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Get to know El Calafate and El Chalten
These two villages, tucked away in the grassy pampas, valleys, and mountains of Argentine Patagonia, are the gateways to all the natural wonders that the region holds. Your Argentine adventure begins in El Calafate after crossing the border from Chile to Argentina at the Cerro Castillo border crossing, where you’ll have lunch. Then you’ll be transferred to El Chalten, the last outpost before the wilds of Los Glaciares National Park. You’ll retire to the Hosteria Senderos for a relaxing night sleep - you’ll need it for the exciting days to come!
Hike to Laguna Torre
Today’s hike will take you through peaceful forests of beech, alongside a gushing river, and to an unbeatable viewpoint of one of the park’s most awe-inspiring peaks: Cerro Torres. The dizzying heights and sheer challenge of scaling its dangerous spires to the summit are a siren’s call to mountain and alpine climbers all over the world, and because of its technical difficulties and history as a climbing peak, it’s also the source of much controversy within the climbing community. You’ll follow the Cerro Torre trail to Laguna Torre, where Cerro Torre and the Adela range can be seen and marveled at, before returning along the same trail and to El Chalten for dinner at one of the town’s cozy restaurants.
Hike to Laguna Los Tres
After a relaxing night’s sleep, it’s time to hit the trails again, this time to see Mount Fitz Roy in all its iconic glory! After hiking past Laguna Capri, you follow the Fitz Roy trail to the Blanco River. By now, your legs should be good and warmed up, which is perfect for the quick, steep trail that leads up to the pure, turquoise waters of Laguna de Los Tres and its views of Fitz Roy. After lunch, it’s time to return the way you came and head back for the final night in little El Chalten.
Pliegue Tumbado Trek & El Calafate
Before continuing on the grand tour of Argentine Patagonia by heading to El Calafate, you’ll walk through forests of native trees such as lenga to pay a visit to the relatively unknown but well-worth-it Pampa de las Carretas viewpoint, from which you will be surrounded by views of Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, and the Huemul Glacier. For those who love history and archeology, the next part of the hike will be a real treat, as 100 million year old marine fossils of ammonites and belemnites are plentiful on this stretch of trail. Next, you’ll stop at the Pliegue Tumbado viewpoint for the ultimate panoramic: Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, Torre Glacier, the Fitz Roy river canyon, the area’s impossibly blue lagoons, and even the Paso del Viento, the entrance to the great Southern Patagonian Ice Field. After such a visual feast, rest your eyes on the semiprivate ride to El Calafate.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time seeing a glacier, the experience is always indescribably poignant, a rush of emotions and thrills. Now, imagine seeing one of the most incredible glaciers on Earth and then being able to WALK across it. Today is your chance to do just that at the Perito Moreno Glacier, a wonder of nature renowned for its immense breadth, spectacular color, and accessibility. After the drive from El Calafate to Los Glaciares National Park, the group will stop at the Bajo de las Sombras bay to board the ride to the glacier’s southern wall. Along the way, a guide will give a short lecture about glaciers and local geology. After disembarking and walking to the edge of the glacier, you’ll put on your crampons, and set off across the ancient ice for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. A bit later, at an ice bar, you can raise a glass to the wonderful memories you’re creating with a whisky over freshly chopped glacier ice. Then you’ll continue to the footbridges, stopping for lunch along the way, all the time encountering the best views around. Then, it’s back to El Calafate for the night at the Hosteria Sierra Nevada.
The adventure’s come to an end, but you’ve have plenty of souvenirs to take home; memories of crossing glaciers, being dwarfed by mighty peaks, and conquering the rugged wilderness of Patagonia. After a filling breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight out of El Calafate.
*Torres del Paine extension. Instead of going home, why not extend your trip to Torres del Paine since you have made the long journey! Contact us for more information.
Dates & Rates
Departures: Departs every Thursday and Sunday, contact us for availability.
Rates: from $2,100
Please note: Insurance (Medical and Evacuation Coverage is mandatory)
• All activities as indicated on your itinerary
• All meals as indicated on your itinerary
• Transfer from Calafate City and to El Calafate airport
• All accommodations as indicated on your itinerary
• Services of professional guides
• All necessary outdoor equipment
• Items of a personal nature
Your booking is based on Chilean pesos (CLP), but you pay in US$ (USD), using the exchange rate valid on the day of payment which will be shown on your invoice. This exchange rate may vary between the date you pay your deposit and the date you pay your outstanding balance, but rest assured this is the best way to keep our prices competitive and ensure the best rate for you!
FAQ & More
What are the accommodations like on this trip?
For this adventure we use mid range hotels in El Calafate and El Chalten. Both are set in stunning surroundings and all rooms have private facitlities.
An example in El Chalten is Hosteria Senderos
An example in El Calafate is Hosteria Sierra Nevada
Can you accommodate special dietary requests?
We are happy to accommodate vegetarians, gluten free and other special diets. Advance notice is most helpful and important due to the remote nature of the locations being visited.
How physically demanding is this trip?
This is the right trip for energetic people who like to be active, have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. To enjoy this trek it’s essential to be in shape before you arrive. It’s not wise to regard this trek as a means of getting into shape or losing excess weight. Start a program of conditioning well before departure.
Note: Due to operational insurance issues, the age limit for doing the ice trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier (day 5) is 65 years old. If a passenger exceeds this age then an alternative excursion to the Glacier will be arranged. In case you change ice trek offered on day 5 for "Big Ice" trek, please note that age limit is 18 to 50 years old.
What if unpredictable weather affects my trip?
Our tours are purposely planned to avoid the times of year that weather can be less favorable. That being said, weather can often be unpredictable and fast changing in Patagonia. Your trip leader will be constantly monitoring the weather and will make any needed adjustments to your itinerary. We always have back up activities planned in the event that weather precludes us from doing the planned activity; however the best way to manage the unpredictable weather of Patagonia is to travel with a flexible attitude and open mindset!
Who will my guides be?
Your guides will be Patagonian locals with an intimate knowledge of and experience in this pristine region. Many of our guides are recent graduates of Ecotourism programs and have extensive experience hiking and wildlife watching throughout Patagonia. They love to share their local culture and landscape with our guests.
What is really included in the price?
Your trip payment total is made up of the land cost, which you pay before you go. Some tours don't include all meals, this trip does not include dinners for example, but this is always stated clearly in the Trip Facts section detailing what is and what's not included. Tips and personal items like drinks and souvenirs are not included in any programs.
Can you help with booking my International Flights?
Unfortunately, we are not authorized to book air travel for our guests. We would be happy to recommend you to a trusted flight broker that we work with on many of our international tours.
Are private tours an option?
Absolutely! We would be happy to help you organize a private departure for groups of 2 or more people. Please contact us for additional details and rates.
Where does this trip begin and end?
Trip begins and ends in Calafate City.