No, it’s not just a high-level outdoor clothing range. But, if you’ve heard of the brand, then you’ve probably heard of the place because, for the outdoors adventurer, this is another one with serious bragging rights.
Possibly one of the last truly wild places, Patagonia is a sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains, lakes, fjords, and glaciers in the west and deserts, tablelands and steppes to the east. And, while there are small cities – the largest is Neuquén, with a population below 400,000 – you will see very few people once you hit the road outside the most inhabited areas.
While the region is best known for its mountains and glaciers, which every self-respecting adventure traveller will want to see, there’s much more to take in, depending on how long you have to stay. The wilds of Tierra del Fuego at the end of the continent is great if you want to take things slightly easy. Here the land, battered by the elements, crumbles into myriad rocky islands. The region is home to moss-covered forests, craggy mountains and more. Ideal for trekking, or a boat trip, it offers the chance to see pumas, penguins and whales. You can even go Glamping in heated yurts.
Or head to the equally remote Aysen, with glaciers, mountains, rivers and rainforest through which you can travel on one of the world’s most stunning road trips.
Or, if you’re not averse to sleeping under the stars and really getting away from it all, why not book a tailor-made trip through a company such as swoop-patagonia.com who’ll make sure you get a truly wild experience.
To whet your appetite for this epic adventure, try to find a copy of Bruce Chatwin’s 1977 classic In Patagonia which not only describes this faraway land beautifully but also gives a history lesson of its people and culture. More than 40 years after its publication, it’s still a fascinating read and among the great travelogues of our time.