South America Living

5 Must-Visit Destinations in Patagonia

Patagonia is a region of South America that includes the Southern parts of the neighboring countries Argentina and Chile. It is a favorite ‘Eco-Tourism’ hot spot and contains a huge variety of indigenous flora and fauna, mountains and glacial lakes. Patagonia has been continuously inhabited by various tribes since 10,000 BC, which is evident from numerous archeological findings and excavations. Mining, whale watching, livestock and agriculture are the main source of economy in Patagonia. Being located in the heart of the Andes Mountain Range, Patagonia has a vast number of natural and geographical resources and is a famous trekking and hiking destination. Here’s my list of the 5 best places to visit in Patagonia.

Puerto Madryn

Puerto Madryn offers tremendous opportunities for whale-watching

Puerto Madryn offers tremendous opportunities for whale-watching (Photo by Mariano P., CC BY-SA 2.0)

Located in the Argentinean Patagonia, Puerto Madryn is famous for its various whale watching opportunities. The city is also the second largest fishing port in the Argentina and is also known for its beaches. The marine biology department of the Universidad de la Patagonia is famous for its ecological centers and is instrumental in promoting the conservation of its ecological resources and marine life. The best time to visit Puerto Madryn is between June and mid December, when the whales can be spotted easily.

Dinosaur Route

Located in northwest Patagonia, the dinosaur route is an archeological site where various large skeletons of dinosaurs have been discovered. The site is famous for hosting various training and informational programs for visitors with the area’s top paleontologists, who provide insights and tips on how to excavate and recognize various fossils from the rocks. This area is also the spot where skeletons of two of the largest known Dinosaurs were excavated.

Cueva De Las Manos

Cueva de las Manos

Cueva de las Manos

Photo by Lisa Weichel, CC BY 2.0

A UNESCO world heritage site, the Cueva De Las Manos is a series of caves with ancient rock paintings dating back to 7300 BC it was last inhabited in 700 AD. The caves are famous for their hand paintings, which were painted using the left hand as the stencil and spraying color with the right. The cave is 24 meters deep and ranges from 2 meters to 10 meters in height.

Los Glaciares National Park

Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park

Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park

Photo by Dimitry B., CC BY 2.0

The second largest national park in Argentina, the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares is a federal protected region. The chief attraction is the Perito Moreno Glacier, which is one of the most easily accessible ice fields in the region. One can catch the breathtaking views of the frozen blue surroundings and the calving sections of ice falling into the canal. Excursion boats are also available for a better view of the various glaciers in the national park. It is also a home to a verity of flora and fauna indigenous to the Americas.

El Chaltén

The Andes at El Chaltén, Argentina

The Andes at El Chaltén, Argentina

Photo by Lisa Weichel, CC BY 2.0

A small mountain village located in Argentinean Patagonia, El Chaltén is famous for its tourist attractions. Tourism is the major source of the town’s economy and tourists come to enjoy the various water sports that are offered here. The area is comprised of mountains and valley and owing to the geographical features is a popular trekking hotspot in South America. The region’s valleys, summits, lakes and lagoons on the trek routes attract a huge number of adventurers during the tourist seasons between the months of November and February.

Patagonia is a glacial region which is characterized by its cold but humid climate. The various attractions a visitor can enjoy in the region are innumerable and too vast to be contained in a single article. The above mentioned places however, are “must-see” destinations and offer the best of Patagonia in a small package.

Author Bio:
Rohit Agarwal is an architect by profession and a traveler by passion. He likes to spend his time exploring new places in Jaipur and also likes to discover new regions, cultures, foods wherever he goes. He contributes most of his writings at Trans India Travels, a website which provides information about the various tourist sites in India.

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