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Eloping in Patagonia: The Ultimate Guide (updated for 2025)

Co-written by Chilean outdoor guide Lucas Rencoret and adventure elopement photographer Mariah Arianna for couples eloping in Patagonia

Table of Contents

Patagonia Elopement Budget Breakdown

Best elopement locations in Patagonia

How to travel to Patagonia

Hiring guides & vendors

Patagonia treks and other locations

Eloping in Patagonia by season

Eloping in Patagonia FAQs

Patagonia Elopement Photographer

Eloping in Patagonia Overview

We are two adventurers who want to share our expertise on Patagonia. Lucas is a Chilean outdoor guide, and I (Mariah) am an adventure elopement photographer based in the Italian Dolomites and Austrian Alps. We’ve written this blog as a source of honest information for you as you plan.

There are not many resources out there about eloping in Patagonia. There are even fewer photographers with direct experience photographing couples here. Patagonia is breathtaking beyond words, but it has some serious flaws and drawbacks as an elopement location.

So, here is everything we think you should know about eloping in Patagonia!

FIRST: The Brutally Honest Patagonia Elopement Budget Breakdown

We’re going to be real with you here: eloping in Patagonia is expensive. Chile is comparable to the US and EU for groceries, hotels, rental cars and other costs. It isn’t a budget destination.

Moreover, areas like El Chalten or Torres del Paine are popular tourist locations at the edge of the world. They have an oasis of activity in otherwise remote and unforgiving terrains. It’s expensive to maintain parks and tourism here. While extremely unique, you won’t be able to cut too many budget corners eloping in Patagonia. That said, it’s probably still cheaper than a 100 person wedding!

For this Patagonia budget breakdown, we’re going to assume a two week stay. For the amount of travel and cost required to get to Patagonia, we recommend nothing shorter.

Here’s the minimums to expect when budgeting:

Economy flights for two: $3,000
3-4 star hotels: $200 per night
3 day permit for TDP: $32 per person, bookable in advance
Meals and 10% tips: $100 per day
Experienced adventure photographer: $13k-20k+
Car rental and fuel: $1,100

Total minimum budget, USD, for a 2 week trip: ~$20,000 – $30,000

This is a super rough estimate for the travel and photography side only. We’ve based the costs on high season (January-February) averages, as well as our own experience traveling to and from Chile from the US and Europe.

Remember, these are basic costs for economy to mid-range options. There are lots of luxury hotels and other guided excursions in the area which increase costs quickly. This basic Patagonia elopement budget is to start your planning with.

SECOND: The brutally honest rating of Patagonia as an elopement location…

The views are obviously a 10. However, as a full time elopement photographer who values a couple’s experience above all, Patagonia is not necessarily an ideal place for an elopement in my opinion. Patagonia comes with some serious drawbacks which should be thoroughly considered.

First, Chilean Patagonia has some of the most limited and restrictive trail access times and rules I’ve ever encountered. On top of that, there are relatively very few trails in the area which tourists are even allowed to set foot on. The ones you can hike on come with crowds that no one would feel comfortable being photographed on, let alone in a wedding dress while reading vows. Many lookout points have been roped off even further in recent years due to erosion, blocking the few good vantage points available with unsightly ropes and signage.

Moreover, you’ll have to rule out hiring other wedding vendors for your day unless you’re prepared to fly them in. Patagonia is an extremely remote place. Santiago is the closest city you’ll find local wedding vendors that are going to reach modern standards for elopements and weddings. Even then, they probably won’t speak much English.

While it’s possible to find great accommodation in hot spots like El Chalten and within Torres del Paine, it’s expensive and books out quickly. Here is my breakdown on important factors I consider when scouting places for elopements:

Views 10/10

Uniqueness 10/10

Accessibility 1/10

Trail variety 1/10

Local wedding vendor variety 0/10

Safety 6/10

Sustainability 3/10

Weather 1/10 (in the sense it’s likely to lead to complications or inability to shoot)

Ease of logistics 5/10

Weather backups 1/10

Crowds 1/10

Potential for guests 1/10

All this averages out to a pretty low score based on what I value for client experience on their elopement day. I really only recommend Patagonia as an elopement location for seasoned adventure travelers who are in very good physical condition, do not want any guests, are fine with DIYing things like makeup and hair, and feel very comfortable winging things around the weather.

READ MORE: must know tips for eloping in Torres del Paine National Park

Best locations in Patagonia for your elopement day

Where to Elope in Southern Patagonia: Torres Del Paine National Park

A couple hug on top of a large boulder in Torres del Paine National Park on their elopement day. There are towering rock pillars and a teal blue lake behind them.

If you’ve seen any elopement photos from Patagonia, you’ve likely seen some taken around Torres del Paine. The “towers” hike is one of the most iconic hikes in the world, and one of the stops along the famous W and O treks.

The park itself is massive. There are numerous stops along Lago Pehoe where, depending on the season, you can admire the fall colors, snow capped peaks, or the vibrant lupins that grow in the spring months.

If you choose to elope in this part of Patagonia, I recommend these hotels:

LUXURY: Hotel Salto Chico is an award winning, all inclusive luxury lodge with locations around South America. If you really just want to sit back and enjoy your trip without planning anything, this is a great way to go. The hotel is located within the park close to the southern Serrano entrance, making it ideal for anything you want to do.

AVERAGE: Eco Camp Patagonia or Pampa Lodge. I stayed at the Pampa Lodge and was truly impressed with their food particularly. Their breakfast tarts where, no exaggeration, the best I’ve ever had. Their steak was comparable to a $70 New York steak, perfectly cooked, and the pizza and Ahi Tuna salad were also highlights of our stay.

BUDGET: Hosteria Pehoe. If you want to offset some more expensive days with a couple budget options, this is a great spot along the lake with some of the best views in the park over lake Pehoe.

Where to Elope in Northern Patagonia (Chile)

Coyhaique: Aysen Region, Lago General Carrero, Cerro Castillo and Parque Nacional Patagonia

The southern hotspots of Torres del Paine, Fitz Roy and Tierra del Fuego get all the attention, but the truth is, Patagonia is a massive region. In the north, there are a number of national parks which are far less busy and still some of the most beautiful mountains you’ll ever see.

Consider seeing these areas as well, even if just for your site seeing across the country. If you’re interested in doing a multi-day backpacking trek, the Las Horquetas trail through Cerro Castillo was one of our favorite areas of Patagonia and takes 4-5 days to complete.

Puerto Varas: Parque Vicente Perez Rosales, Lago Llanquihue and Volcano Osorno

Puerto Varas is a super cute town on Lago Llanquihue. It has a “surf town” vibe, and lots of nice stores and restaurants. It’s a place lots of Chileans go for vacation, and is only an hour or less from the areas most impressive volcanoes and national parks.

Where to Elope in Argentinean Patagonia

El Calafate and El Chalten: Perito Moreno Glacier and Fitz Roy

El Calafate is a super modern and touristy town buzzing with people visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier and surrounding Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Keep in mind visiting the glacier itself MUST be with a guided tour. Hielo y Aventura is the only guiding company which takes you out on the ice. I highly recommend the Big Ice trekking tour! While an elopement on the glacier itself is not possible, you definitely cannot miss this location while in the area.

That brings me to El Chalten and Fitz Roy. El Chalten is a charming little town nestled under the two crown jewels of Argentinean Patagonia: Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Not nearly as big as El Calafate, El Chalten has a true backpacker soul. It is packed with climbers, trekkers and adventurers from around the world.

Contrary to the trail opening hours found in much of Chilean Patagonia, the Fitz Roy trail is accessible all day and night right from town. The viewpoint of Fitz Roy is a quick one hour hike and perfect for sunrise. From there, you can continue to Laguna de Los Tres for a truly one of a kind vow ceremony location.

How to travel to Patagonia

When you are eloping in Patagonia, getting all the way south is the biggest chunk of your travel. You’ll likely fly into either Santiago de Chile (SCL), or Buenos Aires (BAI) from your closest major international city. From there, you’ll need to book a smaller flight to Punta Arenas (PUQ).

From Punta Arenas, I recommend renting a car. From there, it’s about a 4 hour drive to the southernmost park entrance (Rio Serrano).


Some sights and areas require guides. You can’t step foot on glaciers without them, for example, or hike in TDP in the shoulder or winter seasons without them. This is mostly due to safety reasons. In the high season, a guide for TDP is optional, but might be a benefit depending on your needs.

Glacier tours

There are many glaciers to tour in Patagonia, but the most famous are the San Rafeal glacier in northern Patagonia, and Grey Glacier and Perito Moreno glaciers in southern Patagonia. Grey Glacier and Perito Moreno are pretty exclusive, and very few companies offer tours. For Grey Glacier, Bigfoot is the primary tour company, and for Perito Moreno, it’s Hielo y Aventura.

Helicopter tours

You can’t beat bird’s eye views and a private glacier landing! If you prefer to avoid hiking on your elopement day, a helicopter tour is the best way to get direct access to remote areas with no physical effort.

Check out Patagonia Heli Tours in Aysen!

Horseback Rides

Patagonia is true cowboy country. Horses and cattle are a staple of the landscape and culture. A tour on horseback is a great excursion and a unique way to see other areas of the park not accessible to the average hiker. A private horseback tour could be the perfect way to get to your vow ceremony location, and there are many guides which you could hire for private tours.

Treks and other locations to consider while eloping in Patagonia or sightseeing

  • The O Trek
  • The W Trek
  • Las Horquetas Trek through Cerro Castillo
  • Lago Pehoe
  • Mirador Las Cuernos
  • Mirador Fitz Roy
  • Laguna de Los Tres (Fitz Roy Trail)

What is the best month for eloping in Patagonia?

One quick reminder for context: seasons down here are “flipped!”

Personally, we really recommend mid to late December or early to mid March.

Unless you really want snow, we recommend avoiding May-October. The winter months (June – August) are dark and cold, like the northern hemisphere’s December and January.

Spring in Patagonia (November/December) can be a colorful and beautiful time, full of overflowing waterfalls, wildflowers and fields of lupins.

Autumn (March/April) turns the trees bright red and orange, and the landscape is a kaleidoscope with turquoise lakes, and blue glaciers. Far fewer people around as well.

Summer (January/February) are the warmest and most pleasant months, but also the busiest. It’s important to consider what type of weather you like, and how much crowds turn you off.


How far out should we start booking things to elope in Patagonia?

The earliest you can book camps and hotels is usually a year in advance. Most online booking platforms for the parks etc. don’t open until 12 months before. I recommend reserving your hotels and any campsites for the O/W treks at the 6-9 month window, and your photographer at the 9-12 month window. At 3-6 months before, the camping starts to fill up very quickly for the W/O treks. Don’t wait to reserve those if you want to do them. The booking platforms for the camps are also disorganized and confusing, so best to get used to them early. Flights and rental cars are best booked 3-4 months out.

What is the minimum budget for eloping in Patagonia, with a photographer?

$20,000+ USD. This is 2 weeks of travel and an experienced elopement photographer (see budget outline above).

What are the risks of eloping in Patagonia?

Bad weather is the biggest risk. For that reason, I as a photographer always stay in the area a minimum of 3 nights so we can choose the best weather window over those days for your elopement.

How do we navigate around the notoriously unpredictable Patagonia weather?

Come prepared and stay flexible. For things you really want to do, make sure to stay in those areas for more than 2 nights. Tours may be postponed or cancelled due to weather. It’s best to have a backup day in case this happens.

Is it possible to hire a hair and makeup artist while eloping in Patagonia?

Due to the remoteness, it’s possible but not easy. There are no large towns or cities anywhere near the park, and you’ll likely need to hire someone to travel. This of course will have high costs, so I recommend going to a stylist in your home town and having them help you create a look you’re able to recreate yourself. Then, you can practice it a number of times so it’s easy to do on your elopement day. Keep in mind the wind — consider your hairstyle carefully!

How long should we plan our trip to Patagonia for?

2 weeks is the minimum I’d recommend. Keep in mind how massive the Patagonian region is and the long drive times between locations. Add in just how much there is to see in Chilean Patagonia alone, and you can easily spend a month here.

How to choose a photographer for your Patagonia elopement day

A white, female elopement photographer smiles in front of the camera wearing a bright red puffy. The iconic Fitz Roy mountain peak of Argentinean Patagonia is in the background.

Patagonia has many elements which require technical skill, outdoor experience and physical preparedness. Hire photographers with a lot of experience shooting in the outdoors, especially in tough or mountainous terrain. Make sure your photographer is an experienced hiker and adventure traveler.

Arriving to Patagonia from outside South America requires multiple days of flight travel. The climate is windy and unpredictable and demands special gear and foresight. Since it’s a difficult place, both in its weather and remoteness, hiring someone who has been there before is a huge plus.

As well, it’s helpful if your photographer knows at least intermediate Spanish.



A couple wearing maroon suit and baby blue wedding dress kiss in windy conditions on their Patagonia elopement day. The blue peaks of Torres del Paine national park loom in the background.
A couple kiss in front of a bright pink Torres del Paine, light by the sunrise alpine glow during their Patagonia elopement.
A shot inside a car looking out the windshield toward the peaks of Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. A couple is out of focus holding hands in the driver and passenger seat.
A distant view of Torres del Paine during a dramatic, red sunset.




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