Seven things you didn’t know about Patagonia

If there’s one thing Patagonia evokes, it’s wanderlust. A tourist magnet ever since adventurers first decided to strap on boots and explore, there’s still so much to discover. Here are seven of our favorite little-known facts about Patagonia for those planning their own experience.

#1 Dinosaur Land

In Torres del Paine they discovered the world’s biggest dinosaur cemetery at Tyndall Glacier, uncovering close to 50 dinosaur fossils from between the Triassic and Cretaceous periods. This find is even more remarkable when you consider that ichthyosaurs, whose name means “fish lizard” are reminiscent of modern-day dolphins, coming from a time when oceans covered these now mountainous lands

#2 Ancient Cultures

Though huge (at more than 1 million square kilometers), Patagonia is only inhabited nowadays by two million people. However, people have called these lands home for thousands of years, including the Yámana, Selk’nam, and Kawéskar. Some even left their art behind: The stenciled handprints at the Cueva de las Manos (Cave of Hands) are more than 5,000 years old.

#3 Enormous Ice Fields

The Southern Patagonian Ice Field is the world’s third-largest freshwater reserve. Grey Glacier, high on visitors’ must-see lists, protrudes from this gigantic ice body. At some 13,000 km², it’s larger than the expanse of the city of Sydney.

#4 Check Out that Latitude

At approximately 51°S, the latitude of Torres del Paine is more or less the same as London in the Northern Hemisphere. Given the wide skies and soaring peaks, you’d never guess you were walking on a similar plane!

#5 Wind & Rain

Swept flat, Tierra del Fuego is among the world’s windiest and rainiest places. It does take a certain type of person to choose to live in such a place permanently, but it’s well worth getting to know those who do: The local “magallánicos” are always ready for a laugh!

#6 Animal Lovers

From killer whales to King penguins, woodpeckers, pumas, condors, hummingbirds, guanacos, wild horses, and ostrich-like rhea, Patagonia is home to an astonishing array of native animals and marine life. Even if you aren’t traveling for the purpose of improving your wildlife photography, you won’t be able to avoid seeing one or two new species!

#7 Off-Season, Off-Track Joy

No need to rush to sign up for the same experience as everyone else. In Torres del Paine, the least-frequented routes and less busy months are actually some of the most beautiful! The same can be said for its not-so-famous valleys and treks; with more than 242,000 hectares it’s an entirely different experience feeling the landscape practically just for you.

SY Joyce Kan
SY Joyce Kan
2023-03-07
Amazing trip! We joined the Torres Del Paine 7 day O trek tour - note that this tour is not a complete O Trek but skipping the part from Camp Frances to Las Torres, which worked in our favour as our holiday is limited and we won’t miss much. Our guide, Debbie was knowledgeable and amicable, and very passionate about hiking. Unfortunately I fell sick during the hike and wished to leave a day earlier than planned. Debbie and Chile Nativo quickly rearranged transportation for us and was very helpful. Throughout the whole process Chile Nativo was very responsive. We had a memorable journey and I would highly recommend Chile Nativo.
Jim Garvin
Jim Garvin
2023-03-02
Fantastic experience! We were booked with Chile Nativo via Swoop and had a wonderful experience. Our guides, Tim & Lucile, were awesome. We really enjoyed their company. They were very knowledgeable about the region (the history, animals, landscape, etc). Highly recommend.
Olivia Evans
Olivia Evans
2023-02-15
I booked the independent, self-guided Torres Del Paine trek with Chile Nativo’s help and was so glad I did. When I looked to book on my own, everything was all reserved in Torres Del Paine and Chile Nativo was the only agency that could help me find a spot still. To still be able to go on the trip when I wanted to go, to not have to spend so much time planning all the logistics, to get a local’s recommendations on the best way to do the trek…but STILL get to do the trek on my own was amazing and worth every penny. In particular Paolina at the agency was incredibly helpful. I would recommend this agency to anyone looking to hike in Torres del Paine.
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
2023-02-10
Serious, professional, and friendly Tour Agency in Puerto Natales that will cater your needs in Patagonia and Torres del Paine.
Kevin Jobst
Kevin Jobst
2023-01-27
Hiking in Torres with Pepa is like walking with your smartest and wisest friend. She has an incredible depth of knowledge in everything from mycology to government, from geology to history. She is fiercely passionate about conservation and our planet and has dedicated her life to making our world a better place. Our two porters Filipe and Bastian were both incredibly strong and highly professional. Always in the know on where to set up the tent, they picked the best spot in every site we were at. Also, they were an absolute blast to hang out with after the long days hiking. I cannot recommend this particular team highly enough and if you are passionate about the environment, making the world a better place, learning everything there is to know about glaciers, mushrooms, Patagonia, the history of Chile, magma intrusions and edible berries request them by name. Thank you to all three of you for making our experience so special and I hope our paths cross again.
Brad Smith
Brad Smith
2023-01-15
Our Torres Del Paine Plus trip was fantastic! A great crew of newly-made friends, guided by Izabella “La Professora”, on a journey beyond expectations. What a great time, a balance of hiking and touring. DO NOT miss the pumas!!! I will definitely go with the Chile Nativo team again, and thanks to Nestor & Juan too!
Senga Simpson
Senga Simpson
2023-01-09
Excellent service. Thank you Vicky
Lukas Winegarner
Lukas Winegarner
2022-11-28
Camilo is ledged! Chile Nativo is extremely experienced and knowledgeable - I would highly recommend booking directly through them. We were a group of 8 doing the O 7 day hike and everything was great! Thanks to Camilo & Tomas and all of our porters!

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