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Best Things To Do in Argentine Patagonia

Argentine Patagonia caters to the adventurous traveler. Whale-watching and horseback riding are just some of the ways you can get acquainted with this striking region. But Argentine Patagonia isn't just for diehard nature-lovers. Culture hounds and intrepid hikers alike will take pleasure exploring Cueva de las Manos, Punta Tombo, and Perito Moreno Glacier. Just be sure to savor the scrumptious traditional cuisine and to relax in the charming lakeside villages along the way.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Argentine Patagonia

Free
Stretching across northwestern tip of Argentine Patagonia sits the picturesque Lake District. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains with Chilean Patagonia to the west and Atlantic Patagonia to the east, the Lake District contains breathtaking vistas from nearly every angle. San Carlos de Bariloche, known simply as Bariloche, serves as the region's major hub. Towering over the immense Nahuel Huapi Lake and the surrounding national park, Bariloche provides a tranquil setting for lounging outdoors, savoring local cuisine, and admiring the picturesque scenery. But Bariloche boasts more than natural beauty. Venture into Bustillo, the heart of the city, and you'll discover European architecture infused with local hardwood accents, which create a lofty urban setting. During July and August, you'll find idyllic skiing conditions, and, in January, you'll relish prime hiking and river rafting weather. We suggest visiting during November or March, when you can soak up the fresh air, marvel at postcard-perfect views of the Andes, and relax at a tucked away mountain retreat without heavy crowds.
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Recreation Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
Argentine Lake District
Stretching across northwestern tip of Argentine Patagonia sits the picturesque Lake District. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains with Chilean Patagonia to the west and Atlantic Patagonia to the east, the Lake District contains breathtaking vistas from nearly every angle. San Carlos de Bariloche, known simply as Bariloche, serves as the region's major hub. Towering over the immense Nahuel Huapi Lake and the surrounding national park, Bariloche provides a tranquil setting for lounging outdoors, savoring local cuisine, and admiring the picturesque scenery. But Bariloche boasts more than natural beauty. Venture into Bustillo, the heart of the city, and you'll discover European architecture infused with local hardwood accents, which create a lofty urban setting. During July and August, you'll find idyllic skiing conditions, and, in January, you'll relish prime hiking and river rafting weather. We suggest visiting during November or March, when you can soak up the fresh air, marvel at postcard-perfect views of the Andes, and relax at a tucked away mountain retreat without heavy crowds.
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#2

#2 in Argentine Patagonia

Free
Boasting jaw-dropping sights—including Perito Moreno Glacier, Mount Fitz Roy, and Cueva de las Manos—Southern Patagonia attracts culture-hounds and nature-seekers alike. Sitting beneath the Lake District and Atlantic Patagonia at Patagonia's southernmost tip, this rustic district sits to the east of the Chilean border, sprawling downward to the verge of Antarctica.
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Sightseeing Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
Southern Patagonia
Boasting jaw-dropping sights—including Perito Moreno Glacier, Mount Fitz Roy, and Cueva de las Manos—Southern Patagonia attracts culture-hounds and nature-seekers alike. Sitting beneath the Lake District and Atlantic Patagonia at Patagonia's southernmost tip, this rustic district sits to the east of the Chilean border, sprawling downward to the verge of Antarctica.
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#3

#3 in Argentine Patagonia

Free
This beautiful Patagonian region (which skirts the Atlantic Ocean and sits just east of the Lake District and above Southern Patagonia) consists of wildlife havens and quaint Welsh villages. Here, you'll spot tea connoisseurs flocking to towns like Trelew and Gaiman in search of the perfect brew and throngs of visitors congregating to Peninsula Valdés during whale-watching season. The easiest way to reach Peninsula Valdés is via bus or car from Puerto Madryn or Trelew, Atlantic Patagonia's main cities. Mar y Valle, a reputable bus service, offers transportation to Peninsula Valdés from Puerto Madryn for about $16.50 ARS (roughly $3.75) each direction.
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Sightseeing Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
Atlantic Patagonia
This beautiful Patagonian region (which skirts the Atlantic Ocean and sits just east of the Lake District and above Southern Patagonia) consists of wildlife havens and quaint Welsh villages. Here, you'll spot tea connoisseurs flocking to towns like Trelew and Gaiman in search of the perfect brew and throngs of visitors congregating to Peninsula Valdés during whale-watching season. The easiest way to reach Peninsula Valdés is via bus or car from Puerto Madryn or Trelew, Atlantic Patagonia's main cities. Mar y Valle, a reputable bus service, offers transportation to Peninsula Valdés from Puerto Madryn for about $16.50 ARS (roughly $3.75) each direction.
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#4

#4 in Argentine Patagonia

At the southern tip of Glacier National Park in Southern Patagonia sits one of the region's most magnificent glaciers, Perito Moreno. Unlike 95 percent of Earth's glaciers that are gradually disappearing, Perito Moreno continues to grow. Every year, thousands of visitors come to marvel at Perito Moreno's towering crystal mass. 
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Natural Wonders Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Perito Moreno Glacier
At the southern tip of Glacier National Park in Southern Patagonia sits one of the region's most magnificent glaciers, Perito Moreno. Unlike 95 percent of Earth's glaciers that are gradually disappearing, Perito Moreno continues to grow. Every year, thousands of visitors come to marvel at Perito Moreno's towering crystal mass. 
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#5

#5 in Argentine Patagonia

Roughly half a million Magellanic penguins flock to Punta Tombo every year to mate. Located about two hours south of Puerto Madryn by car in Atlantic Patagonia, Punta Tombo contains a variety of trails that visitors can follow into penguin habitats and observe their interactions. Recent visitors agree that this remote reserve is worth the trek and not just for flourishing fluffy-feathered penguins. Other native bird species, including cormorants and oystercatchers, nest across the region. If you visit between September and March, you may even catch sight of lounging seals and guanacos.
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Natural Wonders Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Punta Tombo
Roughly half a million Magellanic penguins flock to Punta Tombo every year to mate. Located about two hours south of Puerto Madryn by car in Atlantic Patagonia, Punta Tombo contains a variety of trails that visitors can follow into penguin habitats and observe their interactions. Recent visitors agree that this remote reserve is worth the trek and not just for flourishing fluffy-feathered penguins. Other native bird species, including cormorants and oystercatchers, nest across the region. If you visit between September and March, you may even catch sight of lounging seals and guanacos.
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#6

#6 in Argentine Patagonia

Free
This jagged, granite-walled mountain towers 11,000 feet over El Chaltén in Southern Patagonia. Mount Fitz Roy, which typically stands obscured in a haze of clouds, was originally named "Chaltén," meaning "smoking mountain" in the ancient Tehuelche tribe's dialect. Today, its title commemorates Sir. Robert FitzRoy, the sailor who guided Charles Darwin into South America aboard the HMS Beagle.
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Hiking Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Mount Fitz Roy
This jagged, granite-walled mountain towers 11,000 feet over El Chaltén in Southern Patagonia. Mount Fitz Roy, which typically stands obscured in a haze of clouds, was originally named "Chaltén," meaning "smoking mountain" in the ancient Tehuelche tribe's dialect. Today, its title commemorates Sir. Robert FitzRoy, the sailor who guided Charles Darwin into South America aboard the HMS Beagle.
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#7

#7 in Argentine Patagonia

This bizarre Patagonian cave remains shrouded in mystery. Its walls exhibit three distinctive styles of cave art linked to a hunter-gatherer society that flourished in Argentine Patagonia around 10,000 BCE. Archeologists speculate that the small handprints etched on the cave walls belonged to the predecessors of the Teheulche tribe. Detailed murals predate hunting scenes with native guanacos and ostriches predate the handprints, complicating the cave's history. Today, the Cave of the Hands, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as one of the most significant cultural sites in South America.
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Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Cave of the Hands (Cueva de las Manos)
This bizarre Patagonian cave remains shrouded in mystery. Its walls exhibit three distinctive styles of cave art linked to a hunter-gatherer society that flourished in Argentine Patagonia around 10,000 BCE. Archeologists speculate that the small handprints etched on the cave walls belonged to the predecessors of the Teheulche tribe. Detailed murals predate hunting scenes with native guanacos and ostriches predate the handprints, complicating the cave's history. Today, the Cave of the Hands, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as one of the most significant cultural sites in South America.
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#8

#8 in Argentine Patagonia

Skirting Atlantic Patagonia's eastern coast line, Peninsula Valdés is a marine wildlife refuge for endangered species such as orcas, elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, sea lions, and guanaco. Lined with powdery beaches and staggered cliffs, this natural reserve has garnered attention as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. For optimal wildlife-watching, you'll want to visit Puerto Pirámides.
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Natural Wonders Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Peninsula Valdés
Skirting Atlantic Patagonia's eastern coast line, Peninsula Valdés is a marine wildlife refuge for endangered species such as orcas, elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, sea lions, and guanaco. Lined with powdery beaches and staggered cliffs, this natural reserve has garnered attention as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. For optimal wildlife-watching, you'll want to visit Puerto Pirámides.
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#9

#9 in Argentine Patagonia

Founded in the early 1900s by English pioneer and cattle farmer Joseph Percival Masters, Estancia Cristina offers both impressive views and excursions. Sitting next to Glacier National Park in Southern Patagonia, this lakeside historic home serves as an ideal platform for exploring the immense 35-mile-long Upsala Glacier, the largest glacier in all of South America. If you would prefer a more relaxing adventure, you can embark on a fishing expedition from the Caterina River to the tranquil Lake Anita.
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Historic Homes/Mansions Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Estancia Cristina
Founded in the early 1900s by English pioneer and cattle farmer Joseph Percival Masters, Estancia Cristina offers both impressive views and excursions. Sitting next to Glacier National Park in Southern Patagonia, this lakeside historic home serves as an ideal platform for exploring the immense 35-mile-long Upsala Glacier, the largest glacier in all of South America. If you would prefer a more relaxing adventure, you can embark on a fishing expedition from the Caterina River to the tranquil Lake Anita.
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#10

#10 in Argentine Patagonia

This paleontological museum transports visitors to pre-historic Patagonia with four galleries that display over 1,700 fossils. Named after Egidio Feruglio—an Italian paleontologist who studied Patagonia's ancient Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Mesozoic plant fossils—the facility is also the primary Patagonian research institute. Here, you'll find rare relics like a 150-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton and a 60 million year-old meiolánidos turtle fossil. During the week, paleontologists diligently clean recently unearthed fossils.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum
This paleontological museum transports visitors to pre-historic Patagonia with four galleries that display over 1,700 fossils. Named after Egidio Feruglio—an Italian paleontologist who studied Patagonia's ancient Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Mesozoic plant fossils—the facility is also the primary Patagonian research institute. Here, you'll find rare relics like a 150-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton and a 60 million year-old meiolánidos turtle fossil. During the week, paleontologists diligently clean recently unearthed fossils.
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#11

#11 in Argentine Patagonia

If you come to Patagonia to ski, this buzzing Andes resort in Argentina's Lake District boasts experienced instructors, spectacular vantage points and an array of outdoor trails. But downhill skiing isn't the only reason to visit Cerro Catedral: You can also test your stamina along the cross-country ski trails or tackle the powder by sled and snowmobile. If you visit between December and February, you'll find ample opportunities to hike and mountain bike in the summer season.
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Recreation Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Cerro Catedral Ski Resort
If you come to Patagonia to ski, this buzzing Andes resort in Argentina's Lake District boasts experienced instructors, spectacular vantage points and an array of outdoor trails. But downhill skiing isn't the only reason to visit Cerro Catedral: You can also test your stamina along the cross-country ski trails or tackle the powder by sled and snowmobile. If you visit between December and February, you'll find ample opportunities to hike and mountain bike in the summer season.
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#12

#12 in Argentine Patagonia

Some say there's no better way to navigate Patagonia than on horseback. Ever since guachos (cowboys) first steered their sturdy steeds through Southern Patagonia's rugged terrain, horseback riding has been a romanticized mode of transportation. Several superb horseback riding services operate throughout Argentine Patagonia.
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Recreation Type
Horseback Riding
Some say there's no better way to navigate Patagonia than on horseback. Ever since guachos (cowboys) first steered their sturdy steeds through Southern Patagonia's rugged terrain, horseback riding has been a romanticized mode of transportation. Several superb horseback riding services operate throughout Argentine Patagonia.
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