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Southern Patagonia picture in Argentine Patagonia
John Spooner / Flickr

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  • More than Full Day Time to Spend
4.7
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    5.0
  • Food Scene
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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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.

Most visitors descend upon El Chaltén or El Calafate to experience Patagonia's rugged backcountry. From El Calafate (a remote desert town that serves as the base to journey across Perito Moreno Glacier), you can relish the towering ice fields and far-stretching verdant forests. Daring hikers trek up jagged peaks and trek across the area's immense ice fields. Near El Calafate lies El Chaltén, a small town neighboring Mount Fitz Roy. From El Calafate, you can take an excursion to survey the Cave of the Hands' ornate and enigmatic cave arts.

The best ways to reach El Calafate and El Chaltén are by plane, bus, or car. A variety of plane services, including LAN and LADE, operate from Buenos Aires and other major Patagonian cities to El Calafate. El Chaltén is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from El Calafate. For more information on how to reach El Calafate and other sites in Southern Patagonia, consult our guide to Getting Around Argentine Patagonia.

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#1 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 ... Read more » Fede Nuñez, Pixelado*Photo_Pro / Flickr

John Spooner / Flickr

#3 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 ... Read more » longhorndave / Flickr

#4 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 ... Read more » pclw / Flickr

#5 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 ... Read more » furlin / Flickr

longhorndave / Flickr

#7 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 ... Read more » longhorndave / Flickr

longhorndave / Flickr

#9 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of Estancia Cristina

#10 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 ... Read more » Agamitsudo / Flickr

#11 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 ... Read more » Dave Lonsdale / Flickr

#12 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 ... Read more » Alex E. Proimos / Flickr

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Southern Patagonia picture in Argentine Patagonia
Atlantic Patagonia picture in Argentine Patagonia
Perito Moreno picture in Argentine Patagonia
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Mount Fitz Roy picture in Argentine Patagonia
Cueva de las Manos picture in Argentine Patagonia
Peninsula Valdés picture in Argentine Patagonia
Estancia Cristina picture in Argentine Patagonia
Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum picture in Argentine Patagonia
Cerro Catedral picture in Argentine Patagonia
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Argentine Lake District picture in Argentine Patagonia
Southern Patagonia picture in Argentine Patagonia
Atlantic Patagonia picture in Argentine Patagonia
Perito Moreno picture in Argentine Patagonia
Punta Tombo picture in Argentine Patagonia
Mount Fitz Roy picture in Argentine Patagonia
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Peninsula Valdés picture in Argentine Patagonia
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Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum picture in Argentine Patagonia
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Fede Nuñez, Pixelado*Photo_Pro / Flickr

John Spooner / Flickr

longhorndave / Flickr

From viewing platforms on Perito Moreno's southern border, travelers marvel at the glacier's spectacular ice formations. pclw / Flickr

furlin / Flickr

longhorndave / Flickr

The Cave of Hands (Cueva de las Manos), features handprints and vivid drawings speculated to have been etched in approximately 10,000 BCE. longhorndave / Flickr

Named after the first European explorer to navigate and chart the strait, Magellanic penguins flock every year to Patagonia's Peninsula Valdés and Punta Tombo. longhorndave / Flickr

Courtesy of Estancia Cristina

Agamitsudo / Flickr

Dave Lonsdale / Flickr

At El Calafate's cattle ranches in Southern Patagonia, you'll find majestic horses saddled up and ready to transport riders across the district's rustic terrain. Alex E. Proimos / Flickr

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