March 01 2022

10 days in Patagonia: visiting its key cities and attractions


You want to travel to Patagonia, but you'll only visit for a few days? Where to go in Patagonia? What places and attractions to visit? We know this region quite well, so let us give you some ideas.

One thing is to see Patagonia in photos, videos, books, and online publications, or hear about it from other people who've traveled there. Another different thing is to experience this destination in person. 

How to make the most of Patagonia if you have limited time? At Navimag, we know this region well, given we are a crucial provider of passenger and cargo transportation here. So we came up with different travel itineraries you can do in 10 days.

Given that Patagonia is huge and distances are vast, and the climate changes unexpectedly, it can be challenging to see everything in a little more than a week. So we recommend that you stick to attractions and landmarks close to the most strategic cities in Chilean Patagonia:

Puerto Montt: It is the gateway into northern Patagonia. Its waterfront, beautiful lakes, surrounding volcanoes, wildlife, and delicious local cuisine make it an essential travel destination.

Puerto Natales: It is the capital of the province of Última Esperanza and the base camp from where you can visit the Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins national parks. Excursions depart daily from this city to tour the surrounding attractions, featuring fjords, archipelagos, valleys, and ice fields.

Punta Arenas: It is the southernmost city globally and is the most populated in Patagonia. Its parks, museums, islands, and duty-free zone draw travelers from all over the world.

What to do in Chilean Patagonia?

There're plenty of activities for you to discover the local history, architecture, traditions, food, and the Patagonian way of life.

In Puerto Montt you can:

  • Enjoy the incredible typical gastronomy, based mainly on seafood, in the charming fishing cove of Angelmó.
  • Venture on a day trip to Frutillar, Puerto Varas, Saltos de Petrohué and lakes Llanquihue and Todos Los Santos.
  • Visit the Juan Pablo II historical museum to learn more about the city.
  • Visit the La Arena Cove, a picturesque town located 45 minutes south of Puerto Montt, on the first stretch of the Carretera Austral, where you will appreciate the native flora and fauna.

In Puerto Natales you can:

  • Visit the Nao Victoria museum to see the replicas of the ships that arrived when this area was discovered three centuries ago. 
  • Travel back in time in the Milodon Cave, a natural monument where the remains of a giant prehistoric sloth were found in 1875. 
  • Take a city bike tour to see its colorful houses and landscapes.
  • Climb the Dorotea hill and watch the sunset from its mirador overlooking Puerto Natales.

In Punta Arenas you can:

  • Go to Los Pingüinos Natural Monument on Magdalena Island, home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins.
  • Visit Bulnes Fort, a historical reconstruction of the fort where the first immigrant colonies settled in Patagonia in the 19th century.
  • Visit Pali-Aike National Park, which covers the Chilean side of the Pali Aike volcanic field, some of which are still covered in lava.

How can you get there?

If it makes sense for you to visit these three cities, there are different ways of reaching them: 

  1. If you drive or fly to Puerto Montt, you can sail the Patagonian Fjords ferry route to Puerto Natales and ride a car or bus to Punta Arenas.
  2. If you fly to Punta Arenas, you can ride a car or bus to Puerto Natales and then take the ferry to Puerto Montt

The Navimag ferry route along the Patagonian Fjords is a unique opportunity to live a local experience, see locations slightly off the beaten track, and share experiences with other travelers.

Whichever itinerary you travel, follow these travel tips when visiting Patagonia:

  • You save time if you fly to Puerto Montt or Punta Arenas.
  • Better take city walking and bike tours to get to know these cities and leave the bus or car for lengthier rides.
  • The Patagonian Fjords route by Navimag Ferries takes 4 days and 4 nights if you travel from Puerto Montt and 3 days and 4 nights if you depart from Puerto Natales.

There's a lot you can do in 10 days!

If you use these three cities as your starting points, you can travel safely in Patagonia and see enough landmarks and attractions in ten days. 

The itineraries in this blog cover the basics and appeal to different interests. Choose your favorite and start planning your trip to Patagonia!

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