Why Go To Chilean Patagonia
With its aura of remote romance, wind-whipped Chilean Patagonia attracts those travelers with an eye for beauty and a zest for adventure. Icy glaciers plunge into emerald lakes; wild fjords snake through hardwood forests; and the Andes' dramatic peaks ascend into swirling clouds and mist. It's hardly surprising that Chilean Patagonia's fabled lands have lured Magellan, Darwin, and even Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Spend a day getting acquainted with the quirky Magellanic penguins congregating on Isla Magdalena. Then, continue south for jaw-dropping views of Tierra del Fuego's sky high mountains, pristine glaciers, and verdant forests. When you're ready for some R&R, retreat to your cozy lodge to get energized with some fresh Patagonian air and a hearty supply of seafood and wine.
With so much to see and do, getting oriented in Chilean Patagonia can be a challenge. The territory's incredible size (consuming Chile's lower third) and diverse landscapes force you to be selective about where you explore. There are three distinct regions. In the north, the awe-inspiring Lake District extends from Puerto Montt to Aisén. The Southern Coast, a 620-mile strip of land, sits between the Lake District and Southern Chilean Patagonia. This southernmost region includes Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, and Tierra del Fuego—three noteworthy places. You may not see everything, but be sure to take in the rugged spirit of this breathtaking natural setting.
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Best of Chilean Patagonia
Chilean Patagonia Travel Tips
Best Months to Visit
The best time to visit Chilean Patagonia is November to early March (summertime in the southern hemisphere). Although you'll compete with heavy crowds during this peak season, the weather is ideal for exploring Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego. September, October, and November (spring) welcome colorful blooms, while March, April, and May (fall) usher in autumnal hues. Both times of year experience mild temperatures and fewer crowds. Avoid visiting between June and August (winter), when most attractions close and Southern Chilean Patagonia empties out. No matter when you visit, remember to pack layers and a sturdy windbreaker to shield yourself from Patagonia's chilly year-round winds.