BikeHike Adventures: Reasons Why Patagonia is A Must See

Patagonia: A Must for Active Explorers

Breaking away from the common aspiration to travel in a warm and tropical destination can be difficult – but Patagonia makes it EASY. Mixing immense natural beauty, rich wildlife and satisfying activities makes Patagonia a must for active travelers.

Patagonia is located at the southern end of South America and spans over parts of Chile and Argentina. Covering roughly one third of Argentina and close to half of Chile, there is a lot of Patagonia to go around. Combine that with its low low population density and you begin to understand the vast uninhabited grandeur of this beautiful region. It is the closest landmass to Antarctica, and shares elements of its spectacular icy landscape.

The name Patagonia was coined by the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520 to describe the large stature of the Patagonian people. At that time, the native tribesmen of Patagonia (the Tehuelche people) are believed to have been 5’11”, quite large compared to the then average Spaniard male of 5’1”. Magellan thought he had found “giants.”

Today Patagonia is still characterized by “the gigantic” in its larger than life terrain. Traveling throughout Patagonia results in boundless vantage points of ice-tipped mountains, granite cliffs, and icebergs. Turquoise tinted glaciers, river valleys, tangled pine forests, and spongy grassland plains reward all who visit.

If you’re not already convinced, here are some more reasons why Patagonia Is A Must See.

Outdoor Activities

BikeHike Adventures Patagonia Outdoor Patagonia is the perfect cold weather playground. With the wide range of terrain offered between Argentina and Chile, your multi-sport options are many. Hike throughout semi-arid plateaus, deep valleys and canyons. Ice trek across expanded ice fields and immense snow-covered mountain ranges. Take to the water in kayaks and canoes exploring the many blue-coloured icebergs. Biking is also an option from certain locations.

AnimalsBikeHike Adventures Patagonia Animals
Patagonia has noticeably diverse fauna. See rich wildlife from foxes, condors and penguins to pink flamingos, rabbits, and ashy-headed geese. Guanacos, a species of lama is indigenous to the land. Unique birds include the buff-necked ibis and rheas.

BikeHike Adventures Patagonia EcocampAlthough some outdoor enthusiasts are dedicated enough to see Patagonia independently, many opt for the assistance of a seasoned tour operator. One such offering BikeHike Adventures is proud to provide is accommodation at the Eco-camp, a one-of-a-kind lodge with cozy dome shaped shelters. Due to the way it was constructed, the environmental impact of the Eco-camp’s huts is virtually none-existent. Staying here is a restful and relaxing experience in an otherwise relatively inhospitable environment.

Family Friendly
BikeHike Adventures Patagonia Family-FriendlyPatagonia is an ideal family vacation. Since there are no snakes or other dangerous wild animals (pumas exist, but are rarely seen), it is safe for a wide array of outdoor activities. The large and unspoiled wilderness is the perfect place for kids to build an appreciation for outdoor life and learn about the natural world.

About BikeHike Adventures
BikeHike Adventures is an adventure travel company that offers guided tours to over 30 destinations worldwide. Specializing in multi-sport vacations, BikeHike unites humans in their love for outdoor activities around the world. Catering to outdoor enthusiasts with a passion to go a little deeper, BikeHike exclusively uses highly experienced local guides who facilitate the wonder and pride of exploration. BikeHike’s passion for fostering meaningful relationships abroad is reflected in its commitment to sustainability, both environmentally and socially. If exploration is your lifestyle, BikeHike Adventures is your mentor! Follow them on twitter @bikehiketravel

BikeHike Adventures’ Most Popular Trip in Patagonia
Join BikeHike for The Best of Patagonia, an extended trek through both Chile and Argentina. See all the intoxicating natural beauty Patagonia has to offer by hiking and ice trekking on this 12-day tour. Overnight accommodations include family-run hosterias, log cabins, tents and a luxurious and sustainable Eco-Camp.

Short-Term Voluntours – Can You Really Make A Difference?

Voluntourism has generated a new wave in travel, the growing feel good factor creating opportunities for the everyday traveller and not just the career minded charity worker. But the question remains, can you make a difference when you’re a short-term tourist? The debate appears to be ongoing, however, it’s not essential to be on a three-month sabbatical or longer stint if you want to give something back to the country you are visiting.

The African continent is a good place to start, adventurers in search of the Big Five also helping out on more practical projects.

Building and painting local schools in Uganda is valuable input. Of course, you might be visiting the project for just one day, but you’re still a much needed pair of hands, and non-profit projects with little in the way of budgets will welcome that kind of practical assistance with open arms.

Your first step into the world of vouluntourism – On an overlanding tour you’ll have the opportunity to visit seven or eight countries in Africa, and along the way there are usually various community and conservation based programmes on offer. Whether you decide to participate in an ethical project or simply gain some understanding from the local scheme on a guided tour, you’ll bring back some relevant insight that might help you decide on a more focused voluntour next time you visit. Remember, even on a two-week experience it’s a real commitment, and it’s important to invest your time in something you believe in, making prior hands on knowledge invaluable.

More specific voluntour itineraries will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of the project’s aims and build closer relationships with your fellow travellers and members of the local community who also help to make it happen.

Where to Head?

Zanzibar is often seen as a sun sea and sand destination, but it’s now home to an exciting educational project. Illiteracy affects over 40% of the Spice Island’s population, then again you don’t need to have a teaching qualification to get involved. The activities range from assisting with the education of with primary school classes to adult education, and you will also have the opportunity to be involved in recycling and tree planting programmes; the scheme endeavouring to engineer a more well-rounded approach to the needs of the community, whether its education or conservation.

With the Big Five being central to almost any itinerary in Africa there’s the option to combine game viewing and volunteering on many tours. Undoubtedly, the wildlife is still the main draw for anyone choosing to travel on the continent so organisations involved in the protection of endangered animals are becoming part and parcel of the whole voluntour industry. And, what better place to start than the Masai Mara, host of the annual migration. Volunteers coming on board from July to October will certainly be assured of a little more excitement, and a two-way ethical scheme, there is the opportunity to learn from the Masai tribe, ethical travellers assisting on conflict management programmes and helping to improve educational facilities in the area.

Your Checklist to Voluntouring
* If you’re not sure how to make the best of your skills, look out for one day voluntour experiences within a tour, you’ll gain much needed insight when it comes to taking a longer commitment

* There are plenty of voluntour experiences out there, but quiz the company you are booking with. If the travel advisor is able to give you a detailed description of what’s on offer, it will speak volumes about their involvement

* Check out the options in Africa, as you may well be able to combine a voluntour holiday with some additional sight seeing and game viewing

* Ask about the ratio of local and tourist involvement. In general, voluntour projects that show a strong concern for local labour are rated more highly when it comes to their values and ethics