Joe and Margaret - trekking in Southern Patagonia


Trekking in Southern Patagonia

Joe and Margaret wanted to combine the most iconic walking regions in Patagonia: Los Glaciares in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile. The request was to provide a level of comfort and pace they could manage as they were in their 60s. We started in El Chalten in Argentina with a couple of day hikes before embarking on The W trek in Torres del Paine, Chile.

Day 1. El Calafate to El Chalten

DAY 1. EL CALAFATE TO EL CHALTEN

Arrive El Calafate and take the shuttle bus to El Chalten.

Meet a guide this evening to talk about tomorrow’s hike.

Day 2. Fritz Roy Trekking the Laguna de Los Tres

DAY 2. FITZ ROY TREKKING LAGUNA DE LOS TRES

The classic, spectacular and unforgettable trek of the region. This is the trek to do if you only have one day in El Chaltén. A trek that takes you past some impressive scenery and through forests until you arrive at the mystical Mount Fitz Roy; admiring lagoons of different shades of blue, imposing glaciers and campgrounds visited by famous international climbers.

Be driven 17km from town to the trail head at El Pilar. From here you follow the river on a slow climb to Fitz Roy, the goal of the Laguna de los Tres. From the lake, there are panoramic views of Cerro Fitz Roy. You can also see Laguna Sucia and Lago Viedma in the distance. From here it is downhill as you head back to El Chalten, taking the trail to Laguna Capri.

Day 1. El Chalten to El Calafate

DAY 3. EL CHALTEN TO EL CALAFATE

Another day to explore the area, then return to El Calafate this evening.

Day 4. Perito Merino Glacier

DAY 4. PERITO MORENO GLACIER

Be driven 80km west to the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier. The views of Lake Argentino and the steppe are fantastic. On the peninsula in front of the glacier are the walkways, which afford great views of the glacier face, at times up to 60m of towering ice! If you are lucky you will also see some ice calving, creating great waves on the lake.

Day 5. Puerto Natales

DAY 5. PUERTO NATALES

Travel by bus across the border to Puerto Natales in Chile.

Have a briefing and stock up on some snacks for tomorrow’s W Trek start.

Day 6. The W Trek

DAY 6. THE W TREK

The most famous walk in Patagonia. During your four-day, 76km journey, you will see the park’s most important landmarks, including the Torres Lookout, the Cuernos Lodge and its visiting condors, the constant murmurs of the Francés Glacier, and the much-anticipated finale at the Grey Glacier. Our version includes two nights at Las Torres hotel and an upgrade to Cabanas Los Cuernos.

Morning bus to Torres del Paine and time to enjoy the surroundings this afternoon.

Day 7. Base of the Towers

DAY 7. BASE OF THE TOWERS (B,L,D)

A steep start with fantastic views of Lake Nordenskjöld and Almirante Nieto Mn with its hanging glacier. Continue through a millenary Lenga forest before the challenging climb to one of the most impressive places in the park: the lookout of the ‘Base of Torres del Paine’ with a view of all three Torres.

Day 8. The Base of Los Cuernos

DAY 8. BASE OF LOS CUERNOS (B,L,D).

Walk through part of the Paine Massif to reach the Base of Los Cuernos (4hrs) where Cabanas Los Cuernos is located, possibly the most charming site in the whole park.

Day 9. The French Valley

DAY 9. THE FRENCH VALLEY (B,L,D)

A beautiful and challenging 23km day.

After 3hrs reach the French Glacier lookout, watch its hanging glacier and look for small avalanches. A short walk leads you to ‘Mirador Britanico’, considered by many as the most overwhelming view on the W.

Day 10. Lago Grey

DAY 10. LAGO GREY (B,L,D)

A return trek through the western side of the Paine Massif with views to Grey Lake and Mountains. A relatively gentle walk to distant and closer viewpoints of the Grey Glacier. Take the boat across Pehoe Lake where your bus will be waiting to take you back to Puerto Natales, arriving around 10:00pm.

Day 11. Onward Journey

DAY 11. ONWARD JOURNEY (B)

Stay longer to enjoy more of the area or take in more of the delights that South America has to offer.

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