This trip in Los Glaciares National Park has been designed as the perfect complement to one of our regular trips. Los Glaciares is one of the most impressive national parks in South America. This vast reserve protects around 2,300 square miles of the Patagonian Andes, including over 40 major glaciers. The northern section of the park is dominated by the incredible, world-famous form of the Fitzroy Massif, with its sheer rise from the glaciers at its base. The southern section is one of the world’s glacial wonderlands (almost half of the park is covered by glaciers). About a dozen glaciers flow east to feed two huge lakes, Lago Viedma and Lago Argentino. You will spend your time exploring and hiking through these places of outstanding beauty that have made Patagonia a true hiker’s paradise at the ends of the earth.
Day 1 El Calafate/Perito Moreno Glacier
Starting from either Puerto Natales or Torres del Paine, take a ride toward the Cerro Castillo border crossing where you will board the regular tourist bus to El Calafate in Argentina (approximately 180 miles). El Calafate is a small town set on the edge of Los Glaciares National Park amidst dramatic scenery. Upon arriving in El Calafate you will be met and transferred to the hotel. This afternoon, around 3:00 pm, you’ll take part in a guided excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, a very active glacier on the south arm of Lago Argentino. A 200-foot-high relic of the Ice Age, the Perito Moreno Glacier 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. As water pressure builds up on one side over the years, the glacier eventually explodes open with a torrent of water and a fury of splintering icebergs. Although this spectacular event no longer occurs as cyclically as it did during the past 50 years, the glacier is constantly moving, calving, and crackling – an incredible sight and sound at any time. Later you return to El Calafate for your overnight stay at Hotel Libertador, Hotel Lar Aike, or similar.
Hotel Libertador, Hotel Lar Aike, or similar
Day 2 El Calafate/El Chalten/Fitzroy Camp
Enjoy an early breakfast and then take the regular tourist bus from El Calafate to El Chalten (about 140 miles). Travel on isolated dirt roads across the pampas and along the northern end of Lago Viedma until you reach the settlement of El Chalten, a tiny outpost beside Los Glaciares National Park and at the foot of the impressive Mount Fitzroy. Time permitting, walk by the River Electrico on a trail through the beautiful Lenga forest of Patagonia. Spend the next 3 nights at a hosteria in El Chalten.
Hosteria in El Chalten
Days 3-4 Los Glaciares National Park
Spend these days exploring the park, where you’ll undertake two main walks into the nearby mountains. One trek takes you to the Fitzroy Base Camp (about 6 to 7 hours) and the other trek heads in the direction of Cerro Torre (6 to 7 hours). These hikes 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 you to places as Laguna Torre, the base camp of Cerro Torre, Laguna Capri, Laguna Madre, and Laguna de los Tres, which is located directly in front of Mount Fitzroy and Piedras Blancas. The scale of the scenery, with the jagged mountain peaks and the incredible glaciers makes these walks extremely rewarding.
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches
Hosteria in El Chalten
Day 5 Fitzroy/El Calafate
After your morning hike in the Fitzroy area, you will be transferred to El Chalten’s bus terminal to board the regular tourist bus back to El Calafate. Overnight at a hotel in El Calafate.
Local hotel in El Calafate
Day 6 El Calafate/Puerto Natales
Take the early morning regular tourist bus to Puerto Natales (about 5 hours). You will be met at the bus station and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this quaint town. Overnight at Hotel Aquaterra, Hotel Francis Drake, or similar.
Hotel Aquaterra, Hotel Francis Drake, or similar
Day 7 Puerto Natales/Punta Arenas/Onward
You will be transferred from your hotel to the bus station. Here you take the regular bus to the airport in Punta Arenas. You arrive with plenty of time to catch your outbound flight.
What to Expect
Duration 7 days
Regular Sunday departures from October to April
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.