Planning a trip to Patagonia? Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! This remote and stunning region, located at the southern tip of South America, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and boundless opportunities for outdoor exploration. But before you pack your bags and head off to this wild wonderland, here are ten essential things you need to know before visiting Patagonia.

Read more: The Hiking Guide for Mount Fitz Roy

Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Patagonia

1. Weather Mood Swings

Patagonia’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. One moment you could be basking in glorious sunshine, and the next, you might find yourself caught in a sudden snowstorm. Be prepared for rapid weather changes by packing layers, including waterproof clothing and sturdy hiking boots.

This happened to me when staying in El Chalten during Spring. During the day it was a comfortable and sometimes warm 17 degrees Celsius but when going to sleep I had to wear 2 sweaters to keep myself warm. So be prepared 😀

2. Disconnected from the world

Patagonia is vast, rugged, and sparsely populated. While this adds to its allure, it also means that many areas are remote and isolated. Always keep a stash of water and food handy, for you never know when the next outpost will appear. And if your car’s gasoline gauge hovers near half-empty, seize the opportunity to refuel at the next station you encounter.

In this untamed wilderness, connectivity is a precious commodity. While urban hubs may offer fleeting glimpses of cellular service, don’t count on it as a constant companion. Even in El Chaltén, staying connected can prove challenging. For those seeking digital lifelines, I’ve delved into the labyrinth of mobile providers and coverage across the country in a recent article, offering insights into navigating this digital frontier.

Read here about the best mobile provider in Patagonia

Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Patagonia
El Chaltén near the Mount Fitz Roy

3. Cash is King

While larger towns may accept credit cards, smaller establishments often prefer cash. Make sure to have some Argentine or Chilean pesos on hand for purchases in more remote areas.

4. Safety First

Again the weather is what makes Patagonia popular. Patagonia’s rugged terrain and unpredictable weather can pose challenges, even for experienced travelers. Prioritize safety during your adventures by checking weather forecasts, carrying essential gear, and knowing your limits.

One moment you have clear visibility and one hour later you are in the middle of a storm.

The best weather website governmental official: (Argentina) and MeteoChile (Chile).

5. Mind-Blowing Landscapes

Prepare to be awestruck by Patagonia’s natural beauty. From towering granite peaks and vast glaciers to turquoise lakes and windswept plains, the landscapes here are truly breathtaking. Take the time to explore some of the region’s iconic landmarks, such as Torres del Paine National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier, and Fitz Roy.

Trekking Hike Mount Fitz Roy Laguna de los Tres Chalten

6. Book your accommodations in advance

Patagonia stands as a beacon for countless travelers seeking its majestic vistas. In its cities, lodging options abound, offering respite to weary wanderers. Yet, during peak periods like Easter weekend or Christmas, securing a room on short notice can prove challenging. To avert potential accommodation woes, I recommend securing your lodgings well ahead of time. This advice rings particularly true for remote gems like El Chaltén or Torres del Paine, where vacancies vanish months in advance, leaving tardy bookers out in the cold.

I wrote an article about the best hotels in Patagonia

7. Leave Room for Spontaneity

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to embrace spontaneity along the way. Plan your hike a couple of days before based on the weather predictions, and visit a national park that is on your route. Rarely it will be sold out. However, specific adventures or activities are best booked in advance such as a hike on the Perito Moreno Glacier or a horseback riding adventure.

Here is a list of the best activities to do in El Calafate

8. Choose your airline wisely

When journeying through Patagonia and considering air travel between regions, it’s prudent to select your airline with care. Certain carriers may prove particularly sensitive to strikes or exhibit less flexibility in the event of flight cancellations. It’s wise to research your options thoroughly to ensure a smoother travel experience. Some of Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Patagonia.

Read the article about the best airlines in Patagonia

9. Respect the Environment

Patagonia’s pristine ecosystems are fragile and in need of protection. Be a responsible traveler by following Leave No Trace principles, sticking to designated trails is very important, and avoiding activities that could harm the environment or disturb wildlife. Remember, we all have a role to play in preserving this natural treasure for future generations to enjoy.

10. Be careful when you want to swim

The inviting allure of Patagonia’s lakes may tempt you to take a refreshing dip, but exercise caution! Even in the summer months, these lakes remain chilly. In the past, unfortunate incidents have occurred where travelers, unprepared for the cold temperatures, experienced cold shock and required rescue. Always prioritize safety and acclimatize yourself to the water’s temperature before diving in.


Since 2017 I'm living in Buenos Aires close to the heart of Patagonia. The perfect home base to start many trips throughout the beautiful Patagonian landscapes. With Secrets of Patagonia, I like to share honest information to plan your once in a lifetime trip. Hours of talking with local residents, traveling by myself and the experience of working in the tourism industry. I hope you will enjoy Patagonia as much as I do.

Write A Comment