Where is Patagonia?
When is the best time to travel to Patagonia?
What should I pack to prepare for the weather in Patagonia?
What level of physical fitness is needed to enjoy travel to Patagonia?
What are the Visa/Passport requirements for Patagonia?
Do I need to get vaccinations or medications before traveling to Patagonia?
Can I drink the water?
Can I use credit cards? Are ATMS available?
How do I get to Patagonia?
What are the accommodations in Patagonia like?
Is Patagonia a good destination for families?
Are your Patagonia adventure tour dates flexible?
Patagonia is wild, windswept southern region of both Chile and Argentina that spans from the Pacific Ocean, over the Andes and to the Atlantic Ocean. It extends north to the Colorado River, encompassing the Chilean Lakes District and the Valdes Peninsula in Argentina, and south to Tierra del Fuego and encompasses more than 380,000 square miles.The land is dotted with deep blue lakes, dramatic glaciers and ice fields, steep granite mountains, endless grassy steppes and beautiful coastlines that attract an abundance of marine mammals and birdlife. The name Patagonia comes from the word patagón, used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants because of the large footprints their animal-skin footwear left in the sand. It is now believed the Patagons were Tehuelches natives with an average height of 180 cm (~5′11″) compared to the 155 cm (~5′1″) average for Spaniards of the time. Back to Top
Patagonia has a short season; travel generally occurs October-April with the peak season coinciding with the summer months of December, January and February. Many properties sell-out a year or more in advance for the holiday periods so planning your trip well in advance is suggested. The shoulder months of October and April can be a little cooler, but often are far less crowded and can offer the benefit of reduced pricing. Back to Top
After you register for one of our adventures, a detailed packing list will be sent to you as part of your pre-departure package. Patagonia is an active destination. An any of our trips, you’ll want to have good, waterproof hiking boots, some warm layers and a rain/wind jacket. Back to Top
The level of physical fitness required differs for various hikes and treks, and on most of our programs (except the Torres del Paine Base Camp trek), Wildland travelers have the option to participate in more demanding, full-day treks, or opt for easier half-day hikes along glacial lakes and through beech forests. The Torres del Paine Base Camp Trek and our Hiker’s Patagonia trip are our most active adventures while Best of Patagonia and Wake of Magellan offer components of relaxation or boat exploration that are not trekking based. However, the best way to experience Patagonia is on foot! Some walking and hiking are required for maximum trip participation, making this destination unsuitable for individuals with mobility issues. Back to Top
U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require visas for entrance into either Chile or Argentina. Your passport simply needs to be valid for 6 months beyond your dates of travel. However, upon international flight arrival into either Santiago or Buenos Aires, American citizens are required to pay a $140 reciprocity fee, which is valid for 10 years. This can be paid in cash (USD or local currency), with a debit or with a credit card upon passing through immigration at the airport. Back to Top
No vaccinations are required. If you have traveled out of the country recently, you are likely up-to-date on any vaccinations that you would want to have for Patagonia. The only exception to this is if you extend your travels into Northern Argentina, to the tropical and subtropical regions of Iguazu Falls and the Ibera Marshes where you should consider a Yellow Fever shot and Malaria prevention. We strongly encourage travelers to speak with their doctors and visit the Center for Disease Controls website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel for the most current health-related travel information. Back to Top
Yes! Tap water is safe to drink throughout most of Chile and Argentina. If you are traveling to a remote lodge or estancia or on a trekking trip where treated water is not available, we will let you know in advance and bottled water will be provided. Back to Top
ATMs are readily available in both Santiago and Buenos Aires and to a lesser extent in the smaller cities of Punta Arenas and El Calafate. We find that the easiest way to obtain local currency is to use your debit card (notify your bank of foreign travels and potential charges first) to withdrawl cash from ATMs once in-country. Debit cards are widely accepted, as are Visa and MasterCard at most lodges. However, when staying in Torres del Paine or El Chalten, you should bring cash with you ahead of time for gratuities and incidental charges. Our guides readily accept USD as gratuities but having local currency on hand is helpful as well for making small purchases. Back to Top
All of Wildland Adventures Patagonia tours begin in either Santiago or Buenos Aires and factor in the international arrival day. Through our colleagues at Exito Travel, we will assist you with arranging the necessary flights in-country that are required for your itinerary. These are an additional cost to the land price paid to Wildland Adventures. Exito Travel can also assist with arranging international airfare to Chile or Argentina. Back to Top
Accommodations on our Patagonia adventures range from luxury yurt-style camps, to family-run estancias and boutique lodges in mountain towns. Though our itineraries feature particular accommodations, we are happy to make substitutions upon request, or out of necessity if a lodge is fully booked. In general, we use 4-star properties that are privately owned and operated by local families and individuals and offer travelers a unique sense of place as opposed to larger, international chain-hotel groups. Back to Top
For older children and teens, yes. A vacation to Patagonia is all about immersing yourself and your family in remote wild lands and gaining a greater appreciation for nature by exploring on foot. Patagonia is vast and there are several necessary overland transfers that can take 3 or 4 hours, especially on the day spent traveling from Torres del Paine in Chile to El Calafate in Argentina. Most of the longer hiking options aren’t recommended for children under 12. The exception to this is our Best of Patagonia itinerary, which is popular among families with slightly older children, especially over the holiday season as the shorter trip length fits nicely within school breaks. Back to Top
Absolutely! Though we do offer set small-group departures throughout the season, about 60% of Wildland travelers to Patagonia want a customized trip based upon aspects or features of our published Patagonia adventure tours. Discuss your ideas with our Destinatuion Program Director and they will work with you to create a trip that fits your interests and desired travel dates. Back to Top