Patagonia, a journey down South between Chile and Argentina
Everyone that we met on the road was saying to us “you are amazed? wait for Patagonia!” So, what did I thought about Patagonia? Well, it is kind of true, Patagonia is amazing. The landscapes and the hikes are clearly the best that we have done during our journey.However, it comes with a downside. Patagonia is also the most touristic and expensive place in all South America. But it is still completely worth it.
Here is a recap of what we have done in Patagonia
- Bariloche: I don’t know if Bariloche is considered in Patagonia or not but it is clearly the entrance of it. The city is on the side of a beautiful lake, it sets the scene from the beginning! There are plenty of hikes to do in the area, even on several days if you want. We spend 2 days there, and did the following hikes:
- Cerro Llao Llao: A quick hike of 2 to 3 hours to reach an amazing point of view on the different lakes. When you arrive at the top, you have this “whaou” feeling that leaves you breathless during a few seconds.
- Cerro Campanario: This one is not really a hike because you can use a cable car. We did it the same day than the cerro Llao Llao. I clearly prefer the view of this previous one but it is still a nice view of course.
- Anfiteatro de la catedral rodeando: this one day hike is really nice. A big part of it is in the middle of the forest, that I loved, only the last hour is a bit hard with no protection from the sun. But you can easily cool off when you arrive at the top by putting your feet in the freezing lake.
- El Chalten: This small city in the middle of nowhere has been created a few years ago for tourists purpose. You will only find hotels and restaurants but you are right at the beginning of the hikes.
- Fitz Roy: it is the main attraction, everyone is doing this hike so you won’t have the feeling “alone in nature” but this mountain is really amazing so I clearly recommend it. We took a bus in the morning in order to not do the same path in 2 ways. It is clearly a good option (cost 300$AR though). The hike takes approximately 7 to 8 hours with the last hours really hard with most of the incline. The view at the end is amazing, I let the picture speak for themselves.
- Calafate: the departure of the expedition to the glacier Perito Moreno. Otherwise, there is not a lot of things to do in the area 2 nights there are enough
- Perito Moreno: This huge glacier is really impressive, an immensity of ice cracking, with pieces falling from times to times creating iceberg. You walk on a walkway to see it from different points of view. You can also take a boat to see it a little closer but the people that we met and did it told us that it was not worth the price.
- Puerto Natales: for sure the most famous park in Patagonia, Torres del Paine. A lot of travelers are doing the complete W in several days with the tent and everything in their backpack. If you want to do the same, you need to book the camping with a lot of anticipation, it is full all the time. We looked for the hike that you can do on one day. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of luck with the weather this time. Cloud, wind, cold and small rain, I didn’t do the hike to el torre. I simply did a 2 hours hike from the last bus stop in the park. Clearly, it is a bit disappointing but the weather in this area is quite uncertain.
Here is all I did in Patagonia, I would like doing a bit more but I have a bad knew that hurt a lot going down on hike. I chose to do one in each place and enjoy!
This might be the last article about South America, we have our plane for New Zealand in a week! I feel completely insane, but we have been on this continent for 4 months now and it is time to go for new adventures!
How to get there? Always buses and one especially long bus: Puerto Montt – Bariloche (18000$CH) – El Chalten (4590$AR for 24h bus) – Calafate (800$AR) – Puerto Natales (950$AR)
Where to sleep? Before giving you the addresses, a very important recommendation, book your nights the soonest that you can. The hostels are full really quickly and the prices go up
Bariloche: Italia Inn hostel (next to the bus station – 575$AR breakfast included), Alaska hostel (a bit far away from the center – 656$AR)
Calafate: Folk hostel, this the best hostel that we stayed in of the all trip, I really recommend it! (615$AR breakfast included)
Puerto Natales: refugio Hoshken (9653$CH)
Where to eat? For once, I have recommendations (even a lot of them)!
El chalten: Beer & Burger for really good burgers (with blue cheese <3) and la Wafleria for salty and sugary waffle
Calafate: our restaurant at the end of Argentina, really nice with a good choice of vegetarian dishes
Puerto Natales: la Mesita Grande for awesome pizza (save a place for the desert and the Nutella banana and marshmallow pizza) and el Living a nice coffee shop
How much cost the activities? Bariloche: the entrance to the hike of free, you just need to pay the local transportation
El chalten: free hikes also, only payed the bus to access the fitz roy entrance (300$AR)
Calafate: the entrance to the part cost 21000$CH for 3 days and the return bus ticket 12000$CH