Patagonia Highlights

November 21, 2012

Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina

I’m a city girl at heart.

I trek around the concrete jungle of New York in heels and boots for hours without thinking twice about it. Heck, I could even run with 4-inch heels on if I have to catch the train in the subway before the doors close.

However, when I got to Patagonia, I was completely surprised by the astonishingly sheer beauty of this natural wonder!

Patagonia, simply put, is Mother Nature at its absolute best! I couldn’t be any happier I included it in my itinerary. To be quite honest, it was such a relief to leave the big, bustling city of Buenos Aires and its sweltering heat for some daily cool fresh air and gorgeous views of the snowcapped Andean peaks.

So I traded in the fancy shoes for some some trekking boots to do some serious Patagonia exploration.

El Calafate

Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina
El Calafate is a small charming town in the middle of Argentina with a ski-resort feel to it. It’s a good base for traveling through Patagonia and the rest of Argentina.

It’s also where the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier shows off its icy blue grandeur inside the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. It’s the only glacier known today actively advancing, unlike the other ones around Patagonia and the world. It surely is a site to behold, especially on a catamaran that gets as safely close as possible to the front of the glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina
As if its massive size with its jagged ice peaks weren’t enough to impress anyone, the glacier frequently calves off large chunks of ice into the emerald-colored lake. It’s extremely exciting to hear the loud thunderous noises they make, which can be heard miles away, as the ice hits the water surface.

El Chalten

El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina
El Chalten to the north of El Calafate is an even smaller town. Approximately three hours away from El Calafate by bus, its claim to fame is the National Trekking Capital of Argentina, boasting spectacular views of the jagged peaks of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerros Torre.

Mount Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

I am by no means an avid nature trekker, and the last time I did one was back in January in the Blue Mountains. However, I knew I wasn’t going to miss out on two of their famous day treks: Laguna de Torre and Laguna de Los Tres also known as the Mt Fitz Roy trail.

Puerto Natales & Parque Nacional del Torres Paine

W-circuit trek, Patagonia

I crossed the border over to the Chilean side of Patagonia to view its crown jewel: the granite peaks of Torres del Paine.

I wasn’t looking forward to any more trekking, but as I’ve come to find out, Puerto Natales is the starting point for those doing the W-circuit trek in the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. They call it the W-circuit because of the W trail on the map.

You don’t just come to Puerto Natales for day treks, especially if you have the time to do the big one!

This was what a fellow traveler said to me when we met in the hostel we were staying in. I did have the time, yet I was scared. As if I haven’t stressed it enough, I’m no big trekker hot shot and the thought of trekking in the Patagonia wild for 5 days and 4 nights was a bit overwhelming.

Trekking in the W-circuit in the Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia

Yet within one day, I decided that I might as well do it.

What have I got to lose?

Absolutely nothing! I was beyond ecstatic I decided to do it last minute! It was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever done travel-wise!

The awe-inspiring and sublime nosubhealth.com views of the landscape and the flora everywhere, the sense of accomplishment after physically challenging myself, the amazing travelers I met along the way, and camping out in the wild for the first time ever was more than enough to put me on a trekking high.

Trekking in the W-circuit in the Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia
I loved and enjoyed every single moment in Patagonia, so much that I left with a bit of a heavy heart as I took the 12-hour bus down to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world before Antarctica.

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply rommel November 21, 2012 at 18:48

    Ahihihi I’m a city boy too. I do a lot of city-stuffs more than the other. I do get to LOOOOVE hiking. I hiked once, and been doing it from time to time now.
    Way to “change clothes”. With such agreeing-ly astonishing scenery, it is easy to get convinced to connect more with nature. Thanks for the share.
    And by the way, WHOA! to the images. The snowcapped peaks really are magnificent to absorb in.

    • Reply love.antoinette November 22, 2012 at 11:28

      Rommel, I’ve come to find that even us big-city lovers need some time off once in awhile to connect and fully enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer us. We are surrounded by nature’s beauty, yet I believe we are just sometimes stuck in our city bubbles to notice them. I’m really happy about my journey through Patagonia! Being that I love snowboarding, the snowcapped peaks always get me so excited!

  • Reply megtraveling November 22, 2012 at 07:41

    What beautiful pictures! It sounds like you had quite an adventure 🙂

    • Reply love.antoinette November 22, 2012 at 11:29

      Thanks Meg! I surely did 🙂 I couldn’t be any happier with my Patagonia adventures and all!

  • Reply restlessjo November 25, 2012 at 10:11

    These must be some of the most fabulous shots I have ever seen. What a place! That last one is awesome. Well done to you for pushing yourself. The results are astounding.

    • Reply love.antoinette November 25, 2012 at 13:31

      Thanks Jo! Truly a remarkable experience! Something everyone must add on their bucket list! Thanks for visiting my site and showing all the love 🙂

  • Reply ferragudofan November 25, 2012 at 13:29

    what wonderful words and pictures – you really brought this to life for me – thank you so much

  • Reply susanmtu November 26, 2012 at 11:29

    You have a great skill to express all your travel experience in words.. It’s really a great feelings while reading this post…

    • Reply love.antoinette November 26, 2012 at 20:54

      thanks Susan 🙂 Sometimes I can’t even find the words to express, so I let the memories marinate in my head for a couple of days before writing a post.

  • Reply Thorsten November 27, 2012 at 10:31

    well written. Will follow your blog from now on. It was fun travelling with you. And now get yourself some proper boots 😉

  • Reply Koren @ City Gal November 28, 2012 at 00:18

    Even the air looks fresher down there! 😉

  • Reply Tahira November 28, 2012 at 01:01

    You are my hero!! This is awesome, Antoinette! A hikers paradise 🙂 Your pictures are amazing, I want to just jump into them!!

    • Reply love.antoinette November 28, 2012 at 10:34

      Thanks Tahira! We’re both each other’s heroes! Argentina’s waiting for you to explore it! 🙂

  • Reply Jess @UsedYorkCity November 28, 2012 at 07:54

    What gorgeous photos! Thanks for transporting me to such a beautiful place on a cold NYC Wednesday morning!:-)

    • Reply love.antoinette November 28, 2012 at 10:35

      Oh Jess, don’t remind me about the NYC winter! Ever since I’ve gotten back to Buenos Aires, I’ve groaned about the heat, until my bf shuts me up with the freezing weather back home he reports back.

  • Reply Vanessa March 13, 2013 at 11:07

    I know exactly what you mean! I would consider myself a city girl. I’ve pretty much always lived in big cities. But when I go to the countryside I just feel so happy 🙂
    Vanessa recently posted…Turning 30: Week 14 – My Public Coming OutMy Profile

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