- Accom: camping
- Trek: point-to-point
- New trip
- Breakfast in all hotels and guesthouses tend to be buffet-style. While camping a set daily menu is provided. Please advise us at the time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements as the cook will need to be aware of this when purchasing supplies for the camping sections of the trip.
- Adult Group
- Accom: hotel/lodge
- Walking & Trekking
- Guided Group
- Breakfast in all hotels and lodges tend to be buffet-style. While camping a set daily menu is provided. Please advise us at the time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements as the cook will need to be aware of this when purchasing supplies for the camping section of the trip. Gluten free diets can be hard to cater for in this part of the world.
Start El Calafate; private transfer to Torres del Paine N.P.
An early flight this morning to El Calafate (not included in the price for land only bookings). We are met by our private transfer vehicle at the airport and set out on a drive across the barren plateau of Patagonia. Note that there will again be the option to have excess luggage transferred separately to the hotel in Calafate and pick it up in a few days should you prefer not to bring everything with you on the trekking section of the trip in Chile (however as this is a trekking trip with little opportunity for dressing smart - we recommend that you just pack lightly and what you are happy to carry throughout). For most of the journey the road is in good condition, enabling us to cross into Chile and admire the stunning vistas before arriving at Torres del Paine National Park in the afternoon. Overnight in Refugio.
Trek (portered) to base of Las Torres viewpoint then to Los Cuernos.
Today we set forth on foot within the National Park and embark on a challenging full day trek. The first hour and a half walking is steep but rewarding with fantastic views of lake Nordenskjöld and Almirante Nieto Mountain (2,670m above sea level), with its hanging glacier. We continue up the trail through a millenary Lenga forest until the base of 'the moraine' which involves a section of challenging ascent. Weather and underfoot conditions will of course determine the timings of our progression throughout the trek. Onwards and upwards we reach one of the most impressive highlights of the park - the 'base of the towers'. A lakeside viewpoint from where you will look upon Torre Sur (2,850m), Torre Central (2,800m), Torre Norte (2,600m) and Cerro Nido de Cóndor. We descend back down the valley, passing the Chileno refuge and then back down towards the shore of Lake Nordenskjold. We follow the edge of the lake on flatter and easier terrain until reaching 'Los Cuernos' (the horns), considered by many to be one of the most charming sites in the whole park, a perfect spot to rest in our refuge enjoying a hearty meal and a well earned drink. Trekking time: Approximately 10 hours. Distance: 24km. Overnight in Refugio. For today's walk your main luggage will be taken to the next refuge separately by porters. You will just need to carry a small day pack containing your lunch, drinking water, and whatever other items you wish to take on the walk.
Trek to Valle Frances and then to Paine Grande.
Another long day of trekking lies ahead as we venture into the French Valley! The first 2 hours involve some ascents and descents with views of Nordenskjöld Lake accompanying us until reaching 'Campamento Italiano'. Here you might be able to leave your backpack (unattended) at the campsite in order to walk the next part of the trek with only a smaller day bag. The slight ascent lasts for about 1 and a half hours until French Glacier lookout, where you’ll be able to observe an impressive hanging glacier and listen out for the rumbling noises of small avalanches as great chunks of ice and snow fall off. The trail does continue until 'Campamento Británico' and on to a spectacular lookout point 'Mirador Britanico', but note that how far the group will walk up into the valley is dependant upon weather conditions, timings, and the condition of the group - the decision will be taken by the local guide who will walk with us whilst in the National Park. We return back down along the valley to 'Campamento Italiano', and continue our walk past the shore of Lake Skottsberg and into the Pehoé sector of the park. Arriving in the late afternoon to the inviting and idyllic site of 'Paine Grande' Refuge. Spend the evening gazing upon the clear night skies or put your feet up in the on-site bar. Trekking time: Approximately 7 hours. Distance: 18km. Overnight in Refugio.
Trek to Glacier Grey viewpoint; catamaran and bus transfer to El Calafate.
Today we will see the third and final of our 'W-Trek' highlights - the Grey Glacier.This is a round trip to a lookout over Lake Grey that will end back at Refugio Paine Grande, so again we can leave our bags and just carry the minimum amount with us. The trail goes along the western side of the Paine Massif with views to Lake Grey and various mountains. After about one and a half hours we will reach the lookout point and enjoy views of the Grey Glacier in the distance. We return by the same route back to Pehoé Lake from where we will take the Catamaran across the Lake to Pudeto sector. A bus will take us from here on the short drive to the park entry point at Laguna Amarga, and here we will board our transfer vehicle to Calafate (approx. 5/6 hours). After driving through beautiful scenery on our way out of the park (keep an eye out of the window for pumas!) we cross the border once more into Argentina and arrive quite late into the town of Calafate. Trekking time: Approximately 4 hours. Distance: 8km. Overnight in Hosteria.
Visit Perito Moreno Glacier; transfer to El Chalten.
Today we visit the breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier in the company of a private guide. One of the most famous geological sights in the world, the Perito Moreno glacier is one of the few glaciers that are stable with seasonal fluctuations in the position of its snout. It calves into Lake Argentino and sometimes the terminus creates a natural dam and part of the lake becomes land locked. The water level rises until it suddenly breaks the ice dam and bursts. Every so often it is possible to see huge lumps of ice break off and fall into the lake to float away as icebergs. We'll have a picnic lunch overlooking the glacier and then depart for a drive northwards, passing Lake Viedma on our way to the town of El Chalten. Overnight in Hosteria.
Rest day; optional Viedma Ice Trek tour.
Today is a free day to relax and soak up the surroundings. Alternatively, those who wish to go on an optional glacier trek tour on Viedma Glacier can choose to do this, and our guide will help you to arrange it (cost of approximately USD 160, crampons are provided and no experience of ice walking is necessary). We spend a second night in El Chalten at the hosteria.
To Los Glaciares National Park; trek in Fitzroy Massif up to Laguna de Los Tres.
This morning we start with a short 30 minute bus journey on the edge of Los Glaciares National Park to our start point at El Pilar from where we will commence our trekking in the stunning Fitz Roy region. We follow the trail leading to Poincenot Camp, along the way enjoying views of Piedras Blancas Glacier and Fitz Roy if the weather conditions are clear. This section of the walk is approx. 7 km (3 hours). From Poincenot we then continue onwards for 3km (2 hours) to Laguna de los Tres, involving a steep ascent to reach a wonderfully scenic spot from which to relax and take photos of the Fitzroy Massif. We descend back the same route 3km (1.5 hours) to Poincenot Camp where we’ll have dinner and spend the night camping under the stars. Trekking Time: Approximately 6.5 hours. Distance 13km. Overnight camping. (all camping gear provided throughout, including sleeping bags)
Trek to Torres Glacier and Cerro Torre viewpoint; trek down into El Chalten.
After breakfast we begin our day by descending into the beautiful valley containing the 'Madre e Hija' lagoons. Once we pass the two lakes, the trail descends for around 200 metres in the direction of Fitz Roy river and the trail runs into a fantastic lenga forest. Entering the Cerro Torre valley we change direction and head westwards towards Torre glacier. If time permits, we can continue on to the Maestri Lookout at Laguna Torre (this section of the walk, total 4km there and back, can get very windy so we’ll need to walk carefully) before walking back into the town of El Chalten. Trekking time: Approximately 8 hours. Distance: 20km. Overnight El Chalten.
Transfer to Estancia at Lago San Martin; afternoon walk.
This morning we take a bus to a remotely located estancia (approx. 5 hour drive), stopping on route to take photos of the stunning scenery. Upon arrival in this very special place we'll have some lunch and spend the afternoon walking in the area, including a visit to Lago San Martin. Overnight at Estancia.
Full day trekking to Laguna Corazon in Lago San Martin area.
Today we’ll follow the Condor River for around 3 hours, exploring deeper into secluded and sublime Patagonian landscapes full of colourful forests and rocky mountainsides. At the foot of Cerro Astillado, at a height of 759 metres above sea level, we’ll reach the turquoise waters of Laguna Corazon. After a packed lunch on the shores of the lake we’ll make our way back towards the estancia, enjoying spectacular panoramic views of Lago San Martin along the way. Trekking time: Approximately 8 hours. Distance: 16km. Overnight at Estancia.
Transfer to El Calafate; End.
After breakfast we will transfer by road back south to El Calafate airport in order to catch our internal flight. The driving time will be approximately 5/6 hours. Upon arrival in Buenos Aires there will be transfer to a centrally located hotel and the evening is free to reflect upon a wonderful trip and enjoy the final night together with group members.