Breaking away from the common aspiration to travel in a warm and tropical destination can be difficult – but Patagonia makes it EASY. A mixture of immense natural beauty, rich wildlife and satisfying activities makes Patagonia a must for active travellers.
Patagonia is located at the southern end of South America and spans over parts of Chile and Argentina. Covering roughly one third of Argentina and close to half of Chile, there is a lot of Patagonia to go around. Combine that with its low low population density and you begin to understand the vast uninhabited grandeur of this beautiful region. It is the closest landmass to Antarctica, and shares elements of its spectacular icy landscape.
The name Patagonia was coined by the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520 to describe the large stature of the Patagonian people. At that time, the native tribesmen of Patagonia (the Tehuelche people) are believed to have been 5’11”, quite large compared to the then average Spaniard male of 5’1”. Magellan thought he had found “giants.”
Today Patagonia is still characterized by “the gigantic” in its larger than life terrain. Patagonia hiking tours offer boundless vantage points of ice-tipped mountains, granite cliffs, and icebergs. Turquoise tinted glaciers, river valleys, tangled pine forests, and spongy grassland plains reward all who visit.
If you’re not already convinced, here are some more reasons why Patagonia is a must see.
1 » A beautiful setting for outdoor activities
Patagonia is the perfect cold weather playground. With the wide range of terrain offered between Argentina and Chile, your multi-sport options are many. Hike throughout semi-arid plateaus, deep valleys and canyons. Ice trek across expanded ice fields and immense snow-covered mountain ranges. Take to the water in kayaks and canoes exploring the many blue-coloured icebergs. Biking is also an option from certain locations.
2 » A unique set of wildlife
Patagonia has noticeably diverse fauna. See rich wildlife from foxes, condors and penguins to pink flamingos, rabbits, and ashy-headed geese. Guanacos, a species of lama is indigenous to the land. Unique birds include the buff-necked ibis and rheas.
3 » Eco-Camp
Although some outdoor enthusiasts are dedicated enough to see Patagonia independently, many opt for the assistance of a seasoned tour operator. One such offering BikeHike Adventures is proud to provide is accommodation at the Eco-camp, a one-of-a-kind lodge with cozy dome shaped shelters. Due to the way it was constructed, the environmental impact of the Eco-camp’s huts is virtually none-existent. Staying here is a restful and relaxing experience in an otherwise relatively inhospitable environment.
4 » It is family friendly
Patagonia is an ideal family vacation. Since there are no snakes or other dangerous wild animals (pumas exist, but are rarely seen), it is safe for a wide array of outdoor activities. The large and unspoiled wilderness is the perfect place for kids to build an appreciation for outdoor life and learn about the natural world.