See also our separate guides for:
The Argentine Lake District to the northwest
Chilean Patagonia across the border to the west
Patagonia remains one of the most iconic regions of the world. Utterly wild, constantly windswept and so unimaginably vast that it could easily encompass several countries, it inspires you to leave everything behind and start again. It has attracted explorers (Darwin), outlaws (Butch and Sundance), revolutionaries (Che Guevara) and writers (Chatwin, whose account leaves a lot unsaid). There’s so much of it to see, there’s a danger you’ll spend several days just travelling. Far better to choose one region, take time to really get under the skin of it, and let Patagonia work its magic.
The Andes form the western spine to Patagonia, which - geographically speaking - includes everything south of the Río Colorado (just south of Bahía Blanca). It measures 1,000km from north to south, so we've divided it here into its 3 most exciting constituent parts:
Southern Patagonia is glacier country: see the massive icy walls carve off with a deafening roar into the milky turquoise lake below, or even hike over the sculpted surface. Vast and pristine, this is an unforgettable experience unique to Argentina. Nearby, the granite towers of Mount Fitz Roy rise up from the steppe - the centrepiece to a dramatic massif which makes for perfect hiking with stunning views.
The Atlantic Coast is home to an astonishing array of wildlife. Most miraculous, though, is the small splay of land called Península Valdés, where southern right whales come to breed in spring, and where you can find Wales of another kind in the Welsh colony of Gaimán.
Tierra del Fuego, at the very end of the world, truly becomes a land of fire when the lenga forests carpeting the mountain slopes turn crimson in April. Start at the breezy little pioneer town of Ushuaia, a welcoming base for the beautiful national park and boat trips down the famous Beagle Channel.