June 06 2018

4 of the locals’ favorite places in Patagonia


There are unknown places in Patagonia that only the locals enjoy. However, if you are slow traveling, you’re able to a slower pace, discovering magical corners that few tourists get to see. 

Therefore, if you are planning a trip to the remotest corner of Chile, check out four of the locals’ favorite places in Patagonia.

Lago Blanco

Timaukel, in Tierra del Fuego, is one of the less populated communes in Chile. It hosts Lago Blanco, or white lake, the largest in the region, extending 36 kilometers long and 18 kilometers wide.

Its waters are known worldwide as a paradise for fishing (or fly-fishing). There, you can find different types of trout, like the Rainbow and the Brown trout. The lake is surrounded by Magellan forests that are born at the foot of the Fuegian range.

In the Three Brothers estate, you can watch colonies of King penguins. This capricious climate is also home to several types of birds, guanacos, wild horses, and beavers in river dams. 

Peace reigns in this corner of the world. The locals are sheep farmers, and tourism has slowly developed over the past few years, due to the impressive and pristine landscapes that can be found there still.


Strait of Magellan Park

One hour from Punta Arenas is the Strait of Magellan. It’s a 4 kilometers drive where you can visit several attractions like

  • Bulnes Fort (National Historical Monument), which is a recreation of the first Chilean settlement in the territory, in 1983.
  • Wind Forest Trail (Sendero Bosque del Viento), a pedestrian route 300 meters-long where you can look for boats, birds, and whales pass by
  • Path of the Coast (Sendero de la Costa), another pedestrian path that’s a bit longer that crosses forests and rock formations surrounding the fort, hosting several viewing points.

The park also has a cultural center offering multimedia and interpretive displays about the natural and human history of the Strait of Magellan. And from its terrace, there is a beautiful view of Port of Hunger (Puerto de Hambre).


The Lighthouse of San Isidro

The Faro de San Isidro it’s 75 kilometers to the south of the city of Punta Arenas, located on the shores of the Brunswick Peninsula.

The Cape s surrounded by mountains and sub-Antarctic forests of coihues, canelos, mousehole trees, peat bogs, wetlands, alpine areas and rivers, lakes, and glaciers. , It’s common to see dolphins and other marine birds while visiting this attraction.

The history of this lighthouse dates to 1904, built to guide navigation towards Punta Arenas. In the mid-19th century, the Strait was a critical trading sea route. As traffic increased, so did accidents, so a navigational aid was required. It’s been restored, and it’s now a lodging.

Very close to the lighthouse is Eagle Bay, an ideal place for camping (as it is protected from strong winds) and for kayaking. 

For the more adventurous, Cape Froward is further south, home to the Cross of the Seas, a large metallic cross that sits on the spot where the American continent ends. 

To get there, you need to pass Fort Bulnes and San Juan, a beautiful corner where the locals often picnic during the day or collect calafate in March.


Blue Lagoon (northeast of Torres del Paine)

Torres del Paine is a classic destination in Chile and the eighth wonder of the world, no less. Tourists travel from all parts of the world to visit. 

However, for those who don't like crowds and prefer to enjoy Patagonia more intimately, the northern part of the Blue Lagoon (Laguna Azul) is ideal.

From this point, you can watch the characteristic blue peaks while hiking and watch wild-horses (or baguales) roaming the Sierra Masle. You can also see mountains, valleys, estuaries, lagoons, and wetlands without bumping into many tourists. Given the path is a dirt trail, it’s necessary to visit with a guide.

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