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Patagonia Hiking: El Chalten & El Calafate

Posted in Argentina, Trips

Highlights

  • 4 nights/5 days
  • First Class or luxury accommodations as specified by the client in El Chalten and in El Calafate
  • 2 nights in El Chalten with amazing Patagonia hikes and views of Fitz Roy Mountain
  • 1 night in El Calafate and trip to Perito Moreno Glacier
  • 1 night in Buenos Aires

 

classic-patagonia-map
Trip Length 5 days/4 nights
Included 4 Breakfasts, dinner reservations available, all national park entrance fees, airport transfers , box lunches on all day hikes, full time guides on all hikes and expeditions.
Hotels First Class or luxury accommodations as specified by the client
Prices are based on the number of travelers in your group and the time of travel.

PLAN A TRIP

DAY 1

Our driver picks you up at the airport at the outskirts of El Chalten for the one-hour driver to the main town. We help you check in and transfer all luggage of course. There is time to relax before finding your way to one of the many wonderful dinner spots that feature Argentinean mouth-watering tender beef. We are happy to make dinner reservations for you tonight. Sleep in El Chalafate.

DAY 2

After an early breakfast, you will be picked up from your El Calafate hotel for your first Patagonia hiking experience. An hour-long bus ride takes you to the Bajo de las Sombras port on the shore of Lake Argentino. From there, you will board a comfortable boat for a 20-minute navigation across the lake with incredible views of the Perito Moreno glacier and her massive front wall of blue ice and surrounding field of icebergs. Following a beach landing, you’ll stop at a small shelter where the trekkers will be divided into groups of less than twenty. A short walk along an ancient beach forest takes you to the edge of the glacier, a prime location for photographing this spectacular natural wonder. You will be fitted with crampons and receive a safety briefing from your guides before beginning an unforgettable two hour trek on the glacier, with time for photos and a lunch break. This moderate trek will take you past small streams, lagoons, crevasses, and other ice formations as you explore the fascinating landscape of the Perito Moreno glacier. After completing the trek, you will embark on the boat for the return trip across the lake. A short bus ride brings you to an elaborate boardwalk system located across the lake from the glacier. From here you will be able to view and photograph the glacier from many angles, and possibly witness icebergs calving thunderously into the lake. In the late afternoon, you will return to your hotel for another comfortable night’s rest. This is a group activity. (B,L) Duration 9 hours. Sleep El Calafate

DAY 3

Today you will driver along a ribbon of highway, passing open grasslands until the Cerro Toree and Mount Fitz Roy come into view. Prepare your camera for these spectacular vistas. El Chalten is an outpost town along the Chilean-Argentinean border where high-speed winds are always chasing you. Patagonia hiking is at its best here with hundreds of well-marked trails. For today’s hike we recommend that you wander out to one of the trail heads and try a short one or two hour trek on your own. If you prefer company, we can arrange a guide to accompany you on your journey. (B) Sleep El Chalten

DAY 4

As our Patagonia Hiking trips are customized to your fitness level, our guide can lead you on the hike of your choice. Here are our two preferred options.

Option A) Full day Cerro Fitz Roy hiking (private activity). Lunch box is included.

clip_image001Full day hike Fitz Roy base camp (Poincenot and Rio Blanco) to enjoy impressive views of Mt. Fitz Roy, sacred and venerated by local tehuelche groups and believed to be a volcano, they called it “Chalten”  (exhaling fumes mountain). For those who want to venture we will hike up to Laguna de los Tres, a 45 min. Hike of incredible beauty and slightly demanding but which will reward us with magnificent views. This is the most challenging hike in the area but is also the most spectacular. While this is very challenging, once the destination is reached, it’s well worth it, with a close up view of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy, along with three very impressive lakes.  It’s about a 17 miles/27km which takes 9/10 hours. Three glaciers drain into this greenish lagoon with majestic Mt. Fitz Roy towering above. The day trek to Laguna de los Tres is probably your best choice if you only have one day for trekking in the surroundings of El Chaltén. It takes roughly 3 to 4 hours to reach Laguna de los Tres where you’ll have majestic views of Fitz Roy, the glacier de los Tres and its lagoon. It is recommended to walk via Laguna Capri a beautiful place and stunning photo spots

Option B) Full day Laguna del Desierto (private activity). Lunch is included, beverage is extra.

The full day to Laguna del Desierto/ Desierto Lake is trip combining a short trek (1 to 2 hours each) and vehicle ride longing the Cañadón River de las Vueltas. (37 kms. Roundtrip). Located in the Andes very close to the border with Chile, we visit the Salto del Chorrillo, Saltos del Rio de las Vueltas, Laguna Condor and finally accessing to spectacular views of Fitz Roy and its surrounding needles. Once arrived at the lake, you can choose to o the trekking the Glacier Huemul and its turquoise lagoon, where you’ll have one best 360 degrees panoramic views in the area, including the north face of Fitz Roy, the green Lago del Desierto, the turquoise waters of Laguna Huemul the range Vesprigniani with ots eternal snow, among other wonderful views. You can also cross the Rio de las Vueltas by a little rustic bridge to walk along the shore of Lago del Desierto and the virgin forests of Patagonia, to the north for a panoramic view of the Fitz Roy reflected in the lake. Please consider that the tour is enjoyed in a Minivan (not in a 4×4 vehicle).

Dinner is included if you stay at Los Cerros. For other hotel options we will arrange a dinner reservation for you. (B, PicL, D) Sleep El Chalten

DAY 5

After breakfast, check-out and transfer with a bilingual guide to El Calafate airport. Upon arrival at Buenos Aires airport, we can provide a transfer with a bilingual driver to the hotel and assist you with your check-in, in Buenos Aires.

PLAN A TRIP

Recommended Accommodations:
Los Sauces in El Calafate Luxury rating
Step back into a simpler time at Los Sauces, when Argentina’s farms welcomed wanderers with heartfelt hospitality. Modeled after the traditional ranch estate, this luxury boutique hotel is set upon four acres of immaculately landscaped gardens in the remote mountain steppe of fabled Patagonia. Curl up with a book before a log fire in your country-style room with its exposed-stone walls. Soak in the authentic local character provided by leather furnishings and striking Argentine paintings and sculptures.

Los Cerros in El Chalten, Luxury rating
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Los Cerros Hotel is located amidst exhuberant and wild nature, offering a harmonius liason between the mountainous landscape with its Andean peaks and modern achitecture. This fine combination has been achieved thanks to the use of local stone as a key element, wall coverings making use of the local wood and zinc red roofs that accompany the sloop of the surrounded mountains. The hotel surprises guests with its details of comfort and refinement, its panoramic views of De las Vueltas River and the young town of El Chaltén, as well as its exquisite international level regional cuisine and the dedicated and personalized attention of the professional staff.