Make the Most of Your Time in Patagonia

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The icy blue waters of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentine Patagonia
How Many Days to Spend in Patagonia

Adventure-seekers with only five days to spare can visit a couple of Patagonia's most famous lakes and mountains. In a week, you can venture deep into national parks for circuit treks around towering peaks and ancient glaciers. And 10 or 14 days are perfect for enjoying a best-of-Patagonia adventure that includes highlights like El Calafate, Los Glaciares National Park, Mount Fitz Roy, and hiking in Tierra del Fuego.

Patagonia
Map of 5 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With five days, you'll want to focus on one region of Patagonia. Pay a visit to Perito Moreno in Los Glaciares National Park, road trip the Carretera Austral, make a whirlwind circuit through Torres del Paine, or step just outside of Patagonia to southern Chile's incredible Lake District.

Use Ushuaia, the southernmost town on the American continent, as a base to explore Patagonia
Map of 6 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
6 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

If you've got six days in Patagonia, it's best to focus on one region. Wildlife lovers will enjoy walking alongside penguins at Isla Magdalena and spotting dolphins in the Magellan Strait. Travelers interested in the natural beauty at the "End of the World" can hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park, while those eager to learn about glaciers should visit the Glaciarium in El Calafate, trek the Perito Moreno Glacier, or cruise to Grey Glacier. Fit adventurers keen on camping can tackle a section of the W Trek.

Spot Magellan and Humboldt penguins on a family tour of Isla Chiloé
Map of 1 Week in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

If you have one week with the family in Patagonia, you should focus on 2-3 regions. Buenos Aires offers culinary workshops for aspiring chefs and interactive museums for curious kids. Active families can choose from outdoor activities such as kayaking on Lago Gutiérrez, cave tours in Torres del Paine National Park, a visit to Perito Moreno Glacier, and hiking around Cerro Tronador. Those keen on wildlife can encounter penguins at Isla Magdalena, whales at Puerto Pirámides, and dolphins at Agua Fresca Bay.

Watch the sunset over the wind-whipped trees of Tierra del Fuego National Park
Map of 1 Week in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With a week to spend in Patagonia, it's easy to plan a trip around your interests. Trekkers can hit the trails among the granite peaks of Torres del Paine. Outdoor enthusiasts will love visiting the famed Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. For wildlife, head to Punta Arenas and visit an island home to a colony of Magellanic penguins. Learn more about your options in our roundup below.

Witness breaching right whales off Península Valdés on an Argentine Patagonia itinerary to Puerto Madryn
Map of 8 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
8 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With eight days in Patagonia, you can split your time between El Calafate and El Chaltén and explore Los Glaciares National Park on a hiking-focused trip or head to the "End of the World" and spot penguins, whales, and more on a trip to Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia. If the W Trek tops your bucket list, opt for a Chilean Patagonia adventure and spend four days hiking between refugios, while wildlife photographers will love a trip focused on capturing shots of pumas, penguins, and Andean condors.

 Marvel at the view (and size!) of Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glasyares National Park, Patagonia
Map of 9 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
9 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With nine days in Patagonia, you can hike and boat your way around Argentina on a highlights tour of El Chaltén, El Calafate, and Ushuaia, or focus on Chile and discover the beautiful landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park. Those looking for a mix of urban and off-the-beaten-path excursions will enjoy sandwiching time in Ushuaia and El Calafate with stays in Buenos Aires while hiking enthusiasts shouldn't miss a trekking tour featuring five days on the W Trek.

Take in the iconic views of the "towers" of Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia
Map of 10 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days in Patagonia, there's enough time to tick off the must-see landscapes of Los Glaciares and Torres del Paine National Parks on a highlights tour. You can also focus your time on Argentina, which allows you to include Bariloche on your itinerary, or hit the trails of Chile and spend eight days conquering the epic O Circuit and W Trek. Alternatively, opt for a more leisurely tour featuring a multi-day fjord cruise in Tierra del Fuego.

Take a family hike through Torres del Paine National Park
Map of 10 Days in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days in Patagonia, you and the family can visit 2-3 regions. Animal-loving kids will be thrilled to walk with penguins on Isla Martillo and visit an alpaca farm in the Aconcagua Valley. Outdoorsy families can hike in Torres del Paine National Park and kayak the Marble Caves, while those with older and physically fit children can go whitewater rafting on the Río Petrohué, caving at Cerro Benítez, and ice trekking at Perito Moreno Glacier.

Snap pics in front of the entrance to El Chaltén village with the Fitz Roy mountains in the background
Map of 11 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
11 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 11 days in Patagonia, you can focus your time getting deep into Patagonia's dramatic landscapes during adventures in Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine, and Los Glaciares national parks on an outdoor adventures trip or minimize the travel time and explore Los Glaciares National Park from all angles. For those looking for a more relaxing trip, opt for an itinerary that includes the Lake District, while those keen to get well off the beaten path will love spending time at the "End of the World."

Enjoy views of Monte Fitz Roy in Argentina Patagonia
Map of 12 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
12 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 12 days in Patagonia, you can explore the highlights of Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares national parks on a highlights tour or get deeper into the landscapes and hike between W Trek "refugios" on an ultimate Patagonia trekking adventure. Those who prefer to explore with a paddle in hand should opt for a Chilean Patagonia for kayakers trip. Meanwhile, those looking for a more well-rounded itinerary will delight in an active Patagonia experience that encompasses Santiago, Puerto Natales, El Calafate, and El Chaltén.

See king penguins on the beaches of Tierra del Fuego.jpg
Map of 13 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
13 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Cover four destinations with 13 days in Patagonia, plus added locales of Santiago and Buenos Aires. Adventurers will enjoy kayaking and ice trekking, while others may focus on wildlife and hiking on both the Argentine and Chilean sides. Hikers will be interested in including the five-day W Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park. You can also base yourself in EL Calafate and El Chaltén to enjoy day hikes to glaciers and mountain scenery. Or, split your time between nature and the cities by adding Buenos Aires and Ushuaia.

Take your kids to see glacial ice in Los Glaciares National Park
Map of 2 Weeks in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks in Patagonia with your family, you can visit 4-5 regions. Active families can trek in Torres del Paine National Park, ice hike at Perito Moreno Glacier, and kayak to the Marble Caves. Those keen on culture can experience gaúcho life on a Patagonian ranch and treat their aspiring chefs to a Santiago tasting tour and Buenos Aires cooking class. Animal-loving kids will enjoy the penguin walk at Isla Magdalena, dolphin-spotting at Agua Fresca Bay, and bird-watching in Alerce Andino National Park.

See Grey Glacier by boat (or kayak) as you explore Chilean Patagonia
Map of 2 Weeks in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks in Patagonia, you could stick to one side—Argentina or Chile—or visit both. First-timers can hit the highlights in southern Patagonia, including Los Glaciares National Park. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy bird-watching in Alerce Andino National Park and searching for cougars in Torres del Paine National Park. Experienced hikers can escape the crowds on the "O" Circuit, and travelers eager to visit the "End of the World" (where you'll find penguin colonies and glacier hikes) should head for Ushuaia.

Rural area with trees, stream of water and mountain in Coyhaique, Chili
Map of 15 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
15 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 15 days in Patagonia, you can conquer the bucket list W Trek and enjoy numerous day hikes from El Chaltén on a well-rounded hiking itinerary or focus on Chile's and Argentina's unique marine life on a wildlife tour. Those looking to include cultural excursions should spend time in Buenos Aires, while experienced hiking enthusiasts will love an ultimate trekking adventure featuring both the Cerro Castillo Trek and the W Trek.

Discover Pumalin National Park over three days of hiking on a hidden wonders itinerary
16 Days in Patagonia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 16 days, you can experience Chilean and Argentine Patagonia's natural wonders and historic cities. Get your culture fix with a cooking class in Valparaíso, a tour of Santiago's historic sites, and a visit to a sheep ranch on the Antonio Veras Peninsula. If it's animal encounters you're after, you can meet penguins on Isla Magdalena and spot dolphins on the Strait of Magellan. Active adventurers eager to immerse in nature can pack-raft on the Río Liucura, try ice hiking at Grey Glacier, and tackle the W Trek.