There is this incredible rush I get when you drop in on a wave that is followed by an extreme amount of focus where I don’t think about anything else in that moment. Having to concentrate 100% on every little foot movement so I don’t […]
Vast and empty, wind-swept and barren, Patagonia simply, is a landscape of the imagination. Full of impossibly massive walls of ice and blue-green-turquoise spectrum trapped within. Meanwhile, stark granite peaks planted like spears in the Cordillera beckon extreme mountain climbers and casual trekkers alike. Many pristine rivers and dusty backwater oases, GUARANTEED that any traveler would remember this trip to the South as one of the best.
For me, it’s a wonder of the earth, filled up with so many secrets and hidden, remote places, yet so majestic and open at the same time. Spaces in between are large, so it’s the silence that fills them.
I’m originally from Slovenia, but I spend most of my life discovering Patagonia with my mom, especially in my younger years. I can’t say I know everything about this beautiful place and I’m pretty sure, nobody really does… But I can give you many reasons why travel to Patagonia and explore this part of the world with me.
1. It’s a wild land, filled with breathtaking landscapes and interesting wildlife.
It’s crazy, that you can see so many different terrains and places in one spot. From desserts and endless roads without a city or gas stations for hundreds of kilometers to wild jungle to incredible mountains, rivers, glaciers, and lagoons… You’ll get a feeling of great isolation and vast emptiness but at the same time very diverse wildlife and many different places to discover.
2. Meeting the Locals!
Speaking from my personal experience, in Patagonia, you’ll get to meet one of the nicest people there are. Not only, they help if you’re lost, they are happy to offer you for a cup of Mate or even welcome you to stay at their place or Estancia, for the night. They’re happy to help in any way, even though the communication usually isn’t the best. But it depends on travelers knowledge of Spanish and their knowledge of English. Besides being friendly and very welcoming, they’re super fun to party with, or gather around the bonfire and tell each other stories, maybe even make asado in the evening.
3. One of my favorite trekking places & places to eat!
The melange of craggy mountains crowned with glaciers and glistening with waterfalls, scrubland dotted with pale glacial lakes, flowering meadows, marshlands, and windblown cliffs. They give you a very wide range of possibilities for hiking, trekking, rock or ice climbing, quad-riding, backcountry skiing and more! It’s a place to be super active every day, yet still get to enjoy amazing wine, steaks, and chocolate! Must go spots for trekkings and hikes are, for example, Torres del Paine, El Chalten, Bariloche, El Calafate etc…
4. RUTA 40
Every time I went there, I figured that the most memorable moments won’t only be the photogenic highlights but on the road trips in between. The huge dome of the sky, tufts of coirón grass bursting through the desert, a solitary guanaco keeping watch from a hilltop and little things like that…
Though is no longer a dirt road, like it used to be, lonely Ruta 40 remains the iconic south american ‘highway’. It’s the most remote road I’ve ever driven on and even though is the only way, that connects Bariloche to El Chalten, for example. You could drive there for 2 days straight and very possibly not meet a single soul. Many foxes and guanacos though. It kind of reminds me of US Route 66. It’s one of those drives, where you play Willie Nelson’s “On the road again” on repeat and pretend that you’re in a gypsy traveling movie.
5. Coast of Atlantic
One of my favorite moments is, after 2 weeks of trekking and climbing, taking a ride to the coast. Not even a day drive from El Chalten and you’ll get a completely different scenario. Luckily, nobody cares if you stay on the beach overnight and enjoy waking up to the morning sun. It’s quieter and much less visited by tourists than Puerto Madryn and Península Valdés.
The southern stretch of the Atlantic coastline from Camarones to Río Gallegos is extremely rich in marine life of all kinds. There are several reserves protecting a wide variety of species of birds and mammals. And a few good bases for exploring them are towns like Camarones, Puerto Deseado, and Puerto San Julián, with good services and accommodation. If you have your own transport, you could head out to the only national park on the coast, Monte León, where you can walk the shore for miles.