Arrive to Argentina today on the flight of your choice and transfer independently to your comfortable hotel. Buenos Aires, the country's largest city, is famous for its colorful neighborhoods and amazing architecture. Spend your free time exploring the city, or simply relax after your long international flight. Overnight.
A morning flight takes you to the lively town of El Calafate to begin your Argentina travels. Upon arrival, you'll begin the four hour drive across the rugged landscape toward Chalten. Along the way, a Patagonia guide will introduce you to the region's history, ecology and magnificent geography. This evening, meet your trekking guide for a briefing of the next day's trek.
Your four day trekking adventure begins today as you hike through an ancient, subantarctic beech forest to the Piedras Blancas Glacier. Your route runs parallel with the Rio Blanco until you begin the toughest part of your trek - a fifty minute climb that zigzags up a 45º slope. Your efforts are more than rewarded when you arrive at the eerily still glacial Laguna de Los Tres with one of Patagonia's, and possibly the world's, best panoramic vistas! Enjoy lunch and take in the view of Mount Fitz Roy, which hovers above you amidst the clouds. Continue on to your campsite on Lake Capri. 7 hours of hiking covering 11 miles (18 km).
After breakfast near Lake Capri, you will start the trek to Camp Torre and pass two lagoons appropriately named Madre and Hija (Mother and Daughter). You'll be passing through a living natural history lesson on glaciation and learn about the history that created this stunning landscape. Keep your eyes out for Andean condors, Magellenic woodpeckers and other Patagonian wildlife along the way. This segment lasts six hours to get to the camp. There is an optional extra hike from Lago Torre to Mirador Maestri for an extra two hour hike to the old base camp for climbers who explored the Torre Massif in the early 1970's. 7 hours of hiking covering 9 miles (14 km) if completing the full hike.
After an early breakfast, today's hike takes you through dense southern beech forest to descend toward the valley of the De las Vueltas River, being rewarded with the most stunning views on either side of great mountain ranges before returning to El Chalten. A vehicle will then take you to Bahia Tunel, a small harbor on Lago Viedma at the mouth of the Tunel Rio, to embark for a quick boat trip across Lago Viedma en route to Viedma Glacier, one of Argentina's largest glaciers. You will then don crampons, and after some instruction, begin to trek on the Viedma Glacier (this is designed for people who have never tried ice hiking with crampons). You'll have a sack lunch with you so that you can enjoy the ethereal experience of picnicking on the glacier, with the jagged Adela mountain chain rising beyond. After your glacial adventure exploring some of the ice caves and crevasses, descend to the glacier's lateral moraine for the boat trip back across the lake and return to El Chalten. 6 hours hiking (2.5 hours on the glacier) covering 9 miles (14 km).
For your last views of the Fitz Roy, hike from El Chalten to Pliegue Tumbado range with great vantage points of the area you have hiked over the past days with Lake Capri, Torre Glacier, and Mount Fitz Roy as well as of Mount Huemul and Lago Viedma to the south. Return to El Chalten for the late afternoon bus to El Calafate. 8 hours of hiking covering 13 miles (21 km).
Today you drive into Parque Nacional Los Glaciares for views of the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier. This huge advancing glacier is more than 3 miles wide at its front and over 20 stories high - a highlight of your Patagonia travels! You'll take a boat across Lago Argentino and pass the massive front wall of blue ice, all the while watching for icebergs. After landing on a small beach you'll start hiking through the beech forest to the icepack of the glacier and have the opportunity to walk on the glacier with crampons (This Glacier trek has a minimum age of 12 and a maximum age of 65. Alternate excursions are available for those under 12 or over 65 years of age.). You'll eat your lunch sitting on the lateral moraine of the glacier, where you can absorb the magnificence of the glacier's anatomy and listen to its thunderous concerto of groaning and cracking ice dropping into the lake below. Overnight in El Calafate.
Catch your flight to Buenos Aires and connecting flights homeward, or with more time, cross into Chile to visit Torres del Paine or head north to Iguazú Falls to continue your Argentina travel adventures.
$625 single supplement
2014 Rate: $3090