Patagonia in Chile: where Tolkien’s imagination come true

Mountain in Torres del Paine Chile

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“When we arrived the landscape surprised us. It was like taken from the book ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J. R. R. Tolkien”. That is the way how Brian Houseal described Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Patagonia in Chile. Housseal, an American architect who designed and recovered this ecosystem from environmental deterioration, was not aware in 1976 that John Ronal Reuel Tolkien was born in South Africa, and when he was young he moved with his parents to England and never could visit Chile.

However, this landscape parallelism so used by the local population of the region, may lead one to think that the similarity of places as representative of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as the Region, Middle Earth, or the cloudy mountains with Patagonia is not a coincidence and that could have left from the imagination of the author after visiting the south of Chile.

The truth is that this was not the case and, in fact, the filming of the Tolkien trilogy had its main location in New Zealand. However, we leave you with these 5 fantasy landscapes of Patagonia in Chile so that you can extract your own conclusions. You can also get to know the places to visit in Patagonia in Chile in case you are lucky enough to get there.

Pehoe Lake

Within Torres del Paine National Park, in the area known as the Horns of Paine, Pehoe Lake is located, which presents visuals as changing as the abrupt climate changes of the Region of Magallanes and the Chilean Antarctic. Pehoé Lake, which could well have been taken from the Middle Earth itself, received this name from the Tehuenche people. Its meaning is the ‘Hidden Lake’, although it is easy to find if you decide to do the Torres del Paine W Trek.

Pehoe lake: a place to visit in the Patagonia in Chile

Perito Moreno

Finding yourself with that blue ice wall is an impact. This glacier ice monster has a wall up to 70 meters high in its visible part and a front of 5 kilometers in length. A wall of blue ice that inspired the ones in Tolkien saga, but also in  ‘Game of Thrones’. To do the Minitrekking Perito Moreno and discover the magnetism of the place you can access from the Argentina city of El Calafate, inside the Glaciers National Park.

Place to visit in the Patagonia in Chile: Wall of blue ice of Perito Moreno glacier

Fitz Roy Mountain

On the border between Chilean and Argentinean Patagonia, near to El Chalten village, we find Mount Fitz Roy, which its peaks look like rock spiers that seem to pierce the sky. The summit, with its crests, remains much of the time among clouds that seem to simulate the mountain smoking. That is why once the Fitz Roy was confused with a volcano.

fitz roy patagonia

The myrtle forest

“To the south and west, I looked out over the warm lower valleys of the Anduin. Numerous trees grew there (…) There were hills, and thickets of tamarisks and thorny terebinths, of olive and laurel trees; and junipers, and myrtles”. This fragment, taken from the book of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’, could describe the myrtle forest of one of the islands of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Between the Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, the level of concentration of this orange tree turns this place into a fairytale landscape.

Myrtle forest in Bariloche: a place to visit in the Patagonia in Chile

Marble cathedral and caves

Another place to visit in the Patagonia in Chile is the natural rock formations that line the shores of Lake General Carrera, in the Aysen region. The erosion caused by wind and water over the millennia has been responsible for molding these limestone rocks to the point of stripping them bare, exposing their marble strata.

Marble caves and cathedral: a place to visit in the Patagonia in Chile

Although we have given you 5 places to visit in Patagonia in Chile, there is much more to see. Nature is the greatest gift and Tolkien knew it when he described the incredible landscapes of his famous saga. What he did not know, is that such beauty could be real. Unfortunately he could not check it, but you are in time, do you dare?


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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