- 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. Please advise us at the time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements. Gluten free diets can be hard to cater for in this part of the world - you may wish to bring supplementary food items. Food in the refugios within Torres del Paine N.P. is not the greatest cuisine you'll experience in Patagonia due to the remoteness of the location and need for them to bring food stuffs in from elsewhere.
- 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; visit Perito Moreno Glacier.
Flight inclusive bookings will have arrived into Buenos Aires on the previous day and taken to the centrally located hotel by the tour leader before having a short city tour and opportunity for an evening out exploring the city. Flight inclusive bookings include internal flights from Buenos Aires down to El Calafate today. Those booking ‘Land Only’ will make their own way to El Calafate and meet up with the group at the hotel in El Calafate. If agreed with Exodus in advance then it will be possible to meet the group flight at the airport and join the transfer in to town if this is preferable. Today we'll drive the short distance out of El Calafate to visit the breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier. One of the most famous geological sights in the world, the Perito Moreno glacier is one of only a few glaciers that grows and shrinks with seasonal fluctuations. It calves into Lake Argentino and sometimes part of the lake becomes land-locked depending upon the position of the ice. Every so often it is possible to see (and hear) huge lumps of ice break off and fall into the lake and then float away as icebergs. As there is an early morning start tomorrow we suggest sorting your luggage tonight and preparing a smaller bag that you will carry throughout the next 4 days of trekking in Chile. We have an agreement with the hotel in El Calafate that means excess luggage can be left securely until your return - the tour leader will give further details and assistance. Everything that you bring with you to Chile you will need to carry yourself on the treks.
Transfer to Torres del Paine in Chile; trek to first refugio.
This morning we start early with a 6:30am bus to Chile. This is a long but scenic journey crossing the Andean border that starts out on the Argentine plateau and emerges in the stunning Chilean landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park. At the Lago Amarga entrance to the park we will meet our local guide who will join us for the next 4 days to provide expert guidance and insight. After a short transfer to the Las Torres area, our walking starts straight away as we trek for approx. 2 hours up towards our destination refugio. The walk is fairly steep with fantastic views looking back on to lake Nordenskjöld, and the enchanting trail continues through Lenga forest and offers views on a clear day of the surrounding granite peaks. Weather and underfoot conditions will of course determine the timings of our progression throughout today's trek and the same applies to all other days as the conditions are variable and unpredictable in this part of the world. Trekking time: Approximately 2 hours. Distance: 5.5km Note: Depending upon timings today and conditions it may be possible to continue onwards up to the Base of the Towers viewpoint. The tour leader will decide whether or not this should be done today instead of tomorrow morning.
Trek to base of Las Torres viewpoint and then to Los Cuernos.
Onwards and upwards we trek to 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 towards the shore of Lake Nordenskjold and then follow the edge of the lake on flatter and easier terrain to reach '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 hot meal and a well earned drink. Trekking time: Approximately 9 hours. Distance: 19km. Note: To and from the refugio to the base of the towers is an 8 km round-trip (4 hours) whereby you can leave your bag at the refugio. From here to Los Cuernos is a long flat 11 km stretch (4/5 hours) and you'll be carrying your rucksack.
Trek to Valle Frances and on 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 can leave your backpack (unattended) at the campsite if you wish, enabling you to walk the next part of the trek empty handed (keep valuables with you). The slight ascent lasts for about 1 and a half hours until French Glacier lookout, where we’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 another 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. Occasionally some groups may have full-service camping tonight instead of staying in the refugio dormitories - see accommodation section. We return back down along the valley to Campamento Italiano and continue our walk onwards past the shore of the smaller Lake Skottsberg and into the Pehoé sector of the park. We arrive in the late afternoon to the inviting and idylic site of 'Paine Grande' refugio and can spend the evening gazing upon the clear night skies or relaxing in the on-site bar. Trekking time: Approximately 10 hours. Distance: 24km Note: This is the trek distance if reaching the very end of Valle Frances, often we only go as far as one particular viewpoint due to the weather and/or group condition. The total walking distance for today thefore becomes 17 km.
Trek to Glacier Grey viewpoint; catamaran and bus transfer to El Calafate.
Today we will start early in order to see the third and final of the '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 we can leave our bags and just carry any essentials 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 late evening into the town of Calafate. Trekking time: Approximately 4 hours. Distance: 11km.
Transfer to El Chalten; optional Viedma Glacier Ice Trek or free afternoon.
In the morning we will transfer approx 3 hours to the small mountain town of El Chalten that will be our base for walking in the Fitzroy region. After arriving, the rest of the day is free to relax. Alternatively, those who wish to do an optional glacier trek on Viedma Glacier can choose to do this, and the tour leader will help you to arrange it (cost of approximately USD 160, crampons are provided and no experience of ice walking is necessary). We spend the night in El Chalten at a simple and friendly 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. From Poincenot we then continue onwards to reach '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 down from the viewpoint and walk back down from the mountains to eventually reach the town of El Chalten on foot. Trekking Time: Approximately 8/9 hours. Distance 18km.
Trek to Torres Glacier and Cerro Torre viewpoint; return on foot to El Chalten.
Today we will trek into a beautiful valley and make our way toward the stunning Torre glacier viewpoint. If time permits, we might be able to continue on to the Maestri Lookout at Laguna Torre (this 4km section of the walk can get very windy) before walking back to El Chalten. Trekking time: Approximately 7/8 hours. Distance: 15km.
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 en 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. Trekking time: Approximately 3 hours. Distance: 8km. Note: The walk taken this afternoon in the wilderness that surrounds the estancia depends upon what our local guide and expert at the estancia decides upon.
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.
Transfer to El Calafate; End.
After breakfast we will transfer by road down to El Calafate airport. This is quite a long journey and we allow approx. 5/6 hours in order to arrive on time for the afternoon flight to Buenos Aires. For Land Only bookings – the trip ends at El Calafate airport and the internal flights are not included in the price of the trip. For Flight Inclusive bookings – we fly up to Buenos Aires and transfer to the same hotel in the centre of the city. The evening is free to reflect upon a wonderful trip and enjoy one more night in Argentina. Tomorrow after breakfast there is a group transfer to the international airport.