World → South AmericaPatagonian Andes

One of the best hiking regions in the world is the


The very name evokes. Inspires a wild, exotic urge to explore.


  • Patagonian Andesthe most famous hikes are Paine and Fitz Roy
  • cool kids have added the newly popular Huemul Route, some calling it better than the other two. Like Fitz Roy, Huemul is out of El Chalten. 
  • but Patagonia offers much, much more
  • great variety: arid desert, lush tundra meadows, rich rainforests, smoking volcanoes, towering granite spires, some of the largest ice fields on Earth
  • here are the world’s most southerly established treks including the Dientes Circuit
  • parts are similar to south island New Zealand and the Coast Range in BC, Canada
  • 5 hiking districts (North to South):
    • The Araucania
    • Lakes District
    • Central Patagonia
    • Southern Patagonia
    • Tierra del Fuego
  • most of the best hikes are challenging
  • independent, self-sufficient hikers will love it
  • hiking season is Nov-Apr. Feb-Mar is the best weather
Paine Circuit
Paine Circuit


  • sparsely inhabited. There are places here never ever seen by any man.
  • glaciers at low elevation (no risk of altitude sickness)
  • some treks have alpine huts (refugios) providing meals & basic supplies. But most require you carry a tent.
  • steaming thermal springs
  • easy-to-climb volcanoes
  • Lake District called “Switzerland of South America”
  • few biting insects at higher elevations
  • few dangerous animals of any kind


  • conversational Spanish almost essential
  • some nations pay an expensive reciprocal tourist visa fee if you arrive by air. In 2018 Australians and Mexicans paid that fee. Americans did not.
  • access to The Lake District is easy by bus from Santiago, Chile. Or, better, from Bariloche, Argentina.
Fitz Roy
Fitz Roy
  • the more time you have for your trip, the better, in this part of the world. Logistics are time consuming.
  • the trails are busiest Jan – Feb
  • the west coast is too WET, even for us. Stay inland.
  • In fact, the major downside to Patagonian hiking is the weather. Wind, cold, rain. Be prepared for everything.
  • Public transport is limited to some of the best hikes.
Huemul Route


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