Original article at www.gonomad.com
The windswept, dramatic landscapes of Patagonia dwarf the few tiny towns spread across the colossal land. Enormous jagged peaks, turquoise lakes, and snaking glaciers prevail – it is a place for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and anyone who appreciates awe-inspiring natural beauty.
Unimaginably vast, Patagonia is best experienced sticking to one particular area. Travel is possible – and of course part of the excitement – however there are hundreds of miles between each town or village.
The two main areas discussed below are part of the beautiful Los Glaciares National Park. They are more than enough to cope with for a week or two, offering endless opportunities to appreciate the wilds of this unspoilt, ice-capped land.
Winter can be great for skiing, and summer for wildlife, however autumn is particularly beautiful with the trees full of colour, weather more stable, and skies at their most reliably blue.
El Calafate & Perito Moreno Glacier
El Calafate is a town built mainly around tourism, but it is nevertheless very charming and full of funky little gift shops. It is named after the local Calafate berry, and you will find many products made with it – but mostly jam!
Glaciar Perito Moreno
Some of the biggest attractions in Argentinian Patagonia are the enormous glaciers – most famously the Perito Moreno glacier which is the main attraction in the El Calafate vicinity by far. Tour company Hielo Aventura offer fantastic tours to take a boat trip out to see the glacier.
You can add a one hour 30 minute or three-hour ‘ice trek’ element – walking on the glacier (which is a total must-do). With spiky rented crampons strapped to your boots, you’ll climb up onto the shining ice, down steep inclines and past gleaming blue pools of clear melt-water lying in deep crevasses on the ice. The views of the lake and the endless icy peaks is something you will never, ever forget.
Hielo Aventura is found in the central part of the small town near the casino. The tourleaves from a remote part of Lago Argentino (around 45 minutes by car from El Calafate, which is ‘on the doorstep’ by Patagonian standards) however you can easily hire a car, or take a tour bus out to the port.
The tour guides are such friendly people, full of fun and humor, and extremely knowledgeable.