Patagonia Airport: How to get to Patagonia

Argentina photographic places Mount Fitz Roy at sunrise
Mount Fitz Roy at sunrise. Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina

It’s important to organize your itinerary properly ahead of your Patagonia photo tour. Patagonia is a vast and large section of South America where the regional airports are small and have limited connection service. Patagonia’s airport options are a crucial part of your trip since ticket availability might fluctuate during different parts of the year.

Patagonia_airport_On_flight_approachMost of the Patagonia airports don’t receive international routes. Most of them behave as regional community hubs. International travelers first arrive to Chile and Argentina’s international airports prior to their connecting flight to a Patagonia airport.
Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, has three airports with daily connection flights to most of Patagonia; these are: Ezeiza – Ministro Pistarini (international), Aeroparque – Jorge Newbery (domestic), El Palomar (new low cost domestic airport). Chile’s capital, Santiago, has also daily flights to most of the Patagonia airports on the Chilean side.

Patagonia Airports:

Bariloche, Rio Negro,  Argentina

Teniente Luis Candelaria Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: BRC)

Bariloche_Patagonia_airportThis is perhaps the biggest Patagonia airport in the region due to the importance of San Carlos de Bariloche as a tourist destination inside Argentina. The Airport is served by all the major airlines: Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, Flybondi (low cost airline that only flies from El Palomar airport), Andes and Austral. A round trip from Buenos Aires might cost an average of $250 to $300 american dollars depending on season’s demand and the time of year.

El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Comandante Armando Tola Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: FTE)

El_Calafate_Patagonia_airportThis Patagonia Airport serves mostly tourist due to its proximity to the Perito Moreno glacier. This is also the perfect place to travel to a Patagonia photo tour due to its proximity to the Andes mountains and national parks. Airport’s daily flights are mostly domestic, with a few international routes originating in Chile.  It takes approximately a 3 hours trip from Buenos Aires and the average price of a ticket is about $300 to $400 dollars round trip to get there. You can book a flight to El Calafate Airport with Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM.

Rio grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Gobernador Ramón Trejo Noel Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: RZA)

Rio_Grande_Patagonia_airport
Rio Grande airport serves the local population of Tierra del Fuego and its one of the two main airports in the island. Tourist demand is low. Most passengers are locals travelling inside the island or to other airport hubs. There are daily domestic flights from and to this airport to Argentina’s capital.  Aerolineas Argentinas is the only major airline serving this airport. A round trip flight from Buenos Aires can cost an average of $400 american dollars.

Comodoro Rivadavia, Santa Cruz, Argentina

General Enrique Mosconi Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: CRD)

Comodoro_Rivadavia_Patagonia_AirportComodoro Rivadavia’s airport is a large regional airport in the province of Santa Cruz. There are more flight connection at CRD than at Santa Cruz other airport, El Calafate. You can book a direct flight to Buenos Aires as well as to other connecting hubs in other provinces of Argentina. Most of its daily traffic accounts for local passengers traveling to Argentina’s capital. This Patagonia airport does not receive international flights. The major airlines connecting to this airport are: Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, Austral Airlines and LADE.  The average round trip fare cost $400 american dollars

Trelew, Chubut, Argentina

Almirante Marcos A. Zar  (Patagonia Airport Code:TRE)

Trelew_Patagonia_Airport
This regional airport serves the city of Trelew as well as Rawson in the province of Chubut. This is the biggest airport to near Puerto Madryn,  a small town founded in 1865 by 150 Welsh settlers who decided to organize a community in South America far away from their homeland. Madryn is also famous for whale watching from June to December. The airport receives daily flights from Buenos Aires. Average ticket prices are around $350 american dollars. It’s served by Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM.

Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina

Piloto Civil Norberto Fernández  (Patagonia Airport Code: RCL)

Rio_Gallegos_Patagonia_Airport
Rio Gallegos is a Patagonia airport in the province of Santa Cruz. It serves mostly domestic routes as well as an international flight from Punta Arenas, Chile. The airlines arriving to this airport are: Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, Austral and Lade. There are nightly daily direct flights from Buenos Aires through LATAM at an average price of $400 american dollars.

Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (Patagonia Airport Code: USH)

Patagonia_Airport_road
This Patagonia airport is 4Km away from the city of Ushuaia. It receives daily flights from Rio Grande and Buenos Aires. It’s the biggest and closest airport to the Beagle channel and its proximity to the end of the American continent puts Ushuaia at a unique place among other Patagonia airports. A round trip airfare from Buenos Aires cost an average of $380/$400 american dollars. There’s only a daily direct flight with LATAM. It takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Aerolineas Argentinas has a two stop flight originating from Buenos Aires for a little more. This information might change in the future. This was the information available at the time of writing this article in May of 2018.

Puerto Montt, Región de los Lagos, Chile

El Tepual Airport – (Patagonia Airport Code: PMC)

El_Tepual_Patagonia_airport_Puerto_Montt
Puerto Montt’s Patagonia airport has daily service to Santiago as well as small regional airports in the región de los lagos. The flight time from Santiago is about 1 hour and 45 minutes. It’s served by LATAM, Sky Airlines and Jetsmart. A round trip ticket average price can be found from $250/$300 american dollars

Punta Arenas, Región Magallanes, Chile

Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Airport – (Patagonia Airport Code: PUQ)

Punta_Arenas_Patagonia_AirportPunta Arenas is one of the largest Patagonia airports serving a non-stop number of flights from Chile to the region. The airport is also utilized by the Chilean air force. It’s main traffic comes from charter and airline tourist flights. The major airlines that are: LATAM, Aerovias DAP, Sky Airlines, Jetsmart. The airport is not far from Punta Arenas city center and has many daily flights from Santiago. The average ticket fare from Santiago is around $250/$300 american dollars. Some Patagonia cruises originate from Punta Arenas during the summer months.

Puerto Natales, Chile

Teniente Julio Gallardo airfield – (Patagonia Airport Code: PNT)

Puerto_Natales_Patagonia_Airport
This tiny little Patagonia airport had its runaway expanded during 2016 but doesn’t seem to be receiving new flights at the moment. There are no schedule flights listed during the writing of this blog post in May of 2018.

 

Have you visited any of these airports?

How was your experience ? Share your information with all of us so we can maintain and keep all the Patagonia airport information current for new visitors.

Thank you!

Patagonia Location: Cueva de las Manos

 

Patagonia - Cueva de las ManosThe Cueva de las Manos site in Patagonia resembles the ancient paintings found at the Lascaux cavern in Southern France. The indigenous population that inhabited Patagonia left their negative hand impressions on this cave as a testament for future generations.

The Cave is located at the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina and relatively close to both the city of El Calafate and the Perito Moreno glacier.

The art painting dates from 13,000 to 9,000 years ago and early artwork has been carbon-dated to ca. 9300 BP (about 7300 BC). We believe that the site was last inhabited around 700 AD, possibly by ancestors of the Tehuelche people.

The paintings of left negative stenciled hands, suggests that the painters held the spraying pipe with their right hand or that they placed the back of their right hand to the wall and held the spraying pipe with their left hand.

As with other European cave paintings – Almeria and Lascaux – there are also local animals depictions such as Guanacos, rheas and felines. The Cueva de las Manos also shows other paintings representing geometric shapes, zigzag and hunting scenes. As with its overseas siblings, these images had a profound ritualistic meaning to the Patagonia inhabitants. It served as a spiritual connection with the environment, the animal’s soul as a way of understanding the circle of life from an early human perspective.

When to visit Cueva de las Manos

The Cueva de las Manos can be visited year round.

It is most easily reached by a gravel road (RP 41), which leaves Route 40 3 km north of Bajo Caracoles and runs 46 km northeast to the south side of the Pinturas Canyon (Painting Canyon)

If you’re attending our Patagonia photo tour in November, this is a worthwhile visit. The cultural importance of the Cueva de las Manos site has a deep connection with the first inhabitants of Patagonia.

Both the traces of their human development, meaning and identity is as valid today, as it was in pre-historic times.
If you go, don’t forget to place your left hand on top on one of the many silhouettes.

Patagonia Photo Tour Location: Perito Moreno Glacier

El_Calafate_Perito_Moreno_Observatio_deck_Patagonia_photography_tourAt the furthest end of the South American continent Patagonia host a wide variety of amazing photography locations. From blue glaciers, to mountain peaks and marine and terrestrial wildlife; Patagonia has many rich and diverse locations for landscape, wildlife and nature photographers. This is one of the great Patagonia locations we visit on the Patagonia photo tour.

Millions of years ago, this rough and semi arid ecosystem witnessed a drastic change with the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs. Paleontological digs are very common in Patagonia. They tell the story of earth’s ancient inhabitants, where giant dinosaurs roamed the land of what we now call the American continent. A testament of this can be found at the museum of Carmen Funes, in the province of Neuquén where,  the largest specimen of the dinosaur ever recorded (the Argentinosaurus), is on display.Museum Patagonia Dinosaurs

People from all over the world travel to Patagonia due to its beauty and unique topography. This is in part due to its magnificent peaks which create the longest continental mountain range best known as the Andes. The mountains extend for over 4,300 miles and journey from the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego all the way into western Venezuela.

Patagonia’s weather is very much defined by the Andes elevation, which functions as a barrier to the wet Westerlies winds that blow relentlessly from the South Pacific ocean. Tales about the ferocity of the Patagonian winds abound and are not to be taken lightly. Its wind gusts has been known to bend car doors as well as light posts.
The Andes mountains also delimit the border between the countries of Argentina and Chile, which share the Patagonia region, as well as some of very photogenic and unique national parks.

Perito Moreno Glacier:

El_Calafate_Perito_Moreno_water_route_Patagonia_photography_tourThe Perito Moreno glacier is by far one of the most exciting destinations in Patagonia. It’s located very close to the city of El Calafate in the Argentinean province of Santa Cruz. Contrary to many glaciers around the world, the scientific community has recorded the expansion of the Perito Moreno glacier in recent decades, despite global warming.
Ice breakups are a spectacle not to be missed and they usually occur during the summer months.

The glacier has an observation deck close to the waters of Lago Argentino. This scenic spot faces the lake and allows for a direct view of the ice giant just steps from land.
The glacier can also be accessed by foot and water. There are many reputable companies that organize boat expeditions around Lago Argentino. This is a perfect activity for a photography tour, since the park has many precious spots that can only be accessed by water.

El_Calafate_Perito_Moreno_walking_on_glacier_Patagonia_photography_tourWhilst both the deck and water excursions are well worth the journey to this location alone, the activity that in my opinion tops everything else, has to be the trek on top of the ice mass. It’s not everyday you have the chance to walk into a glacier!
The surface and some of its ice formation can be reached on ice walking treks which provide for fantastic photos. This is an absolute incredible adventure.
Tip: Leave the tripod at the hotel, It might be difficult to carry a lot of equipment on the icy adventure.

Patagonia Photo Tour Tip:

Clothing is important! bring shoes and clothing appropriate for ice walking. During summer, the abundance of water due to the higher temperatures might create very slippery paths.

I hope you’re planning a trip to South America. We organize Photography tours Patagonia which not only visits the Perito Moreno glacier but the Torres del Paine and Monte Leon national Parks.

Please consider joining us in our upcoming photo tour. We are local to South American and to Patagonia. All our staff is bilingual and are very passionate about their own photography. If you are planning a photography trip to South America, contact us.

Travel Photography Workshop

Travel Photography WorkshopLike with traditional photography classes and instruction, a travel photography workshop aims to enhance your skills throughout a specific journey. Its striking contrast relies on the location and how the travel photography workshop gets presented to its participants.
Check out our upcoming Photography tour 2017 and the Patagonia photography tour for 2018.

Travel Photography Workshop – Intensive learning In-situ

I for one like the idea of maximizing the instruction and teaching in just a few days. Research studies have shown that condensing material in a few short segments provides a better comprehension and absorption by the students.

A travel photography workshop works in a similar fashion:
A lot of information is condensed in just a few days, and its main advantage is experienced with the direct access to the instructors and the unique setting.
This is no small thing, since the possibility to incorporate new knowledge, and immediately utilize it on the field helps the learning process tremendously.

Observing Rather than Viewing in a travel photography workshop

The French microbiologist and chemist Louis Pasteur, known for the invention of Pasteurization, had a very interesting quote:

Fortune Favors the Prepared Mind

While on location, and sometimes due to the cultural distance and ethnology variation of our own culture, our eye and mind can observe things in a different and alternative way.  This is a great thing, but one that can only be advantageous to the “prepared mind” as Pasteur calls it. By developing your skills: understanding of light, composition, field of view, depth of field, perspective, color theory, etc. You can prepare your mind for anything you might encounter.

Traveling to a distant land can be a great opportunity to enhance these skills. The cultural distance and differences can trigger many ‘happy’ discoveries as a result of an alternative environment.

Weston_ExcusadoTake Edward Weston famous “Excusado” photograph from 1925. Weston took this picture in Mexico, and although the toilet is shown as a massive sculpture, Weston was truly fascinated with its design.
He himself had never lived in a house with internal plumbing while in the USA. This experience make him think about many other objects that possessed an inherit beauty that can only be revealed to the ‘prepared mind’.

Photography Location – Pucará de Tilcara, Jujuy

aPhotography locations - Pucará de TilcaraThere are some photography locations that are truly special and photogenic like no other. Perhaps some of its advantages rely on their continuity and lack of change, such as their landscape and climate, which might not vary over many centuries thus preserving its charm and unique characteristics. The following is a photography location like no other.

Photography Location – Pucará de Tilcara

In our photo tour through the Northwestern region of Argentina – Magical Argentina – we’ll travel to this incredible photography location: El Pucará de Tilcara. An historical site with vast anthropological and archeological significance, which dates back before the Spanish colonization of America.

Photography Locations - Pucará de TilcaraThe Pucará is a city fortification with pre-Inca origins, strategically located on top of a hill, with rich, majestic views over the surrounding valley and La Quebrada de Humahuaca ( an access route that provided  trade pathways to the Inca empire in the southern region. Currently a UNESCO protected site) This location was strategically chosen due to its access and its superior position against foreign invaders. Its history and constructions makes it a great photography location.

Photography Locations - Pucará de TilcaraTraces of human habitation in the area date back more than 10,000 years. The Inca domination of the area only lasted for about half a century, and ended with the arrival of the Spanish in 1536, who founded the modern town of Tilcara in 1586.

Photography Location for Soda Estereo

During 1985, the Argentinian rock band “Soda Estereo” used this unique photography location as the backdrop for their emblematic single “Cuando Pase el Temblor” (When the tremor subsides).

The contrast of the ancient landscape against the group’s Goth/Dark looks, highlighted by singer’s Gustavo Cerati aesthetics, produced a truly striking contrast between the electro/reaggea groove with sound patches of northwestern Argentina pan-flute phrases.


The song and its music video not only became an instant hit throughout Latin America, but as a convergence of modern art and ancient history playing together, in search of a new cultural identity.

Join us next December when we visit El Pucará de Tilcara as part of our photography tour excursion through the Norther Region of Argentina. This is a great photography location along our itinerary.