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Nathanael Martin 

Recently, I was privileged to travel to one of the wildest and most rugged places in the Americas, Patagonia. This incredible destination is actually a very large area of South America, the majority of which is arid Pampa. The portion of Patagonia that most tourists visit of course is the mountains, and for good reason. We started our trip in El Chalten, a small town at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy on the border of Argentina and Chile. The mountains here are incredibly steep and dramatic, and the weather even more so! Our group hiked around 80 miles during the two week adventure, in conditions ranging from beautiful sunshine to pouring rain, snow, and/or 70mph winds. We visited the incredibly massive Perito Moreno glacier, spend time birdwatching in El Calafate, and photographed herds of guanacos along the lonely Patagonian Ruta 40.


During our time in Chile, we camped in Torres del Paine National Park for two nights. The camping was great, though weather was rough, snowing most of the first day and pelting rain the third day. Despite the conditions we did get to see the mountains a little the second day along with beautiful birds and wildflowers.


Our final stop on the trip was Ushuaia which took us 12 hours by bus from Puerto Natales, Chile. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, and the departure point for most dedicated cruises to Antarctica which is just 750 miles away. Here we enjoyed hiking along the coastline of Tierra del Fuego National Park, and took a boat ride through the Beagle Channel viewing sea lions, birds, and three species of penguins.


Patagonia is an incredible destination for anyone who enjoys adventure, is physically active and capable, and willing to roll with pretty much any weather condition that can exist. I would love to return and try my luck again at some clearer viewing conditions especially in the mountains of El Chalten and Torres del Paine!  

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