This vast, varied region is home to some of the world’s great treks, with trails that take you through pristine forests to the rims of glaciers, under granite monoliths and over rickety suspension bridges, well beyond the crowds.
Our expert author has chosen the best of Patagonia’s trekking, from the luxuriant rainforests of the Lakes District to the spectacular wildernesses of Tierra del Fuego. Whether you are an experienced trekker or a first-timer, you’re sure to find the ultimate trekking experience here.
Savouring the natural beauty of Patagonia and the Lake District, cruising Chilean Fjords, trekking Torres del Paine National Park.
This two-week exploration of Chile’s Lake District and Patagonia’s towering fjords are bound to make you never want to leave! Explore the best that Patagonia has to offer as you hike and camp through the majestic landscapes of rugged Torres del Paine National Park and cruise through the fjords on a ferry.
Argentina Travel: Patagonia Culture
Author: Emily Tully
Patagonia is one of the most amazing places on the planet. The dramatic landscapes of the lands end create a lasting impression on the lucky visitors with the means to experience it. The fascinating history and culture of this remarkable destination unveils in guided visits and tours of different attractions.
The landscape is surrounded by daunting barriers on three sides that has kept the region fairly unexplored before the 15th century. With the vast expanses of the largest ocean in the world, the Pacific on one side, Atacama, the driest desert in the world and the Andes Mountains, one of the most extensive mountain chains it is easy to understand why. When the Inca people were led south by Emperor Tupac Yupanqui, they were able to cross the extensive salt basins of the Atacama Desert and encountered one of the three local peoples that were inhabiting these unforgiving and wild lands: the Mapuche.
The Inca’s, who were on a mission to expand their territory and had thus far been very successful, would not succeed in conquering the Mapuche. They attempted to traverse the Maule River into the Lake District in present-day Chile but were unable to penetrate with any success. The Mapuche had the home-field advantage and were fiercely hanging on to their territory. So, though the Inca Empire bumped up against Patagonia it never really expanded into it.
Later on in the 16th century, when the Spanish conquest of the southern portion of South America was getting serious, they too, were unsuccessful in their attempts to suppress the Mapuche. In fact, the leader of the Spanish conquest of Chile, Pedro de Valdavia, was bounded to a tree and beheaded in 1553, more than ten years after he first entered the country and founded Santiago. His big mistake was building strongholds in Mapuche territory.
So, during the Spanish colonial years, Patagonia remained largely unaffected by the outside world. The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia was founded by the Mapuche in 1860 which included Chilean and Argentinean Patagonia. A French lawyer living in Araucania, Orelie-Antoine de Tounens, was elected the first King of Patagonia. In 1862, however, just two years after the foundation of the Kingdom, the king was captured by Chilean soldiers and deported to France. His attempts to regain the throne were unsuccessful.
Today the Mapuche, though their kingdom no longer exists, maintain a strong voice in the governing of Patagonia. Prince Philippe of Araucania is the current head of the Royal House of Araucania and Patagonia. He has spoken before the United Nations Working Groups on Indigenous People as a representative of Mapuche in Argentina.
The rich history in this land often goes overlooked as the beauty of the landscapes tends to dominate people’s interests. A suggested Argentina travel itinerary to Patagonia would include a visit to Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital and international gateway. From Buenos Aires, fly to Puerto Madryn to tour the beautiful Valdez Peninsula. Arrive in El Calafate to visit the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. Next travel to El Chalten to discover the beautiful Viedma lake. Travel back to El Calafate before flying to Ushuaia to tour Tierra del Fuego National Park and the Beagle Channel. This unbeatable Argentina vacation will not disappoint.
About the Author
This guide to visiting Argentinean Patagonia during Argentina vacations was written by a Argentina travel expert at Argentina For Less, specialists in high value, fully customizable tours and packages.