Where to stay in Patagonia — an explorer’s heaven
Choosing where to stay in Patagonia depends on your budget, vibe, and interests. Patagonia is a region of South America shared by Chile and Argentina. Around 10% of the region falls under the jurisdiction of Chile, and the remaining 90% belong to Argentina. Patagonia is a huge area that isn’t densely populated, and it has some of the most diverse and incredible fauna and flora. Thanks to these factors, Patagonia has been able to preserve its natural beauty and keep it pristine and unspoiled. Over the years, Patagonia has become somewhat of a paradise for adventurers and explorers who seek excitement and thrills.
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Best places to explore in Patagonia, Chile
In the Chilean part of Patagonia, there are five regions: Aysén, Araucanía, Los Lagos Region, Los Ríos Region, and Magallanes. Each of these regions is further subdivided into administrative areas, towns, cities, municipalities, etc.
|About the regions|
|Aysén||This region is home to a number of glaciers, lakes, fjords, rainforests, and icefields. Aysén is one of the least populated regions in Patagonia, ideal for people who like to explore nature and dislike large gatherings and crowds.|
|Araucanía||The homeland of the indigenous Mapuche people, it is filled with many national parks and national reserves. There is also a large number of unspoiled forests. In Araucanía, you can find the largest city of Patagonia—Temuco.|
|Los Lagos Region||Bordered by Los Ríos Region and Aysén, to the north and south respectively, and by the Pacific on the west and Argentina on the east, Los Lagos Region is home to the wild environment and several protected areas. The protected areas include nine parks and two national monuments.|
|Los Ríos Region||Los Ríos Region is divided into two provinces: Valdivia and Ranco Province. Its economy relies mostly on tourism, manufacturing, and forestry.|
|Magallanes||Magallanes is the largest and southernmost of all the regions. Some of the more prominent and well-known landscapes and attractions include Cape Horn, Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego, and Torres del Paine. A large portion of the land is uninhabitable. The majority of the population that lives in this region is situated in the capital, Punta Arenas.|
How to get around Patagonia
The best way to see and explore Patagonia and all it has to offer is by car. By renting a car, you have the liberty and independence to travel across Patagonia at your own pace. On a side note, there are some areas where there aren’t that many gas stations, so you should keep that in mind when traveling.
Where to stay in Patagonia for the first time—Magallanes
Patagonia as a whole is ideal for travelers who love the great outdoors and who enjoy exploring nature. However, a starting point is necessary, and our pick is Magallanes. This region can offer something to everybody.
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Things to see and do in Magallanes
These are some of our suggestions for places to visit during your stay in Magallanes.
- Visit The Penguins Natural Monument
- Learn at museum Nao Victoria
- Explore Pali-Aike National Park
Los Pingüinos Natural Monument
This monument is a popular tourist destination that is typically open to people from October to March. It is home to the Magellanic penguin, as well as other species such as sea lions, dolphin gulls, common gulls, imperial shags, and South American fur seals. It’s open from 2 pm to 7 pm.
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Museo Nao Victoria
The museum is primarily dedicated to Ferdinand Magellan and Nao Victoria (or simply, Victoria)— the first ship to successfully circumnavigate the globe. Located in Punta Arenas, the capital of the Magallanes region, it offers its visitors a great history lesson and an opportunity to explore the replica of the ship. You can also find replicas of tools used during that time, as well as documentation and books.
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Pali-Aike National Park
The landscapes of this park include volcanoes, forests, and caves. It is full of different kinds of plants and animals, some of which are native only to this region. According to the local people, this is where the devil resides.
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Where to stay in Patagonia for explorers—Aysén
Aysén is an explorer’s paradise. This region is gaining popularity among explorers because of its alluring and breathtaking natural beauty. Here, you can see the magical Marble Caves, the San Rafael Glacier, the Northern Patagonian Ice Field, Cerro Castillo, and so much more.
Things to see and do in Aysén
Here are some suggestions for places to explore.
- Visit Queulat National Park
- Explore the blue and beautiful Marble Caves
- Visit Cerro Castillo
Queulat National Park
In this stunning park, you can witness the amazing hanging glacier under which a waterfall trickles down. You can also walk through the park and see its impressive animals and plants.
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Kind of mystical and magical with its blue crystals and waters, the Marble Caves truly are a wonder of nature. This awe-inspiring sight is most definitely worth visiting.
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Find a guide and explore the wildlife this mountain has to offer. There is also the option to set up a tent here and camp.
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Where to stay in Patagonia long term—Araucanía
Araucanía is our pick for a place to stay for a longer period of time. Its largest and most populous city is Temuco. Some other large cities worth visiting are Angol and Villarrica. We picked this region because it offers expats the opportunity to work and find a job. There is also a large number of immigrants from all over the world.
Things to see and do in Araucanía
Here are some ideas for things to do during your stay in Araucanía.
- Relax at Caburgua Lake
- Dine at A la Olla
- Shop at Vivo Outlet Mall
Have a fun and relaxing day at Caburgua Lake. The sights and views are a feast for the eyes.
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A la Olla restaurant
Dine at this restaurant with a gorgeous setting, and you’ll enjoy every single bite.
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Vivo Outlet Mall
If you’re a bit of a shopaholic, you’ll love Vivo Outlet—a shopping center that has all the trendy shops, along with a food court and a cinema.
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