Passion Points: Active/Adventure
Since Ferdinand Magellan discovered Patagonia in 1520, this expansive wilderness in southern Argentina and Chile has stoked the imagination of adventurers. The area, which encompasses Andean peaks, glacial lakes and windswept plains, boasts some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and examples of raw, unspoiled nature. Early Welsh explorers found the isolation unsettling (they left behind names such as Anxious Point or Port Famine), but modern travelers embrace the experience of visiting one of the few places in the world yet unscarred by modern development. We suggest starting a trip in bustling Buenos Aires, followed by a few days in Bariloche, the lakes district. From there, you can fly to El Calafate, a small village in the heart of Patagonia, and see Perito Moreno Glacier. For a final cap, cross into Chile to the Patagonian Explora lodge in the Torres del Paine National Park. Activities, both at the Explora lodge and at the other properties, can accommodate travelers of all levels of physical ability, from athletic types who hike straight up the towering peaks to less ambitious guests who take in the scenery on walks, horseback rides or while fishing. We suggest reading Nowhere Is a Place, a book by travel writers Bruce Chatwin and Paul Theroux about the history of Patagonia.
When: Patagonia’s seasons are the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, so the best time to travel is from November to March.
Why: “The landscape’s huge, and the area is lonely, isolated and gorgeous. You remember absolutely you are a very small piece of the world in this magnificent setting.”
Read our Destination Report on Patagonia
Read our interview with The Man Behind Explora
Read more Trips of a Lifetime
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