In Patagonia it’s the silence that hits you first. Then the landscapes – the snow-dusted mountains rising up like dollops of whipped cream; the shimmering lakes; the aquamarine icebergs that float past giant, jagged glaciers, crashing and calving their way into the milky blue water below.

Hikers enjoy sunset at Roca Lake near El Calafate © Guillermo Palavecino / 500px

These landscapes have been luring in explorers and mountaineers for centuries, but they aren't just for hardcore trekkers. Patagonia offers a softer side, too: horse rides in lush green estancias, strolls through pine-carpeted forests, cultural explorations in tiny rural villages, boat trips around staggering ice fields.

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Patagonia Argentina South America Chile