10 Days to Explore Patagonia

Janine Yu Travel Agent
Curated By

Janine Yu

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  • Argentina

  • Chile

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • International Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Foodie

  • Hiking

  • Mountains

Mountains and lake in Patagonia
Janine’s Take

Patagonia truly feels like the end of the world – and in a sense, it is. Straddling the Andes on the southern tip of the South American continent, with the Chilean side to the west and Argentina to the east, it's as far south as one can go without boarding a ship to Antarctica. Patagonia's untouched and surreally beautiful landscape spans coastal fjords that become jagged mountain peaks capped with glaciers surrounded by endless stretches of grassy fields and barren desert. The fact that luxury lodges exist here in a way that honors and helps preserve the land is a testament to how travel doesn't have to be intrusive and destructive to be incredibly special.

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Where to stay

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A handsome 17-room estate near the Perito Moreno glacier, with prized views across the Patagonian plains.

Palacio Duhau

A true city oasis in Recoleta, with beautiful gardens, an impressive art collection, and spa.

Fora Perks
  • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability

  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for two guests per bedroom, in Gioia Restaurant & Terraces

  • Wine and Cheese tasting for two, once during stay (at Palacio Duhau Vinoteca)

The Singular Patagonia, Puerto Bories Hotel

Not just a stay but a whole experience, this coveted hotel delights design lovers and seclusion seekers.

Fora Perks
  • A complimentary 50 minute massage for up to two people, per room, once during stay

  • Daily breakfast

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Day 1: Santiago

Mountains and city view in Santiago

Kick off your Chilean adventure with a day of touring Santiago, the country’s capital.

San Cristobal Hill

Get a panoramic look at one of the most developed cities in South America from the top of San Cristobal Hill. Wander around the massive park and admire the imposing statue of the Virgin Mary, as well as the breathtaking views of the snow-covered Andes.

Tour the city

Don’t miss Santiago’s main square, Plaza de Armas. From there, take your pick between all the beautiful sights surrounding it, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral or the Central Post Office. Browse the colorful stalls at the Central Market and grab a bite to eat before continuing on.

Discover pre-hispanic artwork

The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is home to more than 700 pre-hispanic artworks and relics from diverse cultures, such as the Aztecs, the Mayans and the Mapuches. 

Continue on to the Moneda Presidential Palace, a location which used to serve as a presidential residence.

Afterward, head over to the Concha y Toro neighborhood. You’ll be charmed by its colonial plaza and architecture.

Uptown, you’ll discover dazzling high-rise buildings lining an immaculate boulevard, a stark change from the more traditional architecture in other parts of the city.

Dine at Bocanaríz

Located in the lovely Lastarria neighborhood, Bocanaríz celebrates the wide range of Chilean wines and provides a great alternative to visiting the countries’ many wineries. Enjoy the fresh and creative food in a cozy decor.

Day 2: Arrive in Patagonia

Mountains in Puerto Natales

Your journey to Patagonia will most likely have you fly into Puerto Natales, so it only makes sense to start your adventure here.

Go sailing

Spot the colonies of cormorants and sea lions as you take a boat trip through the Patagonian Fjords to the Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers. Get off the boat at the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park and walk to the lookout point for the Serrano Glacier. Afterway sail on to the Balmaceda Glacier.

Lunch & horseback riding

Enjoy a typical Patagonian lunch at La Peninsula Ranch.

Then, go horseback riding, tour the estancia’s shearing sheds, or just relax on the grounds of the property.

Day 3-5: Chilean Patagonia

Mountains and lake in Torres del Paine

Enjoy a breathtakingly serene experience at Awasi, a Relais & Chateaux property on the Chilean side of Patagonia. Located on a private reserve, the lodges overlook the granite peaks and stunning lakes of the Torres del Paine National Park.

From there, book a private guide who will give you endless options to feel at one with nature, such as getting to meet the reserve’s wildlife: foxes, horses, sheep, eagles, wide-winged condors as well as the occasional puma. Pick from a long list of hikes, most of which offer stunning views of the glaciers.

Back at the property, relax in one of the many lounge areas and enjoy the delicious meals at the on-site restaurant.

A note from Janine

Awasi offers an exclusive experience with a gaucho who'll take you on a horseback ride on his property, while telling raucous tales from his brief stint studying in the US to returning to his homeland and fighting off pumas that threaten his sheep. If you're lucky, he'll also serve you some home-baked bread.

Day 6-8: Argentinian Patagonia

Glacier in Patagonia

Plan for a full day to travel to the Argentinian side of Patagonia and get to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier

The following day, head toward the glacier – the real highlight of this part of the trip. Get ready for a full day excursion of  moderate trekking and jaw-dropping sights. Walk the footbridges to catch the best views and hear the cracks of the incredible ice surface. With a three mile long front wall and soaring 180 feet above lake level, Perito Moreno is a force of nature you’ll never forget. 

While the glacier is the main attraction, you’ll need at least one and a half days in the area to take the time to truly enjoy it.

Stay and take your meals at Eolo, a remote, luxury property located on an expansive estancia.

Day 9-10: Buenos Aires

City view of Buenos Aires

Before flying home, plan at least one full day to enjoy the culture, history and gastronomy of Buenos Aires.

Hit the highlights

Start at Plaza de Mayo, where the country was founded in 1580. Admire the most important governmental buildings, including Casa Rosada (Government House), Cabildo (City Hall) and Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral).

Explore the cobblestoned streets of San Telmo neighborhood, then plan to take lots of pictures at La Boca, with its brightly colored houses and corrugated iron surfaces. Soccer fans should stop by the Bombonera stadium, home to Boca Juniors.

Lunch at El Obrero

Book ahead at this classic family-run eatery beloved by the locals. The restaurant serves Spanish and Italian cuisine in a decor full of sports memorabilia. If you still have room after your steak or homemade pasta, treat yourself to the dulce de leche pancakes.

Immerse yourself in Buenos Aires many facets

Continue on to Palermo Soho, a neighborhood with a chic bohemian atmosphere and a favorite spot for locals to dine, drink and shop. 

Last but not least, wander over to chic Recoleta, a spot where you’ll visit Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church and Recoleta Cemetery (which is renowned for its architecture). 

Dine at Sottovoce

Enjoy the delicious homemade pasta at Sottovoce, a family-style restaurant in Recoleta. Run by two brothers, the Italian restaurant serves traditional dishes such as eggplant parmigiana, Milanese-style shrimps and tiramisu.