Ever toyed with the crazy idea of visiting Patagonia? The long 9,000-mile trip yielded amazing photos and world-class trekking!

 

Patagonia is located at the southern tip of South America. Go any further and you’re practically atop the South Pole.

My 12-day trip started with a flight to Miami, connecting in Buenos Aires and finally landing in El Calafate, Argentina, the entry point to this amazing National Park.

The small town is home to a bunch of climbing shops, small hotels and a large population of homeless canines. They’re friendly and ironically pretty well fed.

A few blocks from the center of town; hawks patrol a local wildlife sanctuary (an unexpected treat). I wasn’t sure if this guy was about to dive bomb me!

My serious exploration, started the following day at the Perito Moreno Glacier. The 200 foot tall wall of ice descends 5+ miles from the mountains eventually terminating into Lake Argentina. The frozen mass ice has an eerie blue cast and dwarfs the occasional viewing boat that ventures in for a closer look.

Below I’m pictured getting ready to grab the shot!

 

Fritz Roy is also an iconic peak that looms over the park and stands as one of the world’s most famous and challenging technical climbs. At 4am we start hiking up to view it from the small town of El Chalten. We reach the Laguna Capri just in time to see the first light spill over its main spire.

2 hours later…we’re still going & getting closer to the base of Fitz!

 

I’m hiking with two other photographers from NC, one of whom (Sharon) was a collegiate gymnast. Great op for a hand stand!

 

We’ll be exploring the Fitz Roy area for the following 3 days. Lot’s of great hikes, mountain views and crystal clear water. In fact, with no pollution or animal grazing, it’s totally safe to drink out of any stream.

With day 6 comes phase II of our trip, passing thru the border from Argentina to Chili allowing our exploration of the Cerro Torre area.

 

Our hotel, The Hosteria Peho, is located on an small island (pictured to the left in the photo below) in the park which overlooks two mountain peaks rising over 8,000 feet from the lake floor (The Paine Grande and Los Cuernos del Paine).

Check out the view from behind the hotel. Not bad!!!!

Like that? It looks even cooler at 3am allowing me to catch the stars overhead…with a little moonlight reflecting off the snowcovered peaks!

The terrain and variety of scenery in Chili are inspiring. We’re typically up each morning around 5am so get into position for great pre sunrise light.

The next day brings completely different weather. The shot below was taken while perched on a mid-stream rock outcropping as a storm front moved in. Fortunately we had 15 minutes to shoot before the rain hit.

So the really important question: Is Patagonia worth visiting? Yes! For photography and hiking, there’s nothing like it I’ve experienced. It’s an unspoiled, generally uncrowded mountain local that’s unmatched in our country. Will the tranquility last forever? Don’t think so…more tourists are discovering this gem every year.

 

Click the link below for more photos from my trip!

http://www.snitzerphotography.com/Nature-Travel/Galleries/Patagonia-2017/n-jW68rv/

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