South America has some of the most remote and amazing places on the planet. The continent is home to the Amazon and the Andes of course, both of which conjure images of beautiful, wild places. But perhaps the most remote, beautiful, and wild of all, lies far to the south, transcending the borders of Argentina and Chile, in a place called Patagonia.
Sitting just on the southern end of the Andes Mountains, and stretching east onto a series of stepped plains. Patagonia is amongst the most geographically and climatically diverse places on the planet, with arid plains, icy mountains, spiky rock towers, and wondrous glaciers. As if all of that weren’t enough, the region is also home to a number of active volcanoes, which bring bubbling hot springs, geysers, and an occasional eruption to the region as well.
Patagonia is also legendary for its weather, which can best be described as tempestuous. Because of its proximity to both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the entire area is buffeted by storm fronts on a regular basis, and visitors should always be aware that weather conditions can, and do, change very rapidly, with beautiful, warm, sunshine giving way to high winds, rain, and snow, on a moments notice.
But those who make the trip to Patagonia will be rewarded with an outdoor playground unlike any other on Earth. Hikers, climbers, paddlers, and backpackers will find plenty to keep them occupied, with spectacular trails stretching throughout the area, and some of the best rock climbing in the world. The Torres del Paine National Park, for instance, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a number of classic treks, several of which pass within the shadows of the Towers of Paine, three rock monoliths that are considered amongst the most challenging big walls on the planet. Patagonia’s Pacific Coast serves up spectacular sea kayaking, with a multitude of islands and glaciers to explore as well, rounding out the outdoor adventurers wonderland.
Patagonia isn’t just for the adventure crowd however, as the amazing scenery is worth the journey for anyone who appreciates beautiful outdoor environments. The sweeping vistas and breathtaking mountain views can be viewed from the comfort and safety of a tour bus as well, and wildlife, which include cougars, foxes, an assortment of birds, and guanaco, an antelope-like herd animal, are abundent.
For many, Patagonia represents the ultimate adventure travel destination. It is remote, strikingly beautiful, and sits practically at the ends of the Earth. So whether backpacking, climbing, paddling, or just beautiful scenery is your thing, you’ll find plenty to like in this South American paradise.