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.
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.
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.
What our customers think
We really valued Swoop's expertise, and the fact that you had been to the places we were going.
Greg & Michelle December 2015
We are independent travelers and I'm used to booking everything myself, but when it came to Patagonia I got overwhelmed with all of the possibilities, so I would highly recommend Swoop to anyone!
Heidi January 2016
If you're doing a 2 week trip, either use Swoop or talk to a friend who's done it before and properly work through your itinerary. It's tricky to get the balance right between squeezing enough in, and packing it too much.
Oli Feldwick United Kingdom December 2018
Swoop were incredibly responsive, with thoughtful and generous advice, honest feedback...we were thoroughly impressed and happy with the service provided.
Ariel January 2016
Booking the refuges / camping independently is stressful! If you don't want to spend a long time watching the websites for availability, Swoop and their local partners provide a welcomed solution.
Clare Hodgson United Kingdom November 2018
I don’t think we could have managed all the specific logistics ourselves. There were so many details that we are grateful for swoops coordination. The itinerary and recommendations were utterly perfect for us!
Anne Marie McGonigal United Kingdom December 2018
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.
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.
Itinerary ideas for independent travellers
This is the perfect trip for those wanting maximum activity whilst appreciating the spectacular wildlife of the Valdes Peninsula. Journey by kayak, foot, boat and bicycle as you navigate the coast and plains over 5 days, staying in comfortable accommodation…
Top places to go in Patagonia
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
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
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 …
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 …
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
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 …
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 …
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
We help you cut through the noise to find the best places to go and things to do
We help you plan your itinerary, identifying expert local partners doing incredible things in the region
You book your own long-haul and domestic flights
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?
Our network of guides will ensure you have the local knowledge, technical expertise and equipment you need for that specialist adventure.
A trip fully supported and tailored to your needs and dates. Great adventures by day and comfortable accommodation each night.
Explore the different landscapes of the Patagonian Andes. Challenge your body and mind amongst some of the world's most dramatic peaks and glaciers.
Leave the well-trodden trails behind and discover true wilderness, with expert local guides, unique lodging and off-the-beaten-track experiences.
Join like-minded people on a 1-4 week journey across Patagonia, a cheaper way to see the most popular places in the region.
How can Swoop Patagonia help you?
There are so many different ways to experience Patagonia. Swoop has helped over 5,000 people plan and arrange their trip to Patagonia and almost every itinerary has been different.