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Patagonia, Argentina
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Paleo & Archeo
Scuba Diving
Places to Visit

Perito Moreno Glacier


Photo by Robert Wright, courtesy of Recoleta Cemetery Blog

Patagonia is an adventure traveler's paradise. And depending on the age and interest of the kids, the adventure can be soft or extreme. Travel on or off the beaten path. Watch sea life on the Atlantic coast. Scuba dive, cold water mind you, in Puerto Madryn. Dig for fossils in Neuquen. Scale mountains in El Chaltén. Visit one or more national park. Ski and snowboard in Bariloche, San Martin de los Andes, El Calafate and Ushuaia. Enjoy sport fishing just about everywhere. Extending from the Rio Colorado south to the Straights of Magellan, Patagonia covers one-third of Argentina. See sparkling lakes, deep blue seas, jagged peaks, thorny plains, looming glaciers and ever-changing skies. Spend the night at an estancia. Sleep in cozy inns and quaint hotels. A family vacation in Patagonia may be remote but it is hardly a trip to the edge of the world.
Getting There
Air travel is the easiest and quickest way to reach Patagonia and best option for families interested in crisscrossing the region. Neuquen, the hotspot for fossils, is located 1150 km (715 miles) from Buenos Aires. The bus trip from the Argentine capital is 16 hours. Neuquen is a 5-hour bus ride from San Carlos de Bariloche. Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdes are more than 1400 km (870 miles) south of Buenos Aires. The bus trip from the Argentine capital to Puerto Madryn is 19 hours. Ushuaia is a whopping 3194 km (1983 miles) from Argentina's capital. There is no bus service between the two. Aerolineas Argentinas and LADE offer flights between Buenos Aires and Bariloche, El Calafate, Ushuaia, Neuquén and Trelew. LAN Airlines connects Santiago, Chile and Bariloche. Consult OmniLineas for bus schedules and ticket prices.
Getting Around
There are no highways in Patagonia. Distances are great. Gravel roads are the only means to reach some remote locations. But don't let that discourage you. The roads in Patagonia are good and it is safe to travel by automobile. What's more, car hire isn't the only option. A ferry service connects southern Chile to Argentina's Tierra del Fuego. Bus travel is comfortable and efficient. Train travel is an alternative in some parts of Patagonia. NB: an international driving license may be required for car hire in Argentina. Contact your local automobile club for additional information.
When to Travel
Much of Patagonia is a cold desert with two well-defined seasons, long cold winter and short mild summers. The nighttime low is significantly lower than the daytime high throughout the year. And while snow and rain are rare, the wind blows always. Winter sports are best from June to August. The best time of year to tour the region is from December to February.
Health & Safety
While there are no specific health risks or vaccination requirements for travel to Patagonia there are a few things to consider when touring with children. Maintain a safe distance from all wildlife. Don't taunt or tease animals. Protect your skin from the austral sun, wear a hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen. Use common sense and closely supervise children.
Things to Keep in Mind
Distances are great and the wind never ends.
Travel Trivia
Magellanic penguins breed in:
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