5 Must-Do Photography Locations In Patagonia

Time to bust out your passport and your camera.

By: Christin Healey
April 29, 2016

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In a place as wild as Patagonia, where gauchos still gallop across the grassy steppes, mountains pierce through the clouds, soaring into the sky, and everything feels as remote and wild as you would expect this land of adventure to, there are seemingly endless places to aim your camera for a jaw-dropping image. That being said, there are a few places that need to be on your list to truly capture the spirit of this incredible region.

1. Los Cuernos

Photo: Christin Healey

Los Cuernos or “The Horns” is part of the Paine Massif, and is a spectacle of granite peaks nestled in the heart of Torres Del Paine, Chile. These mountains are incredible all on their own, but when you are standing on the shores of the glacier-fed Lake Pehoe with these beauties as the backdrop, it’s an image that will dance around in your mind often in the months and years ahead.

There are multiple places to capture your own image of the Horns, but my favorites are Camp Pehoe (this is the one I have the adventure for), Hosteria Pehoe, and the boardwalk that is behind the Hotel Explora. All three of these spots are an easy walk from each other on the Y-150 road. If you have the time, try all three for sunset and sunrise to get a slightly different perspective of those imposing granite peaks. Learn more.

2. Mirador Los Torres

Photo: Christin Healey

After you’ve had your fill of views of “The Horns” (I know, not really possible) it’s time to head to the other side of the park to set your sites on The Towers. These three granite peaks are the park’s namesake after all, and the second they come into view, their siren song will be calling you closer and closer. The hike to get up there can be a bit grueling, but it’s well worth it - especially for sunrise when if conditions are right, the sun illuminates the Towers with some of the most breathtaking alpenglow you have ever witnessed. It can get a bit crowded for sunrise, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to scout out a good spot. If you want an easy hike to the top, you can camp at the Los Torres campsite for a somewhat easier pre-dawn trek. Just don’t forget the headlamp as there are many rocky boulders on the climb up! Learn more.

3. Perrito Moreno Glacier

Photo: Christin Healey

Heading on over to Argentina, the Perrito Moreno glacier is one of the most popular destinations in southern Patagonia, and as soon as you walk out on maze of boardwalks made for viewing this massive hunk of ice, you will understand why. If you have a cloudy or rainy day (which is bound to happen!), it’s perfect for diffusing the light and making the blues of the ice really stand out. If it’s a clear day, try to time is so you are there around sunset so get the glacier contrasting with a soft sky. The final perk of this glacier is that it’s very active, and if you stay long enough, you will most likely witness huge chunks of ice breaking off into the water. It’s one of the three glaciers in the ice field that is actually growing, which is also a nice thought while you are watching those ruptures in the face of the ice. Be sure to bring a variety of lenses to capture the textures and patterns of the ice as well as a wide angle view. Learn more.

4. Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre

Photo: Christin Healey

In the quaint little trekking town of El Chalten, you will catch views of these glorious mountains in seemingly every direction on a clear day, and there are many places to photograph all that beauty, but one of the easiest and most rewarding is from Mirador de los Condores. Although it’s gorgeous any time of day, you really can’t beat that alpenglow at sunrise. On the top of this windswept hill, be sure to wander around a bit to find interesting things to get in the foreground. There are tons of grassy areas, trees, and downed branches that can help add a little mood to your images. For a 30-45 min walk, there aren’t many views that can compare with this one. Learn more.

5. Iconic Road Shot and Fitz Roy

Photo: Christin Healey

A good shot going in or out of El Chalten is sure to inspire wanderlust in just about anyone with a pulse. This stretch of road calls you in, then begs you not to leave in the rearview mirror on your way out. Although you can keep it pretty simple on this one, don’t forget to have some fun with it! The mountains look different every day, every hour, and from every angle, so take your time experimenting with something that is truly your own. The images I have from this view take me right back to that epic drive every single time, and that’s really all I can ask from any image. Learn more.

Cover photo: Christin Healey

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.