- Hike to Laguna de los Tres to see three iconic mountain peaks
- Follow your guide to the glacial Laguna Torre on a relatively easy trek
- Explore El Chaltén at your own pace, choosing between relaxing or hiking
- Don your crampons and set out across the colossal Perito Moreno Glacier
|Arrive in El Chaltén, Raft Down the Río de las Vueltas
|Guided Hike to Laguna de los Tres
|Guided Hike to the Glacial Laguna Torre
|Self-Guided Hike in El Chaltén, Transfer to El Calafate
|Guided Trek Across Perito Moreno Glacier
|Visit the Glaciarium Museum, Depart El Calafate
Day 1: Arrive in El Chaltén, Raft Down the Río de las Vueltas
Welcome to Argentine Patagonia in the southernmost reaches of South America. Upon arrival at El Calafate International Airport, your driver will be waiting to take you on a three-hour transfer to the small village of El Chaltén, the gateway to the region's glaciers. As you approach the village, keep an eye out for views of the incredible Cerro Fitz Roy. After checking in, venture out to explore on your own before this afternoon's activity. Walk down the village's main street, lined with quaint boutiques, local eateries, and artisan shops offering an array of Patagonian crafts, souvenirs, and hiking supplies.
When it's time, return to the hotel and meet your guide for an adrenaline-fueled adventure, rafting down the Río de las Vueltas. When you arrive at the rafting base camp, you'll learn about the basics of paddling as part of a team, so beginners are welcome. After the safety briefing, don your dry suit, hop in the raft, and start your journey down the 9.9-mile (16 km) river. You'll have some time to get used to paddling, as the first section of the river is gentle. Then, get ready to enter the rapid zone, where adrenaline will take over. After an action-packed first day, return to the village to eat and rest up for tomorrow's trek.
Day 2: Guided Hike to Laguna de los Tres
Since El Chaltén is located in Los Glaciares National Park, it's the perfect starting point for treks into the Fitz Roy mountain range. Today, you embark on a 12.4-mile (20 km) guided hike to Laguna de los Tres (Lagoon of the Three), named for its view of Cerro Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, and Cerro Poincenot. Lace up your best hiking shoes, join your guide, and set out from one of the trailheads in town. Walk through ancient lenga forests and across babbling streams until you complete the first uphill portion, where you'll be rewarded with a view of the Río de las Vueltas, which you rafted down yesterday.
Continue walking uphill to reach a viewpoint where you can catch a glimpse of Cerro Fitz Roy. The winding path will soon turn flat, offering you a respite while you walk along the Del Salto stream. Once you emerge from the tree line, you'll be greeted with a panoramic vista of the glacial Laguna de los Tres, surrounded by snowcapped peaks, making the challenging trek well worth the effort. Return to El Chaltén along a similar path, stopping at Laguna Capri to admire the blue waters before settling in at your hotel for some much-deserved rest.
Day 3: Guided Hike to the Glacial Laguna Torre
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
After a nourishing breakfast, venture out on another hike, this one to the glacial Laguna Torre. Start at the well-marked trailhead just outside of town and follow your guide through ancient beech forests and across bubbling streams. Although the in-and-out trail is long at 10.9 miles (17.5 km), it's one of the easiest treks in the area as you only gain 820 feet (250 m) in elevation at the beginning. Once you get to the first viewpoint, Mirador Cascada Margarita (where you can enjoy views of the flowing Margarita Waterfall), the path will be mostly flat.
As you walk, keep an eye out for the Andean condors and eagles that fly over this area. You may even get lucky and see an elusive fox or huemul deer running through the trees. When you finally reach Laguna Torre, gaze across the glacial waters and the iconic peaks of Cerro Torre before returning to El Chaltén along the same path. Enjoy a delicious dinner along the main street, then head back to your hotel to put your feet up.
Day 4: Self-Guided Hike in El Chaltén, Transfer to El Calafate
Spend your last day in El Chaltén exploring the village and its surrounding trails at your own pace. If you need a break from hiking, visit one of the art galleries, cafés, or breweries in town to wind down. Those who are ready for another trek can traverse the 11-mile (18 km) Loma del Pliegue Tumbado trail, but it's not for the faint of heart, as the trek to the viewpoint is entirely uphill. When you're ready, start the ascent through the forest and alpine meadows while the scenery gradually unfolds, revealing breathtaking vistas of the snowcapped peaks of the Andes.
Day 5: Guided Trek Across Perito Moreno Glacier
After breakfast, meet your driver outside to transfer to Perito Moreno, one of the only glaciers in the world that's still advancing. Your adventure starts at Bajo de las Sombras port, where you'll hop on a boat to cross Brazo Rico, a section of Lago Argentino. When you arrive on the other side, you'll receive an introduction to the day's activity— trekking over the colossal ice mass. Following the safety briefing, walk across the picturesque beach toward the glacier, where you can fit crampons onto your trekking boots with your guide's help.
Once you split into smaller groups, you'll spend 1.5 hours traversing the icy expanse, admiring the mesmerizing world of crevasses, seracs, and meltwater streams along the centuries-old ice. Listen as your guide tells you about the glacier's formation and its environmental significance while you feel the ice shifting beneath your feet. After this bucket-list trek, head to land to find a cozy refuge for lunch, then enjoy panoramic views of the glacier from the observation decks. As this full-day adventure ends, return to your hotel in El Calafate for the evening.
Day 6: Visit the Glaciarium Museum, Depart El Calafate
Spend your last morning in Patagonia at the Glaciarium, an immersive museum that delves into the world of glaciers, many of which you saw on this trip. Browse the museum's interactive displays, educational videos, and captivating visuals for a deeper understanding of the region's glacial ecosystem. When you're done exploring, head to the ice bar inside the museum to savor a drink in the subzero environment, simulating the chilling conditions of a glacier. After the educational visit, return to the hotel to grab your bags, then transfer to El Calafate International Airport for your flight home. Safe travels!