- Arrive at El Calafate and enjoy the Glacier museum plus 'Glacio Bar'
- See the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier
- Journey the graceful road to El Chalten & Mt. Fitz Roy
- Hike to Laguna Capri and Laguna Los Tres
- Trek on the Cerro Torre trail to Laguna Torre
This stunning 8-day trip includes the best treks and tours around El Calafate and El Chalten. You'll trek to Mt. Fitz Roy, passing by glaciers, lagoons, streams, flora, and fauna in the wilderness of Patagonia. This tour is suited for all ages and will enable you to get the most from your time here in Argentinian Patagonia.
Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore the City
Welcome to Argentina! Renowned as the "Paris of South America," and the "Queen of El Plata," the capital city of Buenos Aires is defined by passion. This is exemplified in the rich tango heritage and its citizens' limitless enthusiasm for fútbol (soccer), which is far and away the country's most popular sport.
When you arrive at the airport, your driver will be waiting to take you in a private car to your hotel where you can relax after a long flight. But make no mistake: the city will beckon you. So after a quick recharge, be sure to venture out into the welcoming arms of Buenos Aires and explore. The best starting point would be the city center.
Suggested activities include:
Visit the Obelisco, which might be the most famous icon of the city. This obelisk (which even Argentines admit is a little too reminiscent of the Washington Monument) is worth a visit for its location alone. It sits right in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio, which boasts a whopping 16 lanes, making it the widest city street in the world.
Stop by the Teatro Colon, one of South America's premier opera houses. The horseshoe-shaped gallery features 2,487 seats and incredible acoustics. Even if you plan on taking a tour or catching a show here on another day, it's always breathtaking to pass by its exterior. The Colon's neoclassical facade has been the face of one of the most handsome buildings in Buenos Aires since its opening in 1908.
Stroll Puerto Madero, an upscale waterfront neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Puerto Madero may be the "new money" finance center of Buenos Aires, but it's also one of the most pleasant walking areas in a city famous for its walking areas. A romantic stroll involves walking over the canal on the Puente de Mujer ("Woman's Bridge") at sunset.
- Dine at an Argentine steakhouse or parilla. When night falls and dinnertime arrives, do like the locals and enjoy a thick, juicy steak (Argentina has some of the best beef in the world) drizzled with the nation's famous chimichurri (a garlic, herb, and vinegar sauce). Know that Buenos Aires is a culture that thrives after dark, and it's not uncommon for locals to have dinner well past nine in the evening, especially on weekends.
Day 2: Buenos Aires - Flight to El Calafate
After breakfast in Buenos Aires, you'll fly into El Calafate—the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.
You can spend the rest of the day relaxing or venture out and enjoy the quaint cafes and shops around town. Maybe prime yourself with information on the nearby glaciers by visiting the Glaciarium. This multi-media center has an ice museum, various interactive displays, and educational information regarding glaciers. For fun, it even has a bar made totally of ice.
Watch the Patagonian sunset over the Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve or simply rest up for tomorrow's adventure.
Day 3: Perito Moreno (Glacier) - Los Glaciares National Park
After an early breakfast, you’ll drive approximately 80 km through the beautiful Andean foothills, along the south bank of Lake Argentino. After crossing the River Centinela and Mitre, you'll enter at Brazo Rico to Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981 and home to one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Argentina.
Enjoy stunning views of the glacier from the nearby walking trail and viewing platforms where you can appreciate the height of its massive ice walls, which are 60 m high and extend to 100 m below lake level. If you have the time, you may be able to witness the rupture of the glacier, which is a phenomenal mechanism that starts as the glacier moves to the front of the peninsula of Magallanes until it forms a natural dike of ice.
This construction blocks the drainage of water from the Rio Arm to the Channel of the Tempanos. As the waters of the Rio Arm exert pressure on the wall of the glacier, a cylinder of ice is formed that allows for water flow between the bodies of water once more. Finally, this tunnel of ice collapses. The whole cycle can last from 1 to 2 days and offers an incredible show of singular beauty. Once it is complete, two basins obstruct the channel and the whole evolution begins again.
Day 4: The Patagonian Adventure Starts - Los Glaciares National Park
From Calafate, you will cross the Argentinian Patagonia to El Chalten, a small town surrounded by rocky mountains. A paradise for rock climbers from all over the world, it's also known for its good wine, craft beers, and food. The town is located next to Los Glaciares National Park, found right at the foot of the imperial Mount Fitz Roy.
Your drive will take you across isolated dirt roads through the pampas and along the northern side of Viedma Lake. Once you are checked in to your hotel in El Chaltén, it’s time to rest and prepare for the upcoming days
Day 5: Laguna Los Tres - Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
Today you'll trek to Laguna Los Tres, enjoying a stunning view of Mount Fitz Roy - the ultimate landmark of Los Glaciares National Park. You'll begin your hike by heading towards Laguna Capri, passing its northern corner. Then you'll follow the Fitz Roy Trail up to Blanco River, passing the mountaineering camp, Poicenot.
Finally, a short steep trail will take you to Laguna de Los Tres, where you will be lucky enough to witness one of the park’s most marvelous natural scenes - the turquoise-blue lagoon bordered by Fitz Roy’s spires, turrets, and glaciers. Afterward, you'll hike back to Laguna Capri and continue along the trail back to tiny Chaltén.
Day 6: Hike to Laguna Torre - Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
Today, you'll embark upon a full day hike along the Cerro Torre trail to Laguna Torre, a shimmering mountain lake with the magnificent Mount Torre looming behind. Straight after breakfast, you'll be walking eastwards through beech forests, towards Fitz Roy River.
You will continue towards Base Camp de Agostini and then take a short hike to Laguna Torre, admiring the western view of Cerro Torre and the Adela range. Here, you'll be met by icebergs floating on Laguna Torre as the gusty wind sets them drifting towards the coast. You can stop at various points to appreciate the views and enjoy a local picnic.
Later, you will return to Chaltén, returning along the same trail. Once back, you are free to enjoy a dinner at one of Chaltén’s restaurants before returning to your hotel for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Day 7: Loma del Pliegue Tumbado
Another great trek option for this tour is to approach a 360° viewpoint by way of a lesser used trail within the national park. It's from this point you are able to appreciate the gorges & lowlands of Fitz Roy, Torre and Toro, the Patagonian steppe and the infinite Lake Viedma. On the last leg of this way you'll walk along a very different mountain topography; where you'll be able to see indigenous alpine flora, and search for marine fossils.
Leaving El Chaltén on the path that follows towards Laguna Toro. Walking for about an hour, you'll arrive at an exposed area with a great view of Mount Fitz Roy, Torre and Huemul. You'll advance the hike across the Pampas, locally known as “Pampa de las Carretas”. Then, passing through diverse parts of the woods you'll hear many birds, inviting you to discover and identify assorted species of birds that inhabit this environment.
Departing the forest (about 1000masl) you'll start to walk across an alpine type region, where delicate flowers grow. In this segment of the trek, where snow is a possibility, it's possible to find the remains of marine fossils such as ammonites and belemnites that are thought to be around 100 million years old.
In this ultimate section you might also experience the Patagonian wind, which is just as much part of the trek! Finally you'll reach the viewpoint - at almost 1500 masl. This vista offers an unorthodox and unique view of the Torre and Fitz Roy massifs.
After a great lunch with an unforgettable viewpoint, you'll return to El Chaltén
Day 8: El Calafate - Flight to Buenos Aires - Departure
Today marks the end of your incredible trip! After breakfast at your hotel, a transfer will take you to Calafate airport where you'll fly to Buenos Aires for your departure home. Until the next time!