National parks in Patagonia are some of the beautiful in the world. They are also some of the most pristine, wildest, and remote. These last frontiers of southern South America protect some of the most unique, rarest, and endangered wildlife and some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth. One of these is the spectacular Valdes Peninsula, protecting some of the most amazing marine mammals, including the southern right whale, orca whales, elephant seals, and sea lions, as well as colonies of Magellanic penguins. Other Patagonia national parks in Argentina are:
Glaciers National Park Argentina
Officially Los Glaciares National Park, this region on the border with Chile and along the spine of the mighty Andes Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here massive Patagonia glaciers spill down towering mountains and calve into icy cold glacial lakes with thunderous cracking. You can see and hear this awesome natural phenomenon at Lake Argentino and from the catwalks at Canal de Los Tempanos. This area is a mecca for trekkers, hikers, mountain bikers, and those who love exceptional natural beauty. Head to the town of El Calafate or the little mountain village of El Chalten if you want to experience these magnificent alpine landscapes. Both towns are gateways to the
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Founded in 1960, this is the southernmost of the national parks in Patagonia – in fact the southernmost national park in the world. It was established to protect the Patagonian woodlands in Tierra del Fuego, made up primarily of lenga and guindo trees, that border the Beagle Channel. Here, rugged peaks alternate with pristine valleys graced with shimmering lakes. Sparkling rivers run throughout. Unusual birdlife includes the massive black eyebrowed albatross and petrels. Other wildlife includes the red fox and guanaco. Canadian beaver were introduced and cause damage to the trees, which in turn can cause damaging flooding. Get here on daily flights to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires.
Nahuel Huapi National Park
This is the oldest of the national parks in Patagonia and the largest in the region. It was founded in 1934, and is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains at altitudes ranging from 2,360 to 11,726 feet. There is excellent freshwater Patagonia fishing here in rivers and streams as well as many lakes. The largest of these lakes is Lake Nahuel Huapi, which is more than 200 square miles in area. It has excellent trout fishing, a number of beautiful beaches, and is a popular boating spot.
Los Arrayanes National Park
This beautiful park was once part of Nahuel Huapi, but was given its own name and park status in 1971. It borders the northern part of Lake Nahuel Huapi where many Argentinians have built summer homes. Today this is one of the many Patagonia resorts, offering vacation rentals and other facilities for Argentina vacations.
Perito Moreno National Park
This is the second oldest of the national parks in Patagonia – established in 1937 and named for the explorer and academic who made groundbreaking expeditions here in the 1870s and 1880s. He figures prominently in just about any list of Patagonia facts. He is the man who came across the peak called El Chalten and renamed it Mount Fitz Roy. He stands with such pioneering Americans as Theodore Roosevelt and Ansel Adams as a crusader for preserving his country’s wild and beautiful places. Exotic and endangered species found in this park are two small wildcats, the gato pajero and the gato huina. Also found here are guanaco, puma, lynx, and the Patagonia fox. Grebes, flamingoes, and geese grace the many lakes – and eagles, falcons, and peregrines patrol the skies.