Type of Journey
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A trekking holiday in hikers’ paradise and a wildlife destination, Patagonia at the southern tip of South America allows you to explore the massive glaciers, stunning volcanic landscapes, and sprawling steppe-like plains stretching to the horizon. This Patagonia trekking tour will take you through El Calafate, a gateway to Argentine Patagonia and Los Glaciares National Park which is home to thirteen glaciers and the iconic Mount Fitz Roy. Trek through the heart of Los Glaciares National Park to the magnificent Fitz Roy Massif and witness the spectacular mountain areas of Fitz Roy and Torres del Paine (Chile) for a one of a kind experience. Grab a chance to hike the W Trek, the most famous route for hiking in Patagonia from Lago Grey to the iconic Paine Towers. Discover the Perito Moreno Glacier, a part of Los Glaciares National Park, and see massive chunks of ice calving off and splash into the water below and a chance to walk on it will give you the feeling that you’re exploring nature at its purest and rawest.
Arrival at Buenos Aires
The Patagonia Trekking tour begins on your arrival to Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina where you'll be picked by our representative and transferred into the hotel where you'll be free to spend the day at your leisure and get ready for the adventure that lies ahead.
Fly to El Calafate
Reach the town of El Calafate, a gateway to Argentine Patagonia and Los Glaciares National Park. Travel by a private bus or a public bus in case of six people or less to El Chalten which will be a three hours journey to visit the charming village close to Fitzroy and Torre Massif.
Check-in to the hotel and get ready to explore the short trails nearby, the local sites and viewpoints, such as Chorrillo del Salto Waterfall and Condor or Eagle lookouts.
Trek to Laguna de Los Tres. Overnight at Poincenot Camp
Grab an early breakfast and drive to El Pilar which will be the starting point for the classic trek to Laguna de Los Tres and also of your Patagonia trekking tour. Take your essentials for the overnight at the camp and ascend for two hours up a gentle slope that provides fantastic views over the Fitzroy Massif and Piedras Blancas glacier. Stop for a while on reaching the Poincenot area before proceeding to Rio Blanco Base Camp. An hour of steep ascent will take you to De Los Tres Lagoon at the foot of Mount Fitzroy to appreciate the enormous granite walls of Fitzroy and its nearby peaks, Poincenot, Saint Exupéry and Guillaumet. Descend back to the campsite after exploring around the lagoon and spend the evening inside the forest. You will be provided water, a kitchen tent, a dining tent, and a toilet at the Poincenot Camp. The moderate 10-kilometer trek that will be covered on this day is expected to take around six hours with 700 meters of ascent and descent. If you want to take up another hike to Capri Lagoon which is an additional optional walk, it will take three hours and will cover another six kilometers.
Hike to Torre Lagoon and on to El Chalten
After your breakfast at the camp, set out for another day hiking in Patagonia. Take the Madre e Hija trail linking the Fitzroy and Torre Valleys and hike through the unique landscape of Los Glaciares National Park. On your way to Torre Lagoon, you’ll pass through two clear lagoons and 'Lenga' forest where you will enjoy your picnic lunch while witnessing the magnificent views to Torre Massif and the surrounding glaciers only if the weather allows. Continue the trek along Torre Trail back to El Chalten after your lunch. This moderate 18-kilometer trek is expected to take around seven hours with 300 meters of ascent and descent.
Drive to El Calafate
Travel to El Calafate, which is situated on the southern shores of Lago Argentino and is a gateway to Los Glaciares National Park.
Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier
Get ready for an excursion to witness a truly impressive sight of Perito Moreno Glacier - an ice river towering an average of 60 meters above the surface of the lake water. The Glacier covering some 250 sq km is fed by the vast expanse of the Southern Patagonian ice field stretching over 30km and is over 700 meters thick at its deepest point. Advancing at a rate of 700 meters per year, this glacier is estimated to calve off great chunks at probably the same rate which means that for nearly a century, it has remained pretty much stationary. Whilst at the glacier, the Patagonia trekking tour offers you to grab a chance to either trek on the ice or take a kayak trip to get closer to the glacier face if you are under an age limit of 65 years which is a rule applied by the National Park.
Bus into Chile and onto Puerto Natales
Start your day with a six hours journey south to Puerto Natales by a public bus, crossing the border into Chile en route. Puerto Natales was earlier a tiny fishing port which has now blossomed to a hub of adventure and is the gateway to the Torres del Paine National Park which offers two treks namely the W Trek and the O trek Patagonia. You will be filled with excitement as you pass through on your way to the mountains and can dive in the striking views out to the fjords from the edge of the town and while looking back inland you can see the mountains rising imposingly over you. Later in the day, you will be briefed by the tour leader and the local trekking guide on the W Trek Patagonia after which you can get some rest and explore around the town.
Bus and ferry to the start of the Torres del Paine 'W' Trek
After a hearty breakfast, drive from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park which is at approximately an hour and a half distance. Continue to drive along the winding roads of the park to the Grey Lake area that offers great views to 'Cuernos del Paine' en route. On your arrival to the lake, start hiking to the Ferrier viewpoint that demands ascent but the views of the mountains and glaciers of Paine Grande and Los Cuernos Massif over Torres del Paine National Park are worth it. Later, take the ferry to Grey refuge campsite across Grey Lake which will take around one hour. The campsite, close to Grey Glacier is magnificently located between the lake and forest from where you can make a two kilometers hike to the glacier viewpoint. With 350 meters of ascent and descent, the moderate six-kilometer trek is expected to take around four hours. A note on the W Trek campsites: All the W Trek sites are located at the refuges. You will use the bathroom facilities on a sharing basis which is provided with hot water showers. The meals will be taken at the communal dining room at the refuges. The refuges have electricity and heating and a small shop that sells basic items.
Hike to Frances Domes
Start your trek from Grey refuge along the first leg of the 'W' circuit, passing by the Grey Lake, crossing the beginning of French Valley, you will be spending the night here. The trek to the Frances Domes refuge campsite feels quite relaxed when you pass through striking mountains and lake scenery.
This 21-kilometer trek with 300 meters of ascent and descent is expected to take around eight hours.
Trekking in French Valley
Start with an early morning for your trek along the French Valley. While walking along streams and the main river, you might get to see the glacier breaking off from Paine Grande only if you’re lucky enough. You will go through some short steep climbs as you arrive at the main lookout point at Britanicos camp where you will get to see the great granite amphitheater and all its peaks revealed. Being a popular area for walking, this place will have other trekkers as well. Later for the second-night stay, return down the central part of the 'W' to Frances Domes.
The 17-kilometer trek covered on this day is expected to take around seven hours with 550 meters of ascent and descent.
Hike to Refuge Chileno
Get ready to go on the Sendero Paso Los Cuernos trail that passes under the dramatic 'Los Cuernos' (horns) mountains which is why the name. While walking alongside the shores of the beautiful Nordenskjöld lake, you will be crossing small rivers and wide grasslands along the way covering the challenging 19-kilometer trek which will take around seven hours with 500 meters of ascent and descent continued until you reach the Chileno refuge campsite.
Trek to the Base of Los Torres. Return to Puerto Natales
On this final day of the Patagonia trekking tour, you will be finally witnessing the impressive granite towers of Torres del Paine that you have been waiting for since you started. Hike along the Asencio river, and up towards the Torres where you’ll be climbing steeply, high above the scattered blue lakes to admire one of the best-known sights of Patagonia. After a final clamber, deposited by a glacier centuries ago over a steep terminal moraine, you will be rewarded with a panoramic point which offers a beautiful view of the Paine Towers, rising too close, above a green lagoon. The three gigantic granite monoliths situated at the famous Torres del Paine (2900m), overlooks a landscape that is shaped by the forces of glacial ice and the elements. This place will also be visited by many other trekkers as this is again an iconic walking area. Once you return to Los Torres, you will be traveling by charter bus passing back to Puerto Natales.
This challenging 15-kilometer trek is expected to take around six hours with 600 meters of ascent and 800 meters of descent.
Fly to Santiago de Chile
Start your journey taking a flight to Santiago, Chile's capital, and leave the wilds of Patagonia behind.
On your arrival in the late afternoon, you can have the rest of the evening to relax or enjoy the city.
This day marks the end of your Patagonia tour.
After a delicious breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport for your journey back home, carrying unforgettable memories of this icy and adventurous tour.