Everything you need to know for backpacking and budget travel in Patagonia in this complete ultimate guide.
The southern stretches of Chile and Argentina constitute what has rapidly become an unmissable part of any backpacking or adventure trip to South America.
Unlike a lot of the rest of the continent, Patagonia has a well-established network of hiking trails and a reliable tourist infrastructure that makes it a far easier location to visit for keen trekkers.
But the real allure of Patagonia is its superlative uniqueness: a region famed for towering mountain peaks, elusive yet captivating wildlife and scenery that switches between deserted grasslands, groaning glaciers and silent, shimmering lakes.
With a month or more to travel it’s possible to explore some of the region’s most mesmerising highlights. Don’t be surprised if, like many South American adventure travellers before you, Patagonia becomes the crowning moment of your whole trip.
But there is a slight problem…
Budget Travel in Patagonia
If you’ve ever researched backpacking through Patagonia, it’s likely you’ve discovered the unfortunate truth: it’s expensive, particularly by South American standards.
Before we start, it’s important to make it clear that it’s virtually impossible to travel in Patagonia on the same sort of budget as you might in Peru, Bolivia or even northern Argentina.
Travel in Patagonia is disproportionately expensive and there is no magic wand to wave to make these prices lower.
That said, backpacking in Patagonia on a budget can be achieved with some forward planning. The following budget travel tips prioritise experiencing Patagonia’s sensational places over travelling in particular comfort and expect that your Patagonia trip will cost around $50 USD (or less) per day.
Love adventure? Check out our ultimate guide to hiking in Patagonia.
When to Travel in Patagonia
The season in which you choose to travel will significantly affect the cost of your trip. The internet is in agreement that the Austral summer, between December and February, is the best time to visit Patagonia. However, this is open to debate.
These months are when the warmest, pleasantest weather is most likely, but it’s also the time when everyone else has the same idea. Cue the prices of accommodation and transport soaring and greater competition for space on hiking…