There are several activities to do in Patagonia and, best of all, they are so varied that there will always be an ideal activity for each traveler's leisure.
There’s no need to be an extreme sportsman to tour the region and enjoy its charming landscapes; the variety of views and routes is so vast that each person can choose whichever suits its needs and tastes best, fitting all types of pleasure travel.
For example, here’s a list of the best places to go hiking in Patagonia for free!
Patagonia free for all
Trekking is not a competitive activity; it is possible for people of all sorts to stroll around the incredible mountains, trails and paths of this southernmost region of Chile.
Best of all, it is not necessary to use a tour guide to perform this activity, given many of these incredible places are perfectly identified for visitors, whether they go in groups, in pairs or alone. It is the best option for those travelling on a budget, too!
However, it is always important to give notice to Chilean forestry authority Conaf before the beginning and end of every trail journey, regardless of it is a full-on hiking or a mild trekking expedition, in addition to wearing suitable clothing and taking on enough food and water.
Before we go ahead and tell about these beautiful places, please keep in mind to take your garbage with you!
Each of the following best places to go trekking in Patagonia has its own level of difficulty and time duration:
Sendero Mirador – Pueblo Puyuhuapi:
This trail takes visitors to a beautiful vantage point from where they can appreciate the local town and bay area; there’s a privileged view of the Cerro Tesoro mountain range. The flora found in this area is unique given Puyuhuapi’s sea climate with abundant rainfall that keeps this beautiful village green all year round.
- Difficulty: Low.
-Time: One (1) hour approximately.
Sendero La Junta:
Located in the Rosselot National Reserve, starts in front of the town of La Junta, in Carretera Austral. This spectacular 2.5-kilometre trail takes travellers to two scenic lookouts: one offers a panoramic view of La Junta, and another one looks out at the connecting point between the Palena and Rosselot rivers. Can you imagine walking among the native vegetation, flora and fauna? It is definitely one of the mandatory budget hiking trips in Chilean Patagonia!
Time: (1) an hour.
Las Horquetas Trail:
Completing this trekking trail takes three days and is free of charge between May and August. The path starts at Las Horquetas sector in Carretera Austral and ends with travellers hiking Cerro Castillo hill.
For this adventure, it is important to have previous experience trekking in winter and in camping outdoors at low temperatures. If travellers go during the fall-winter season (May-August), it is crucial that they wear outdoor equipment in excellent condition, waterproof jackets that support low temperatures, and the proper footwear; a four-season tent and food and meals for the 3-day journey are also a must.
An excellent aspect of this route is that it offers landscapes that are entirely different from each other, including forests, various stream basins, and a magnificent lagoon at the foot of Cerro Castillo hill. Some lucky people have had the opportunity to even watch and photograph wild animals like foxes, huemules, condors, and an incredible variety of birds that are native to the region. There’s no doubt that this is one of the best places to go trekking in Patagonia.
Time: Three to four (3-4) days, (length) 52 km away.
This is a moderately-difficult hike where it is possible to observe an incredible variety of plant life like Chaura, Canelo, Coig, Tepu and Guitecas cypress ((Pilgerodendron uviferum).
For birdwatchers, some excellent specimens like the Black Woodpecker, Andean Tapaculo, Chucao, thorn-tailed Rayadito and Huet Huet make their appearance along the trail. In addition, for those who love fishing, there’s plenty of game in El Toro and Escondida lagoons.
Time: 30 minutes.
Tips to go hiking in Chile: Hiking and trekking are activities that everyone can access, but it is important that all travellers are clear about the type of terrain they are going to walk into beforehand; hiking a moderate difficulty footpath is not the same as trekking the Las Horquetas trail, for example.
Now that you know more about these free hiking in Patagonia, we hope that they make your trip to the region much more stimulating, all the while you enjoy the treasures that Mother Nature has endowed us with.
If you have to decide yet if the southernmost region in the world is the place for you, we invite you to discover why travel should be a priority in your life.