Now that summer is here, I’m re-visiting my travel wish list and adding new places I want to go but have never ventured to. Little did I know Patagonia isn’t a country or even a fashion line of outdoorsy gear, but actually a region in South America. In fact, it is made up from parts of Chile and Argentina and is located at the southernmost tip of the continent. It’s also a place that is chocked full of locations that are untouched by man, making it the perfect area for anyone wanting to shed the stress of the city and get back to nature. Do you ever find yourself in need of a reset? Sometimes surrounding yourself with the beauty of unspoiled nature is both healing to the soul and cleansing to the mind and body.
Planning your trip to Patagonia
Patagonia is made up of several regions and differing locales. However, it is also worth noting that you do not have to limit yourself to just one or two of these locations on your stay. In fact, if you take a tour of Patagonia like the ones offered by gadventures.com (like a 2.5 week tour through Patagonia!) you’ll be able to combine many of the most famous sites over the course of your break. I’m terrible about wanting to see everything but not making enough time for it all – tours, especially guided tours, do a beautiful job of maximizing your time.
For the category of caves, I’m going to recommend General Carrera Lake. Yes, I know its a lake and a lovely blue one at that. However, the lake itself pales into comparison when you see the caves that the water has hewn out of the marble in at its centre. In fact, expect to be amazed and thrilled by the tri-color grottos that you can explore and visit by boat. I LOVE cave exploring – there’s so much beauty carved by nature in such delicate and intricate detail – it just blows my mind. We’ve visited some extraordinary caves in France – some on foot and some on trains; the idea of visiting one on a boat sounds incredible!
The unusually sunny, microclimate in the area of the General Carrera Lake is an added bonus, as it makes it an utterly pleasant experience no matter the season of your visit. Wanderingtrader.com has some fantastic tips on traveling the region.
Of course, General Carrera Lake is not the only significant body of water of note in Patagonia. In fact, the 530km Nahuel Huapi Lake is also a must see attraction for nature lovers or those looking to get away from the stress of everyday life. Choose from adventure trails, challenging hikes, and fishing experiences, or visit the two islands in the center of the lake known as Isla Victoria and Isla Huemul.
One of the best things about Nahuel Huapi Lake is the neighboring center of Bariloche which is on the shoreline to the south. There you will find an alpine-style town with skiing facilities as well as all the cafes, bars, and restaurants such as laparrilladejulian.com you could possibly need. I definitely appreciate nature for all its beauty – but I’m not much of an outdoorsy girl, or at least not for long. Give me a reason to head back to civilization and I’m there!
Last of all if you possibly can, try and visit Los Arrayanes National Park. This national park differs from other South American forests in that it’s not populated with tropical fauna. Rather, there you will find rare, gnarled and twisted evergreens .. and perhaps Tarzan or a muscled version of him? A girl can dream.
It is such a magical site that legend has it that Walt Disney took his inspiration for the film Bambi from here. A little Disney inspo from a national park makes Los Arrayanes all the more worth a visit.
The views in Patagonia are some of the most beautiful in the world. You trek across various landscapes, mountain scapes, and even glaciers!
Have you been to South America or the Patagonia region? Charlie is dying to go skiing down there, another thing I’ll have to add to my things to learn!
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