Discover the best places to visit in Patagonia Argentina from the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, from Neuquén to the End of the World.
The Andes Mountains, wide beaches overlooking the Atlantic, lakes and landscapes. Best places to visit in Patagonia Argentina with essential places and map to locate them.
If there is something that characterizes this remote place in the south of Argentina, it is its beautiful and varied landscapes, wildlife and hiking trails.
In the west, the Andes Mountains, lakes and glaciers provide a spectacular setting. In the east, the long coastal strip dominates the territory with wide beaches with strong waves and whale-watching paradises such as Puerto Madryn.
We will now take a tour of the must-see places in Patagonia Argentina.
Map with the must-see places in Patagonia Argentina
Best places to visit in Patagonia Argentina in the Andes Mountains (route 40)
We start with the essential places to see in Patagonia Argentina on the Andes Mountains side, where Route 40 runs from Mendoza and crosses the provinces of Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz.
1) Villa Pehuenia
Next to the Aluminé and Moquehue lakes, this beautiful town nestled between mountains on the border of Argentina and Chile is one of the must-see places in the Argentine Patagonia. Its natural environment invites you to relax completely.
2) Junín de los Andes
A city on the same route 40, very quiet and not yet overcrowded by tourism. In the surrounding area there are many places to visit, such as the imposing Lanin Volcano with its 3,770 meters above sea level and its always snow-capped summit and the Huechulafquen lake.
3) San Martin de los Andes
On the shores of Lake Lácar, San Martín de los Andes has grown a lot in recent times, becoming one of the most visited destinations by Argentines. Starting or finishing point for the famous Route of the 7 Lakes, its low wooden houses, the viewpoints on both sides of the lake and the ski center of Chapelco Hill are its main attractions.
Check out these recommendations on things to do in San Martín de los Andes.
📷 Book here the tour along the route of the 7 lakes. Includes: transfers and guide.
4) Route of the 7 Lakes
The 100 km that separate the city of San Martín de los Andes from Villa La Angostura is one of the most spectacular on Route 40. Known as the Route of the 7 lakes or Road of the 7 lakes, the water mirrors follow one after the other with different shades of blue in contrast with the snow-capped mountains of the Andes.
Visit every corner of the 7 Lakes Route in Patagonia.
5) Villa La Angostura
What used to be a small village has now been transformed into a large village to enjoy and stroll in both winter and summer. On the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi, its main avenue with shops, restaurants and chocolate shops are one of its main attractions. Also, do not miss a visit to the Arrayanes forest and Puerto Manzano.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in Villa La Angostura.
6) Bariloche, a must-see in Patagonia Argentina
The largest city in Argentine Patagonia on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Mitre Street with its traditional chocolate shops, the Circuito Chico and Colonia Suiza, sailing on the lake to Victoria Island, climbing Campanario Hill and enjoying the ski center of Cerro Catedral are some of the activities to do in the city. In the surroundings there are many excursions to do. It is worth dedicating at least 3 days.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in Bariloche.
📷 Book here the tour to Victoria Island and Arrayanes Forest from Bariloche. Includes: transfers and guide.
7) El Bolsón, the village of artisans
El Bolsón is gradually gaining importance among the destinations to see in Patagonia Argentina. This city, once a small town of artisans, now stands out for its hiking trails, the viewpoints overlooking the Azul River, its handicraft fair and the visit to Lake Puelo.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in El Bolsón.
There are three main attractions: a tour through the Los Alerces National Parksurrounded by high mountains and lakes, the visit to the small village of Trevelin with its Welsh teahouse customs that still exist today and the La Hoya ski center if you visit the city in winter.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in Esquel and Trevelín.
📷 Book your tour to Los Alerces National Park here. Includes: transfers and guide.
9) Cueva de las Manos
In the middle of the desert and arid Patagonian landscape in the center of the province of Santa Cruz, the Cueva de las Manos is located in the canyon of the Pinturas River and houses cave paintings dating back to centuries BC. To get there, take a detour from Route 40 along a gravel road. It is so important that it has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
🔘 Check out the rest of the World Heritage Sites we have visited.
10) El Chaltén, the national capital of trekking
If you are a lover of hiking trails, then you cannot miss visiting El Chaltén. Famous for its trekking with a large number of routes designed with different levels of difficulty, it is a true paradise in the mountains. Its best known and most impressive landscapes are Mount Fitz Roy and Mount Torre.
🔝 Check out this guide to trekking in El Chaltén.
📷 Book here the tour to El Chaltén from El Calafate. Includes: transfers and guide.
11) El Calafate by the Perito Moreno Glacier
To visit El Calafate is to visit one of the most impressive natural wonders of the world and of course of Argentina, the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few glaciers that has not regressed in recent years. Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few glaciers that has not regressed in recent years. You can see the glacier from the viewpoints, approach the high ice walls in a boat on the lake and even live the experience of walking on the glacier. Undoubtedly, a must-see in Patagonia Argentina.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in El Calafate.
📷 Check here the tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier to observe the imposing ice mass.
12) Ushuaia, the End of the World
The southernmost city in Argentina and the world dazzles everyone who visits it. In the province of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia not only attracts by the environment where it is located, of high mountains and on the banks of the Beagle Channelbut also for its surroundings such as the Tierra del Fuego National Park with the postal service at the End of the World, and the navigation to the island where the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse (also called lighthouse of the End of the World).
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in Ushuaia.
📷 Book here the navigation through the Beagle Channel to Les Éclaireurs lighthouse.
Best places to visit in Patagonia Argentina on the Atlantic Ocean (route 3)
Although it is less visited by foreign tourists, it is still an area of great beauty, where the dominant landscape is marked by the Patagonian steppe with small bushes, terrestrial and marine fauna and beaches.
In fact we have an article with all the beaches you can visit in the South of Argentina,
🔝 Check out these recommendations on the best beaches in southern Argentina.
13) Las Grutas
Las Grutas has established itself as one of the favorite resorts for Argentines during the summer months. Its geography generated wide beaches that appear or disappear by the effect of the tides during the day and small caves on the shore.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in Las Grutas.
📷 Book here the Las Grutas tour and snorkel in Punta Perdices, a fascinating adventure. Transfers and guide included.
14) Puerto Madryn, a must-see in Patagonia Argentina
One of our favorite cities in Patagonia Argentina and where Flor has family. Puerto Madryn mixes its beautiful promenade with its tranquility and proximity to Peninsula Valdes, a place to embark and watch whales in the season from July to November. In addition, orcas, penguins and sea lions can be seen from the shore.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things do in Puerto Madryn.
📷 Book your whale watching tour from Peninsula Valdes here.
15) Gaiman and Welsh customs
Gaiman is a small town very close to Trelew, perhaps not very well known by foreigners but very well known by Argentines. Founded by Welsh settlers, the town still maintains its tea traditionwith the Welsh cake that can be eaten in one of the tea houses. Gaiman became very famous for the presence of Lady Di in 1995.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in and around Trelew.
📷 Book here the tour to Gaiman and the Paleontological Museum of Trelew from Puerto Madryn.
16) Tombo Point
To see a real penguin colony, then you have to go to the Punta Tombo reserve, near the city of Trelew. From September to April you will be able to see the Magellanic penguins up close, since this is the place where they dig the caves and lay the eggs for the hatchlings to be born. It is an incredible place.
📷 Book here the tour to Punta Tombo from Puerto Madryn. Includes: transfers and guide.
17) Puerto Deseado
Puerto Deseado is a small town at the mouth of the Deseado River in the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can take a sea excursion to Penguin Island to observe yellow-plumed penguins, fur seals and elephant seals. About 250 km. from Puerto Deseado is the Jaramillo Petrified Forest, an ancient araucaria forest millions of years ago that has been petrified due to the volcanic eruptions that formed the Andes Mountains.
Best time to travel to Patagonia Argentina
The best time to travel to Patagonia Argentina is in the summer, between December and March, when temperatures are not so cold, roads are not blocked by snow and you can enjoy hiking in the mountains and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. In any case, due to its geographical position, both El Calafate and Ushuaia are cold all year round.
In the winter months, many people also come, especially to destinations with ski res orts such as Bariloche, San Martín de los Andes or Esquel to contemplate the snow-capped mountains.
It is necessary to take into account special months if you want to watch marine fauna. From July to November in Puerto Madryn if you want to see whales and from September to March to see penguins.
Patagonia Argentina by car
To travel around Patagonia Argentina by car you need to have time. From Buenos Aires it may be convenient to drive along Route 40 from Junín de los Andes to Esquel in 14 days.
Another trip could be a week-long getaway to Puerto Madryn, Las Grutas and Gaiman along Route 3.
El Calafate and Ushuaia require thousands of kilometers and even crossing the border with Chile to reach the “End of the World”. To visit these two locations it is convenient to take a plane.
If you want to see the whole of Patagonia Argentina by car, the minimum period is one and a half months and can even be extended to three months if you do it more relaxed.
Status of the routes to travel to Patagonia Argentina
Route 3, which runs along the east near the Atlantic Ocean, is fully paved as far as Ushuaia. To cross from Río Gallegos to Ushuaia it is necessary to cross Chile for a stretch and cross by ferry through Punta Delgada.
Route 40 from Junín de los Andes to Gobernador Gregores is also fully paved. To reach El Calafate there is only a small stretch that is still gravel road between Gobernador Gregores and Tres Lagos (in 2020 the pavement works have been stopped for the time being). From Tres Lagos to El Calafate it is paved.
Certain precautions must be taken when traveling on the roads of Patagonia Argentina:
- Carry chains for the tires if you travel in winter because snowfalls are frequent.
- Stocking up on fuel: the drives are very long and gas stations are scarce, especially when traveling from Chubut to the south.
- On gravel roads, drive at very low speed.
- Do not travel at night on roads that are not so busy: there may be stray animals and if you have any damage to the car you will probably have to spend the night inside in cold temperatures.
Is Patagonia Argentina safe to travel
Unlike big cities in Argentina such as Buenos Aires and surroundings, Rosario or Cordoba, traveling in Patagonia Argentina is safe.
You only have to take some precautions if you go on foot at night in the larger cities like Bariloche, although insecurity is not at all frequent. In these cases it is advisable to take a cab to return to your hotel or accommodation at night.
In other tourist sites such as San Martin de los Andes, El Calafate, Ushuaia, Puerto Madryn or smaller cities in Patagonia Argentina there is practically no insecurity and it is safe both day and night.
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Activities and Tours
More articles about Patagonia Argentina
- 10 Things to Do in Puerto Madryn: Sea, Whales and More
- 10 Things to Do in Trelew and Surroundings
- 11 Best Beaches in Southern Argentina
- 12 Things to Do in Ushuaia, at the End of the World
- 14 things to DO in EL CALAFATE
- 7 Best Things to Do in Villa la Angostura
- 7 Things to Do in Bariloche in Summer
- 8 Things to Do in Las Grutas Argentina
- 8 Things to Do in San Martín de Los Andes
- 9 Things to Do in Bariloche: The Best Activities
- Bariloche in 4 days, the best travel itinerary
- Best Hotels in El Calafate: Where to Stay
- EL CALAFATE in 4 DAYS, travel itinerary
- El Chaltén in 3 Days, Travel Itinerary
- Guide to the Best Trekkings in El Chaltén
- How to Do the Route of the 7 Lakes in Patagonia Argentina
- How to Get From Bariloche Airport to the Center of the City
- How to Get From El Calafate Airport to the City
- How to get from Ushuaia airport to downtown
- Perito Moreno Glacier: How to Get There and Things to Do
- The Best Tours in Bariloche
- The Best Tours in San Martin de Los Andes
- The Best Tours in Ushuaia: Mountains, Lakes, Sailing and More
- Things to Do in El Bolsón in One Day (And Lago Puelo)
- Things to Do in Esquel in 2 or 3 Days (And in Trevelin)
- Upsala Glacier Tour and Other Glaciers
- Ushuaia in 4 days, the best travel itinerary
- Where to Go on Summer Holidays in Patagonia
- Where to Stay In Bariloche: Cabins and Hotels
- Where to Stay in San Martín de Los Andes
- Where to Stay in Ushuaia, the Best Options
- Where to Stay in Villa la Angostura, the Best Options