South Chile/Argentina 2019

And again, we started in Patagonia; already for the fourth time! We had nine weeks in total of which we spent half in Patagonia, both the Chilean and Argentinian part. The other half we spent in the Lake District of Chile which has many lakes and volcanoes.

Carretera Austral

This road runs from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins. The part between Villa Cerro Castillo and Villa O’Higgins is unpaved and the most interesting. It is good to have a 4WD for that! We also saw many bikers and we admired them for their stamina and wondered how many flat tires they would have on this trip. We visited again the remote Villa O’Higgins, after having been there 13 years ago: it had expanded quite a lot!

Carretera Austral between Cochrane and Villa O’Higgins

National Parks

We went to many national parks for trekkings. There is a growing number of these national parks, both in Chile and Argentina. We especially liked Parque Nacional (PN) Patagonia, PN Perito Moreno (not to be confused with the glacier!), PN Nahuel Huapi (close to Bariloche) and PN Siete Tazas. They all have a different atmosphere. PN Siete Tazas was the most isolated and ´least civilized´. PN Patagonia was well equipped with nice campsites but also less adventurous.

View from refugio Agostino Rocca in PN Nahuel Huapi


The fauna is very special in this part of Chile and Argentina. While trekking you will see the majestic condors, the guanaco’s and ñandu’s. At campsite Casa Piedra in Parque Nacional Patagonia they warned us for the puma’s and advised to carry a headlamp when going out in the night. During a small walk in the dusk we heard a growl, which was obviously from a puma we took by surprise. We also saw many nice birds, such as woodpeckers, eagles and of course the majestic condors.

Condor high above Laguna Mondaca


We did trekkings in PN Patagonia, PN Nahuel Huapi and PN Siete Tazas. Some of them are well-marked (such as in PN Patagonia), and some are hardly marked (PN Siete Tazas). However, the maps downloaded for Gaia (a very convenient app) helps a lot. Be careful with using the smartphone because of the battery-time. It helps to only switch the smartphone on when it is used for finding the track (and at least set it in flight-mode). Usually it is possible to find campsites and some of them are simply beautiful and very isolated!

Camping near the Laguna Manantial Pelado


What we already noticed the last time we were in Patagonia (2013): tourism has really taken off in this part of the world. It is much more crowded than the first time we went there (13 years ago). This has clearly its bearings on the surroundings. Especially PN Siete Tazas was dirty at campsites with garbage from previous hikers spread around. This is clearly becoming a problem. There are also good initiatives such as the one of Lucas in PN Nahuel Huapi who created a sustainable refugio at Lago Ilon.

Entire album:
South Chile/Argentina 2019

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