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Things to do in Patagonia, Argentina

Our most recommended things to do in Patagonia, Argentina

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

1. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

Discover Patagonia on this trek in Los Glaciares National Park. Explore the park on foot, and trek on glaciers with crampons. Learn about the flora and fauna from your guide along the way, and sail in front of a glacier on Argentino Lake. This unmissable experience begins at the “Bajo de las Sombras” Port, within Los Glaciares National Park. Take a boat to cross the Brazo Rico, to the west coast. After crossing, take a rest stop and meet your guides who will brief you on the activity. Strap on your crampons and trek along the glacier, following along with your licensed guides. See unique ice formations and learn about glacier ruptures and the natural life of the region. Return to the refuge through the Magellan forest where you can enjoy your lunch (not included) with a view of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Return through the Brazo Rico of the Argentino Lake, sailing in front of the glacier. You can also enjoy the view of the Perito Moreno from the catwalks: another way to see and appreciate its immensity.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

2. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

Depart from your hotel in El Calafate at around 10:30 AM and set off for the Perito Moreno Glacier located inside the Los Glaciares National Park. Travel to the west end of the Magallanes Peninsula and enjoy plenty of time to explore this natural ice formation. Begin your tour of the national park by strolling along a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) network of boardwalks. Admire the glacier from multiple perspectives as you climb up to different levels and balconies. Spend 2 hours exploring the runways and use this time to eat a packed lunch or make a stop in at one of the restaurants. Go on an optional 1-hour boat ride in front of the northern wall of the glacier. After the tour, return to El Calafate via the same route and arrive in the evening.

El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

3. El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

Start the tour with a pickup from your hotel in El Calafate around 7:00 AM to undertake the 47km route to the Punta Bandera Port where your boat departs at 9:00 AM.  The first part of the trip takes place in the north arm of the Argentino Lake before crossing into the Boca del Diablo, the narrowest part of the lake. Then, go to the Upsala and Spegazzini channels where you can view the respective glaciers. The Upsala Glacier is the largest on Argentino Lake and can be seen from about 20km away. The Spegazzini Glacier is the highest and you can also see the Dry, Heim Sur, and Peineta glaciers. After entering the Spegazzini Channel, a 300-meter path will be crossed without difficulty through the forest along the coast of the lake making stops at viewpoints overlooking the entire Bay of Glaciers.  Arrive at the Spegazzini Refuge where you can enjoy an optional 3-course lunch with drinks, visit the shop, and contemplate the landscape from the terrace.  For those who enjoy walking, the mountain path offers a 700m trek of medium difficulty through a wooded path with natural viewpoints of the Spegazzini Glacier ending at the landing point. Return to the boat and head back to El Calafate where you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

El Calafate: Safari Azul Los Glaciares Trekking Tour

4. El Calafate: Safari Azul Los Glaciares Trekking Tour

Embark on an icy adventure across Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park with a guided trekking trip. Sail in front of the Perito Moreno Glacier and stop at sandy shores to feel the massive glacier’s unique color and texture. Start the tour in El Calafate and travel to Los Glaciares National Park. Once at Bajo Las Sombras Port, just 7 km away from the footbridges, hop on the boat to cruise across Lago Rico. After a 20-minute journey, disembark on the opposite shore. Trek for 30 minutes always within view of the southern wall of the glacier. Journey across a natural terrain of sand and stones with some slopes and stairs, along the shore of the lake and through a lush forest. Reach the ice wall and take your chance to touch its surface. Take in the ice’s intense and varied blues and whites and its whimsical shapes. Snap some pictures before returning to the boat. From the port, take a bus to the footbridges and have 2 hours to eat your packed lunch and enjoy a panoramic view of the glacial park. On the bus back to El Calafate, admire views of the Patagonian Steppe.

Ushuaia: Penguin Watching Tour by Catamaran

5. Ushuaia: Penguin Watching Tour by Catamaran

Start the tour in the local tourist dock and board a modern and comfortable boat. Set sail and cross the wide Ushuaia Bay until you reach the Beagle Channel through Paso Chico. Then, navigate around the Bird's Island where you can appreciate species of the Tierra del Fuego's seabirds such as skuas, black-browed albatross, steam ducks, cauquenes, cook seagulls, and gray seagulls. After that, reach Sea Lion Island which also belongs to the Bridges Archipelago and is inhabited by 2 different species of sea lion. Arrive at the Les Eclaireurs (The Illuminators) Lighthouse where you will find imperial and rocky cormorants colonies. Hear the story of the collapse of the SS Monte Cervantes in 1930. Next, continue sailing East into the wonderful landscapes of the Beagle Channel surrounded by stunning mountain ranges. Admire both Puerto Almanza on the Argentina coast and the Puerto Williams Naval Base on the Chilean coast. After that, head onwards to Martillo Island, also known as Penguin Island where you will have the opportunity to observe a colony of Magellanic and Papua penguins in their natural habitat. Make the return journey back to the dock, where your tour will end. 

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

6. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

The trip begins with pickup from El Calafate and travels 1 hour and 30 minutes to Bajo de la Sombras Port. From here, sail across the Rico Channel and descend on the southwestern coast of Patagonia to reach Perito Moreno Glacier. Upon arrival at the glacier, enjoy a 1 hour and 30 minute hike with your mountain guides along a path next to the glacier. Arrive at a magnificent view point and marvel at the vast frozen landscape that stretches out before you. From here, attach the iron crampons to the ground and begin your hike walk across the ice. Trek across the ice for around 4 hours, admiring the fascinating ice formations from start to finish. From your expert guides, learn about the flora and fauna that thrive in this unique environment, and listen to interesting facts about the glaciology of the region, and in particular about the phenomenon of glacier rupture. Finally, return to Bajo de las Sombras Port to gaze at the view of the glacier from the walkways and balconies, and then return to the city of El Calafate.

Ushuaia: Walking with Penguins Experience and Marine Museum

7. Ushuaia: Walking with Penguins Experience and Marine Museum

Meet your guide in the port of Ushuaia, then admire scenic views as you travel by bus and boat to Martillo Island on the mystical Beagle Channel. Visit the famous Harberton Ranch, which was founded in 1886 by the Anglican missionary Thomas Bridges, and learn about the history of the location. Then it’s time to explore the island, home to a colony of Papúa (Gentoo) and Magellanic penguins. Wander along the island’s many nature trails as you get up close and personal to these friendly and charismatic penguins. Take photos and admire the penguins in their natural habitat, which they also share with other birds including cormorants, petrels, vultures, and skúas. After a 1-hour walk across the island, head back to the ranch and enjoy some free time to explore the historical buildings and the Marine Mammals and SeaBirds Museum. At the end of the experience, return to the city and relax whilst marveling at the beautiful landscape that unfolds along the way.

End of the World Train & Tierra del Fuego National Park

8. End of the World Train & Tierra del Fuego National Park

Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park and ride the End of the World train. Enjoy the comfort of transportation from your hotel in Ushuaia, and take in the incredible views as you learn the history of the park. Depart from Ushuaia and head towards Tierra del Fuego National Park. On the way, you will be able to appreciate the wonderful views of lakes, lagoons, and rivers as you travel along National Route 3. There will be a stop to enjoy the panoramic views of the Beagle Channel, the Ushuaia Peninsula, and the Bridges, Willie, and Les Eclaireurs archipelagos. After crossing the Pipo River Bridge, arrive at the End of the World Station. Here, board the train to travel the last 7 km of the original 25 km that the prisoners traveled 100 years ago. While crossing the Toro Canyon and the Pipo River by the Quemado Bridge, be enchanted by the extraordinary landscape. Stop at La Macarena Waterfall Station to enjoy panoramic views and see the Yamana native settlement. The train continues following the course of the Pipo River, passing by areas where it is possible to observe the traces that were left by the actions of the prisoners. Finally, the train returns to the End of the World station.

From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

9. From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

Discover the National Capital of Trekking on a private or shared guided day trip from El Calafate El Chaltén. Let yourself be amazed by this mountain town as you discover incredible landscapes and walk part of its trails. Start the morning with pickup from your hotel in El Calafate. Relax on the trip to the town of El Chaltén which is 220 km from El Calafate. Cross the Santa Cruz River and make a rest stop for a few minutes at Estancia La Leona where you can buy homemade cakes and a hot drink. Continue to El Chaltén, bordering Lake Viedma with its homonymous glacier. Take in stunning views of Cerro Chaltén (also known as Fitz Roy) and Torre on clear days, as well as the Viedma Glacier with its impressive icebergs. Upon arrival at Chaltén, have 5 hours to explore and enjoy this small mountain town. Enjoy a 700-meter guided walk to the Mirador de Los Cóndores viewpoint and visit the Chorrillo del Salto with a 300-meter walk over flat terrain. From September to April (subject to weather conditions and the presence of ice and snow), have the option to cover part of the trail to Fitz Roy Laguna de Los Tres and reach Laguna Capri, where you can have lunch on its beach. Return on a self-guided road that has no detours (8 km round trip). To return, meet at a previously arranged meeting point for the drive back to El Calafate, arriving at approximately 8 PM.

Puerto Madryn: 3-Hour Snorkeling Trip with Sea Lions

10. Puerto Madryn: 3-Hour Snorkeling Trip with Sea Lions

Explore a Spanish shipwreck on Parana beach and spot penguins, whales, dolphins, and more in the Punta Loma Natural Reserve before jumping in the water to interact with the sea lions in their natural habitat. These curious animals are not trained nor fed, yet are friendly and used to humans. With the help of an experienced guide, you will learn more about these playful animals in this unique and unforgettable experience.  Choose between hotel pickup and drop-off in Puerto Madryn or come directly to the meeting point where you will be fitted with a neoprene suit before heading down to the water to hop on the boat. After snorkeling and touring, the group will return to the dive center for hot drinks.

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What people are saying about Patagonia, Argentina

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,999 reviews

This tour was exceptional. It said this was a self-guided tour but there was an english speaking guide who was very friendly and knowledgeable. The last mile and half of the trek was very tedious and difficult but it was worth the climb. The view at the summit was breathtaking.

This is worth doing, you can do everything you need to see in one day. If you have to do something else. Very beautiful landscape and the service was good as from the drivers and the guides on the trek. Highly recommended.

Had a great time walking on the glacier. This is an amazing glacier and our guide took us to very cool spots on it. The glacier hike ended with whiskey and glacier ice.

It was a wonderful experience and our pilot was great. It’s a bit windy near the mountains, so can get a little choppy, but our pilot navigated it with ease.

Fantastic time, enjoyed it. Great guides. Not terribly challenging though the crampons took getting used to.