Argentine Patagonia's landscapes take center stage on this exciting nine-day itinerary. You'll begin the adventure in El Chaltén, basing yourself in the village as you explore the surrounding mountains and glaciers on day hikes. Then travel to El Calafate for a boat tour around Perito Moreno Glacier. Finish the journey in Ushuaia, where you'll visit Tierra del Fuego National Park and spot penguins in the wild.


  • Explore the "trekking capital of Argentina" in El Chaltén
  • Boat to Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate
  • See penguins in the wild on an island in Tierra del Fuego
  • Picnic beside a pristine lagoon in the mountains

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in El Chaltén, Explore El Chaltén
Day 2 Hike to Laguna de Los Tres El Chaltén
Day 3 Explore Mountain Trails Around El Chaltén El Chaltén
Day 4 Transfer to El Calafate & Visit the Glaciarium El Calafate
Day 5 Perito Moreno Boat & Walking Tour El Calafate
Day 6 Transfer to Ushuaia, Explore Ushuaia
Day 7 Guided Trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park Ushuaia
Day 8 Boat to the Penguin Colony on Isla Martillo & Hike to a Waterfall Ushuaia
Day 9 Depart Patagonia  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in El Chaltén, Explore

View of Mt. Fitz Roy over El Chalten
View of Mt. Fitz Roy over El Chaltén

Welcome to El Chaltén! This small Patagonian village, nicknamed "the trekking capital of Argentina," sits on the shores of Lago Argentino. It's a gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, with towering peaks rising 10,000 feet (3,048 m) above the windswept landscape. As you drive into El Chaltén, enjoy incredible views of Mount Fitz Roy.

Check into your hotel, then take the rest of the day to acclimate to the area. Well-marked trails lead away from town if you're up for a short outdoor adventure. Or walk around the village and have a relaxing evening in one of El Chaltén's many restaurants and craft beer bars. For dinner, sample local dishes like roast Patagonian lamb, rib-eye steak, and empanadas. Then get some rest before tomorrow's early start. 

Day 2: Hike to Laguna de Los Tres 

Magnificent mountain views from Laguna de los Tres
Magnificent mountain views from Laguna de los Tres
This morning you'll embark on a full-day excursion into the national park. Today's hike through an alpine forest will take about eight to nine hours and cover over 12 miles (20 km). Your destination is Laguna de los Tres, a gorgeous lagoon facing panoramic views of three peaks: Fitz Roy, Poincenot, and Torre. Along the trek, you'll also take in views of Piedras Blancas Glacier. Break for lunch at the lagoon, then descend toward El Chaltén via the photogenic Laguna Capri. Relax in El Chaltén in the evening.

Day 3: Explore Mountain Trails Around El Chaltén

So many trails to choose from
Go on a self-guided hike in the mountains around the village
Spend today discovering the numerous hiking trails of El Chaltén at your own pace. One popular option is the hike to Laguna Torre, leading through a glacial valley to a scenic lagoon. This trek takes about six hours. Another possibility is the hike to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, which takes between six and seven hours and features excellent views over the park. If the weather is clear, you might enjoy the vistas of Lago Viedma. In the evening, return to El Chaltén to spend one more night before traveling onward. 
Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Transfer to El Calafate & Visit the Glaciarium

Watch the sunset over the town of El Calafate

After breakfast, you'll make the wonderfully scenic three-hour drive to El Calafate. The city is known for its proximity to some of Argentina's most impressive glaciers and its location on Lago Argentino, Argentina's largest freshwater lake. After checking in at your hotel and getting settled, you'll have the afternoon and evening free to stroll around town and do some sightseeing.

Get ready for tomorrow's visit to the nearby glaciers by visiting the Glaciarium. This interactive museum offers hands-on displays and an ice bar where you can take a break for drinks. If you'd rather explore the outdoors, check out the birds at the Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve just outside town. Stop in the quaint cafés and shops around El Calafate, then have dinner in a local parrilla (steakhouse) before getting some rest at your hotel.

Day 5: Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier

Dramatic views of Perito Moreno by boat
Dramatic views of Perito Moreno by boat

Today's adventure takes you to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. Transfer from your hotel to the port, where you'll board a boat and start your day sailing along the Témpano Canal. The journey takes you past stunning landscapes, glaciers, and mountains, and you'll disembark several times for short hikes. Walk through some of the oldest forests in the area, admire pristine waterfalls, and take in impressive panoramic views.

As you enter the park by boat, you'll catch your first glimpse of the majestic Perito Moreno. This expansive ice mass flows down from the Andes out over the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino, ending abruptly in a great wall that curves around the lake. Witness "calving," the awe-inspiring sight of ice breaking off the facade and crashing into the tranquil waters below. The boat will drop you near the visitor's center, where you'll have time to explore the boardwalks and viewing platforms offering sweeping views of the glacier. Head back to El Calafate for the evening.

Day 6: Transfer to Ushuaia, Explore

Early morning in Ushuaia
Early morning in Ushuaia

After breakfast in El Calafate, you'll pack up and transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Located on a bay in Tierra del Fuego, the city sits between the jagged peaks of the Martial Mountains and the silver waters of the Beagle Channel, where Charles Darwin famously sailed. After dropping off your things at your hotel, walk along the waterfront to marvel at the mountains and scenic shoreline.

Visit Ushuaia's Maritime Museum, housed in a building that was once a prison, or the Museo del Fin del Mundo (End of the World Museum). Located on the waterfront, this small museum features fascinating exhibits on the region's natural and Indigenous history. Alternatively, take a leisurely afternoon hike at Laguna Esmeralda, a beautiful turquoise lake outside Ushuaia. Then enjoy dinner in a local seafood restaurant—be sure to try the centolla (king crab). 

Day 7: Guided Trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park

Coastal trail in Tierra del Fuego
Walk along a coastal trail in Tierra del Fuego

Today, you'll spend most of your time in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Your experienced guide will show you the best hikes, lakes, and lookout points, from seaside mountains to freshwater rivers to subantarctic forests and tranquil bays. Begin with a 4.3-mile (7 km) hike on a coastal path that follows the Beagle Channel. You'll have excellent views of the channel along the way and pass remnants of ancient settlements once occupied by the native Yámana people.

At the end of the hike, enjoy a delicious lunch with views of the Río Lapataia and Lago Roca. After lunch, you'll begin another walk on the La Lenga Trail, reaching the southernmost point of the Pan-American Highway before returning to the city of Ushuaia for the night.

Day 8: Boat to the Penguin Colony on Isla Martillo & Hike to a Waterfall

Time to visit some penguins
See penguins on Isla Martillo

Enjoy an adventure on the water today. You'll sail across Brown Bay and the Beagle Channel, passing incredible landscapes and islands with colonies of sea lions and Magellanic penguins. Your destination is Isla Martillo, a rocky island populated by penguins. You'll be invited to hop off the boat and walk near them; though closer contact isn't allowed, you'll have some fantastic photo opportunities.

Continue the boat trip to the small village of Almanza, where you'll have a seafood lunch with a local family and learn about the fishing industry in the area. Then continue on a hike to the Río Lasifashaj, which features a picturesque waterfall. Sunset will be approaching slowly as you return to Ushuaia for a relaxing dinner and rest at the hotel.

Day 9: Depart Patagonia

Birds and sea lions on an island off the coast of Ushuaia
The adventure has come to an end. After breakfast, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and help you make your connection back to Buenos Aires to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Patagonia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Patagonia? Check out these other Patagonia itineraries, explore different ways to spend nine days in Patagonia, or discover the best time to visit Patagonia.


Map of Best of Argentine Patagonia: El Chaltén, El Calafate & Ushuaia - 9 Days
Map of Best of Argentine Patagonia: El Chaltén, El Calafate & Ushuaia - 9 Days