South America

Best Patagonia Tours

Laura Pattara

Laura Pattara  |  14 January 2020

The past few seasons have been exceptional with the idyllically mild climate facilitating excellent hiking, sightseeing and wildlife watching on all our small group overland, land and cruise tours. Temperatures were well above average this year between November and April, with only a couple of below-average days recorded each month during the tourist season in Patagonia.

With gorgeous daytime temps in the low to mid-20s C, guests on all our active Patagonia tours took full advantage of the array of hiking options in the region and immensely enjoyed driving to and visiting the best national parks. Yes, Patagonia may well be renowned for being a harsh and inhospitable place but let us tell you, on a gloriously sunny summer day, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more magnificent destination to explore.  

Click the links below to skip through the article:

  1. Chilean Patagonia
  2. Hiking in Torres del Paine
  3. Wildlife Watching
  4. Patagonia's Food
  5. Overland Journeys
  6. See all our Patagonia Tours

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Chilean Patagonia

Interestingly enough, our longer Patagonia tours seemed to garner the most attention with the highest number of guests opting for more immersive experiences rather than quick visits. Our best sellers this last season have been our 27-day Wild Patagonia and our 13-day Southern Explorer although there was also considerable interest in adding one of our shorter tours to expedition cruises to Antarctica. Not all that surprising considering the time and expense of reaching this remote region of the world in the first place.       

Ask anyone who’s travelled extensively through Patagonia and they’ll be hard-pressed to pick just a couple of favourites. With so many awe-inspiring landscapes to admire and so many unique experiences, picking favourites is hard work. Nevertheless, a few crowd favourites set themselves apart from the pack. 

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Hiking in Torres del Paine

Considered the absolute cherry on the Patagonian cake, Torres del Paine is stunning every season but when the weather is that good it becomes absolutely resplendent. The lack of rains for most of the season made hiking here an absolute delight, continuing to highlight the fact that Torres is Patagonia’s prime trekking destination and offers great hiking trails.

Aside from the fact that Torres del Paine is home to inarguably the most photographed and beloved peaks in all of Patagonia, what sets this park apart is the array of options which suit everyone, from active visitors eager for multi-day adventures to less-active explorers who prefer to enjoy shorter yet equally rewarding outings. Torres del Paine has a high concentration of unique Patagonian wildlife (this also happens to be the best national park in the region for wildlife watching) Torres offers the most comprehensive experience of all so if you’re short on time and can only visit one corner of this very huge region, make it this one. 

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Wildlife-Watching in Tierra del Fuego

Patagonia’s astonishing wildlife really put on a show for us this year, with Tierra del Fuego proving to be particularly popular with penguins, southern elephant seals and sea lion colonies providing plenty of entertainment on our tours. On land, highlights included sightings of the rather hefty and incredibly cute Patagonian Mara, Patagonian foxes and an abundance of guanacos, the region’s most prolific wildlife species. During migration season, the coasts of Puerto Madryn and the Peninsula Valdes abound with humpback whales and orcas, who head to these spots favoured by nesting elephant seals. 

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Patagonia’s Food

If there’s one highlight on Patagonian tours that don’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves, it would have to be the excellent cuisine. Varied and delicious, and incorporating many ingredients unique to the region, the local cuisine is one of Patagonia’s quietest achievers. We go to great lengths to introduce our groups to local specialities and incorporate special epicurean experiences whenever we can. From authentic Welsh tea houses which have been operating here for almost 200 years to gut-busting Cordero al Palo, a spit roast meal featuring Patagonian lamb that’s cooked over hot coals for hours on end, resulting in a crispy outer skin and melt-in-your-mouth meat, foodies visiting Patagonia can look forward to some out-of-this-world meals.

Carnivores may delight their taste buds on Guanaco fillets which feature extensively on menus of higher-end restaurants, and shellfish lovers won’t want to bite past King Crab Pies when visiting the coastal hubs.  

Oh…and don’t even get us started on the Patagonian wine… 

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Overland Journeys in Patagonia

We’ll be the first to admit that the lure of plane-hopping, in Patagonia, is considerable, given the extensiveness of the region. Yet although taking internal flights certainly saves travel time, this isn’t the kind of boring travel-time that needs saving.

Road travel in Patagonia is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences of all. It’s no coincidence that the  Carretera Austral is one of the most coveted road-trip destinations in the entire continent. Moreover, road travel allows you to reach remote destinations and gifts you the freedom to stop at a stellar viewpoint and visit isolated estancias. By all means, utilize the convenience of air travel in Patagonia to visit both sides of the region but do include some drive days too, to have as comprehensive an adventure as possible. It’s for this reason that small group tours are a genius way to see Patagonia.

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The question now is...will you join us? Visit our Patagonia Tours page for a detailed list of all the amazing tours and cruises we offer to this magnificent part of the world and contact us so we can help you to plan your trip!                                                                                                         

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