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'Day walks in Southern Patagonia'

What makes this trip special?

Upsala Icebergs

Upsala Icebergs

Upsala Glacier

Upsala glacier is the second largest in Argentina, in the heart of the Glaciares National Park. As this is a retreating glacier, it is famous for its giant icebergs that break off from the face of the wall of ice and are left floating in the channel connecting the Argentino and Viedma lakes. Excursions here can be organised by kayak for the adventurous, or combined with a trip to the remote Estancia Cristina via a larger vessel.

Panorama of the Fitz Roy range

Panorama of the Fitz Roy range

Laguna Torre trek

The Laguna Torre trail starts and finishes in El Chalten and affords some of the best views of the Fitz Roy mountains. The path goes through lenga forests and along the Fitz Roy river, whilst also passing the Torre glacier face and eventually facing the Cerro Torre peak.

North face of Fitz Roy

North face of Fitz Roy

Piedra del Fraile trek

This trail requires a 30 minute transfer from El Chaltén town to its starting point, north of the Fitz Roy massif. The trail largely follows the Pollone river until you eventually get some stunnig views of the glacier by the same name and the Fitz Roy range.

El Chaltén highlights trail

El Chaltén highlights trail

Laguna de los tres trek

The Laguna de los trek trail takes you along rivers, over mountains and past glaciers, and is the standout trail of El Chaltén. Through lenga forest take in views of the Marconi, Electrico, Cagliero and Vespignani glaciers, before the peaks of Fitz Roy and Poincenot come into range. The trail ends back in town, with one of the final photography points coming in the form of Laguna Capri. The relatively flat terrain makes this walk one of the most accesible in the park and the perfect hike for those with just one day in the area.

Wild Viedma Glacier

Wild Viedma Glacier

Viedma Glacier

Viedma glacier is a stark contrast to the more famous Perito Moreno, as sediment deposits of mud and stones scatter the white surface of the ice. The more rugged appearance of Viedma makes a trek on the surface of the ice all the more interesting, whilst boat trips navigating between the icebergs are an alternative to those keen to avoid the crampons.

Granite towers of Patagonia

Granite towers of Patagonia

Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine is one of South America's most dramatic national parks. Its focus is a colossal massif thrown up from deep in the earth beside the Andes and the Southern Ice Field. The tall towers of Las Torres are set in a complex of other dramatic peaks and glaciers, ringed by lakes, low hills and steppe. It is a great destination for dramatic scenery, stunning walks, and Patagonian wildlife.

Chile's southernmost city

Chile's southernmost city

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is a colourful relaxed town full of curiosities and tales to tell. Drive north to see Torres del Paine, board a cruise south into the fjords and channels that lead to Cape Horn, or take the ferry across the Strait of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego. There are good wildlife opportunities nearby, including the only King Penguin colony in South America.

City life beside the Andes

City life beside the Andes

Santiago

Set against the backdrop of a long line of Andean peaks, Santiago is a colonial city, turned republican capital, turned modern metropolis. There's a lot to do, with good art galleries, unmissable museums, lovely parks, and a great range of shops, restaurants and hotels. Step outside the city and you are in some of Chile's most notable wine valleys.

Itinerary map for Argentina 'Day walks in Southern Patagonia' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Buenos Aires
  • 1 Buenos Aires
  • 2 Buenos Aires
  • 2 Buenos Aires
  • 3 El Calafate
  • 3 El Calafate
  • 4 El Calafate
  • 4 El Calafate
  • 5 El Calafate
  • 5 El Calafate
  • 5 El Calafate
  • 6 El Chaltén
  • 6 El Chaltén
  • 7 El Chaltén
  • 7 El Chaltén
  • 8 El Chaltén
  • 8 El Chaltén
  • 9 El Calafate
  • 9 El Calafate
  • 10 Torres del Paine
  • 10 Torres del Paine
  • 11 Torres del Paine
  • 11 Torres del Paine
  • 12 Torres del Paine
  • 12 Torres del Paine
  • 13 Punta Arenas
  • 13 Santiago
  • 14 Santiago
  • 14 Punta Arenas
  • 15 Santiago
  • 16 Santiago
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Day walks in Southern Patagonia'

DAY 5
BL

An early start for the boat across Lake Argentina to Estancia Cristina, founded in 1914 and beautifully set by the lake in a remote valley below Andean peaks. By 4WD up a long rough track you crest a ridge and set off walking to emerge beside the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field stretching to the northern horizon, with serried Andean peaks to the west, and the mighty Upsala Glacier separating for its journey down into Lake Guillermo to the south–a view that will stay with you forever. In this remote world you start a magnificent 14km hike on a rough trail beside the ice field, then into the Cañadón de los Fósiles, a rugged canyon scoured by glaciers revealing marine fossils that include belemnites and ammonites. Condors eyed us from their cliff-edge roosts when we did this walk. You arrive back in El Calafate in the early evening. The trek is moderately challenging over uneven terrain, with no turning back, at a pace to catch the return boat. Minimum age 12.

DAY 7
B

Two free days in one of Argentina’s very best hiking areas. We recommend the classic Laguna de Los Tres trail to the lagoons below the ring of mighty Fitz Roy peaks (a challenging 9hr trek). There are many other self-guided trails of varying lengths.

DAY 10
BD

Torres del Paine

You cross into Chile, a journey of 4-5hr across Patagonian steppe as the outline of Torres del Paine comes into view, to your chosen expedition lodge to stay 3 nights with all meals and your choice of guided expeditions.

DAY 11
BLD

Two full days of walks, rugged treks, and activities ranging over many areas of the national park and around.

Guide prices for 'Day walks in Southern Patagonia'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
mid-range hotel, mixed of shared and private tours 2 people sharing £4,275
upper-range hotels, mixed of shared and private tours 2 people sharing £4,690
top-range hotels, mixed of shared and private tours 2 people sharing £6,810
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Argentina and Chile
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • all excursions described
  • domestic flights
Prices do not include:
  • transatlantic flights
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • airport and departure taxes

Customer reviews for 'Day walks in Southern Patagonia'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average

Seasonal information for 'Day walks in Southern Patagonia'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
2 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
3 El Calafate 17°C rainfall 19mm
4 El Calafate 17°C rainfall 19mm
5 El Calafate 17°C rainfall 19mm
6 El Chaltén 17°C rainfall 58mm
7 El Chaltén 17°C rainfall 58mm
8 El Chaltén 17°C rainfall 58mm
9 El Calafate 17°C rainfall 19mm
10 Torres del Paine 16°C rainfall 29mm
11 Torres del Paine 16°C rainfall 29mm
12 Torres del Paine 16°C rainfall 29mm
13 Punta Arenas 15°C rainfall 36mm
14 Punta Arenas 15°C rainfall 36mm
15 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
16 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Day walks in Southern Patagonia'

Days 1 - 2

NH Buenos Aires Crillon

Retiro

NH Buenos Aires Crillon
Days 3 - 5

Kau Yatun, El Calafate

El Calafate

Located 600 metres from downtown the hotel features a lobby bar and Restaurant. The 44 rooms are divided between Economy, Superior and Suites. All rooms have King Size beds, Wi-Fi, safe deposit box, DDN, DDI, desk, hairdryer, heating, shower, bath, hairdryer, minibar, telephone, alarm clock service. Suites also feature hydromassage. Approx. rooms sizes: Standard 22 sq mt, Superior 30 sq mt & Suites 40 sq mt.

Kau Yatun, El Calafate
Hotel exterior
Days 6 - 8

La Aldea, El Chaltén

El Chaltén

La Aldea is a traditional Patagonian style hotel with 25 simple guest rooms, all with heating, private bathrooms, wifi and TV. There is a small bar on site with some excellent views of Fitz Roy.

La Aldea, El Chaltén
Hotel exterior
Day 9

Kau Yatun, El Calafate

El Calafate

Located 600 metres from downtown the hotel features a lobby bar and Restaurant. The 44 rooms are divided between Economy, Superior and Suites. All rooms have King Size beds, Wi-Fi, safe deposit box, DDN, DDI, desk, hairdryer, heating, shower, bath, hairdryer, minibar, telephone, alarm clock service. Suites also feature hydromassage. Approx. rooms sizes: Standard 22 sq mt, Superior 30 sq mt & Suites 40 sq mt.

Kau Yatun, El Calafate
Hotel exterior
Days 10 - 13

Hotel Las Torres

Torres del Paine

Located near the start of the trail to the base of the Torres (Towers) the lodge is one of the few located within the park. All the rooms, divided between Standard, Superior and Suites, are en-suite and have central heating, Wi-Fi and hairdryers. There is a restaurant and bar, a Spa, a gift shop, an interpretation centre and a conference centre as well as stables where the local guides work and an organic garden. The location of this hotel is what really sets it apart, and it offers B&B as well as all inclusive programmes.

Hotel Las Torres
Lodge Exterior
Days 14 - 15

Ilaia Hotel

Punta Arenas

Ilaia Hotel
Outside
Days 16 - 17

Orly Hotel

Santiago

Located in the bustling district of Providencia, the Hotel Orly is a small characterful hotel. All 28 rooms have en-suite facilities and vary in size but single rooms are quite small and do not have a bathtub. Additional amenities include a desktop, a/c and heating units, safe, hair-dryer, cable TV and Wi-Fi. Some rooms overlook the back garden. There is a café at the front (also used by members of the public) and lounge areas as well as a craft shop.

Orly Hotel
Hotel exterior