I have always been fascinated by Patagonia’s dramatic colours and regal landscapes portrayed in award-winning films such as The Motorcycle Diaries and The Revenant. With its medley of soaring mountains, golden pampas and grinding ice fields, Patagonia sounds just like any adventure junkie’s travel playground. And of course, I was beyond thrilled when I was able to finally see this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve for myself!

Here are 15 memorable sights that made me go “wow, this is Patagonia!”

El CalafateArriving at EOLO Patagonia, Tina brought us afternoon tea and a map to get us acquainted with the surrounding areas.

PatagoniaOn our introductory walk around EOLO Patagonia, we followed the smells to roasting room at the back of the kitchen, and there it was: glorious Patagonian lamb being smoked for dinner right that very evening!

El CalafateGetting our crampons ready for a mini-trekking excursion on one of the only three Patagonian glaciers which are not retreating – Perito Moreno Glacier.

 El CalafateFor our safety, we had to walk in an orderly line, keep our legs wide apart (so the crampons don’t get caught in each other), and really jab our feet into the ice for grip.

El CalafateAt the end of the walk, our guide carved out some fresh glacier ice and poured everyone a glass of whisky on the rocks. Talk about drinking from the world’s third-largest reserve of fresh water. Yum!

El CalafateIt is from the balcony where you can truly see how majestic and rugged the Perito Moreno Glacier is – covering 250 square metres and 30 kilometres in total length. The experience is nothing short of surreal, when chunks of ice break off and crash into the lagoon, resulting in a thundering roar. It is as if the glacier is putting on a performance for everyone.

El CalafateGuests can participate in horseback riding through the historic estancia (cattle ranch) to experience the wild and raw natural beauty around EOLO Patagonia. This is a destination perfect for retreat and respite from the buzz of the city life, and I could stare at the vast emptiness of the grasslands for hours on end.

El CalafateHere is El Calafate bidding us farewell with its dreamy sunrise. Don’t you feel like quoting The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

Torres Del PaineAfter a 4.5-hour drive from El Calafate, crossing the Argentinean-Chile border, and finally arriving to Torres Del Paine National Park, we made it just in time for lunch at Tierra Patagonia.

Torres Del PaineGiven the strategic location of Tierra Patagonia, we had the chance to visit three beautiful lakes and the roaring Paine waterfall in just one afternoon.

Torres Del PainePhotographers all over the world rave about Torres Del Paine National Park and its magnificent colours. We were in luck one morning when this amazing sunrise happened right before our hotel room windows.

Torres Del PaineLake Pehoe and the mountains as the backdrop look like a watercolour painting.

Torres Del PaineEvery night, the guides at EcoCamp would gather everyone in the Communal Dome and conduct a briefing on the available excursions for the following day. Guests would get to sign up for the different excursions based on their physical fitness and interests, and naturally, we picked the full day Base of the Towers trek.

Torres Del PainePart of the 22-kilometre trek brought us through pristine lenga forests painted in seasonal hues of autumn red and yellow. For most part of the walk, we were suited up in waterproof winter jackets, warm hats and gloves to fend from the infamous Patagonian winds and rains.

Torres del PaineAs we climbed higher up from the lenga forests, the terrain became a narrow trail with boulders. Some 30 minutes later, I saw three imposing granite towers jut out from an emerald glacial lake. We had made it to the base!

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