Top Ten Treks

South America: Patagonia

Patagonia is the land beyond: beauty beyond measure, wildness beyond the reach of civilization's taming hand. Though European colonists drove out the region's native inhabitants, the land never took too kindly to further settlement attempts, and today vast swaths of this watery, mountainous wonderland are entirely unpeopled. Except, of course, by the intrepid trekkers with a taste for truly extreme sports. Travelers in Patagonia will face notoriously harsh winds, incessant rain, and terrain that will quickly separate real survivors from the made-for-TV variety. In exchange, you'll visit places seen by only a handful of human beings since the origin of the species. If you've been saving up the karma, you might also glimpse a cloud of pink flamingos rise up from the emerald waters where they feed. The best-known spots are the frigid Tierra del Fuego and the Torres del Paine dreamscape. But keep in mind that Patagonia covers a third of the total land within Argentina and Chile's borders. Find your own Patagonia and find out what you're made of.



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