This adventurous 14-day trip highlights Patagonia's best hiking trails! Explore some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, starting on the Argentine side, with a quick visit to Buenos Aires followed by several days in Los Glaciares National Park. Trek on a glacier and enjoy the trails around El Chaltén, the country's trekking capital, before crossing the border to Chile and Torres del Paine National Park. Discover the region's dramatic landscapes on day hikes, resting each night at lodgings in the park.


  • 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 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Explore the City

Stroll around Buenos Aires' colorful La Boca neighborhood

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

Enjoy a dazzling sunset over the lake in El Calafate

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

Trekking Perito Moreno
Experience an ice hike on the surface of 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

Look for views of Mt. Fitz Roy on your way to El Chalten
Look out the window for views of Mount Fitz Roy on your way to El Chaltén

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 

Magnificent mountain views from Laguna de los Tres
Your destination today is the beautiful lagoon known as Laguna de los Tres
Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
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 6: Trek to Laguna Torre

Look down over Laguna Torre and its glacier
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. 

Day 7: Morning Hike in El Chaltén, Return to El Calafate

Hiker at the base of Cerro Torre
Spend your final morning in El Chaltén on a scenic hike

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)

Guanacos in Torres del Paine National Park
Spot guanacos in Torres del Paine National Park

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

Base of Torres del Paine
Pause for a photo op at the base of Torres del Paine

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

Views from the lookout point at the French Valley
Views from the lookout point at 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

Grey Glacier
An elevated view of 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

A boat glides through Lake Pehoe
Hike along the shores of magnificent 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

Lake Nordenskjöld
Skirt the turquoise waters of Lago Nordenskjöld on today's hike

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

Goodbye, Torres del Paine
Take one last look before departing Torres del Paine

The adventure ends today. Transfer from Torres del Paine National Park to the Punta Arenas airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

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Map of Discover Patagonia's Best Hiking Trails - 14 Days
Map of Discover Patagonia's Best Hiking Trails - 14 Days