How we can help you

  • Itinerary suggestions from our team of ex-guides and tour leaders to help you build your adventure
  • If you already have a tour in mind, get introduced to the best guides and local tour operators in the region, through our network of nearly 200 local specialists 
  • Just want to do self-guided hiking or self-drive road trip? We'll handle the logistics, so you can focus on kit and honing your map reading skills!
  • Already have your eye on flights and accommodation? We'll help with the tours, and can leave the rest to you.

5 travel tips for independent travellers

1. Best places for independent travel

Much of Patagonia is remote and hard to reach, however Los Glaciares is one place that bucks the trend. Here you'll find the magnificent Perito Moreno glacier and the hiking/climbing town of El Chalten, both easily accessed by public transport. El Chalten is also unique in Patagonia for being a town right in the mountains, where you can walk onto the trails from your hotel front door. Accommodation options are plentiful, if a little rustic.

How we can help: We'll help you save some budget and design your itinerary to include a few days in El Chalten exploring independently. We'll be there to look after you when you need it for the more logistically complex parts of Patagonia.

El Chalten Day hikes

2. Best place for self-guided hiking

Torres del Paine is logistically more complicated than El Chalten, but once you're there, the W Trek is an iconic hike that can be done completely independently. Trek at your own pace, choosing your own photo stops and snack breaks.

How we can help: Refugio accommodation en route needs to be booked well in advance through a complicated system of waiting lists and space distributions. We'll help you book your places and can organise your transport in and out of the park from the nearby town of Puerto Natales, so all you have to do is hike.

Eco Yurt W Trek - Torres P_CAMP

3. Best ways to travel in Patagonia

The buses in Chilean and Argentine Patagonia are relatively safe, frequent and reliable. If you fly into the southern airports of Punta Arenas (PUQ) or El Calafate (FTE) then you'll be able to access Patagonia's most famous sights without breaking the budget. 

How we can help: Decided on a destination already? Ask us about getting between places by public transport, and how to make the most of the places along the way.

SWO_5_ALL_harriet_bus_puerto-natales

What our customers think

4. Best highways for self-drive road trips

Ruta 40 and the Carretera Austral: Patagonia's north-south highways take you down the spine of the Andes through verdant hills and glaciated mountains in the west and arid steppe in the east. A self-drive road trip allows independent travellers to fully explore Patagonia's wild and varied landscapes, and meet some of its characters too. We can help with the route selection, accommodation and car rental.

How we can help: Our specialists have spent decades exploring along the main roads, and a great deal of the smaller, less well-known roads besides. We can help book your car and accommodation and give you some great pointers of highlights, and some more hidden gems along your route too.

SWO_5_HP_ALL_Harriet Carretera Austral Car

5. Best way to treat yourself

Independent travel needn't mean roughing it every night. If you'd like to treat yourself for one or two nights then Patagonia has some extraordinary lodges and eco-friendly camps. You'll get more 'bang for your buck' in the north of Patagonia than in Torres del Paine. 

How we can help: Whether you're looking for a treat at the beginning or end, or all the nights in between too, we can help you book nights in some of the most sought after hotels in Patagonia. Some specialise in excursions such as hiking, fishing, horse riding, others are just wonderfully relaxing.

Lakeside Lodge Lago del Desierto 1 AGUA

Itinerary ideas for independent travellers

Top places to go in Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park, with its iconic granite towers, is one of the most popular destinations in Patagonia. It is most famous for the W Trek, but dig deeper and you'll …

Los Glaciares National Park

Los Glaciares National Park

356 glaciers tumble into icy blue lakes in Argentina's most famous park. Hikers flock here to explore the Fitz Roy massif, thrill-seekers sail up to the wall of Perito Moreno …

The Lake Districts of Chile and Argentina

The Lake Districts of Chile and Argentina

With stunning blue lakes, Andean peaks and volcanoes, the Lake District is no doubt one of the most beautiful areas in Patagonia. Take advantage of the plentiful birding …

Aysen

Aysen

Remote, diverse, and stunningly beautiful, Aysen is a destination for those seeking the best of Patagonia without the crowds. With glaciers, mountains, rivers and rainforest, and …

Peninsula Valdes

Peninsula Valdes

The Valdes Peninsula is a unique land formation and global conservation site, home to an abundance of marine life as well as countless weird and wonderful land mammals and birds. …

Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego

As you reach the end of the continent, the rugged landscape becomes wilder and wilder, finally crumbling into thousands of rocky islands. Tierra del Fuego is a region of …

Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert

The Atacama desert stretches for approximately 1000 km beside the Pacific coast and is one of the driest places on Earth! A visit to the Atacama is a perfect accompaniment to your …

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

This chain of gigantic waterfalls set amongst a teeming rainforest in northern Argentina, is one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. Nothing can prepare you for the …

Booking an independent trip - how it works

  1. We help you cut through the noise to find the best places to go and things to do

  2. We help you plan your itinerary, identifying expert local partners doing incredible things in the region

  3. You book your own long-haul and domestic flights

  4. Where you are looking for a self-guided hike, road trip or expert guide, we'll introduce you directly to our local partners to book that part of the trip

How can Swoop Patagonia help you?

Ready to plan your Patagonia adventure?

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Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure, we can help.

1-855-369-7866