Wind, ice and loneliness
Patagonia, the southern tip of America, still has a largely untouched and uninhabited nature. Only two per cent of Chiles population lives in these expanses, which are surrounded by numerous legends.
Since the 1980’s an adventurous gravel road winds its way through the dense forest of northern Patagonia. The so-called Carretera Austral attracts more and more travellers every year, leading them south, past turquoise lakes and fjords, hanging glaciers and several national parks. Only lonely settlers and adventurers live here. Amongst them a few conservationists like the North American multimillionaire Douglas Tompkins, who acquired over 300,000 hectares of forest and transformed it into the private Pumalín Nature Park.
The evergreen natural forests, favoured by the rainy climate, are a paradise for hikers and naturalists. Anglers will also find ideal conditions here. Based in first-class fishing lodges they can explore lonely lakes and rivers. The further south you head, the greater the contrasts in the landscape. Gigantic glaciers merge from the Patagonian ice field into large lakes and into the sea. The Torres del Paine National Park is one of the great natural wonders of our world, famous for its rocky peaks that arise from endless grasslands. The Strait of Magellan lies like a blue ribbon around the southern tip of America and contributes to the formation of clouds, which westerly winds blow across the flat pampa to Tierra del Fuego. Ship tours bring tourists to the Beagle Canal, the storm-tossed Cape Horn and the Antarctic ice fields.
Tips for Patagonia:
- Visit Parque Pumalín, the natural park of the eco-millionaire Douglas Tompkins.
- Circumnavigate the turquoise Lake General Carrera with its many arms and the Patagonian Ice Field in its backdrop
- Hike in the Torres del Paine National Park
- Visit the penguin colony at Otway Sound near Punta Arenas
Travel Routes in Patagonia:
On the Carretera Austral through Patagonia
Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Easter Island