Top Walking Trails In Patagonia
If your idea of an unforgettable walking holiday involves spectacular scenery, a highly remote location and a whole new culture to get to grips with, Patagonia is the place to go.
You’ll feel as if you’re walking to the ends of the earth when you travel here, thanks to the region’s position at the southernmost tip of South America and its huge expanses of unspoilt natural beauty.
Here are some great walking trails to consider if you want to go trekking in Patagonia.
1) Torres del Paine Circuit
The Torres del Paine National Park is probably the most popular trekking destination in Patagonia – and it’s not hard to see why. Featuring lakes, waterfalls and forests set against a magnificent mountain backdrop, the site offers the perfect way to get to know some of Patagonia’s best bits on foot.
The circuit itself can be tackled over ten days or so, with one key stop being Lago Paine, where you’ll enjoy amazing views of the Cerro Tridente, Cerro Oggioni and Cerro Cabeza del Indio mountains.
Other highlights include exploring a huge ancient virgin beech forest, reaching the highest point of the circuit at the John Gardner pass and – finally – seeing the breathtaking spectacle of the Paine Towers for a fitting end to this exhilarating journey. Book your place on the 14-day Explore Worldwide Torres del Paine trekking holiday, with prices starting from £2,580 per person.
2) Chalten Total
The Argentinean village of El Chalten attracts crowds of walkers looking to explore the scenic El Chalten National Park, home to the Fitz Roy mountain range. The Chalten Total trek can take up to a week to complete, and offers a great introduction to the main sights of the park.
You’ll see the impressive Piedras Blancas Glacier, climb up to the Bird Pass for an awe-inspiring view of the entire park and brave an icy glacier walk, among other highlights. Be warned, though – you’ll probably need to start each day very early and will be on your feet for up to eight hours a day, so a certain level of stamina is required.
Shorter walks are available throughout El Chalten if the Chalten Total seems a bit too intense, but it really is worth attempting the circuit on a once-in-a-lifetime walking adventure.
3) Bahia Lapataia Trail, Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego near Ushuaia is the southernmost national park on the continent and offers the chance to see some of Argentina’s spectacular coastline. The Bahia Lapataia Trail takes walkers on a seaside journey from one picturesque bay (Ensenada) to another (Lapataia).
This is a much shorter walk than the ones above; indeed, you’ll easily be able to complete it in just a day. However, this simply means you have plenty of scope to fit this trek into a longer itinerary taking in a wider area of South America.
You’ll enjoy amazing views as you follow the coastal path, with mountains and forest on one side and the glittering ocean on the other. There’s scope to extend the trek at the end of the trail to do some further exploration of this beautiful national park.
These are just a few of the unforgettable walking trails you can follow in Patagonia – leave a comment below if you have any more recommendations or to tell other walkers about your own experiences in this part of the world.