Explore hiking trails by day—and relax in hotels at night—on this 13-day adventure through southern Chilean and Argentine Patagonia. The itinerary begins with an exciting trek to Mount Tarn, a historic route once traveled by Charles Darwin. Then spend several days hiking in Torres del Paine National Park before crossing the border to Argentina, where you'll base yourself in EL Calafate and El Chaltén, enjoying day hikes to glaciers and dramatic mountain scenery in Los Glaciares National Park.


  • Discover Argentine and Chilean Patagonia
  • Follow Charles Darwin's footsteps on a hike to Mount Tarn
  • Explore Torres del Paine National Park on guided treks
  • Boat to the striking Perito Moreno Glacier

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Punta Arenas (Chile) Punta Arenas
Day 2 Ascend Mount Tarn Punta Arenas
Day 3 Transfer to Puerto Natales, Explore the Port Puerto Natales
Day 4 Enter Torres del Paine, Hike to Las Torres Torres del Paine
Day 5 Trek Along Lago Nordenskjöld Torres del Paine
Day 6 Private Tour of Torres del Paine, Return to Puerto Natales Puerto Natales
Day 7 Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Visit the Glaciarium El Calafate
Day 8 Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Day 9 Bus to El Chaltén, Explore El Chaltén
Day 10 Hike to Laguna de Los Tres El Chaltén
Day 11 Explore Mountain Trails Around El Chaltén El Chaltén
Day 12 Kayak Lago del Desierto El Chaltén
Day 13 Depart El Chaltén  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Punta Arenas (Chile)

The charming coastal town of Punta Arenas
The charming coastal town of Punta Arenas

Welcome to Punta Arenas, located in one of the most beautiful regions of Chilean Patagonia. Founded in 1848 on the eastern shore of the Brunswick Peninsula, Punta Arenas was a hub of high society in its heyday. Today, it's a popular tourist destination that provides easy access to some of Patagonia's most impressive natural attractions, including Torres del Paine National Park and Isla Magdalena

After getting settled at your hotel, stroll around town to see the sights. Plaza Muñoz Guerrero is a leafy central plaza lined with French street lamps and surrounded by impressive architecture. Many of these grand neoclassical mansions were once owned by wealthy sheep-ranching families. Tour the Palacio Sara Braun to see just how much wealth the sheep trade generated in the 19th century. Explore the waterfront and watch the sun go down at Mirador Cerro de la Cruz. This viewpoint overlooks the city all the way out to the Strait of Magellan.

Day 2: Ascend Mount Tarn

Hike in Charles Darwin's footsteps as you ascend Mount Tarn

Early this morning, depart Punta Arenas and head south along the Strait of Magellan toward Cabo San Isidro. Along the journey, you'll notice beautiful landscapes, from evergreen forests to mountains. Today you'll follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, the first person to climb Mount Tarn during his early explorations.

Arrive at the end of the road on Route 70, where your guide will prepare breakfast on the beach. After a quick safety briefing, begin your ascent, taking in incredible views of the surrounding islands. Be prepared for typical Patagonian weather, and this challenge will not disappoint! After about six hours of hiking, you'll return to the beach and make the return trip to Punta Arenas to spend the night.

Day 3: Transfer to Puerto Natales, Explore the Port

Puerto Natales' colorful waterfront
Take a stroll along Puerto Natales' colorful waterfront

Today you'll travel by bus to the small port city of Puerto Natales, formerly a fishing port and now the main base for excursions into Torres del Paine National Park. The town is set on the Seno Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound), offering scenic views across the water to the mountains beyond. Facing north from here, you'll see the peaks of Cerro Benitez and Cerro Toro, and the sight is especially phenomenal at sunset.

Depending on your arrival time, you might take a stroll around town and stop for a drink at one of the town's many bars and cafés. Try a traditional seafood stew in a family-run restaurant before you get some rest at your hotel. More adventures in Patagonia's landscapes await tomorrow!

Day 4: Enter Torres del Paine, Hike to Las Torres

The spectacular view from Mirador Base Torres
The spectacular view from Mirador Base Torres

Transfer from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park this morning. The drive takes about two hours, and you'll get your first glimpses of Torres del Paine's massive peaks as you approach the park. You'll arrive at the Laguna Amarga main entrance and register with the park office. Today you'll hike up Mount Almirante Nieto to enjoy views of the Asencio Valley and Lago Nordenskjöld. The round-trip hike is about 11 miles (18 km) in total. You'll begin by walking through ancient forests, taking breaks along the way as needed. The next part is a challenging steep ascent for 45 minutes until you reach the top, known as Mirador Base Torres.

This section of the mountain, with the Torres del Paine (torre is "tower" in Spanish) looming over a green lagoon, offers one of the best views in the park! You can also marvel at the towering peaks of nearby Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte, Condor's Nest, and Glacier Torre, all set amid the sweeping backdrop of the Patagonian highlands. Break for a picnic lunch before you start making your way back down to the Hotel Las Torres to spend the evening. 

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Day 5: Trek Along Lago Nordenskjöld 

Mount Almirante Nieto
The snowcapped Mount Almirante Nieto

Today, enjoy a day hike departing from Hotel Las Torres. Walk along the shore of Lago Nordenskjöld, admiring its stunning colors. You'll start on the same trailhead as yesterday but veer off toward the Cuernos for an entirely different view of the park. Along the way, you'll pass several rivers, catching glimpses of glaciers and the mountaintops above you. This hike can last between four and eight hours. Depending on the weather and your energy level, you'll turn back and return to Hotel Las Torres when you're ready.

Day 6: Private Tour of Torres del Paine, Return to Puerto Natales

The Paine River's Salto Grande waterfall
Pause for a photo op at the Salto Grande waterfall

Have breakfast at your hotel this morning. Then you'll be picked up to embark on a journey around Torres del Paine National Park. On this full-day guided tour, you'll explore Torres del Paine's unique ecosystem and impressive viewpoints at your own pace alongside a knowledgeable guide. Throughout the day, visit different areas of the park—its four ecological zones include the Andean desert, Magellanic subpolar forest, Pre-Andean shrubland, and Patagonian steppe.

Along the way, you'll spot some of the park's diverse wildlife, which includes cougars, foxes, guanacos, and birds of prey. Take in stunning landscapes, from the park's iconic horn-shaped peaks to glacial lakes. Enjoy a few short hikes and a picnic lunch with a view. You'll leave the park late in the afternoon and transfer back to Puerto Natales to spend the night. 

Day 7: Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Visit the Glaciarium

Watch the sunset over the town of El Calafate

In the morning, transfer to El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. Welcome to Argentina! El Calafate is also 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. If you'd rather explore the outdoors, check out the birds at the Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve just outside of 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 8: Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier

Admire the Famous Perito Moreno Glacier [Mayo Trek - Alternative Excursion]
Admire Perito Moreno Glacier from the park's viewing platforms

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 extensive ice mass flows down from the Andes out over 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 9: Bus to El Chaltén, Explore

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

Today you'll board a bus for the incredibly scenic three-hour ride 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. Sample local dishes like roast Patagonian lamb, rib-eye steak, and empanadas for dinner. Then get some rest before tomorrow's early start. 

Day 10: 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 Los Glaciares 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 11: 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 Viedma Lake. In the evening, return to El Chaltén.

Day 12: Kayak Lago del Desierto

Kayak around the calm waters of Lago del Desierto.
Kayak around the calm waters of Lago del Desierto

Get ready to hit the water today! Your guide will pick you up at your hotel; then, you'll set out along the scenic route toward one of the region's highlights, Lago del Desierto. Its name means "lake of the desert," and the trip takes about two hours each way. On arrival, your guide will teach you some of the basics of kayaking in the area and get you properly outfitted with the necessary equipment.

Then you'll push off onto the lake's calm, glassy water and begin your paddling adventure, enjoying views of beautiful forests and impressive peaks in the distance. Take a break at Bahía Tranquila, a section of the lake protected from the wind. Since the water is shallow here, it's a nice place to hop off the kayak and enjoy your surroundings. After a 2.5-hour trip around the lake, return to shore. Take some free time to explore the nearby trails or visit the viewpoint of the nearby Huemul Glacier before returning to town for the evening.

Day 13: Depart El Chaltén

Observing Perito Moreno from the viewing platforms

The adventure has come to an end. After breakfast, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Southern Patagonia's Best Day Hikes - 13 Days
Map of Southern Patagonia's Best Day Hikes - 13 Days