How to organize a 7-night trip to Southern Patagonia?

Fitz roy and El Chaltén, 40 national route

Patagonia is one of my favorite places in the world. In my case, I try to get closer to some of the most wonderful places that this vast region located in the southern cone of South America offers at least once a year, and shared between Argentina and Chile. The region is vast but very varied in its offerings. Even if we confine ourselves only to the southernmost part, the options are extensive: glaciers, mountains, forests, fjords, wonderful exploration cruises, national parks, trekking activities, fishing, horseback riding…

Now, what to choose if one only has a week to visit this marvelous region of the southern world? Well, I’ll try to suggest some good options, join me.

What to see in Patagonia in a week?: A suggested trip for a traditional traveller

What is a “traditional traveller”, well a standard traveller, a passenger who mainly wishes to make the basic visits, visiting all the main attractions, without a specific interest or base activity they want to do in each place like trekking, or kayaking, golf, etc.

In the Southern Patagonia region, the main attractions are Ushuaia and the End of the World Train, El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier, El Chaltén and Fitz Roy, Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas. So, the choice of destinations you can visit in a week will depend on your desires and personal preferences, ultimately on the activities you prefer to do in each destination.

For example, in Ushuaia, the suggestion is to stay for a minimum of two nights to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park and take a ride on the End of the World Train, and learn more about the history and origins of this city known as “the southernmost city in the world”. Of course, Ushuaia is also an excellent place to see penguins, sail the Beagle Channel, do some very interesting treks, and in the winter season, enjoy activities such as Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, and other snow activities like dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and much more. That said, we can agree that if you travel in summer and your idea is to visit Patagonia in a week, we suggest to spend two nights in Ushuaia.

Our second destination in that wonderful week of Patagonia, is El Calafate. This small town nestled in Argentine Patagonia (Province of Santa Cruz) is the gateway to the marvelous Perito Moreno Glacier, but also to many other glaciers and attractions in Los Glaciares National Park. Again, your personal preferences will prevail in choosing how long to stay, but here are some things you shouldn’t miss:

Perito Moreno Glacier: Whether you opt for the traditional visit to see it from the walkways, sailing the waters of Lake Argentino to see its walls from the water, or prefer something more adventurous like the minitrekking or ice trekking on the glacier, the visit is a must and takes a full day.

You should have at least one more full day, and there you can choose between full-day boat tours exploring Lake Argentino to see glaciers and unique landscapes. There are several options, some with stops at Patagonian ranches, adding greater appeal, or some with gourmet touches. You can also choose to take a full-day trip to El Chaltén and visit this small town, which is the starting point for various famous treks. This town is famous for its treks to Fitz Roy, so if you are a lover of this activity, this is your option.

The Amazing Perito moreno Glacier in Patagonia

In conclusion, and as a result of the analysis, we strongly suggest to spend a total of 3 nights in El Calafate.

So, we have five nights: two in Ushuaia, and three in El Calafate. Our last package of two nights will be in Puerto Natales. The chilean city is located on the shores of Ultima Esperanza sound, a place which is an attraction itself.

From Puerto Natales, undoubtedly the most important visit is the one that traverses Torres del Paine National Park, perhaps the most significant national park in Chile and one of the highlights in all of Patagonia. The journey from Puerto Natales includes a stop at the Milodon Cave, and the entire itinerary is essentially a sightseeing tour, with some short treks, but based on general knowledge of the national park and its various points of interest. Here, we will complete the week-long itinerary in this traditional 7-night program in Patagonia, spending our final two nights in Puerto Natales.

In summary:
2 nights in Ushuaia to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, the End of the World Train, and sail the Beagle Channel.
3 nights in El Calafate to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier and take a boat tour in Los Glaciares National Park, or visit El Chaltén.
2 nights in Puerto Natales to visit Torres del Paine National Park and the Milodon Caves.



We have two amazing options. The Best of PAtagonia to discover Ushuaia, El Calafate and Puerto Natales, and Luxury Southern Patagonia, same destinations with excellent luxury hotels and resorts


But, what about if you´re loooking for something more adventourius? If you´re an adrenaline lover, you can make some changes to your selection.


What to see in Patagonia in a week?: A suggested trip for an adventure lover

An adventure lover is a passenger who loves to visit the most amazing destinations, but practice some adventure activities, like kayaking, trekkings, horseback ridings, etc.

On this occasion, the suggestion is to start with El Calafate and visit the Perito Moreno Glacier there, including the glacier hike known as Mintrekking or the more extensive and demanding Big Ice trek. Then, reserve the second day for a navigation to Estancia Cristina, to visit glaciers on Lake Argentino, but disembarking at the ranch to either trek its lands or enjoy a magnificent horse ride. This experience will give you two full days of adrenaline and fun while visiting unique attractions. We recommend staying three nights here in El Calafate.

Our second suggested destination is El Chaltén. This small town nestled at the foot of the Fitz Roy Massif offers a wide range of adventure activities, with treks to Fitz Roy being the highlight. The most well-known hikes are the Trek to Laguna de los Tres and the Trek to Laguna Torre. These unique activities promise an unforgettable experience. It’s good to spend at least two nights here to fully enjoy and experience nature.

Finally, we’ll spend the last two nights in Torres del Paine. Instead of Puerto Natales, we’ll stay in the national park itself to have the opportunity to engage in various activities such as treks, horseback riding, and boat tours. Highlights include the trek to the Base of the Towers, the Trek to Valle del Francés, and the Trek to the Cuernos, among other activities. Therefore, we suggest staying a total of two nights in Torres del Paine to complete our week in Patagonia.


Torres del Paine NP


In summary:
3 nights in El Calafate to enjoy the ice trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier and take a boat tour to Estancia Cristina with adventure activities there
2 nights in El Chaltén, to enjoy one of the amazing trekkings to the Fitz Roy Massif
2 nights in Torres del Paine National Park to enjoy different activities available, like Trekking to Base de las Torres


A week in Southern Patagonia: Conclusion

Of course, there are many options and alternatives in Southern Patagonia. The variety of options and activities that this region offers is vast. But I think this is a good guide that you can use to organize your trip to Patagonia if you have a week to explore it.



Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

Ramiro Rodriguez

25 years working in travel market, as Sales & Marketing Manager in RipioTurismo, Marketing Manager in Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

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