Bucket List: Patagonia

Patagonia

Photo by Miguel Vieira

Region: South America/Andes

Logistical Difficulty: HIGH

Hiking Difficulty: Moderate

Degree of Risk: Moderate

Estimated time required (including travel and logistics): Two weeks

No trekking ‘must-do’ list would be complete without mention of Patagonia…a vast and remote area that spans parts of Chile and Argentina, the very southern end of the western world. Patagonia is to South America what Alaska is to North America — the wild extreme of nature. We have two major hikes in this area on our list; the popular ‘W’ and the less well defined ‘Around Fitz Roy.’

Fitz Roy Chalten Argentina Todor Bozhinov 2013.jpg
Cerro Fitz Roy. By own work (Todor Bozhinov) – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26380187

 

Why Hike Here?

  • Unique and stunning landscapes
  • A land of extremes
  • Sylvia speaks Spanish fluently and Gringo Grande (the editor) is learning
  • Elevation is generally not a factor here
  • There are opportunities to stay in refuges, though they are crowded and Spartan
  • Most of the trails we are considering are not difficult hiking

But First Consider…

  • Simply horrible weather
  • Some tenting is probably required
  • Great logistical complexity of the entire trip
  • Paine has become very expensive lately
  • Complex permitting “System”
  • The W Hike will be crowded during peak times
  • Bookings are difficult to come by

 

Around Fitz Roy, Los Glaciers National Park, Argentina*

The ‘W’, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile*

*On the Bucket List!