5 outdoor activities to try in Patagonia

07 November 2019 09:36

Immerse yourself in Patagonia's unspoilt landscapes

Immerse yourself in Patagonia's unspoilt landscapes

This rocky region on the edge of South America is an exciting hub for sporting activities. Be inspired by our picks and pay the great Patagonian outdoors a visit.

Cycling

Chile's Route 7, or Carretera Austral, is a 770-mile route connecting northern and southern Patagonia and the ride of choice for seasoned cyclists. The route winds its way through Chaitén, a town reconstructed after a nearby volcano erupted in 2008, having laid dormant for 9,000 years. Rainforests, marble caves and fishing villages among fjords await riders further down the largely gravel road, that reaches its end at the spectacular O'Higgins Glacier.

Kayaking

The fjords, lakes and rivers of Patagonia are primed for paddling and allow visitors to immerse themselves in unspoilt landscapes in an exciting and intimate way. Tour groups offer day trips and longer expeditions that combine fully-packed hulls and comfortable lodge stays with trips to marble caves, sub-polar forests and ancient glaciers. During the summer, kayakers may be lucky enough to see migrating whales, dolphins and sea lions in the region.

Rock climbing

The Andes offer opportunities to climb previously unexplored summits and, unlike many other terrains, a completely private scaling experience. The famous Three Towers of Torres del Paine are a challenge for even the most masterful climber but your options don't end there. As one of the world's longest mountain ranges, climbing routes for all levels can be found. Beginners should head to Laguna Sofia in Chile and Cerro Vantana Sur and Villa Llanquín in Argentina for ascents with a view.

Skiing

Valle Nevado, Portillo and Corralco should satisfy the needs of the most discerning skiers in Chile, while Las Leñas, Penitentes and Catedral are the pick of the pistes in Argentina. The Andes and skiing are a match made in Patagonia, with experiences as varied as heli-skiing in Portillo, where a helicopter drops you off on the slopes, and a chance at Mount Castor to ski at the southernmost city on Earth, Ushuaia.

White water rafting

When glaciers in the upper Andes melt in the summer, the flowing water creates masses of rafting opportunities. The Futaleufu River or "Big River" in the native Mapuche language, is considered to be one of the best white water rivers in the world and can be found in the national park Los Aleres in northern Patagonia. Flows and contours of water are varied enough to welcome rafters of all capabilities among a backdrop of pristine and rugged landscapes.

Packing for Patagonia? Get covered!

Don't forget your travel insurance before you pick up your passport. World First cover a range of sports and activities for free and can cover many more for an additional fee.