This trek to "Los Glaciares National Park" in Argentina complements any trip to the Chilean side of Patagonia. 'Los Glaciares' is one of the most spectacular national parks in South America. This vast reserve protects around 2300 square miles in the Patagonian Andes, including over 40 major glaciers. The northern section of the park is dominated by the incredible, world-famous Fitzroy Massif, with its sheer, 6000-foot rise from the glaciers at its base. There are numerous fantastic mountains rising above the immense Lago Viedma, including Fitzroy 3405m (11,072'), and Cerro Torre 3128m (10,280'). The latter forms such a difficult, steep granite needle that its summit was not climbed until 1974. The southern section comprises of one of the world's great 'glacier wonderlands' as 40 percent of the park is covered by glaciers. About a dozen glaciers flow east to feed two huge lakes, Lago Viedma and Lago Argentino, and there are another 190 glaciers not connected to the park's giant 'South Patagonia Icefield'. We will spend several days exploring and hiking in these places of outstanding beauty that make Patagonia such a hiker's paradise on the edge of the world.
We will start early in the morning from Torres del Paine and drive onwards to the Cerro Castillo border crossing. (Guests who are not visiting Torres del Paine with us start Sunday morning from Puerto Natales.) There we will meet the regular bus to Calafate (287 kms/180 miles), a small town set amidst dramatic scenery on the edge of Los Glaciares National Park. Once in Calafate, we will have lunch, and afterwards still have a little time to explore the main street and town center. From Calafate, we will take the regular bus and continue for about 4 hours to Chalten (220 kms/138 miles). We drive on isolated dirt roads across the pampas and along the northern tip of Lago Viedma to reach the settlement of El Chalten, a tiny outpost nestled at the foot of the impressive Mount Fitzroy, right next to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. We will arrive late in the evening at Chalten and spend the night at a Hosterķa in Chalten. (B.)
We will be spending the next three days exploring the park and undertake two main walks into the nearby mountains. One will take us to the Fitzroy Base Camp (about 6-7 hours) and the other leads towards Cerro Torre (6-7 hours). Which one we will choose will depend on weather conditions at the time. Most of these hikes are on well-established trails so that shorter options are often available. While hiking in the park, the trails will take us to places such as Laguna Torre, the base camp of Cerro Torre climbs, Laguna Capri and Laguna Madre, Laguna de los Tres, directly in front of Fitzroy, and Piedras Blancas. The scale of the mountainscape, with its jagged peaks and glimpses of glaciers suspended between heaven and earth, makes for some truly stunning hiking scenery. (B, BL)
We will start the day with a walk that follows the course of Rio Eléctrico, through some of the most beautiful Beech forests in Patagonia. Afterwards, we are transferred to Chalten Bus Station on time to board the regular bus back to Calafate. Overnight in Calafate at Hostal Libertador, Lar Aike or similar. (B)
Today we will visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, a 60m-high relic of the Ice Age, which creates a unique geographic event approximately every three or four years: As it advances, it pushes out across the surface of the lake, cutting the lake into two separate sections. Over the years water pressure builds up on one side, and the glacier eventually bursts open, releasing a torrent of water and a fury of calving icebergs. Although this spectacular event no longer occurs as regularly as it did during the past 50 years, the Moreno Glacier is constantly moving, calving, and crackling - offering an incredible sight and sounds at any time.
We will start our excursion early in the morning (around 8 AM) so as to have the area to ourselves, with no rush and plenty of time for bird watching and photography. An expert guide accompanies us on our scenic drive through the National Park to Moreno Glacier. Unlike the regular tours we will not go straight to the regular panoramic points upon arrival. Instead, we start by marvelling at the glacier's much less-visited north face watching and listening to the giant chunks of ice plummeting into the waters of Lake Argentino. Our guide will answer all questions about the area, as we walk in front of Moreno Glacier on a nature walk. We will then continue on to area of the footbridges where we will take a break so you have time to enjoy the scene at your leisure. At the end of the tour, we have the option of boarding a boat that passes in front of the Iceberg Channel (This option is not included, but can be arranged). After the thrilling encounter with the Moreno Glacier, we head back to Calafate and arrive around early evening. (B,BL) We spend the night at Calafate.
Today marks the end of our memorable trip... Adios Patagonia, hopefully we'll meet again! After having breakfast, a transfer will take us to the airport and we're free to continue traveling on our own or extend the trip to finish in Punta Arenas (please inquire)..
Rates may vary due to currency exchange rate fluctuations.
When Hosterias or Cabañas in El Chalten are not available we set up an up-graded camp at the northern side of the park, next to rio Electrico.
For further information and booking inquiries please send us and e-mail.