5 interesting facts about Patagonia every LGBT traveller should know

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Patagonia is a massive chunk of land on the tip of the America continent split between Chile and Argentina.

It has a variety of landscapes ranging from the Andes mountain, desert, grasslands and ocean, making it perfect for adventure travellers.

We spent a month travelling across this vast region and have set out our 5 highlights and interesting facts about Patagonia from our experience.

1. Largest population of Magellanic penguins

Penguins in Patagonia (Nomadic Boys)
Penguins in Patagonia (Nomadic Boys)

Punta Tombo on the coast of Argentina’s Chubut province in Patagonia is where you can get up close to one of the cutest animals we’ve ever seen – the Magellanic penguins. They’re around half a metre tall and extremely adorable, especially when they’re clumsily waddling around on land.

This home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in Latin America. Around 1 million gather in Punta Tombo between mid-September and mid-April where they come to nest, mate, breed and “molt” (shed their feathers).

You can reach Punta Tombo by day trip from nearby transport hub Puerto Madryn, a super gay-friendly city we highly recommend visiting. For more, check out our gay guide to Puerto Madryn.

2. The Second Longest Living Species on Earth is here

Alcerces Tree in Patagonia (Nomadic Boys)
Alcerces Tree in Patagonia (Nomadic Boys)

Near the city of Esquel in Argentina, you can find the second oldest living species here. At 2,600 years old, the Alerces Tree is only beaten in age by the Methuselah (White Mountains in California, USA), which is almost 5,000 yrs old.

To put it into perspective, both of these living species are older than Jesus Christ!

The Alcerces tree is UNESCO listed and can be found in the Alcerces National Park, near the Chilean border. The National Park was created in 1937 to protect this family of ancient trees.

3. The biggest dinosaur ever is from Patagonia

The World's Largest Dinosaur in Chubut, Patagonia (Nomadic Boys)
The World’s Largest Dinosaur in Chubut, Patagonia (Nomadic Boys)

To be exact, right in the middle of the continent in the Chubut region, archaeologists found the largest ever dinosaur fossils that we know of to date.

This dinosaur is still unnamed, but is known to have been herbivore, measuring 42m in length and weighing 76 tons.

There’s a fascinating dinosaur museum in Trelew city worth visiting, dedicated to all the dinosaur fossils found in the region along with a laboratory where you can see the palaeontologists at work. Nearby, they’ve reproduced a life size version of this mega-dino so you can get a perspective of how enormous it once was. And this guy was BIG!

4. Awesome mountain trekking

Torres del Paine (Nomadic Boys)
Torres del Paine (Nomadic Boys)

Most associate Patagonia with trekking and for good reason. The “W Circuit” through Torres del Paine in Chile is one of the most famous in the world. It is a UNESCO Heritage site and was voted by virtualtourist.com as one of the 8 wonders of the world in 2013.

Another trekking highlight in Patagonia we loved and highly recommend are the trails around El Chaltén in Argentina. It’s less famous than Torres del Paine but in our opinion just as stunning, offering some gorgeous vistas and spectacular landscapes.

To find out more about both, check out our article about trekking in Torres del Paine versus El Chalten.

5. One of the few expanding glaciers

The Perito Moreno Glacier (Nomadic Boys)
The Perito Moreno Glacier (Nomadic Boys)

The Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate in Argentina is another not-to-miss highlight of Patagonia on everyone’s bucket list. This huge ice formation is 22 miles in length, with a depth of up to 590 feet. It’s also unique because it’s one of the fewest glaciers in the world which is expanding and not shrinking. No one know the scientific reason for this yet.

We hiked across Perito Moreno as part of a tour, which was probably one of the most unique things we’ve ever done in our lives! Walking with crampons is not an easy task and mixed with the otherworldly scenery around you, you’ll no doubt be spell bound here.

To read more, check out our top 10 highlights in Patagonia.

Stefan and Sebastien are a gay couple who left their lives in London in 2014 and have been travelling the world together since. They are currently on a big adventure around Latin America and you can follow them on their gay travel blog Nomadic Boys – and on their YouTube Channel.