necessary in the areas that we travel, but may be required if you are doing further independent travel.
What is the electric voltage in Patagonia?
In both Chile and Argentina, electric voltage is 220 volts, 50 cycles (220v 50Hz). Most travel appliances, such as laptop computers, have an auto volt transformer (it will say '110v-240v' for example), but appliances or electric devices designed for 110 volts only will need a transformer and not just a plug adaptor.
Patagonia travel and visas
To really experience hiking in Patagonia, you have to do more than simply admire the views! Travel visas for Chile and Argentina are somewhat complicated, so it pays to work with an experienced travel professional to make sure you've got all the right paperwork, and there won't be any nasty surprise fees. Please feel free to give us a call and we'll run through our Patagonia tours options with you!