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What to see in Chilean Patagonia

Chilean Patagonia Attractions


Chilean Patagonia boasts some of the most astoundingly beautiful and diverse wilderness areas in the world and vast swathes of this adventurer's paradise remain unspoilt and unpopulated. It is therefore no surprise that the majority of things to see and do in Chilean Patagonia revolve around natural wonders and outdoor activities. The dramatic scenery includes glaciers, lakes, rivers, mountains and volcanoes; enough natural splendour to keep visitors occupied for months.

The Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael and The Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine are both UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and are open to the public. They offer a number of hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, which is a popular way to explore these special areas. San Rafael includes the Northern Patagonian Ice Field and the mammoth glaciers to be found here are some of the most popular attractions in Chilean Patagonia. Torres Del Paine is a magnificent reserve with towering granite mountains and crystal-clear lakes. Pumalin Park, in northern Patagonia, is also a favourite with travellers for its fjords and rainforest.

The Magdalena Island Penguin Reserve is a birdwatcher's dream and worth a visit for anyone keen on spotting these comical birds. The ferry trip to get there will take travellers into the Strait of Magellan, which is special in its own right. For those interested in past explorers, such as Magellan, who first ventured into this area, it is worth visiting the Nao Victoria Museo, which displays a full-size model of the ship Magellan used, among others, and provides intriguing historical lessons about life on board. The museum is in Punta Arenas and has received acclaim in recent years.

Chilean Patagonia is full of attractions, particularly for the intrepid traveller keen to kayak, hike and climb. The amount of wilderness to explore actually leaves visitors spoilt for choice.

Travellers should be aware that, outside of the main travel hubs, amenities are extremely limited in Chilean Patagonia and getting around can prove tricky. Many visitors travel by plane or ship and others rent vehicles owing to the lack of reliable public transport. The further south travellers want to go, the more difficult it becomes, but it is worth it.


Chilean Tierra del Fuego

In the furthest southern reaches of Patagonia, at the tip of South America, lies the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, which translates to 'Land of Fire'. It is a dramatic name…

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Magdalena Island Penguin Reserve

Magdalena Island is located 21.7 miles (35km) south of Punta Arenas, and the Magdalena Island Penguin Reserve is a paradise for birdwatchers, or for anybody who is fond of penguins.…

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Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael

Created in 1959, Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael covers an area of 6,726 square miles (17,420 sq km) and includes the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. It was named after the San…

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Parque Nacional Torres del Paine

A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this 180,000-hectare (442-acre) park is the pride and joy of southern Chile. The park takes its name from the towering granite pillars that rise over…

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