Taking The Road Less Traveled In Argentina
The area of Argentina that we call Patagonia is one of the most remote places on Earth! There are so many different landscapes contained within its borders – from high deserts to forests and lakes to glacier-covered mountain peaks. This diversity makes exploration attractive to adventurers who want to take tours of Patagonia. And what better way to see this magical region than taking a backroads to Patagonia trip?
The Best Times To Plan Tours In Patagonia
The best times to visit Argentine Patagonia are October through November, which is springtime in the southern hemisphere, and December through February for the summer weather. Tours of Patagonia during these months are spectacular. The weather is mild, and visitors can see the natural attractions at their height of beauty. However, if you are planning to travel to Patagonia during the spring or summer, you’ll want to make your travel arrangements well in advance. Adventurous tourists flock to Patagonia during these five months to take advantage of the amazing hiking opportunities in the region.
What Will The Weather Be For My Hike?
The spring months of October and November are absolutely beautiful in Argentina! During these months, the weather is mild with daytime highs in the 50s. These temperatures are ideal for exploring all that a backroads to Patagonia trip has to offer. It’s still a good idea to pack in layers and include a few warm pieces of clothing, though, as the southern regions of the country remain chillier and can have strong winds in the springtime.
The summer months of December through February are the most popular times for tourists to visit Argentine Patagonia. Summertime temps reach the 70s, making it very pleasant to explore the area’s many natural attractions. Of course, the pleasant weather draws swarms of tourists, so make your reservations for any lodging or other accommodations up to a year in advance to guarantee your spot!
Packing For Your Patagonian Adventure
Packing for tours of Patagonia, especially a hiking tour, can be challenging. You want to make sure that you have everything you need, but you also want to make sure that you can carry it – especially if you are planning a multi-day trek. For clothing, make sure you pack in layers! You’ll want to hike in shorts or light pants (pants are preferred in the tall grass or brush) and a short-sleeve shirt, but you also want to make sure you have a long-sleeve shirt, a rain jacket, a warm fleece layer, and a hat if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Here are a few suggestions for other items you’ll want to take on your trip:
- Backpack – you’ll want a small backpack to carry a few essentials on day hikes, but a larger, properly fitted pack to carry all your gear on multi-day hikes.
- Hiking shoes or boots – make sure your shoes or boots are good quality, are waterproof, and have good tread for slippery surfaces.
- Wool socks – wool prevents blisters, keeps your feet dry, and helps with thermoregulation no matter how hot or how cold it gets outside.
- Neck wallet or money belt – keep important items like your passport and money safe with a neck wallet or money belt.
- Insect repellant – outdoor adventures mean bugs. Keep the bugs away and the itchy bites to a minimum with insect repellant.
- A hat or cap – having a brimmed cap or hat will help keep the sun out of your eyes, but it can also protect your neck from the sun’s rays. It’s also a good idea to keep a winter hat on hand in case the weather is chilly.
- Hiking poles – depending on the route you take, hiking poles can be your best friend! This handy piece of gear can help you navigate rocky, muddy, or slippery terrain and can help prevent dangerous falls on the trails.
- Water bottles – consider a bottle that has a built-in filtration system, just in case you run out of bottled, potable water.
- Thermal sleeping layer – nights at camp can be chilly, so consider adding a set of thermals to your packing list to keep warm at night.
- Quick-dry towel – this invaluable piece of gear has so many uses! Plus, many lodges and hotels in Patagonia charge for towels. A quick-dry towel can be budget friendly when you are on tour in Patagonia!
The Best Trails in Argentine Patagonia
If you're interested in hiking tours of Patagonia, we have the scoop on some of the best trails to explore. Read on for more information about the best trails to hike in Patagonia:
- The W Trek – this five-day trek will take you through Torres Del Paine National Park and is a favorite among hiking enthusiasts. Most hikers enter the trail at Refugio Las Torres and head north toward the base of Las Torres before swinging back around and heading into the French Valley. Along the way, you can see the massive Grey Glacier, which is part of the Patagonia Ice Field. Pro tip: this hike is popular with solo hikers and female hikers because you are guaranteed to see someone else along the way!
- The Laguna Torre Trek – this popular day hike starts at the village of El Chaltén and is one of the most scenic hikes in South America. This out-and-back trek takes you to several lookout points where you can look at the icy spires of Cerro Torre. Your path skirts the edge of Rio Fitz Roy and ends at the glacial lake of Laguna Torre. If you follow the edge of the lake, you’ll be at the final lookout point, Mirador Maestri, where you can see the Glacier Torre on the horizon.
- The Huemul Circuit – spend four days in the heart of Los Glaciares National Park, exploring the Patagonian ice field. This particular backroads to Patagonia trip starts in El Chaltén and ends in Laguna Toro on the first day, then takes you across the Túnel River to the edge of a sweeping glacier on your second day. As the hike goes on, you’ll circle the peaks of Cerro Huemul and then hike through the Patagonian steppe to finish your adventure.
- Nahuel Huapi National Park – this is one of the most well-planned hiking tours of Patagonia that you can take! This four-day hike meanders through a number of mountain ridges and lake-carved valleys, with camping along the way at several well-equipped mountain huts. Take a dip in cool glacier lakes during your hike, and explore the granite towers of Los Caterdrales at the edge of Laguna San Martin. You’ll end back where you began, in the town of Bariloche, where you can recover from your adventures before moving on to the next one.
There’s no shortage of paths to explore if you choose tours in Patagonia! In fact, no matter how crowded the trail you’ll be sure to have an amazing adventure and enjoy the stunning views of the wind-swept steppes, glaciers, and mountain peaks along the way. So grab your poles, lace up your boots, and get ready for an experience unlike any you’ve ever imagined.