Recent Searches
Clear
icon_solid_phone
Questions? (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

To limit the spread of the coronavirus, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please consult government travel advisories before booking. The WHO is closely monitoring the coronavirus and more information can be found here.

Things to Do in Patagonia

A vast and rugged wilderness stretching more than 260,000 square miles across Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is South America’s southern frontier, the starting point for cruises to Antarctica and home to some of the world’s most breathtaking natural landscapes. Both the Argentine and Chilean sides are equally worthwhile and with regular flights and coaches linking the two countries, border hopping is a popular pastime, with many tourists choosing to fly into one country and out of the other.

In Argentina, hikers flock to the jagged mountains and lush lakelands of Bariloche and El Calafate or the remote Tierra del Fuego National Park, but equally mesmerizing is sailing beneath the looming icebergs of the Perito Moreno Glacier, taking a whale watching cruise from Puerto Madryn or journeying to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. On the western side of the border, Chilean Patagonia is home to the renowned Torres Del Paine National Park, the bustling port town of Punta Arenas and miles of otherworldly coastline, fringed by icy fjords, towering glaciers and unchartered isles.
Read More
Category

Osorno Volcano
star-4.5
2
33 Tours and Activities

Nicknamed the King of the South, snow-capped Osorno Volcano is one of Chile’s most visible landmarks. Towering over Lake Todos Los Santos and Lake Llanquihue, the conical volcano can be seen from as far off as Chiloé. The volcano’s near perfect shape is the result of some 40 craters scattered along its base. The volcano has erupted 11 times during the 18th and 19th centuries, but always in these craters; never at its peak. Today, a windy road leads visitors to the base of a ski resort, where chairlifts ferry passengers to a point near the volcano’s peak — a worthwhile excursion even for non-skiers simply for the stellar views of the alpine lake below. Experienced climbers can make the full-day trek to the summit of Osorno.

Read More
Llanquihue Lake
star-5
8
23 Tours and Activities

The town of Puerto Varas sits on the banks of Llanquihue Lake in Chile’s magnificent Lakes District. The lake itself, the second-largest lake in the country after General Carrera Lake, sits at the base of the near-perfect conically shaped Osorno Volcano, adding to its already picturesque qualities.

The shores of the 336-square-mile (870-square-kilometer) lake share a German heritage, yet each attracts visitors for a different reason. Puerto Varas is the lake’s adventure capital, while Frutillar on the western banks of the lake appeals to Chilean tourists on summer holiday. The charming Bavarian-style town of Puerto Octay offers remote accommodations on the north shores of the lake, and rustic Ensenada on the eastern banks sits at the entrance to Vicente Perez Rosales National Park.

Read More
Plaza Muñoz Gamero
19 Tours and Activities

This historic town square is among the most popular destinations in the Magallanes Region because of its unmistakable energy and close proximity to some of Punta Arenas’ major attractions. Travelers can easily walk from Plaza Munoz Gamero to Casa Braun-Menendez, the Sociedad Menendez Behety and the local cathedral, and many visitors agree that the best handmade crafts in town can be found here.

Walking the plaza takes only a few minutes, but most visitors gather at park benches or relax in the shade of trees to take in the sights and sounds of local life. Local folklore states kissing the statue of Magellan’s feet is good luck, so visitors looking to change their fortune should be sure to do so before leaving the plaza. A central information center also offers travelers maps and recommendations, making this a perfect first stop on a trip to Punta Arenas.

Read More
Nao Victoria Museum (Museo Nao Victoria)
13 Tours and Activities

Visitors to the Nao Victoria Museum can travel back in time and experience the real-life thrill of a 16th-century sailing experience. Opened in 2011, this destination is celebrated by locals for promoting national identity and preserving much of what makes this area so unique. Visitors can wander through four real-life replicas of famous ships: the Nao Victoria, James Caird, HMS Beagle and Schooner Ancud—boats that played an important role in the discovery of Magallanes. Guides are included in the cost of admission, which makes for rich storytelling while travelers explore the ships.

Read More
Fort Bulnes (Fuerte Bulnes)
6 Tours and Activities

Visitors to Fort Bulnes, located atop an unforgiving hillside, will surely take note of the unprecedented lengths colonizers went to in order to stake their claim on such inhospitable land.

Ancient shipwrecks that line the coastal route between this popular destination and Punta Arenas serve as a reminder of just how treacherous travel could be. While the fort’s museum, which explores the colonization history in Southern Chile and replicas of a historic church, jail, post office and stables are definitely worth the trip, visitors agree that it’s the epic views from scenic trails and the ancient watchtower that prove to be most memorable.

Read More
Milodon Cave (Cueva del Milodon)
star-3
2
24 Tours and Activities

In 1896, German explorer Eberhard Hermann entered a cave and found strange remains inside, the fur and bones of the extinct Mylodon sloth. Named after the giant ground sloth found within, Milodon Cave (Cueva del Milodon) is the largest of several caves within Cueva del Milodon National Monument. But the sloth wasn’t the only inhabitant of the caves. Remains of other extinct species, including a saber-toothed cat and a dwarf horse, as well as evidence of human habitation from as early as 6,000 BC have been found within the caves.

As visitors enter the monument, they’re greeted by a full-size replica of the mylodon sloth, standing 13 feet (4 meters) tall. The mylodon was said to resemble a giant bear, though the mammal was in fact a very large herbivore that went extinct over 10,000 years ago. A viewing point atop the cathedral-sized cave affords visitors views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers and the Eberhard fjord.

Read More
Grey Glacier
star-1
1
7 Tours and Activities

Located in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, Chile’s Grey Glacier flows south into Grey Lake, though warmer temperatures in recent summers have seen the glacier retreat somewhat. A boat trip to see the Grey Glacier up close is one of the most spectacular excursions on offer inside Torres del Paine National Park. Seeing this ancient ice up close brings out its spectrum of colors and unusual shapes, and the sounds of the ice breaking apart are unlike anything else on earth.

Another way to experience Grey Glacier is to take the strenuous day hike from Paine Grande which leads to a lookout point where huge icebergs can be seen floating on the surface of Grey Lake in front of the glacier. The Grey Glacier is one of a few within the national park that visitors can trek across the surface of. Unlike the other glaciers in the park, this glacier has an island of land dividing it in two.

Read More
Maggiorino Borgatello Salesian Museum
5 Tours and Activities

This 1,700-square-foot mecca of Patagonia heritage covers an entire history, culture and tradition in just four floors. Travelers can explore the well-organized galleries created by Salesian missionaries back in the late 1800s and learn about the rich ethnology, archaeology, wildlife and diversity of the region.

Visitors rave about the Cave of the Hands replica, which is displayed in a room dedicated to Southern Patagonia, and many applaud the museum’s honest handling of colonists, too. The Salesians made every effort to preserve artifacts from the Ona, Tehuelche, Alacalufe and Yamana people, while also explaining the impact of European colonists on local traditions and the role of pioneers in helping to create modern day Punta Arenas.

Read More
Angelmo
6 Tours and Activities

Located at the west end of Puerto Montt, the small fishing port of Angelmo got its name — according to local legend — from the mispronunciation by indigenous locals of the name of a local doctor, Angel Montt, when the town was first getting established.

Avenida Angelmo leads toward the port, lined with seafood restaurants and crammed with vendors selling handicrafts and souvenirs. Popular items include knickknacks made from the Alerce tree, a species native to Chile’s Lake District, as well as bottles of Licor de Oro. A fish market right on the banks of the bay sells the fresh catches brought in from local fishing boats, and restaurants — some built on stilts over the water — serve some of the best quality seafood in the area.

Read More

More Things to Do in Patagonia

Calbuco Volcano

Calbuco Volcano

star-4.5
5
5 Tours and Activities

The Calbuco Volcano, one of two snow-capped volcanic cones rising above the town of Puerto Varas on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, is also one of Chile’s most active volcanoes with 36 confirmed eruptions — 13 recorded since 1893. In April 2015, Calbuco erupted three times in a period of eight days. While not a perfect cone like neighboring Osorno Volcano, the sight of Calbuco is equally magnificent. Calbuco Volcano is located within Llanquihue National Reserve. Some of the best views of the peak can be seen while trekking through the park.

Learn More
Magdalena Island (Isla Magdalena)

Magdalena Island (Isla Magdalena)

star-4.5
28
4 Tours and Activities

When Magellan passed through the strait bound for Chile for the first time, he cruised on past the tiny Magdalena Island, famous for its thousands of penguins. Today, travelers make it a point to stop at this scenic island that’s northeast of Punta Arenas to explore the rocky shores and get up close to the playful penguins.

Visitors can follow well-marked paths to a popular lighthouse for impressive views of the empty island, but it’s the friendly penguins that walk side-by-side with travelers that really draw tourists to this natural haven outside of the region’s capital.

Learn More
Channel of Last Hope (Ultima Esperanza)

Channel of Last Hope (Ultima Esperanza)

3 Tours and Activities

Not nearly as foreboding as it sounds, the Channel of Las Hope (Ultima Esperanza) is in fact a calm inlet stretching from Eberhard Fjord to Monte Balmaceda. In 1557, Spanish explorer Juan Ladrillero gave the channel its ominous name when he believed navigating it was his last opportunity to reach the Strait of Magellan, though he was met with a dead end.

Boat expeditions up the channel offer stellar views of Balmaceda Mountain and the Serrano Glacier — accessible via a short hike — where visitors walk on the surface of the glacier, visit ice caves or kayak amid ice bergs on Serrano Glacier Lake. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot cormorants, sea lions, dolphins and a variety of shore birds nesting along the banks of the channel.

Learn More
Penguin Colony of Otway Sound (Seno Otway)

Penguin Colony of Otway Sound (Seno Otway)

1 Tour and Activity

Travelers can find close encounters of the penguin kind on a visit to Otway Sound and Penguin Reserve in Punta Arenas, where wooden walkways wind through the animal’s natural habitat. Travelers warn cold winds blow most any time of year. And while visitors have to stay in designated areas, penguins and other wildlife roam close and roam freely, making it a truly unique outdoor experience. Roughly 5,000 warm weather penguins make their way to the shores of the Otway Sound each September and begin laying eggs in October. By November, travelers can find plenty of fluffy gray chicks wandering the sound, which makes it one of the best times of year to visit.

Learn More
Strait of Magellan

Strait of Magellan

star-4
2
1 Tour and Activity

Unforgiving winds, a rugged coastline and narrow passageways made the Strait of Magellan one of the most deadly channels for early explorers attempting to navigate by ship. But today, this historic route, which was successfully navigated for the first time by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520, has become a popular spot for adventurers, seamen and travelers looking to experience the treacherous waters of this South American spot. Luckily, new ship technology and expert captains make for a much safer passage, but the rich history, incredible landscapes and unforgettable historic tales still make for a truly remarkable experience on the sea.

Learn More
Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park

star-4.5
118
47 Tours and Activities

Torres Del Paine National Park (or Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is one of the world's last great, unspoiled spaces, green fields and chill glittering lakes spread out beneath the naked granite spires of the Cordillera del Paine.

These epic massifs, with their wintry snow raiments, call rock climbers and ice hikers to their feet with promises of an adventure at the edge of their abilities. Less ambitious visitors will find all sorts of wonderful trails through the wilderness and herds of guanaco (a type of small, Patagonian llama) that can be enjoyed in a few hours; buses run between lodging and the different trailheads and vistas. The famous W trail takes 9 days for full circuit, and requires more serious preparation.

Learn More
Salto Grande Waterfall

Salto Grande Waterfall

2 Tours and Activities

Salto Grande, which means large waterfall, is the biggest one you’ll see in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. It’s easy to visit as part of a day trip to the park with just a small bit of walking involved. The waterfall is the Paine River’s outflow from milky blue Lago Nordenskjöld, restricted into a narrow chute as it drops about 50 feet (15 meters) into what will eventually turn into Lago Pehoé, the lake you cross by catamaran to get to the Paine Grande campsite and refuge.

If you visit Salto Grande as part of a day trip, you’ll usually spend about 30 minutes here. There are more active options, however, with the possibility of setting out from Pudeto (where the Lago Pehoé catamaran crossing is) to do a 2.5-hour round-trip hike to Salto Grande, passing by the lookout point for Los Cuernos, a giant massif of sedimentary rock with black granite tops.

Learn More
Lake Todos los Santos

Lake Todos los Santos

20 Tours and Activities

Lago Todos los Santos, or All Saints Lake, is located within Vicente Perez Rosales National Park in the lakes region of southern Chile. Sometimes it is referred to as Lago Esmeralda, which means Emerald Lake, due to its emerald green color. It is one of the biggest attractions in the national park. The lake was formed by glacial and volcanic activities. It is covers an area of about 69 square miles, and it has a maximum depth of about 1,105 feet. The lake flows into the Petrohué River and the Petrohué Waterfalls.

Visitors come to Lake Todos los Santos for boating, kayaking, rafting, swimming, and fishing. You can also enjoy hiking near the lake and watching for native animals in the area. From the lake, you can also see Osorno Volcano, Puntiagudo Volcano, Tronador Volcano. The lake has two ports, Peulla and Petrohue, which are part of the Lakes Cross, connecting Puerto Varas to Argentina.

Learn More
Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park

Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park

10 Tours and Activities

Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park was created in 1926, making it Chile's oldest national park. It covers an area of more than 620,000 acres in the Lakes region of Chile. The park is known for its volcanoes, mountains, forests, and lakes.

Some of the main attractions in the park include Osorno Volcano, Puntiagudo Volcano, and Tronador Volcano, which marks the border with Argentina. From higher areas of the park, you can see the lava flow paths to the rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The most famous waterfalls are the Petrohué Cascades, which flow through a canyon of volcanic rock formed by lava flows. Another big draw is Lago Todos los Santos, one of the most beautiful lakes in southern Chile. Visitors come to the park for rock climbing, mountain biking, river kayaking, boating, canyoning, fishing, and hiking. Popular hiking trails include Los Enamorados, Velo de la Novia, Rincón de Osorno, and Desolación.

Learn More
Nordenskjold Lake

Nordenskjold Lake

star-1
1
9 Tours and Activities

In the early 20th century, Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjold discovered a blue alpine lake that would later be named after him. Located within Torres del Paine National Park, the lake is famous for its beautifully colored waters, as well as its outfall, the Salto Grande waterfall.

While the national park is famous for its multi-day hiking circuits, visitors can make a shorter, easier day hike to Mirador Nordenskjold, an overlook offering stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The trail passes through fields of wildflowers in the spring, and it also brings hikers up close to the Salto Grande waterfall.

Learn More
Puerto Montt Cruise Port

Puerto Montt Cruise Port

4 Tours and Activities

Puerto Montt is located at the southern end of Chile’s Lake District, but you might feel like you have been transported across the ocean to Germany when you arrive. German settlers founded the city in 1852, bringing their architecture, customs and cuisine – and the influence is still apparent today. Squeezed among lakes, rivers and volcanoes, this small city offers enough outdoor activities to keep you busy for weeks.

Puerto Montt is a tender port – you will actually get to shore via large, flat-bottomed tender boats that dock at the Puerto Angelmo fishing cove. From there, you can walk into the city. Buses for shore excursions usually pick up in the parking lot adjacent to the dock.

Go water skiing on Lake Llanquihue or try your hand at fly fishing on the Maullin River. Soar 125 feet above ground on the Osorno Canopy Zipline while enjoying views of Lake Llanquihue and the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes.

Learn More
Chiloé Island

Chiloé Island

star-4.5
5
2 Tours and Activities

Chiloe Island, also known as Isla Grande de Chiloé, is one of 30 islands that make up the Chiloe archipelago in the Lakes Region of southern Chile. It is the first island you see when you cross the Chacao Channel by ferry. The island is well known for its palafitos, which are colorful wooden houses on stilts along the water's edge. There are also more than 150 iconic wooden churches from the 18th and 19th centuries, and 16 of them are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The Chiloe archipelago remained isolated from the rest of Chile until nearby Puerto Montt was founded in the mid-19th century. As a result, the area has a distinct culture that includes mythology based on witchcraft. You'll also find unique cuisine on the islands that is different from other parts of the country.

Aside from learning about the culture, visitors also come to Chiloe Island to explore the landscape. The island has rolling hills and farmland to the north and dense forest in the south.

Learn More

icon_solid_phone
Book online or call
(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785