Patagonia Trek – Glaciers and National Parks

15+ Days
TYPOLOGIES
DIFFICULTY

Medium

MIN. AGE

16 Years

£ 3375

A Once In A Life Time Adventure

This Patagonia Holiday is perfect for anyone looking for a once in a life time adventure holiday. Starting at El Calafate, going all the way down to Ushuaia, visiting Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre (maybe the two most emblematic mountains of Patagonia) as well as Perito Moreno Glacier (only one in the world that shows a closure and rupture process), Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and eventually across the Magellan Strait into Tierra del Fuego to end our tour in the “city of the end of the world”. There will also be the chance to explore this beautiful area on any free days. During this itinerary there is also the opportunity to take part in an optional excursion which is boat trip in the picturesque Tempanos Channel. This Patagonia tour offers the very best immersive experience into a very special and constantly changing part of our planet, whilst enjoying the company of fellow travellers.

 

See the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndDCx2iSf4g

Price £3,095 / $3,725

Based on 2 pax. Excludes international flights.

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2022: 5-Nov, 12-Nov (G), 19-Nov, 26-Nov (G), 3-Dec (G), 10-Dec, 17-Dec (G), 24-Dec (G), 31-Dec

2023: 14-Jan (G), 4-Feb (G)

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Day by Day

We welcome you at Calafate airport and we transfer you to town to check in at your hostel. You get the rest of the day to explore and enjoy the town. Later you have your welcome dinner.

 

Overnight Inn

After breakfast we take our bus for the 220 km long drive to El Chaltén, a small and picturesque village at the foot of Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre massif. We make a stop half way to enjoy local pastries and hot coffee. Once in El Chaltén, we will start our trek. We carry in our packs only the necessary items for this 2 nights and 3 days in which we’ll overnight in our Full Camp inside the National Park. What we don’t need is left behind at our office and you will find it back at your accommodation when we arrive back to El Chaltén on day 4.

We hike up a gentle slope on Fitz Roy trail to gain height over the River de las Vueltas valley up to the first viewpoints over Fitz Roy massif. From these first viewpoints, another 2 hours of gentle walking across bogs and forests take us to our camp, from where we will enjoy a spectacular view of all the Fitz Roy group spires rising from the surrounding glaciers.

Early in the morning, before the first coffee, we can try to catch the morning light only need this to feel the trip is. It’s a spectacular start to the day but  the day offers so much more.
After breakfast, carrying only day personal items such as our parka, gloves, our camera, water bottle and box lunch, we hike along Fitz Roy trail up to Rio Blanco, climbers basecamp to the east side of the mountain. From here a steep 1 h trail leads us to one of the most spectaculars viewpoints of the National Park: Laguna de los Tres, with its zephyr blue colour, lies at the foot of the massif, offering full close up views of Fitz Roy massif spires and glaciers. Each wall rises something from 600 to 1500 metres above the surrounding glaciers. Fitz Roy, with its 3405 metres above sea level, is considered the “King of Patagonia” and also considered one of the three most beautiful mountains on Earth (together with Alpamayo in Perú and K2 in the Karakoram). We hike back to Laguna Capri in the late afternoon. Walking time is 5 to 6 hrs.

Today we make it around Laguna Capri to get to the Lagoons Madre and Hija Valley and we travel down to Fitz Roy river valley, where we meet Cerro Torre trail. The trail runs along beech forest, bogs and shrubland. From the camp, a short hike takes us to Laguna Torre, enclosed by morraines and with the Glacier Grande calving in its west side. It is usual to see icebergs pushed by the wind in the coast of the lagoon. The thin and elegant 3128 mts of Cerro Torre group and the Adela range in the background complete this spectacular view. In the evening we hike back to El Chalten along Cerro Torre trail.

 

Overnight Lodge.

This mountain, 1500 mts tall, is located immediately south of Cerro Torre valley and offers some of the best views over the different group of mountains, glaciers and lakes that features the area. From the lower terraces to the summit, you can get spectacular views of Fitz Roy, Torre and the spectacular glacier valley in between both. From the summit the bonus is the sight of Paso del Viento and some of the mountains that stick out from the Patagonian Icefield. According to the group capacity, we choose the lower terraces or try the summit, a long but gentle climb in scree. The lower part of the mountain is covered by shrubland and forest. We are back in Chalten by late afternoon.

 

Overnight Lodge

After breakfast, you will get a private transfer with your guide/driver to Braulio Carrillo National Park.

This day is free. We recommend the optional excursions offered in the town such as Viedma Ice trek. Trekking on glacier, using crampons. This activity is physical demanding, but allow us to enjoy a trek on ice and a boat trip in Viedma Lake. Also, you can discover the town or other optional excursions with less physical effort. In the late afternoon, we return to El Calafate.

 

Overnight Lodge

 

Optional excursion recommended: Viedma Ice Trek. (This excursion is not included in the program)

We dedicate this day to one of the World’s Natural Wonder: the Moreno glacier. This ice field- type glacier flows down from the Patagonian Icefield, a big sheet of ice that with its 22.000 square kilometers is the third largest glacier area in the world, after Antarctica (14 M sq km) and Greenland (1 M sq km). Because unusual favorable local conditions, this glacier is the only one in the world that shows a closure and rupture process. The road leads to the very front of the glacier, which will be only meters away from your eyes. A beautiful, short trail, will lead us from the shores of the lake to the upper viewpoints. The roar of the chunks of ice falling inside the glacier or from the glacier into the lake, the frequent collapse of the front seracs into the turquoise water, makes out of this day a very special and unique experience.

 

Overnight Lodge.

 

Optional Excursion Recommended: Safari Nautico – Boat trip in The Tempanos channel. (This excursion is not included in the program)

We have an early start as we start a 6 hour drive to our camp in Paine. We drive across the steppe, still following by parts the legendary route 40, to get around Sierra de los Baguales, an impressive range in between Calafate and Paine. We cross the Argentinean Chilean border at Cancha Carrera/ Cerro Castillo. After the border crossing, we start our final sprint to Paine National Park, World Heritage by the UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization). Approaching the Park, we start to see the different mountains that feature the area: Paine Grande, the Horns, Admiral Nieto and the Towers. Once we entered the Park, we go for a short 1 to 2hrs walk to get familiar with the landscape, the wind and the rich wildlife: guanacos, lesser rheas, condors and all types of wetland and buzzard birds, will be available for our eyes and cameras. There are also plenty of flowers to appreciate and photograph. Back in the bus, we reach our camp at the foot of Paine massif.

Early in the morning we start walking towards the bridge over the Ascensio river, headtrail for the world famous Paine towers. We “warm up” hiking a steep one hour slope, to get inside the valley itself, a narrow “V” shape alpine valley coming from inside the Paine massif. A gentle downhill leads us to Refugio Chileno, a cozy and comfortable mountain lodge, which can be a good turnaround point for those not willing to make a full day hike. We then walk in a gentle slope along the river side and inside beech forest. A final climb on moraine take us to the Towers viewpoint: a glacier origin lagoon and the three towers rising vertically 1000 mts from the glacier. The lack of breath will be either because the climb and the sight!!!! We go back to our camp on the same way we came. Walking time: 7 to 8 hours.

All good things must come to an end at some point. After breakfast at the Hotel you will be transferred with your guide/driver to San Jose Airport where you will get your flight home.

Lake Grey trail leads from Pehoe valley across ridges to reach Grey valley. This magnificent valley flows down 60 km from the Patagonian Icefield, featuring the huge glacier calving down in the grey colour lake. Our trail skirts the lake, going up and down the westerns slopes of Paine Grande, offering some of the most impressive sights of the Park. From the high sections of the trail, many different viewpoints allow us to see the south end of the lake where the blue icebergs gather, the mountains rising far in the distance above glaciers Grey and Tyndall, and of course lake and glacier Grey. We reach the main viewpoint, a rocky point somewhat 2 hs away from Pehoe, with views over the Lake and Glacier Grey and the surrounding glaciers and mountains. We come back along the same trail, crossing bogs, shrublands and forest. By noon we take the boat to cross lake Pehoe back and then we go to our accommodation in Puerto Natales, a picturesque fishermen town located in the shores of the Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope) fiord.

 

Overnight Lodge

Activities endured on this day will be based on your own personal preference. You may choose to relax at the hotel or explore on a trekking adventure. A recommended excursion is a boat trip to Balmaceda y Serrano glaciers, where you will visit Ultima Esperanza fjord to explore the Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers from Puerto Natales.

Long drive today, though quite worthwhile. We continue south to reach the legendary Magellan Strait, which we will keep on sight up to Primera Angostura, where we board the Ferry in which we will cross the Strait. This Pass, discovered by Hernando de Magallanes in 1520, was the natural and logical way to all vessels until de Panama Channel was open at the beginning of the XXth century. You will find yourselves wondering how those brave men dare to sail those waters in such fragile caravels!!! Once in Tierra del Fuego (literally, Land of Fire, due to the fires seen by the first white sailors in the coast, done by the local Indians to cook and heat) we enter back into Argentina through Paso San Sebastián. After a few more hours we reach our last destination: Ushuaia, the southernmost city of the world where we will be greeted and transferred to our hotel.

After breakfast we transfer to the touristic pier and get on board to our boat trip in the legendary Beagle Channel. We visit Alicia Island where we will watch a colony of Sea Lions, the Island of Birds where we can see Cormorants and the Light House Les Eclaireurs built by 1919. We get back to the port while we watch the Darwin range to the West and the Andes above Ushuaia. We will also have an unforgettable opportunity to walk among penguins in Estancia Harberton.

 

The afternoon is at leisure.

 

Overnight lodge

You will have the morning on your own to discover the town of Ushuaia,  which is located in the north coast of the Beagle channel. Then town features interesting museums and its typical architecture. In the afternoon we are transferred to Ushauaia airport to take our flight to Buenos Aires. Our services end at the airport.

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Pioneer Expeditions
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
 by S. Buckman
Fantastic Adventure

Overall the holiday was excellent with a group of 8 people including me, all singles - 2 x German girls, 1 x Dutch guy, 1 x USA guy (who booked through you) 1 x Spanish girl and 2 x Argentinian girls- so group size and make up was great. The highlights were Fitzroy, the view of Fitzroy from the campsite, Torres Del Paine, kayaking in front of the Perito Moreno Glacier, the sheep farm bbq near Rio Grande and seeing the penguins in the beagle channel. The included food was excellent and campsites were better than I was expecting which was a pleasant surprise. The tour leader Tomas was excellent as was the Argentinian guide Paulo. Transport was good and driver was excellent - no concerns at all with driving. Overall I thought it was a fantastic adventure and I made some great friends.

 by C.Harding
Really Wonderful

Really wonderful - Hiking and camping in the magnificent landscape of Patagonia

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