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Patagonia…

A stunning region of nature and wilderness; there’s so much to see and do in Patagonia and its surrounds. Our South American Travel Specialists share their “Top 5 must do’s” in Patagonia…

Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Los Glaciares Natonal Park, the Perito Moreno glacier towers over turquoise glacial water. Covering an astounding , this gigantic ice sheet is one of the most visited sites in Argentina.

It may not seem all that exciting, watching a giant glacier, but the visual experience is ever changing. The sun reflects the glacier in the morning and throughout the day its appearance changes as shadows shift.

The glacier experience isn’t just visual; when huge icebergs calve and collapse into the Canal de los Témpanos (Iceberg Channel), you really hear it.

What really makes this glacier exceptional is that unlike many glaciers, it’s not retreating but constantly advancing, resulting in building-sized icebergs calving from its face.

The Perito Moreno Glacier is a sight that can’t be missed when travelling to Patagonia. It’s a true marvel and a spectacle of nature.

Cuevas de Mármol, Lake General Carrera, Chile

Nestled deep in the Patagonian Andes, the Cuevas de Mármol (Marble Caves) are situated on a peninsula of solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera along the Chile/Argentina border. They were created by waves washing up against calcium carbonate over a period of more than 6,000 years.

When you see them, it looks like they’re covered in smooth, swirling shadows of blue.  However, the colour is actually a reflection of the lake’s indigo waters. The intensity and hue changes depending on water levels during the year.

You can explore the caves with a small boat or kayak, pretty much all year round, unless the lake’s waters are really rough. Most caves you can only view from your boat, but in some you can actually take a walk under them, through a series of tunnels permitting water levels are low enough.

Whale Watching in Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Patagonia offers some of the best whale watching in the world, and Puerto Madryn is the place to be if you want to see them. The warmer and more enclosed waters of the Golfo Nuevo, Golfo San José and the coastline near Caleta Valdés offer the perfect breeding ground for Southern Right Whales between June and December.

Whale watching tours last roughly an hour and half, offering ample time to witness these incredible mammals.

El Chaten, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

If you love hiking and the outdoors, El Chaten is the place for you. With countless hikes, rock climbing, mountain traverses, and mountain ascent opportunities, the adventure never ends.

If you love the nature but don’t have the adrenaline for climbing a mountain, El Chaten offers a range of trails for walking or horseback riding, which take you to the most beautiful forests, waterfalls and lakes. It’s difficult to be disappointed wherever you find yourself in El Chaten.

Cueva de las Manos, Argentina

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) features polychrome rock paintings executed between 13,000 and 9,500 years ago. The cave takes its name from the outlines of human hands on the cave walls. In addition to hands, there are also illustrations of animals, such as guanacos as well as hunting scenes.

Explore this incredible cave, and learn about the ancestors of the historic hunter-gatherer communities of Patagonia. An ancient part of history, Cueva de las Manos are a must do while in Patagonia.

 References:  Thank you Lonely Planet, The Culture Trip, Jetsetter.com , UNESCO and Atlas Obscura