Argentina vs Chile

Argentina vs Chile: Patagonia is a vast territory in South America. Its beauty is due to the natural wealth that is within its limits. This variety of unique sites attracts a huge number of visitors every year. The weather, extremely unpredictable, does not discourage any of the tourists who decide to live the Patagonia experience.

Holidays in Patagonia: Chile vs Argentina 

Two countries, Chile and Argentina, border this vast region. Glaciers, forest, rivers, lakes, mountains, and varied fauna are the main tourist attractions that can be found in both Argentine and Chilean Patagonia.

Then the question arises: Where to travel on the next vacation?

argentina vs chile
Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

It is one of the most important tourist sites in Chile and, perhaps, the most visited and well-known area of ​​Patagonia. Its name derives from a small but outstanding group of mountains located inside the National Park.

The access road to this such a visited place, is Route CH-9 (which is paved). It connects Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. Then they continue for about 100 km on a recently paved road and, in the end, on a gravel road. It can be reached at any time of the year, although in winter it is advisable to take extra caution because of the variable weather. It is recommended to take the route of Santiago de Chile. From there there are direct flights to Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. From Punta Arenas the road trip takes approximately four and a half hours, from Puerto Natales around two hours.

Torres del Paine National Park is beautiful during all seasons. In summer (from December to February) there is a huge flow of tourists looking for the most pleasant weather possible. But even between October and April all hiking trails are accessible. From May to September Patagonia is dyed white in the winter and many hotels and tourist destinations close. Even so it is possible and enjoyable to visit this vast place in the immense loneliness caused by the weather.

There is a saying in the area that says if you don’t like time, wait ten minutes. Temperatures vary between 16 C in the warmest month (January) and -6 C in the coldest month (July).

Within its approximately 227.298 ha you can visit iconic mountain peaks, massive glaciers, turquoise lakes, deserts and forests of lush vegetation. The fauna of the park is very diverse, since it has a rich fauna native to Chile. The guanacos are the easiest to see, these almost always travel in large herds, there are also,  foxes, skunks, huemules, which usually live in the park’s forests, armadilos, ñandús, condors, eagles, a great variety of ducks, black-necked and coscoroba swans, and the elusive pumas those that are very protected in the area.

Argentina vs Chile, Trekking trail to Laguna de los Tres
Trekking trail to Laguna de los Tres

El Chaltén, Patagonia Argentina

El Chaltén is a village located in Los Glaciares National Park, in Santa Cruz, Argentina. Its name derives from an indigenous word and means Smoky Mountains, alluding to the sight of the clouds when they meet the tops of the beautiful hills. The town is one of the youngest of Argentina, it was founded in 1985, when Argentina decided to conquer that area of ​​Patagonia. Nowadays it has around 1200 permanent inhabitants. This place serves as a lodging center for visitors to the park where it is located.

Chalten is considered the National Capital of Trekking, because from the town leave numerous trekking trails with varying degrees of difficulty and duration, immersed in incredible landscapes. These walks can be done during the day and can last from one hour and a half to 9 or 10 hours. Some of them are:  Trail Laguna Torre, from where you can see the Cerro Torre, the glacier that descends from it, the lagoon and several mountains that complement the landscape; Trail Laguna de Los Tres, at the foot of Cerro Fitz Roy. This hike is a bit more demanding but stunning the scenery upon arrival. And, for those who want something less demanding or of shorter duration, the trails Mirador del Cerro Torre, Laguna Capri, Chorrillo del Salto, Mirador de los Cóndores and Mirador de las Aguilas, are options of less degree difficulty.

These trails take place within the lengas forest and a very varied flora and fauna typical of the Patagonian – Andean Forest and the Steppe. The typical fauna species that can be seen in the area are condors, armadillos, skunks, foxes, guanacos, huemules protected by the National Park, woodpeckers and many species of wild ducks, among others.

The best time to visit the place and plan a pleasant holiday, with the most comfortable weather possible, is in the warm months (October – April). Keep in mind that it is this season when the greatest flow of tourists is reported. If you like festivals then it is in March when you must leave for Argentina, because at this time the National Trekking Festival is celebrated. Therefore, if you want a very quiet and lonely holiday, then it is better to book for winter (May – September). Although in these months many businesses close their doors there are still some to provide accommodation and cover all your needs.

The fact that it is a town means that, in addition to nature tourism, you can also enjoy other activities. In the village there are bars and restaurants. Walking through the village can also be very relaxing.

To arrive it is recommended to take the route from Buenos Aires. From there you can take a flight to El Calafate where there is the nearest airport. El Chalten is 220km from El Calafate Airport and the travel by land takes around three hours.

Remember to plan your trip depending on the stage of the year you are going to travel (keep in mind that summer and winter are on the opposite dates to Europe in southern Ecuador). The best vacations are the ones that are best programmed. Contact us to help you to organize your Southern Patagonia Experience!

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