Hola amigos! My name is Gastón Luna. I was born in Buenos Aires and have always dreamed about travelling the world creating videos.
My journey as a film-maker started when I was 12 years old. I used to get so excited to film animals, places and cultures that caught my attention. I never imagined that one day I would actually get the opportunity to travel and film my own country (Argentina) but here I am living the dream.
One of my favourite places to film in Argentina is Patagonia. The culture of the south is so much different to places like Buenos Aires. The people of Patagonia are just amazing. You can feel the true roots of Argentina.
They live life at a slower pace and are willing to help you with almost everything you need. I believe they are the best people in Argentina! You can be walking out in nature, in the forest and all of a sudden you meet them for the first time and they invite you in for tea.
Gauchos can also be found in Patagonia and they are really nice people too. These nomadic horsemen are like folk heroes to us in Argentina and its always a pleasure to see them still practicing their traditions.
Amazing Towns in Patagonia: El Chaltén, Bariloche & Ushuaia
My favourite place in the entire world is El Chaltén. The trekking around Monte Fitz Roy is from another world. You feel a special energy there and it’s one of those places you have to see in real life to get the full experience. I always have a longing to return to this incredible part of Patagonia.
This colourful frontier town was only created recently (1985) and is still only home to around 1,000 permanent residents. There are many day treks to enjoy from El Chaltén such as Capri Lagoon, Tower Viewpoint, Laguna de los Tres, Lying Fold and Chorrillo de Salto.
Some are short 3 hour treks, while others are full 8/9 hour day treks. I recommend reading the official El Chaltén website for more information.
Bariloche is another fantastic destination to explore in the south of Argentina. It really is paradise there. During the summer, you have plenty of options and activities to enjoy like exploring the lakes, enjoying sports life or trying scuba diving. The town is also world famous for its chocolate!
I would describe Bariloche as more picturesque Patagonia while El Chaltén is just wild, rugged and free. Then there is Ushuaia — a bucket-list destination that every traveller should visit at least once in their lives!
Ushuaia is known as “the end of the world” and you really feel the wild of Patagonia in this town. If you like sports, they have the best ski infrastructure in Latin America. I also recommend doing the “Canal de Beagle” tour which takes you to the iconic Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse.
The Best National Parks and Hiking Spots in Patagonia
The reason why you visit these amazing frontier towns is to base yourself to explore the natural surroundings and incredible national parks on offer in Patagonia, Argentina.
My favourite national park in Patagonia would have to be Parque Nacional Los Glaciares located on the border with Chile close to El Chaltén. There is everything you could ever want here in one park: awesome treks, amazing views and great camping spots.
Another personal favourite of mine is Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Bariloche is located along the shoreline of this gorgeous park and the setting is just pure paradise.
Locals and tourists alike flock to the lakes of Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi (especially in summer from November – March) which offers some amazing hikes and an array of rafting and kayaking adventures.
The final hiking spot which I would like to tell you about is a little secret that only locals know of: Cerrito Llao Llao in Bariloche. I saw the best sunrise of my life on top of the Cerrito Llao Llao. It’s only a 40 minute trek and in my opinion has the best views in Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi.
Bring some traditional “mate” tea and enjoy the views for an inspiring start to the day.
Weather, Food and Transportation in Patagonia Argentina
The weather conditions in Patagonia can vary considerably, so packing all depends where you are travelling to and in what season.
Bariloche is warm in summer but in places like El Chaltén you should be prepared for strong winds. Some warm clothes and a windbreaker jacket is always a good idea in the deep south. Of course, if you go camping you will need to bring the right equipment and plenty of warm clothes.
The food is quite special in Patagonia. You would know that Argentina is world famous for its delicious beef and Asado but down in Patagonia you will get to try the real “Asado Argentino”! This really is the best place in the world to try it.
Imagine an open fire, with friends, traditional music playing, delicious food being passed around and mountains in the background. You really can’t beat that type of authentic Argentine experience!
The most challenging aspect about Patagonia is the distance. There are miles and miles between each destination and the roads aren’t too flash. If you have the money, sometimes buying flights is the best option.
Other times you might want to take a bus if its only 200 or 300 kms. But if you want to get from Bariloche to El Chaltén, for example, you might need to take an overnight bus which can take up to 18 hours!
If you are short on time you can always find some cheap flights from Buenos Aires too. It all depends on how you want to experience Patagonia. Some people even hitch hike for days and days which is a fantastic way to meet local people but it might not be suitable for every traveller.
My final tip is to ask the locals of Patagonia where to go. In my experience, the best spots can’t be found on the internet. I hope you enjoy Patagonia — it’s one of the most incredible places on earth!