If you are wondering whether or not to see Patagonia, don’t hesitate – go! It is breathtaking and will always be one of our most memorable holidays.
We flew to Buenos Aires , spent 3 nights in this delightful city, and then flew south to the amazing space that is Patagonia.
We used Veloso Tours as the in country agent, who were faultless. Their guides were excellent.
Our itinerary was BA to El Calafate, Ushuaia, four days on the Ventus Australis expeditionary boat through the Beagle Channel and Magellan Straits to arrive in Chile, then north to the Torres del Paine National Park, back across the Andes to bariloche and finally a flight to Buenos Aires and home.
Palermo, La Boca, Recoleta, St Telmo, Retiro: a city of warm friendly people, colourful street art, great architecture and faded elegance, cafes and restaurants serving delicious food at every turn, intriguing & turbulent history, tango in the streets, and lethally potholed pavements.
Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego
El Calafate : a landscape cut and carved by the ice age, constantly windswept steppe to the far horizon, massive glaciers constantly creeping and moving, stunning scenery, vast azure blue mountain lakes to the horizon, gauchos and soaring condors.
Ushuaia : right at the tip of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina’s last and most southerly outpost town, an old prison colony, packed with wooden and corrugated houses, ringed by mountains, gateway to the Cape, departure port for Antarctica, penguins colonies and constant winds.
Cape Horn, Beagle Channel and Magellan Straits : truly land’s end, cruising through steep fjords and past vast glaciers, breathtaking scenery, bumpy zodiac rides through channels of floating ice, spotting whales, penguins and albatross, four seasons of weather in a day, tearing wind, steeped in nautical history and a luxurious boat with incredibly enthusiastic guides for the twice a day trips to glaciers etc by zodiacs.
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile : Glaciers, the Andes mountains, strings of glacial lakes and icy rivers, beautiful sunsets, condors and guanacos (llamas) and even an armadillo.
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina : crossing the Andes by lakes and roads, a pretty alpine village on a lake built by European immigrants, forests of ancient trees backed by a vast golden steppe, chocolate shops everywhere, rough back roads, confusingly no road signs and a fabulous view around every bend.
Charming, welcoming people and delicious food everywhere. We will be back!
Oh yes – and penguins….