Patagonia is the end of the world - well the end of the ‘civilised world’. Encompassing the most southern areas in Chile and Argentina it contains desert plateaus, snow capped mountain ranges and incredible glaciers in one of the most unspoilt areas of our planet.
Our adventure started in Buenos Aires in March 2018 where we stayed at the InterSur Recoleta and met our fellow travellers on a personal group tour organised by Sundance Spirit. I'd been introduced to Allan and Muriel the year before and cannot recommend them highly enough to anyone interested in travelling South America.
The next day we flew to El Calafate where we stayed at a traditional lodge called Mirador del Lago, it was in easy walking distance of town and the Patagonian Wetlands.
The next morning we got to enjoy sunrise on our way to to visit Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.
Visiting Perito Moreno Glacier was one of the absolute highlights of the trip. Often with travel you wonder whether a location will live up the pictures you've seen and this was an experience that exceeded all expectations.
Those of us that opted to do the mini-trekking got to walk on the glacier in the morning. I'd done something similar in New Zealand over 20 years ago and it was really special to be able to see the glacier up close.
The experience and colours changed constantly with the variations in weather in sunlight.
At the end of our trek we were able to see an ice cave in the glacier.
As the sun continued to shine after our trek we were able to get some beautiful views of the glacier and the surrounding mountains.
After the trekking experience we were taken by boat and bus to the primary public viewing location where we continued to be amazed by the beauty and size of this glacier. Perito Moreno is the 3rd largest glacier and the most popular as it is the easiest to access. It is over 250 kilometres of ice and it rises about 74 metres above Lago Argentino. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
The next day our group were fortunate enough to have a private vessel day cruise with Marpatag from Punta Banderas to see Upsala, Spegazzini, Seco and Ornelli glaciers and we had an amazing time spotting icebergs and glaciers and seeing some glaciers calving.
Whilst the focus of the day was on more outstanding scenery we were all very impressed by the fantastic catering on board, our lunch that day was one of the nicest meals of the entire trip!
After travelling into Chile our next tour stop was in the Torres del Paine National Park where we stayed at Hotel Rio Serrano and Hotel Las Torres Patagonia. Although we knew we were often surrounded by mountains, they were often invisible due to the weather and clouds but they were beautiful when they surfaced, as were all the views we experienced in every location.
Our next adventure was a 4 night cruise on Ventus Australis, one of the highlights was seeing wildlife, particularly the Magellanic Penguins and another was having the opportunity to visit Cape Horn.
There have been over 800 ship wrecks around Cape Horn and many sailors have lost their lives. The albatross monument inscription reads:
I, the albatross that awaits for you at the end of the world...
I, the forgotten soul of the sailors lost that crossed Cape Horn from all the seas of the world.
But die they did not in the fierce waves, for today towards eternity in my wings they soar in the last crevice of the Antarctic winds.
After disembarking in Ushuaia we stayed at Hotel Los Acebos and had the opportunity to explore the southernmost city in the world and primary gateway for Antarctic tours (another trip still on my wishlist).
Our last group excursion was a visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park and the following day a few of us that stayed on did one final trip before heading home, visiting Gable Island and the only Magellanic Penguin colony on Tierra del Fuego.
For lovers of nature a trip to Patagonia is very highly recommended, it is a joy to see and explore so much natural beauty.
If you would like to see more pictures from the trip please check out the Patagonia Photo Gallery.