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Discover the Glaciers of Patagonia, Chile

3 min read

Patagonia is located in the southern portion of South America, spanning a large geographical area that covers both Argentina and Chile. It's a land that has a wide spectrum of weather conditions and natural wonders that include deep fjords, fast moving rivers, beautiful mountains, and even a vast collection of icy glaciers.

Chilean Patagonia is renowned for its appeal to adventurous explorers. The incredible scenery throughout the entire region is an experience that many travelers can't wait to witness with their own eyes. Between the sheer number of waterfalls, lakes, forests, mountains, glaciers, and islands, the region is a traveler's paradise. Additionally, the Tierra del Fuego archipelago also appeals to adventurers as it includes the isolated but rugged landscape of Cape Horn.

In addition to the wildlife viewing opportunities in Patagonia, many travelers are drawn by the impressive land formations, such as glaciers and icebergs

In addition to the wildlife viewing opportunities in Patagonia, many travelers are drawn by the impressive
land formations, such as glaciers and icebergs. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

How to visit Patagonia

You can visit Patagonia several different ways, though you will need to plan ahead to make the most of your trip. The most direct route is a flight into Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then fly to Ushuaia, Argentina. There, you can board a small vessel that will take you through the fjords and waterways of Patagonia.

If you'd prefer more of a seafaring adventure to the area, you can join the Essential Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Torres del Paine expedition. You'll find yourself sailing down the Beagle Channel and pass through the stunning Glacier Alley. The glaciers in this area are massive tidewater glaciers named after the home countries of famed explorers who discovered the area. The scenery in this area is completely breathtaking. You get a feeling of inspiring awe, and respect that only nature can provide.

Patagonia Glaciers

Patagonia has an abundance of glaciers. Over 300 glaciers have been documented by explorers across Patagonia and a list of the most famous glaciers provides a helpful guide for what you can experience while visiting the area.

Views of massive glaciers, as shown here,  are among the highlights for Quark Expeditions' guests traveling in Patagonia.

Some glaciers in Patagonia span five kilometres, forming massive walls of ice at the water's edge. Photo: Courtesy of AdobeStock

Chief among the most famous glaciers is the Perito Moreno Glacier, considered one of the great wonders of nature. The Perito Moreno is one of the largest glaciers in all of the southern hemisphere, standing at 60 meters tall and spanning over 5km across the land. It's a massive wall of ice that glistens in both the sun and moonlight. A magnificent sight to see.

How to visit the glaciers in Patagonia

One of the things to keep in mind when planning an adventure to Patagonia is the weather. Due to the rugged terrain surrounding the coast, it can be difficult for vessels to navigate the shorelines during the off-season. Additionally, since the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans all meet at a point just south of Cape Horn, the waves and conditions on the ocean can become overwhelming when the weather is too strong.

For that reason, the best time to visit glaciers in Patagonia, Chile is during the summer months between March and May. It's during these times that the conditions surrounding the land are most welcoming to ships and adventurers so make sure you book a spot on board a vessel sailing during this time of year.

Patagonia Glacier Cruise

The best way to visit the glaciers in Patagonia, Chile is to join a voyage such as the Essential Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Torres del Paine. This 15 day expedition takes you across the entire region of Patagonia that includes stops in the heart of Glacier Alley. You'll have plenty of photo ops to capture seabirds hovering overhead and dramatic vistas of jagged-peaked mountains and massive tidewater glaciers.

You'll also pass through a number of locations that are home to expansive glaciers that you won't soon forget. Some of these regions include:

  • Puerto Natales
  • Torres del Paine National Park
  • Canal de las Montañas
  • Bahia Brookes

Patagonia offers some of the most amazing sights you will ever witness on an exploratory adventure, and you want to make sure that you're prepared for the experience. The team at Quark Expeditions has put together an expedition packing list to help you bring the right gear and experience the most of your adventure in this incredible piece of wildlife.

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