For an unforgettable trip to one of the world’s most southern areas, we’ve selected the best tips from visitors who have already been to Patagonia. The stories we’ve compiled include a bicycle trip and a backpacking getaway.
You may have lingering doubts about the first place you should visit or the easiest way to move around. Here you’ll find great advice if you are planning to travel solo through Patagonia.
Most agree that Patagonia is one of Latin America’s safest destinations so you shouldn’t have a significant problem if you plan to travel there alone.
Book hostels in advance
Blogger Brittany from Boston describes how her trip to Patagonia was one of her best recent adventures. According to her, Patagonia is a place that invites both physical and mind challenges. She suggests visiting the region particularly to people who want to see something different, given that the forces of nature there are far greater than that of man. And for that reason, she believes it draws a lot of people in every year.
What’s more, although not many people make this trip alone, Brittany says she totally recommends it because her confidence in her abilities and enjoyment grew as she made it to new places and overcame different challenges.
“There are five main towns in Patagonia that serve as entry points to the various parks that make up this region: Chaltén, Calafate, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, and Ushuaia.” They are all sleepy, small towns where you can only find the basics, according to Brittany.
She recommends travelers to book hostels ahead of time and keep enough blank pages on their passports for when they cross the Chile/Argentina border.
One of Brittany’s most significant bits of advice is to pack a light backpack as on occasions you’ll be walking eight hours a day, which after a month can become exhausting.
Work and travel
Touring Patagonia for four months wasn’t enough time for James Alfaro, who also took advantage of an opportunity to work as a photographer and earn money to finance his trip.
To James, it really wasn’t solo travel as he met other backpackers on the road that gave him tips throughout his trip. “I began traveling in northern Patagonia in December. I passed through Villa Cerro Castillo on many occasions, my favorite place. I was driving alone in a truck, so backpackers were welcome company.”
In general, locals were friendly, James adds. When he needed help, he was always given a hand or good advice. Even when it involved taking photos at dawn or climbing a mountain.
Punta Arenas as a base camp
Journalist Steph Dyson emphasizes the importance of having a basecamp to move around from, especially if you are backpacking.
From this strategic city, travelers can discover local treasures or live different experiences while wildlife watching. Such is the case of Isla Magdalena, located 35 kilometers from Punta Arenas, which is an excellent place to watch colonies of Magellanic penguins.
Steph also recommends kayaking along the different fjords around the city and using the bus to get around several towns.
A bike trip
If you are still looking for new solo travel adventures in Patagonia, here’s a trailer for a documentary about a Brazilian journalist who traveled for six months by bicycle. Guilherme filmed the trip with a GoPro, showing the most breathtaking landscapes in Patagonia.
Also, link here to learn more about a book written by Kate McCahill, who traveled alone for a year in different Latin American countries. In it, she highlights her trip through Patagonia and describes the best places and biggest challenges she faced.
There are many enjoyable ways to travel alone. Most travelers highly recommend paying attention to details such as the route you take or the city you choose as a base camp from which to visit other places.
You can prepare your itinerary in advance or plan it as you meet other travelers. But be assured: Patagonia is one of the safest places to travel in Latin America.