Patagonia, a region shared by Argentina and Chile, is so diverse and expansive it’s difficult to know where to begin planning your trip. Here are the top five ways to embrace the Patagonian spirit.
Sleep in a Refugio
Every backpacker on multiday treks in Torres del Paine or another Patagonian national park will stay in a refugio at some point or another on the journey. These hostel-like lodges are basic and built to weather the elements. At minimum you’ll find bunk beds, communal bathrooms and a large dining hall in each.
Complete a Full-Hike Hike
Even if you don’t have time (or the will) to complete the full W Trek or O Circuit, make sure you feel the satisfaction of completing a full-day hike through the park. Grey Glaciar/Lago de Grey and Mirador Las Torres (The Towers) hikes are great places to start.
Stay in a Traditional Patagonian Village
Patagonia is lined with quaint villages up and down both sides of the region that offer a respite for trekkers with blistered feet and more glamorous travelers who plan to only daytrip into the national park. On the Chilean side, Puerto Natales is the closest town to Torres del Paine and offers adorable cafés and boutiques. On the Argentinian side, Bariloche in the Lakes District is set on a jaw-droppingly beautiful lake and is renowned for its chocolate and ice cream shops.
Book an Adventure Experience
White-water rafting, ice climbing, horseback riding, multiday kayaking trips, paragliding, kitesurfing — you name it, Patagonia has got it. Don’t miss the chance to feel an adrenaline rush in one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world.
Stay in a Hostel
Do as the backpackers do and spend at least one night in a hostel on your journey. Hostels aren’t what they used to be (in a good way) and many now offer private rooms with individual bathrooms in addition to dorms. HostelWorld is a great resource for finding highly-rated hostels. Tip: Filter the search to only include hostels with an 8.5 rating or higher.
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