Reasons to visit Patagonia

  • Step into completely different landscapes; mountains, pampa, deserts and rainforests that contrast beautifully with the icy territories of your cruise
  • Stretch your legs before or after days on board your ship getting to Antarctica, with a few days hiking in the mountains or kayaking your way through lakes, rivers and lagoons
  • Discover some unique, architecturally stunning luxury hotels, lakeside lodges or boutique accommodation
  • A few days is enough to get a taste of Patagonia's best spots, or take a few weeks and explore the world-famous national parks and varied regions
  • One of the most difficult places to reach in the world, Patagonia is a travellers’ gem, there are exciting activities for all types of budget 
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Iain says

As one of Swoop's Patagonia specialists, it's my job to help you get a flavour of this colourful, diverse region. Whether it's hiking, scenery, relaxation or wildlife you're after, taking just a week before your cruise to settle in and explore will add a whole new level to your trip.

Iain Rylance Patagonia Sales Manager

Must see in Argentina

Before your cruise to Antarctica from Argentina you'll often have a short amount of time in either Buenos Aires or Tierra del Fuego.

Buenos Aires

The bustling centre of Buenos Aires, Argentina

One of the world’s most exciting and vivacious cities, Buenos Aires just oozes style, passion and energy. This beautiful and captivating city retains its Belle Époque glamour …

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Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego

Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego

Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, is not only the gateway to Antarctica but also to the untamed archipelago of Tierra del Fuego and its stunning national park. Immerse …

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Swoop says

You will travel a long way, and spend a lot of money just to get to Patagonia, en-route to Antarctica. We at Swoop are also Patagonian travel specialists. Take advantage and spend a few days or even weeks being amazed at what this vast region has to offer, you may not have the chance to get back here soon.

Must see in Chile

Top 3 places to visit from Punta Arenas

All flights to Antarctica depart from Punta Arenas, so if you are flying to the Peninsula, the Falklands or the South Pole, it would be well worth building a few days into your trip to embrace Patagonia's stunning landscapes and explore the region more fully, rather than simply passing through. 

1. Torres del Paine National Park

Rugged and remote, Torres del Paine is one of Patagonia's highlights. Magnificent granite towers, jagged mountains, glaciers, endless pampa and turquoise lakes make it a haven for hikers and adventurers.

There's no shortage of activities, from kayaking amongst icebergs to trotting between estancias on horseback, not to mention the W Trek, one of the world's greatest multi-day hikes. In the evening, you can come back to a luxury spa hotel, glamping pod, refugio or hotel, and watch the region illuminate under the setting sun.

Visiting Patagonia & Antarctica

2. Santiago wine region

Almost all travellers getting to Punta Arenas will need to fly via the vibrant city of Santiago, so stop off for a few days to break up the journey and taste some of the region's finest wines. The Casablanca valley is renowned for its Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs, and the contrasting Colchagua valley is known for being a full-bodied red wine paradise.

Swoop Patagonia partners with some of the region's most unique, innovative wineries and can arrange both stays and short tours, to enjoy the best of the region's offerings before or after your voyage.

Visiting Patagonia & Antarctica

3. The Atacama Desert

A short flight north brings you to this land of extremes, where the scenery looks like it belongs more on the surface of the moon than in Chile.

Hot springs, mystical salt flats, lagoons packed with flamingoes and world-class stargazing make the Atacama the perfect contrast to your time on the White Continent. Technically outside Patagonia, the Atacama is one of the most popular destinations to add on to Antarctic cruises.

Visiting Patagonia & Antarctica
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What our customers think of Visiting Patagonia & Antarctica

We LOVED the recommendation to go to Estancia Cristina! It's a little gem! Highly recommended for a quiet getaway, with lovely rooms, excellent food, and well-organized activities! We loved it! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Patricia Zobel de Ayala - Philippines

We did a number of tours in Ushuaia and found the scenery and hikes to be great. Very happy we spent this additional time in the area. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2019

Steve Hatten - United States Of America

Excellent service from Swoop - not least the arrangement of our Chilean tour (Chiloe Island) as well! Read the full review

Travelled: January 2019

Alison Murdoch - United Kingdom

Our trip was in three parts. For me one of the highlights was completing the W trek, the variety of terrain and the smooth organisation of Chile Nativo added to this. We then visited Los Glaciares where a highlight was seeing thePerito Moreno Glacier. Antarctica offered us the opportunity to reflect on a wonderfully different world. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2019

John Roff - United Kingdom

Logistics for the trip to Patagonia before the sea journey, and the travel from Chile to Montevideo, were perfect. I appreciated the detail of the notes: what to do with the short times I had in different places, where to eat and stay. Read the full review

Travelled: October 2018

Jane Amara - United States Of America

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Have a day or two in Buenos Aires, well worth a visit.

Travelled: March 2018

Mick - UK

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It was great to have Swoop organise transfer on our arrival in Buenos Aires and the half day excursion the next day was perfect for us - they did an excellent job, thank you all!

Travelled: February 2018

Sue - Australia

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Go to Patagonia after your cruise! It's incredible!

Travelled: December 2017

Jill & Family - Texas

We had the time of our lives. We really put very little effort into the research of Antarctica and Patagonia, we relied totally on you both, and we were not let down. I can't thank you enough.

Travelled: January 2016

Richard & Claire - UK


Our top Patagonia luxury tours

If you're interested in making a little more of your Antarctic voyage with a tour in Patagonia, get a feel for some of the options with these luxury tours managed by our expert Patagonia team.

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Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

With over 100 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.