Must-see places in Patagonia – CNN

(CNN) — For travelers itching to go on an adventure, to reconnect with nature or to feel like they are the only humans for miles and kilometers, Patagonia is one of the last untouched locations on Earth.

This remote region covers hundreds of thousands of square mls associated with southern Argentina plus Chile, stretching across ancient forests, vast glaciers, deep fjords and the jagged Andes mountains.

Patagonia is home to diverse wildlife including pumas, penguins and parrots. There is kayaking, trekking, biking, climbing, rafting plus snorkeling — even alongside sea lion pups.

“This is a place for people who like an adventure. You can feel the wind and have the ocean, ” said Kevin Zaouali, one of the directors of the new CNN Original Series “Patagonia: Life on the Edge from the World. inch “In Patagonia, you feel alone in this huge world of animals. inches

Here are some of the must-see areas at the end of the world:

Torres del Paine National Park is a paradise for nature lovers, hikers and climbers.

Torres del Paine National Park is a paradise with regard to character lovers, hikers plus climbers.

Ana Fernandez/AFP/Getty Images

Torres de Paine Country wide Park, Chile

Torres del Paine State Park is a crown jewel associated with Chile’s park system. It has miles-long snow, turquoise-blue lakes, granite peaks towering up to more than 9, 400 feet, stunning waterfalls and rare creatures.

“There are very few places in the world that are so pristine, therefore unspoiled, ” stated Camilo Rada, a scientist plus mountaineer from Chile.

This particular park is one of the most sparsely populated regions on the planet, where wildlife must be resilient to survive its punishing and unpredictable extremes. There are condors, wild horses, rheas, guanacos plus pumas.

“This is among the best locations on earth to see these pumas. Everywhere else they are afraid of people, but not here. They don’t have any predators — there are no wolves or bears, so they are pretty chilled, inch René Araneda, former guide and director of “Patagonia: Existence around the Advantage from the Globe, inches told CNN. “Torres de Paine National Park is probably my favorite place in the entire world. ”

It’s estimated that the recreation area plus surrounding area is home to hundreds of pumas.

Magellanic penguins stand on the beach at sunset at El Pedral, Argentina.

Magellanic penguins stand within the beach at sunset in El Pedral, Argentina.

Kevin Zaouali

Península Valdés and Este Pedral, Argentina

More than 700 miles northeast associated with Torres del Paine for the Argentinean coastline, Península Valdés is another animals lover’s paradise. At the UNESCO Planet Heritage Site, visitors can see orcas, the southern part of right whales, elephant seals, sea lions, Magellanic penguins plus countless birds.
Zaouali recommends taking a boat ride to see the southern area of correct whales up close. These slow, peaceful giants got their name because they were once known as the “right ones” in order to hunt.

The orcas, on the other hand, can be seen from the beaches of Península Valdés.

“It’s the best place in the world to find out orcas, inch Zaouali said. “If you go, you’ll be in real contact with the creatures. inches

Punta Norte, in the northern tip of the peninsula, is one of the just areas on the planet exactly where orcas come ashore to search unsuspecting seals and ocean lion puppies. Only two orca pods know this ingenious hunting trick.

First, they swim sideways to hide their own dorsal fins, then seaside themselves in order to snap up their particular meal and finally maneuver back into the sea. This happens within March plus April, as well as the risky feat is stunning to see.

At Punta Norte, orcas arrive on land to quest closes and sea lion pups. To do this, these people go swimming side by side to cover their hinten fins, then beach on their own in order to attack their prey and lastly control back to the ocean. The new Initial Collection “Patagonia: Lifestyle over the Edge from the World” airs Sundays from nine p. m. ET.

In Un Pedral, about 30 kilometers south, there is a growing penguin colony.

“If you are there, you’re by yourself in a huge penguin nest. It’s the greatest place to stay if you want to experience Patagonia on a different level, ” Zaouali informed CNN, calling the spot magical.

You will find over 12, 000 Magellanic penguins, conservationist Popi García mentioned in CNN’s “Patagonia” series.

“One of the favorite penguins with this colony is called Clarita, inch García said, “We know that she’s about 16 years old. She was able to raise 14 chicks. inches

September to April is the best time to see the penguins when these types of migratory waddlers come to breed.

View of the Perito Moreno Glacier at Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina.

View from the Perito Moreno Glacier with Los Glaciares Nationwide Recreation area within Argentina.


Mis Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Located in the particular southwest associated with Santa Cruz province in the Argentine Andes, Los Glaciares National Park is defined by the numerous glaciers.

Zaouali compared the icy wonder in order to “The Wall” inside “Game of Thrones. ”

“It’s a huge spectacle to find out, inch stated Zaouali. He suggests visiting within the spring plus summer, when it’s melting, to see and hear the particular large chunks of the wall breaking off in front of your eyes.

Standing on more than 11, 500 ft, Mount Fitz Roy is the highest peak in the park. With regard to jaw-dropping views from the mountain, backpackers walk the steep 13-mile Fitz Roy trek.

Horseback riding, windsurfing, bicycling plus rising also offer panoramic sights of the awe-inspiring recreation area.

Balneario El Cóndor, Argentina

After wintering upward north, pairs associated with burrowing birds return to the same nest every spring. Some of their nests stretch back ten foot into the cliffs. You can find 37, 000 active nests, conservationist Mauricio Failla mentioned within the “Patagonia” collection.

These types of green, yellow and blue birds are very social plus vocal, which is why Failla loves studying them.

Other local attractions to the coast from the Río Negro province include the sandy seashores and the Faro Río Negro lighthouse.

There is certainly kite surfing, windsurfing and sand yachting, which is a wheeled vehicle with a sail that’s powered across the fine sand by the blowing wind.

The colorful houses on the water, known as palafitos, in the town of Castro on Island of Chiloé, Chile.

The particular colorful houses at the water, known as palafitos, in the town of Castro on Island associated with Chiloé, Chile.

Kike Calvo/Universal Images Group/Getty Pictures

Chiloé Tropical isle, Chile

Chile’s Chiloé Isle offers some of the best whale sightings in the region. The beautiful surrounding fjords are a magnet regarding wildlife, which includes ocean elephants, dolphins as well as the largest animal that has ever lived: glowing blue whales.

Summer is the best time for you to view the endangered azure whales; it’s when they gather along the Pacific Coast to feast upon krill. The particular nearly 200-ton whales will eat four tons of krill a day.

“Seeing a blue whale never gets boring. It’s always a thrill, inches oceanographer Susannah Buchan told CNN. “It’s always amazing plus emotional and a complete privilege. ”

There are seven hundred migrating whales that come to this area every year through January in order to 04.

Buchan recommends whale watchers visit in February. But she warns it’s a vast and dynamic feeding ground, so sightings are not guaranteed. Sometimes she won’t see whales for a couple of weeks.

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Two blue whales swimming within the Corcovado Gulf in Chile.


A trip to Chiloé Island is not complete without soaking up the particular culture. There is a large indigenous community, rooted within deep traditions. Fishing plus tourism are top industries intended for locals.

The island is famous for its picturesque palafitos , wooden homes on stilts above the water. There are even stilted hotels and restaurants that tourists can visit.

The area is also known for the delicious seafood. One of the traditional Chilean dishes is curanto , a feast of meat plus sea food which cooked in a pit in the floor and covered by a large leaf. It can one big communal pot associated with clams, mussels, sausage, potatoes, chicken plus pork.

Buchan advises passing on Chilean salmon, which is not native to the region. You will find zero natural trout within the Southern Hemisphere, so the local salmon is farmed. Overcrowding in the pens has led to disease among the salmon, the girl said, and big-scale escapes, damaging local fish communities plus devastating the marine ecosystem.

Back on the mainland east of the island lies Pumalín Recreation area, Chile’s biggest private nature reserve. The particular park as soon as belonged to North Face founder Douglas Tompkins but was donated towards the country of Chile. This park is free to check out. This particular lush and temperate rainforest along with crystal clear rivers is a stunning area to get outdoor enthusiasts.

"You are escaping from civilianization," Araneda said of the adventurous Carretera Austral drive.

“You are escaping from civilianization, inch Araneda stated from the adventurous Carretera Austral drive.

Joël Arpaillange/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Carretera Austral, Chile

If you’re looking for a road trip through especially off-the-beaten-path parts of Patagonia, the particular Carretera Austral route takes drivers a lot more than 700 scenic mls through Puerto Montt within the Lakes District southerly in order to Villa O’Higgins in the Aysén area.

The road, at times unpaved plus requiring ferries, passes via small remote control villages and enormously varied landscapes on what many consider Patagonia’s finest road trip.

One of “Patagonia: Living around the Advantage of the World” movie director Araneda’s favorite places in Patagonia is at the route’s southern end — the particular Aysén region. This forested region — encompassing several iconic parks including Pumalín Park plus Laguna San Rafael Nationwide Recreation area — is considered a biodiversity hotspot and brand new species are still being discovered right here.

“This is among the most unexplored locations on earth, inches Araneda mentioned. “It looks like a jungle, like Costa Rica, but in a cold environment with the ocean plus hills. ”

Puma tracker at Estancia Cerro Guido in Chile.

Puma tracker at Estancia Cerro Guido inside Chile.

Ben Goertzen

Estancias throughout Patagonia

For an unique encounter, ranches called estancia offer conventional lodging all through Patagonia.

Visitors can embrace the solitude associated with life as a gaucho , a native horseman that will personifies the particular frontier spirit.

Regarding horseback riding and fly fishing, the 100, 000-acre Estancia Ranquilco in northwest Patagonia offers lodge stays plus backcountry horse treks.
Another option is Tipiliuke, located in Argentina’s Chimehuín river valley inside southwest Patagonia. There’s fly angling, riding, hiking, yoga, golfing, hill cycling, rafting, bird watching and even skiing at the nearby Chapelco ski area. The estancia’s chef is known for her empanadas.

Estancias offer the perfect opportunity to try authentic cuisine. One of the main staples is Argentinian barbecue referred to as asado.

Within the southern part of Chile, Estancia Cerro Guido stretches throughout 247, 500 acres. Guests can experience the daily life of gauchos — spending time within the orchards and horse stables — and be immersed within community conservation work. The activities include driving 4×4, riding horses around Torres de Paine plus joining puma trackers as they monitor this particular best predators’ daily movements and research how the large cats may coexistence using the ranches.

“The the puma corporation and the gaucho have always been enemies, inch gaucho plus puma system Mirko Utrovicic stated in the series. “I think the most important thing is to realize that times change. Look at what surrounds us. We have to give them their own space back again. inches

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