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Explore Patagonia

03/03/2017

Explore Patagonia – it is one of the world’s last great wildernesses…

Covering more than a million km2 of Argentina and Chile, including large sections of the Andes Mountains. It’s a vast and sparsely populated region of striking and diverse ecosystems; Pacific and Atlantic Ocean coastlines; and national parks. It’s a place to hike, spot native wildlife, and appreciate the infinite wonders of the great outdoors. There are numerous ways to explore this remarkable landscape, and we go to great lengths to craft itineraries and experiences which will enable you to get the most out of Patagonia.
One of our most popular options, understandably, is to voyage by boat through the channels and fjords along the coastline. You’ll sail with the Andes Mountains as your backdrop, whilst sea birds soar over head. There’s the chance to spot pods of dolphin and whale, and, closer to land, seal and penguin too.
In the southernmost part of Patagonia you will find the archipelago known as the Tierra del Fuego “Land of Fire”. Here you can combine amazing watery and land-borne pursuits. You can sail as Charles Darwin did through the Beagle Channel, named after HMS Beagle. Stop for a night or two in Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world. It’s also possible to travel by boat from the Magellan Strait up the Azopardo River to Lago Fagnano, a glacier-fed lake of unparalleled beauty and quiet. In the winter months you can ski in the surrounding hills, and in summer it’s the perfect spot for hiking or picnics.
If your interest is in wildlife, we can create for you a programme focused on Patagonia’s fascinating fauna. All sorts of curious animals reside here, from the Patagonian fox and cougar, to the hog-nosed skunk, the Magellanic tuco-tuco, and the guanaco. In the wild it is still possible to see Darwin’s rhea, a flightless bird hunted almost to extinction. Other native Patagonian birds include the southern caracara; austral parakeet; and green-backed firecrown. The Andean condor — one of the largest species of birds in the world — is relatively common in Patagonia. And then, of course, there is the penguin, the first sighting of which forces everyone to break into a grin. The Magellanic penguin is probably the most common penguin species in Patagonia. You will see them toddling around in the vicinity of their nesting colonies along the coast.
Although it is Patagonia’s natural wonders which first strike you, the region’s history and cultural heritage is no less fascinating. Patagonia appears to have been continually inhabited — albeit by relatively small populations — for the past 12,000 years. Superb wall paintings survive in the Cueva de las Manos caves near Santa Cruz, and they are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moving towards the period of European exploration and Spanish conquest, you can visit a replica of the Nao Victoria. Located at Puntaq Arenas, this was the first ship to pass through the Magellan Strait. The town of Ushuaia was built predominantly by foreign immigres in the 19th century, during the gold rush. There are some interesting historic buildings from this period, as well as the Southern Fuegian Railway, also known as the Train of the End of the World.
Unless you plan to explore Patagonia to ski, the best time to visit is during South America’s summertime (November to March). Planning ahead will enable us to book your accommodation in some of Patagonia’s most dramatically situated hotel properties, such as Los Ñires, perched on the edge of the Beagle Channel. Call us now to embark on your adventure in Patagonia.

Article written by:
Shari Burton
Posted in: Uncategorized
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