Hey! We’re Ashley and Dan – a couple of dirtbag adventure elopement photographers based out of Wisconsin. On top of being adventure elopement photographers, we are full time explorers. We wanted to paint a picture for you guys of what your Patagonia elopement could look like. We spent a month and a half in both Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia – driving down the entire Careterra Austral, backpacking in the most epic national parks, climbing, and just straight exploring. Let me tell you, we were absolutely blown away. Patagonia is absolutely unreal. We wanted to create this blog to let you in on some of our favorite places to elope in Patagonia, as well as give you some other tips on how to make it happen. Glad you’re here!
Table of Contents
Where is Patagonia?
Patagonia is found in the southern region of South America, and spans across both Chile and Argentina. It’s basically 402,700 square miles of pristine sparsely populated land begging to be explored. On the Chilean side, you’ll find the greenest greens, huge lakes that are so blue they look fake, snow capped mountains, glaciers, and wildlife galore. On the Argentinian side, the landscape is much drier (though you will still see bright blue glacial lakes amongst the dry orange landscape.) There are huge windswept rock formations, mesetas, mountains, glaciers, etc. Whichever country you choose for your Patagonia elopement, you really can’t go wrong. Not to mention we saw a shit load of guanacaos (llamas!), ostriches, and flamingos.
How do I elope in Patagonia?
Planning the logistics of a trip overseas, especially where they speak a different language, can feel like a bit of a nightmare. What city should you fly into? How do I figure out this whole permit process? Where the heck should I even go? There is so much involved, and yes, it can feel a bit overwhelming! That’s what Dan and I are here for. When you hire us as your Patagonia elopement photographers, we don’t just show up and take photos. We help you with the whole process. We show you exactly how to get the right permits you need, help you with the entire travel process, and share all of our favorite locations in this gigantic chunk of land (more to come on that below!)
We are here for your support from the moment you book with us, until after your photos are delivered. Throughout the entire process, we’ll pump you up, and you’ll get more and more excited. The stress will just kind of slip away as you realize how easy it is when you have someone showing you the way. We would be stoked to start a conversation with you about all things related to your Patagonia elopement. Contact us here to start planning this thing!
Best Places to Elope in Patagonia
I want to preface this by saying that this is just one tiny little snippet of our favorite locations in Patagonia! We have a whole other list FILLED with some way off-the-beaten path for our couples. After spending a month and half amongst the llamas, we have found some pretty epic spots for your Patagonia elopement and we want to share them all with you.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares is a quick drive away from El Calafate, which is one of the more popular towns in Patagonia. The park is located in the Santa Cruz providence of Argentina. Make sure to check out Perito Moreno (a MASSIVE growing glacier found within the park.) It’s super easily accessible if you want some amazing close up views of the 240 ft tall glacier. You can also go on a guided ice trek across the glacier to beat the crowds and get close and personal.
Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine is probably the most popular National Park in of Patagonia, and for good reason. There is LOADS of hiking, including the famous W-Trek and O-Trek (which we did!). With amazing views from John Gardner Pass, Glacier Gray, Los Torres, and an insane amount of lakes and peaks, Torres del Paine is packed with variety. We totally recommend turning your Patagonia elopement into a multi-day (or week) trip. There is so freakin’ much to see.
El Chaltén is a climber’s freakin paradise. There is rock climbing and mountaineering everywhere. This is also where you’re going to find Mount Fitz Roy. If you’re not familiar with Fitz Roy, it’s basically the brand Patagonia’s logo. El Chaltén is a super cute tiny little town with all sorts of cute little shops and restaurants with quick and easy accessibility to the mountains and hiking. Loma del Pliegue Tumbado is one example of an incredible day hike that gets you away from the business and throws some pretty sick expansive views of Fitz Roy right in front of you. This hike is also less busy than the more popular Laguna Los Tres.
The Huemul Circuit is accessible from El Chaltén and is 100% geared for the people who are looking for a bit more adventure. On the second day, you pass over Paso del Viento, which opens up to sweeping views of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. There are only 5 places that are accessible by hiking to get this view, and it is so worth the work to get there. My mind was blown when we made it up there and just saw ice that expanded all the way to the horizon. I believe my initial words were “Holy shit, holy shit, hoooolllllllyyyyyyyy shiiiiittttttt. That’s a lot of ice.” Despite the lack of poetry in my words, I was deeply moved.
This trek requires navigational skills as it requires a lot of trail finding (don’t worry, we got you), glacier crossing safety skills, fording a few ice cold rivers, as well as zip-lining across a couple ragers. If you’re looking for a truly remote and adventurous experience for your Patagonia elopement, the Huemul Circuit is our number one choice.
Puerto Río Tranquilo
Puerto Río Tranquilo is a gorgeous little town inside of Chile just before crossing into Argentina. Lago General Carrera, which is the giant lake bordering the town, is honestly the bluest lake I have ever seen in my life – and it’s huge. There are plenty of boat excursions, including a trip to the Marble Caves, which are definitely the best to see at either sunrise or sunset. The view across the lake to the distant mountains are some of the best we saw in our time down there. You can also access day trips to the San Rafael Glacier from this spot as well. Puerto Rio Tranquilo is also pretty close to the Argentina border as well if you’re trying to visit both countries during your Patagonia elopement.
Parque Patagonia isn’t really talked about too much, and we’re not too sure why. It’s in the process of becoming a National Park, and they have different zones in both Chile and Argentina. Both sides are beautiful, and you won’t see many other people there. We loved hiking Laguna Altas on the Chilean side. The trail takes you up a trail through multiple high alpline lakes, as well as through these pretty unreal forests covered in a light green soft moss. The moss made the place look like something straight out of a fairytail – pretty wild.
On the Argentinian side, you’ll find multi-day treks which actually have little Refugios you can stay at. Refugios are basically little shelters you can stay in along the way, and let you leave your tent back at the car. Just make sure to bring your sleeping bag and sleeping pad. We can across of variety of refugios on our trek – from little shacks with fireplaces, to eco-domes with some pretty wild night sky views from the big windows. The best part about these refugios is that they’re free – you just gotta check in with the rangers and let them know where you’re planning to stay! Also, we didn’t run across a single other person while trekking out here, and we had the refugios all to ourselves.
San Carlos de Bariloche
San Carlos de Bariloche was one of our last stops in Patagonia as we headed back north to catch our flight home to Santiago. The mountains here felt very green, and deeply rich in color. Refugio Frey is an awesome trek you which leads you to a beautiful alpine lake in Cerro Catedral. Here, you can also book a stay at the Refugio itself. At the top, your surrounded by a “cathedral” of sharp rocky towers – I’ve never seen anything like it. Our favorite way to approach Refugio Frey is by taking the ridgeline. There’s plenty of rock scrambling with some epic views of the mountains and valley below.
Other Patagonia Elopement Locations
Whether you’re eloping in Chile, or Argentina, we’ve put together a huge list of our favorite locations for our couples looking to elope in Patagonia. From wild ranches, to places only accessed by ferry or helicopter, multi-day backpacking trips, to gorgeous accessible overlooks, we’ve got so many options to share with you. Wondering how this all works? Check out our Elopement Process to help you get started. We break it down pretty easy on what it takes to begin planning your Patagonia elopement 🙂
Best Time of the Year to Elope in Patagonia
If there is one thing we learned about Patagonia, it’s that the weather is absolutely unpredictable and wild. The seasons are opposite what they are in the USA. Our summers are their winters, and vice versa. October through February are typically the best times to visit Patagonia. It will be spring and summer in these months, and more will be open and accessible vs. being down there during their winter time. Keep in mind that just because you’re visiting during their milder weather window, you’re still pretty likely to experience some pretty crazy weather. The wind is the most prominent difference I noticed in Patagonia.
There was never another time in my life when I was actually grateful to have a 30lb backpack strapped to my back. Sometimes the gusts of wind would literally blow me over, however, this is all part of the experience. We also had a day mid January (their summer), where we got caught in a complete white-out snow storm. When booking an elopement in Patagonia, we like to be a bit more flexible with the dates. We offer a window of a few days to choose from for your elopement. Just be prepared for those wind-blown dress and hair pictures, because you’ll most likely get them (that’s a good thing!).
Patagonia Elopement Packages
If you’re looking to elope in Patagonia, we’re a husband and wife adventure elopement photographer team who offer multiple packages for your adventurous wedding. For more information on what we offer, click here to view our Elopement Packages. You can also directly contact us here to start a conversation about your Patagonia Elopement. We feel such a deep love and respect for Patagonia and would love to show you our most special places for you to explore for yourself.
Being adventure elopement photographers allows us not only to experience some of the coolest places in the world, but also witness YOU guys in these places – committing the rest of your lives to each other. We’re always stoked to be able to witness that kind of love, expressed in a way that doesn’t quite fit inside the box of a traditional wedding. We’d love to answer any other questions you have, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!