Patagonia is most definitely a contender for the most beautiful place in the world, boasting stunning vistas at every turn, paths untrodden by the masses, towering snow-capped mountains and a multitude of lakes varying in many colours. With so much to see, what are you waiting for?
Not far from Punta Arenas, Chile, is the popular penguin-spotting Magdalena Island where you can see Magellanic penguins waddling around and an estimated 60,000 breeding pairs migrating there each summer to raise their young. The lesser-known Parque Pingüino Rey on the coast of Bahia Inutil is where you’ll find the only colony of king penguins outside Antartica.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Hike up to the Torres del Paine National Park
The Torres del Paine National Park near Chile’s Puerto Natales will undoubtedly and literally blow you away with its spectacular views and strong, bustling winds. Its rugged green landscapes and snowy, towering mountain peaks offer plenty of hiking opportunities and the turquoise glacial lakes will leave you with rare and gorgeous views.
Horseback rides across a rugged landscape
Spend some time with a local gaucho (cowboy) at Estancia Huechahue in Neuquen, Argentina, who will take you galloping across Patagonia’s outstretched land as you sit back and enjoy the views. The cattle ranch’s riding itinerary includes visits to basalt canyons and the burial grounds of Tehuelche natives. The gauchos will also be able to tell you more about the area’s history, flora, fauna and wildlife.
Walk over the Grey Glacier
Found among the southern Patagonian ice field, Grey Glacier is one of Torres del Paine’s most monstrous glaciers, which you can see up close either by boat or by foot. Grab an ice axe and a harness and bundle up before exploring this blue-grey sheet of ice, which stretches six kilometres (almost four miles) wide and over 30 metres (98 feet) high.
Relax in thermal baths
You won’t be feeling any chills when you’re surrounded by forests and wonderful views of snow-capped mountains at Termas Puyuhuapi’s thermal baths. Located near one of Chile’s most important hot springs, its waters can reach temperatures of over 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit), though the resort also has pools for relaxation that don’t exceed 47 degrees Celsius and are filled with magnesium, chromium and zinc to exfoliate and ease you.
Kayak around the fjords
What better way to explore the fjords of Patagonia than by kayaking its rivers, traversing lagoons and getting right up against looming glaciers? If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, you can take on the waters of some of the world’s largest rivers. You can navigate your way through Pumalin Park in Chile’s Palena Province, off the Carretera Austral at the San Rafael Glacier, on the Baker River or further south through the Magellan Straits alongside humpback whales and penguins.
Cycle on the Carretera Austral
Popular during the summer months with avid cyclists, the Carretera Austral is a road that runs approximately 1,240 kilometres (771 miles) from Puerto Montt, a port city in Chile’s Lake District, to Villa O’Higgins in the Aysen region. The journey will take you through some incredible places, all of which are sparsely populated. Make sure to stop along its lush forests, icey fjords, commandeering mountains and towering volcanoes.
Enjoy world-class fishing
Fly fishing in Patagonia is the focus for many keen anglers, from the Junin de los Andes region in Argentina to Chile’s Tierra del Fuego. The sea-run brown trout along Rio Grande, Argentina, have reached record sizes and the abundance of fishing activity here really is a world of its own.
Visit the quaint village of Caleta Tortel
Found between the ice fields at the mouth of the Baker River (Chile’s largest river) is Caleta Tortel, a unique village with nothing but boardwalks and wooden walkways connecting its stilt houses. Though this charming place isn’t visited by many, it is definitely a worthwhile destination and experience, especially for keen fishers.
Conquer Cerro Castillo
Found south of Coyhaique in the Aysen region of Chile is the Cerro Castillo National Reserve, which offers some of the best hiking in the area. It spreads over 100,000 hectares and a multitude of the Andes Mountains’ soaring peaks. The Cerro Castillo’s 45-kilometre (28-mile) trail can take between four to five days to cover and runs through bushy forests, offers magnificent views of hanging glaciers and will bring you to Patagonia’s rich flora, fauna and wildlife.
Visit the Marble Caves
Whether you take a boat trip or a kayak tour, the Marble Caves are stunning natural wonders formed by over 6,000 years of freshwater waves washing up against calcium carbonate, then leaving swirling patterns on the cavern walls. The azure waters of the lake reflect against the cave’s walls, offering stunning views that change colours throughout the year depending on the water levels and season.
With Patagonia’s abundance of wildlife, spotting native Chilean animals will be easy, from guanacos (wild Andean mammals related to the llama) to pumas, both of which have been sighted in the Torres del Paine National Park. As you explore the more coastal areas like Punta Arenas, you will also be able to spot whales and penguins. Have your binoculars ready!
Admire the Queulat Hanging Glacier
Trek through the evergreen forests, snow-capped mountains and icy glaciers of Queulat National Park in Aysen, Chile. The largest glacier found here is the magnificent Hanging Glacier sitting at an impressive 1,889 metres (almost 6,200 feet) high between two peaks of the Andes Mountains. With plenty of hikes available, the surroundings are blissful and the perfect place for exploring.
Taste a local curanto
The traditional meal that’s prepared in the Chiloe archipelago along Chile’s coast has spread throughout the south of the country and is very popular. As locals gather together to prepare and eat curanto, it becomes quite the event. The ingredients include a variety of fish, meat, potatoes and milcao (a type of regional potato pancake), which are buried in a hole in the ground covered with leaves and dirt and left to cook among the hot coals.
Visit the end of the world
Not many can claim that they’ve been to the end of the world and back. Tierra del Fuego is the closest point to Antarctica, and you’ll definitely feel the cold! As the continent breaks into little islands, you’ll be able to spot seals and sea lions along the Beagle Channel as well as humpback whales in the open water.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.