Often described as the End of the Earth, Patagonia hosts some of the most impressive and un-touched landscapes on our planet.
Located at the southern most tip of South America, the Patagonia region stretches across both Chile and Argentina and offers a sublime range of landscapes. From green alpine meadows and glacier fields to deserts and lush lakes, Patagonia is a trekkers paradise.
Thanks to treks such as The W circuit at Torres del Paine and the Monte Fitz Roy Trails, Patagonia is seeing a dramatic increase in trekkers to the region. If you want to experience the wild land-scape in peace and solitude, we suggest heading there soon before the secret gets out!
Whether you’re looking for an easy warm up hike or a strenuous challenge across rough terrain, Patagonia has it all! To help you decide on the right trek for you, we have listed our top 5 hikes in Patagonia. To see our favourite day hikes in Patagonia click here.
1. W Trek Torres del Paine
Covering over 181,000 hectares in Chilean Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park is a stunning area of natural beauty. Declared a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1978, the park is home to a wide array of landscapes and is internationally recognised as one of the least contaminated places on earth.
The 5 day trek winds its way between the Magellanic sub-polar forests and the Patagonian steppe in a ‘W’ shape.
Trekkers will get fantastic views of the giant granite monoliths that make up the Cordillera del Paine, one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. The trail is best hiked from west to east to give hikers the best possible views from Los Cuernos peaks.
Although camping is certainly an option, most trekkers stay in the refugios where you can eat, rest and enjoy the comfortable interiors of the lodges.
Read our full guide to the Torres Del Paine W Trek.
2. Full Circuit Torres del Paine (aka the O)
This is the big brother of the W Trek and the crowning jewel of Patagonia’s trekking scape.
Taking at least 7 days to complete (sometimes 9), the Full Circuit of Torres del Paine is the longest and toughest trekking challenge in the region. The reward though is stunning scenery and epic views.
Whilst the circuit takes in all of the highlights of the W Trek, trekkers also get extraordinary views across the ice fields of Chile.
The trek is best hiked anti-clockwise from Refugio Las Torres where you’ll get incredible views of Glacier Grey opening up below you as you cross Paso John Gardner (1241m). Be careful on the pass in high winds as it’s often not possible to cross.
The trails are very well maintained and you certainly won’t be the only people trekking. You can either camp or make use of the refugios along the route.
3. Fitz Roy Trek
The Parque, which is itself part of Hielo Sur, the largest icecap not located in a polar region, provides the perfect backdrop for trekkers wanting to experience an epic landscape of jagged rocks and ice.
Notoriously windy and cold, you’ll need to be wrapped up snugly as you trek the 4 day trail.
Made famous by the Patagonia brand emblem, Mount Fitz Roy stands at the centre of the trek as you hike around the unforgettable mountain itself.
Although not exceptionally high, the mountain is notable as being one of the biggest challenges to ascend.
If you’re a keen mountaineer or climber with good experience then you might just be up for the challenge! Many trekkers camp on this trek, although refugios are located on the route.
4. Montes Martial Circuit
The Montes Martial Circuit is the ideal trek for hikers looking to explore the beautiful channels, lakes and forests of Tierra Del Fuego National Park.
Located near Ushuaia – the southern most city in South America, the trek is often done in conjunction with an Antarctic cruise.
On the 4 day hike you’ll get fantastic views of the Beagle Channel (named after Darwin’s ship), follow trails past clear lagoons and get the chance to summit Mt. Tonelli. You’ll camp by beautiful lakes and journey into the very heart of the secluded national park, exploring a region very few have ever witnessed.
5. Dientes de Navarino Circuit
Often termed the ‘world’s most southerly trek’, the Dientes de Navarino or “Teeth of Navarino” is certainly an experience you’ll never forget.
Just reaching the remote Isla Navarino is difficult as there are very few boats and planes that actually go there.
However, once on the isle, you’ll be greeted with a wild landscape that is constantly battered by the arctic seas. The weather makes this trek quite challenging and it not recommended to hike alone. There is no accommodation facilities and the trail is often difficult to find and navigate.
The reward though is being in an area virtually untouched by man, a lost isle of rugged beauty that will stay in your memories forever. The trail is generally above the tree line and you’ll get stunning views across Cape Horn as you make your way around jagged spires of Cordon de los Dientes. The trek typically takes 3 to 4 days and you’ll most likely be the only people on it!