- Trek along the surface of a massive advancing glacier
- Explore two Patagonian mountain villages, El Calafate and El Chaltén
- Enjoy day hikes with views of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre
- Discover Torres del Paine National Park on hikes and boat excursions
|Day 1||Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Explore the City||Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Fly to El Calafate, Visit the Glaciarium||El Calafate|
|Day 3||Ice Trek on Perito Moreno Glacier||El Calafate|
|Day 4||Bus to El Chaltén, Explore||El Chaltén|
|Day 5||Hike to Laguna de Los Tres||El Chaltén|
|Day 6||Trek to Laguna Torre||El Chaltén|
|Day 7||Morning Hike in El Chaltén, Return to El Calafate||El Calafate|
|Day 8||Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park (Chile)||Torres del Paine|
|Day 9||Hike to the Base of the Paine Massif||Torres del Paine|
|Day 10||Discover the French Valley||Torres del Paine|
|Day 11||Boat Trip to Grey Glacier||Torres del Paine|
|Day 12||Trek to Lago Pehoé||Torres del Paine|
|Day 13||Hike Lago Nordenskjöld||Torres del Paine|
|Day 14||Transfer to Punta Arenas, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Explore the City
Welcome to Argentina! Begin your trip in the bustling capital city of Buenos Aires, known as the "Paris of South America," partly because of its European-inspired architecture. Transfer from the airport to your hotel and have some time to get settled before heading off on an afternoon tour. Your guide will pick you up and start by showing you Plaza de Mayo, home to the national government palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Continue to nearby San Telmo, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods; it's famous for its bohemian atmosphere, street tango performances, antique shops, and cobblestoned streets. La Boca is known for its brightly-painted houses, while Puerto Madero is on the riverside, with former industrial warehouses turned into elegant bars, restaurants, and offices. Palermo is home to trendy bars, clubs, and boutiques, plus parks, lakes, and wooded areas. Recoleta is famous for its cemetery, where some of Argentina's most famous residents are buried—including Eva Perón, also known as Evita.
After the tour, have dinner near your hotel—try an Argentine parrilla, or steakhouse—and get some rest before traveling onward tomorrow.
Day 2: Fly to El Calafate, Visit the Glaciarium
Today you'll fly to the Patagonian destination of El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. If you can, get a window seat to take in the stunning views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field during the roughly three-hour flight. El Calafate is known for 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. Stop in the quaint cafés and shops around El Calafate, then have dinner in a local restaurant before getting some rest at your hotel.
Day 3: Ice Trek on Perito Moreno Glacier
Today's adventure takes you to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. The transfer from your hotel takes about one hour. As you enter the park, you'll catch your first glimpse of the majestic glacier. This extensive ice mass flows down from the Andes out over Lago Argentino, ending abruptly in a great wall that curves around the lake. Watch for "calving," the awe-inspiring sight of ice breaking off the facade and crashing into the tranquil waters below.
Upon arrival, you'll set out on an ice trekking excursion on the glacier's surface. Equipped with crampons and an ice ax, follow your guide on a memorable adventure on ice! Afterward, 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 4: Bus to El Chaltén, Explore
Today you'll enjoy the wonderfully scenic three-hour drive to El Chaltén. This small Patagonian village, nicknamed "the trekking capital of Argentina," sits on the shores of Lago Argentino. Like El Calafate, 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 in to your hotel, then take the rest of the day to acclimate to the area. If you're up for a short outdoor adventure, well-marked trails lead away from town. 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 5: Hike to Laguna de Los Tres
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Trek to Laguna TorreSpend 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.
Day 7: Morning Hike in El Chaltén, Return to El Calafate
In the morning, go on a hike near El Chaltén. If you haven't done so already, head on an early hike to see the Fitz Roy massif light up at sunrise. Have lunch in town, then board a bus bound for El Calafate. After the picturesque journey, you'll have a break today to take it easy or try any outdoor activities you haven't done yet, like horseback riding or bird-watching. Have dinner at a restaurant in town before your travels continue tomorrow.
Day 8: Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park (Chile)
Today you'll cross the border into Chile, transferring from El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park. Along the 3.5-hour drive, you'll pass through rolling grasslands home to rheas, guanacos, and Patagonian hares. You may spot condors flying overhead, too. After entering the park through the Laguna Amarga entrance, you'll ride a shuttle to your lodgings in the park.Depending on your arrival time and interests, you could head out this afternoon to see some of the park's highlights, like the towering waterfall known as Salto Grande. Lago Pehoé is a beautiful lake that reflects the Cuernos del Paine, magnificent granite spires in the shape of horns. Return to your lodgings for dinner and a relaxing evening before tomorrow's active excursion.
Day 9: Hike to the Base of the Paine Massif
After breakfast, you'll head up to the base of the Torres del Paine towers on one of the most popular hiking routes in the park. Although it can be completed in less than a day, this hike is strenuous and requires a good level of physical fitness. However, the stunning views at the base of the Paine massif make it well worth the effort. The trekking route covers 11 miles (18 km) and lasts about nine hours.
The hike begins at the Las Torres Hostel and will take you over the Río Ascencio, at which point you'll ascend about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) to a lookout featuring panoramic views of the valley below. Then you'll continue through sections of lenga forest until the remaining 45-minute stretch, a steep ascent that involves a hard scramble over a moraine to the final path leading up to the viewpoint. Relax by the lagoon and marvel at the amazing rock formations as you enjoy a delicious picnic lunch, then make the return trip back down the trail.
Day 10: Discover the French Valley
Today you'll hike into the heart of the park to visit another iconic area of Torres del Paine: French Valley. After breakfast, you will meet your guide and transfer to the Pudeto Ranger Station, located on the shores of Lago Pehoé. From here, it's a half-hour catamaran cruise across the lake, where you'll arrive at the trailhead and begin your trek. The first part of the trail is relatively flat and leads along the north side of Lago Skottsberg to Refugio Italiano, which is located at the bottom of the French Valley. Here you'll break for water and snacks.
Afterward, you'll have the option to continue deeper into the French Valley along a steep trail through lenga forest. Roughly 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from Italiano, you'll reach a viewpoint near the Cuernos del Paine that affords wide views of the French Glacier hanging down from Mount Paine Grande. From here, make your way back to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day relaxing.
Day 11: Boat Trip to Grey Glacier
This morning, you'll board the Grey III catamaran for a tour of Grey Glacier, which feeds the lake of the same name, Lago Grey. The boat travels across the lake and stops close to the glacier, which gives passengers a prime vantage point to snap photos of its massive ice walls. The Grey III then continues to the other side of the lake, where you'll disembark and make your way to the Bigfoot Basecamp to begin an epic ice hike.
This portion of the trip starts on the island of Islatak with a hike up the glacial moraine. After an hour, you'll reach the ice, gear up, and learn the basics and safety protocols of glacier hikes from a pro. Equipped with an ice ax, crampons, helmet, and harness, you will then walk onto the Grey Glacier, where you will step over blue crevasses, hop over meltwater streams, and pass alongside ice caves. It's truly a singular experience. Following your ice hike excursion, you'll return to your hotel.
Day 12: Trek to Lago Pehoé
This morning, fill up with an energizing breakfast and prepare for a four-hour hike to Lago Pehoé. If you haven't seen it up close yet, this turquoise jewel, which sits beneath the iconic Paine massif, will likely take your breath away. Following your guide, trek to a spectacular view of the glacier and a chance to cross one of the park's famous suspension bridges. Later in the day, you'll hike along the lake's shore for spectacular views at sunset.
Day 13: Hike Lago Nordenskjöld
This morning, you'll have breakfast and prepare for another four-hour hike. Today's route takes you along the shore of Lago Nordenskjöld toward Refugio & Camping Chileno, located in the Ascencio Valley. Along the way, you'll stop for a hike up Almirante Nieto, a mountain with incredible views of both the lake and the valley. You'll cross a few rivers, hop along rocks, and catch glimpses of glaciers and the mountaintops hovering over you. Once you reach camp, spend some time relaxing before dinner and get a good night's sleep.
Day 14: Transfer to Punta Arenas & Depart
The adventure ends today. Transfer from Torres del Paine National Park to the Punta Arenas airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!