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Mt Fitz Roy and hikers

Ultimate Patagonia Trekking

Example 14 Day Tour
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Begin your travels in Argentina, where you'll lace your boots and take to the mountains for a 14-day Patagonia trekking adventure. Explore the glaciated Fitz Roy Range, arguably one of the most inspiring mountain areas in all the Andes. After warming up with a week on the eastern side of the continental divide, cross the border and enter Chilean Patagonia. From there spend 6 days exploring by foot the remarkable Torres del Paine National Park - home to the W Trek, enormous glaciers, turquoise lakes, and verdant temperate rainforests. 
Salto Grande waterfall in Torres del PaineHiking Los Glaciares, with views of the famous spires of Torres del PaineFitz RoyTop of the world ma!Snapshot in front of Grey GlacierApproaching Mirador las Torres with the towers coming in to viewView from the mirador at the top of Valle del FrancesTorres del Paine Patagonia tourJagged landscapeHonestly, the only windy day in Patagonia was our lastHiking toward the Fitz Roy Range is one of three Patagonian glaciers that aren´t retreatingLago de los TresGroup photo during the Fitzroy TrekSalto Grande Waterfall in Torres del PaineHiking above turquoise rivers in El ChaltenTaking in close-up views of glaciersMt Fitz Roy and hikers
  • Trek through Patagonia on this ultimate trip uniting Chile and Argentina
  • Hike on Perito Moreno Glacier with crampons
  • Combines the W Trek in Torres del Paine with the Fitz Roy Trek in El Chalten
  • Explore a subantarctic beech forest to get to the Piedras Blancas Glacier
Places Visited
Activity Level: Challenging
Requires high-intensity physical efforts that push the limits of one's fitness. May include tours with multiple days in a row of strenuous physical activity or single requiring more than 7 hours of activity. Recommended for travelers maintaining a demanding fitness level.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive El Calafate | Private Transfer to El Chalten

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, enjoy the magnificent geography of the region as you drive through the mountains, passing stunning lakes and winding rivers. This evening, settle in to your comfortable room in your hotel in Chalten.

Day 2: Patagonia Trekking | Laguna de los Tres

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 at Poincenot.

Distance: 9 miles (14 km) 
Hiking time: 7 hours
Difficulty: Moderate - Difficult
Highest point: 3871ft (1180m)
Approximate Elevation gain: 2395ft (730m)

Day 3: Patagonia Trekking | Laguna Torres

After breakfast, 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 four 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.

Distance: 7 miles (10 km) 
Hiking time: 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Highest point: 2460ft (750m)
Approximate Elevation gain: -328ft (-100m)

Day 4: Return to El Chalten

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. The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the scenery from this quaint mountain village.

Distance: 3 miles (5 km) hiking
Hiking time: 5.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Highest point: 1968ft (600m)
Approximate Elevation gain: -656ft (-200m)

Day 5: Choose Your El Chalten Adventure

Today, travelers have a choice between three amazing adventures!  Here are the options:

1.  Lago del Desierto & Vespignani Glacier Excursion (Box lunch included)
This unforgettable experience combines navigation and trekking with a visit to the northern area of Los Glaciares National Park and the provincial reserve of Lago del Desierto.  Depart by bus from El Chalten towards Punta Sur dock at Lago del Desierto. From there, sail for about 50 minutes spotting glaciers along the way and disembarking for a while in Punta Norte. Arrive to the Vespignani Glacier area where an expert guide will lead you to the trailheads of three different hikes and give you more information. All of the hikes are self-guided and require different levels of difficulty and effort. You will be given time to enjoy your preferred trekking activity. After hiking, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and a snack will be awaiting you before boating back on the Lago del Desierto towards Punta Sur. From the dock, your bus will to take you back for another evening in El Chalten.

2.  El Chalten Rafting Excursion
The experience begins with a warm welcome and informative presentation about the area - Glacier National Park. Required technical equipment:  suit, stagnant suit, boots, life jacket, rowing and helmet are included in this trip. Once you are equipped, be taken to the entrance area of the Rio de las Vueltas, a scenic Class III river. The rafting experience covers a very scenic part of the River de las Vueltas. The adventure enters our raft in the encased area where the rapids will demand the effort of the activity. You will enjoy the adrenaline and magic of the unmatched sedimentary formations not too far from the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre massif. A vehicle meets you to take you back to El Chalten.

Difficulty Level:  moderate/ high
Minimum age: 12 years old, travelers between 12-18 must be accompanied by an adult
Duration: 3hs. Rafting: Duration: 2hs. 6km of calm and winding waters + 10km of waters type III and III +

3.  Full Day Creston Glacier Hike (Box lunch included)
Cerro Crestón is located in the Lago Del Desierto area, about 37 km along Route 23 north of El Chaltén. With tall Lenga forests, glaciers and the imposing Cerro Crestón, this valley provides some of the most captivating trekking options. The day before the activity starts, a brief meeting will be held with the guide to confirm all details and check your necessary equipment for the morning's adventure. In the morning, a private transfer will pick you up at the hotel in El Chaltén and bring you to the meeting point for a 9:30 meet up with your guide. Start the trek by hiking for about 40 minutes to the mountain's refugio, where a hot drink will be waiting for you. After about 20 minutes of a wonderful walk through a large lenga forest the surroundings will open up to an impressive view of the glacier and the Crestón peak. From here, continue gaining elevation out of the forest and into a boulder field landscape eroded by the glacier. This is the most demanding part of the trek. After walking 2 hours through this type of terrain, you will reach the foot of the glacier. Here, take a moment to put on your necessary equipment to walk on the glacier. Getting to the glacier depends on the weather, and travelers physical condition. After enjoying lunch up at the glacier, return to the refugio and then back to El Chalten to rest up after a big day.  

Difficulty Level: Medium- High (Requires pervious trekking experience
Duration: 9 hours total, (6 hrs trekking plus transfer time)
Gear: Warm & waterproof clothing, gloves, hat, sunglasses, and appropriate waterproof, high top trekking boots required
Elevation gain: 900 meters
Total distance: 16km
*This excursion requires a supplemental fee. Please contact us for details.

Day 6: Trekking Free Day | Return to El Calafate

Today will be free to explore and hike on your own!  By now, you will be comfortable and familiar enough with the area to head out for an independent adventure. A map will be provided to travelers to help navigate trails without a guide.  May we suggest Loma del Pliegue Tumbado?  This hike offers 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 area and transfer back to El Calafate in the evening.

Pliegue Tumbado information:
Distance: 13 miles (21 km) 
Hiking time: 8 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Highest point: 3937ft (1200m)
Approximate Elevation gain: -2624ft (-800m)

Day 7: Perito Moreno Glacier

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 10 and a maximum age of 65. Alternate excursions are available for those under 10 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.

Contact us if you are interested in the Big Ice Adventure, a more active excursion that spends more time on the ice. Click here for more details. 

Day 8: Torres Del Paine National Park

Take the bus to Puerto Natales and cross the Argentine-Chilean border* (5.5 hour bus trip on a comfortable bus) before setting off for your drive to Torres del Paine National Park (two hours in a private vehicle). You'll arrive to the EcoCamp, a deluxe tent camp of large igloo-shaped tents built to minimize environmental impact while providing a comfortable setting. You'll find no noisy diesel generators or destructive septic systems. Instead, EcoCamp provides candlelight, feather comforters, composting toilets, and plenty of quiet to enjoy your spectacular surroundings.

Day 9: Los Cuernos Pass

Look out for Andean condors as you begin a relaxed hike along the shores of Lake Nordenskjold this morning. Your path follows the Paso Los Cuernos trail under the Paine Massif, and your day is spent hiking between the turquoise lake to the south and the imposing mountains and vertical rock walls to the north and below the Cuernos (horns) of black slate that sit atop the gray granite of the massif. Pass the entrance to Bader Valley (a paradise for climbers and one of the more hidden corners in the park), and finally cross a wooden footbridge over a little stream near the Refugio Los Cuernos at the base of Cuernos del Paine (2,600m/8528ft) in a zone protected by the wind and close to a stream. The refugio provides clean dormitory style accommodations and deluxe camping facilities where you can swap stories with travelers from around the world.  Alternatively, the trek ends at the nearby Domo El Frances with an amazing view of Nordenskjold Lake. Deluxe camping at Los Cuernos or at Frances depending on availability in these campgrounds. Lodging provided on our trekking tours is deluxe tent camping in the refugio campgrounds while Meals are provided inside the Refugio buildings, as is access to the bathrooms, showers and all common areas.

Distance: 7.5 miles (12 km) 
Hiking time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Low - Moderate
Highest point: 800ft (244m)
Approximate Elevation gain: 225ft

Day 10: French Valley

After breakfast, begin a challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far into the Valley you go depends on your group's hiking pace. A brisk pace leads to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif, where there are some truly wonderful views. Continue up the trail until reaching the upper section of the valley and admire the valley's entire group of geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Mascara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburon (Shark's Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). Here picnic and rest for a while. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well, if the group isn't keen on resting. Then descend through a rippling terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until reaching Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. Here organize your luggage, relax and enjoy a replenishing dinner. Accommodations this evening are based on availability in deluxe camping at Paine Grande. Lodging provided on our trekking tours is deluxe tent camping in the Refugio campgrounds while Meals are provided inside the Refugio buildings, as is access to the bathrooms, showers and all common areas.

Distance: 16 miles (26 km) 
Hiking time: 10 hours
Difficulty: High
Highest point: 2250ft (686m)
Approximate Elevation gain: 2100ft

Day 11: Grey Glacier

Begin today's hike through a dense forest to Mirador Grey along the shores of Lake Pehoe. Here you're rewarded with views of the towering walls of Grey Glacier and floating icebergs below. This huge glacier represents the end of the Southern ice field. Your pathway leads you through a rainforest very different from the equatorial Amazon and more akin to North America's Pacific Northwest ecosystem. Along the way spot some of the 115 species of birds and learn a bit about this unique southern forest. After a picnic lunch, embark on the ferry and set off across the Lago Grey, passing amongst icebergs of fantastic colors and shapes. From the decks of the boat, you can appreciate the vastness of the glacier. Occasionally there are times when such large chunks of ice have fallen from the glacier that it is impossible to navigate the ferry too close. Disembark on the banks of Lago Grey and transfer back to the EcoCamp where dinner and drinks are waiting for you.

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 
Hiking time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Highest point: 800ft (244m)
Approximate Elevation gain: 675ft

Day 12-13: Torres Del Paine Excursions

On either day depending on the best weather conditions you hike to the foot of the gigantic spires of El Paine. If the weather cooperates, witness the most famous sight of the Torres del Paine - the three granite monoliths reaching 9,400 feet - a testament to the massive glacial forces that carved them out of the earth. The other day is saved to walk to the Mirador Laguna Azul and then to the eastern side of Sarmiento Lake, a good spot to observe guanaco. Back at EcoCamp, enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate the experiences of the past week and say your goodbyes to your wonderful hosts.

Las Torres Trail Day
: 14 miles (22km) 
Hiking time: 9 hours
Difficulty: High
Highest point: 3000ft (914m)
Approximate Elevation gain: 2825ft

Eastern Lakes Day
: 4 miles (6km) 
Hiking time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Low
Highest point: 590ft (180m)
Approximate Elevation gain: 420ft

Day 14: Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
Early this morning, you'll transfer to Punta Arenas for the late afternoon flight to Santiago (must be a flight departing after 2:00 pm from Punta Arenas).

With a few more days, you can add extensions to the Atacama Desert, Isla Chiloe, a cruise around Tierra del Fuego to Argentina, or rafting in the Lakes District to continue your Patagonia travel adventures.


Camping and Refugio Paine Grande

Camping and Refugio Paine Grande
Paine Grande Mountain Lodge
Spacious dining room


Wild flowers at EcoCamp
Las Torres EcoCamp
Hike to Los Cuernos

Patagonia Trekking Campsites

Los Cuernos - Hotels

El Chalten - Hotels

El Calafate - Hotels

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  • 13 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 8 Dinners, 7 Box Lunches
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • 2 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Parque Nacional Los Glaciares Entrance fee
  • Gear Rental: Thermal Suit, Dry Suit, Helmet, Life Jacket, & Neoprene Boots 
  • Gear Rental: Crampons & Helmets
  • Gear Rental: All camping gear & bedding at refugios 
  • Gear Rental: Sleeping Bags, Mats, & Tents 
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Internal Flights: Buenos Aires - El Calafate and Punta Arenas - Santiago


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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