Argentina is known for its world-class dining, incredible wines, and a strong European heritage that you won’t find anywhere else in South America. But if Buenos Aires is the South American champion of the cosmopolitan experience, Patagonia takes the gold for world-class outdoor experiences.
With vast, untouched, and pristine landscapes featuring everything from snow-capped mountains to deserts and old-growth forests, Patagonia, Argentina is an outdoor-lovers dream. Opportunities for experiencing the natural world abound in this rugged and remote part of the world, and the travel experts at Kuoda have hand-picked the best of those experiences to include in your personalized Patagonia itineraries.
Well over 600,000 square-kilometers beginning at the southern tip of Chile and Argentina, the sheer size of Patagonia makes planning a trip here a little more difficult than most. But with our travel designers, you can plan a trip full of authentic experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
To help you get an idea of what’s available to you in Patagonia and how to go about traveling there, we’ve created this 6-step guide on how to get ready for Patagonia, Argentina. Read on to learn more about this incredible destination and how Kuoda gets you there in style.
1. Decide What to Do in Patagonia
If your idea of a great vacation is getting outside to explore, then Patagonia travel should be at the top of your travel list. We’ve personally vetted our tours and guides to ensure you have access to the best adventures available.
First up on any outdoor enthusiast’s radar is Los Glaciares National Park. With over 100,000 visitors every year, the main attraction is the Perito Moreno Glacier. Put on some crampons and traverse your way over or take a comfortable boat cruise on Lake Argentino to watch massive icebergs break off from the glacier and plunge into the water below.
About 77 kilometers from Los Glaciares is El Calafate, a basecamp mountain village and the gateway to some of the best hikes in this part of the region. If you only have time for one, ask us about what we offer for the Fitz Roy Trek. We have itineraries for hikes ranging from 1 to 3 days, where you’ll take in jagged peaks, glacial lakes, colossal glaciers, and some of the most incredible panoramas Patagonia travel has on offer.
Bariloche is another hub for the hiking-inclined, but it’s also been called Patagonia’s most charming town. It offers beautiful vistas, some of the best cuisine in Patagonia, and rustic wood chalet lodging to suit even the most luxurious of travelers. This quaint European-influenced town also hugs Nahuel Huapi, a stunning glacial lake that’s easy to access.
If it’s wildlife you’re after, Ushuaia is a destination you have to consider. From this port town, you can take a catamaran out into the Beagle Channel, where you’ll spot penguins, sea lions, and cormorants in numbers you won’t believe.
2. Pick the Best Time to Visit Patagonia
Patagonia, Argentina experiences all four seasons, sometimes in the same day. For that reason, it’s important to pick the best time to visit based on weather.
Weather-wise, the best time to visit Patagonia is from December to February. Known as the Austral summer, this is when you’ll get the highest temperatures of the year (an average high of 22 °C). If trekking or wildlife watching is your goal, this is undoubtedly the best time to visit.
Keep in mind that, because of the great weather, Patagonia is at its busiest in January and February. That means that accommodation, transportation, and tours book up quickly. But with Kuoda’s customized trip planning for Patagonia, you don’t have to worry about any of that. We’ll have your trip planned and booked months in advance, so your vacation runs smoothly.
3. Get Help Planning an Itinerary
In terms of planning your itinerary, it’s not only important to plan around weather. You also need to consider how long you have, what you want to do, where you want to visit, and when.
Patagonia is roughly the same size as Egypt. Meaning that experiencing it all could take months. When months of vacation aren’t possible, the ideal duration for Patagonia travel is between 10 and 14 days.
That length of time accounts for some long-haul travel days between regions. If you want to get from Bariloche to Ushuaia, for example, you’re looking at more than 24 hours of driving or an 8-hour flight with one stop.
You’ll need to decide when, where, and for how long you’re visiting in order to plan accommodations. This is an important note because many of the lodgings in Patagonia are not open year-round. In El Calafate, you’ll only find hotels mid-September to early May.
Let our travel designers help plan your Argentina itinerary at least a few months in advance of when you’d like to leave. Our customized trip planning ensures that you fit in all the sights and activities you’re looking to experience in whatever timeframe you have.
4. Explore Where to Stay in Patagonia
For such a remote place, Patagonia, Argentina has a plethora of accommodation options to choose from. From cozy hotels and rustic chalets to indulgent resorts, Kuoda has selected from the most exclusive accommodations to suit any desired level of comfort.
For an authentic Patagonian experience, book a stay at one of the Argentine estancias that we work with. These ranches first developed during colonization in the 16th century. Historically, they’ve played an important role in the culture and economy of the country. Today, many of them have been transformed into luxury hotels where you can enjoy first-class service, delightful cuisine, outdoor activities like horseback riding, and a look into the traditional practices and rich history of Argentinian Gaucho culture.
In mountain hub towns like El Calafate, Bariloche, and Ushuaia, we work with boutique hotels with incredible views, luxurious spas, and world-class design. There are eco-hotels and eco-camps that put a sustainable twist on deluxe accommodation as well as glamping options for something between outdoorsy and incredibly cozy.
5. Pack the Right Gear
Our world-class guides and hosts go above and beyond to ensure your trip runs according to plan, but the one thing we can’t control is the weather. Even if you plan your trip for the summer season and the best weather, the climate in Patagonia is unpredictable.
While daytime will peak at just above 22°C, that drops significantly with wind-chill and at nighttime. That’s especially true if you’re in the mountains.
But in Patagonia, not only do you have to dress for drastic changes in temperature, you’ll also need to consider the activities you’re going to be partaking in. When you visit Glacier National Park, will you visit the glaciers by hiking along the well-kept trails to the viewing platform, or will you take the more adventurous route along the glaciers? Depending on your answer, you’ll need very different gear.
Your travel planner can include a packing list that keeps you comfortable and prepared for whatever happens. At the very least, you should bring a waterproof shell jacket, a warm down jacket, and a pair of good hiking boots along with you. Leave your shorts and Hawaiian-print shirts at home, it doesn’t get warm enough for those here. Instead, pack warm base layers, UV-proof shirts, and a good pair of glasses for glacier-viewing.
6. Consider Visiting Chile, Too
Patagonia spans across both Argentina and Chile. While Argentina houses some of the most picturesque parks and peaks, any in-depth Patagonian expedition should also involve crossing over into Chile. This is where you’ll find Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and one of the most iconic parts of Patagonia.
If you carry a Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, US, or EU passport, you shouldn’t have any problems crossing into Chile from Argentina. Your passport allows you a 90-day stay in Chile, which is more than enough time to explore this side of Patagonia.
Talk to your travel designer about our offerings on the Chilean side of Patagonia. We can create a customized trip itinerary that makes the most of every minute in this once in a lifetime destination.
Let Us Plan Your Perfect Patagonia, Argentina Trip
Patagonia, Argentina is an outdoor haven. Here you’ll find some of the most breathtaking trekking in the world, opportunities to view wildlife you won’t find anywhere else, unforgettable cuisine, and a culture that takes you back centuries.
But taking a trip to Patagonia involves a lot of logistical, advanced planning around transportation, guides, and accommodations. Save yourself the time and effort by creating a customized Patagonia, Argentina trip with Kuoda.