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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 peaks of Patagonia

Granite peaks of Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine is one of South America's most famous, and possibly its most photogenic national park. The massive rock pillars of Las Torres loom above the vast expanse of grasslands, glaciers and lakes, and are visible from almost all the trails within the park. The park is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, and remains Chile's premier destination for walkers and hikers.

Chile's southernmost city

Chile's southernmost city

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas for most travellers acts solely as a point of entry to Southern Patagonia. However, Magellanic penguin colonies at Ceno Ottway and Isla Magdallena make this one of the best places in Chile to see the species, whilst a small colony of King penguins across the straits of Magellan onto Tierra del Fuego, makes staying a couple of days well worthwhile.

Modern Metropolis in the Andes

Modern Metropolis in the Andes

Santiago

Set with a backdrop of the Andes to the east and the Pacific coast to the west, Santiago makes for a stunning arrival or departure point. The city has a great range of restaurants and hotels, whilst the vineyards on the city outskirts make some of the continent's most well-known wines.

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

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Buenos Aires
  • 2 Buenos Aires
  • 3 El Calafate
  • 4 El Calafate
  • 5 El Calafate
  • 6 El Chaltén
  • 7 El Chaltén
  • 8 El Chaltén
  • 9 El Calafate
  • 10 Torres del Paine
  • 11 Torres del Paine
  • 12 Torres del Paine
  • 13 Punta Arenas
  • 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 1
B

Arrive in Buenos Aires

You arrive into Buenos Aires this morning after an overnight flight into Argentina's capital city. At the arrivals terminal a guide greets you and takes you to your chosen hotel where you stay for the next two nights. You can leave your bags at the hotel and you are then taken out for a tour of of this elegant cosmopolitan city. You visit some highlights such as the Obelisk and the historic Plaza de Mayo, and stroll down broad avenues, such as 9 de Julio, lined by impressive buildings. You stop in the colourful quarters of San Telmo and La Boca before continuing with a drive through stylish Palermo with its beautiful parks and gardens, Recoleta, and the modern neighbourhood of Puerto Madero. You return to your hotel later this afternoon.

DAY 2
B

Tigre Delta tour

This morning you are taken on a tour visiting the northern riverside districts of San Isidro & Tigre. The tour starts with a visit to coastal areas of the city - Avenida del Libertador, Costanera, River Plate stadium and the Presidential House. You then head over to the San Isidro neighborhood, where wealthy colonial families traditionally had their summer mansions. From here you hop into a bus to Tigre, a district overlooking the Delta of the Parana River where you can explore the colourful “Fruit Market”, stroll along the river or take a boat trip along the Parana River. The river is lined with grand colonial villas, Victorian docks, English gardens and traditional rowing clubs, and is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of central Buenos Aires. You return to your hotel in the afternoon, and are then free for some independent sightseeing or shopping, and later this evening you may perhaps wish to take in a classic Argentine Tango show.

DAY 3
B

Fly to El Calafate

Today you are transferred to the airport in time for your El Calafate, and your first taste of Patagonia. You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel, either in town or on the shore of the lake. In the afternoon you are free to explore the town independently, and a good place to start could be the glaciarium ice museum on the outskirts of town. This is a modern structure that offers a good introduction to the glacial region of Patagonia, whilst at the end of the tour you end up in a unique bar area serving ice cold drinks.

DAY 4
B

Perito Moreno Glacier

Today you visit the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier located within the Los Glaciares National Park. The first part of the journey take you across the bitter beauty of the Patagonian steppe. Gradually the landscape becomes more lush until you reach Los Glacieres National Park where trees such as Antarctic beech, sour cherry, the red Chilean firetree change colours with the season. Nothing though can prepare you for the dramatic first glimpse of the Perito Moreno glacier, one of the few glaciers in Patagonia that is still growing. You can walk along a network of trails and footbridges to get closer and hear the creaking and grinding of the glacier and loud cracks as shards of ice break away and plummet into the water below.

DAY 5
B

Estancia Cristina Discovery

Today is an early start to reach Punta Bandera in time to board your boat for a cruise across Lake Argentina to Estancia Cristina. Nestled in a setting of glaciers, snow capped peaks and lakes of outstanding beauty the Estancia Cristina has proudly stood since 1914 and was founded by Joseph Percival Masters, an Englishman who came to Patagonia in search of fortune by the working the lands around Lake Argentina. Arriving at Estancia Cristina in the late morning, you are taken to visit the Continental Ice Sheet for impressive views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, including the Eastern face of the Upsala Glacier, Lake Guillermo, and the Andes Mountain Range. You then have the option to hike through the Cañadón de los Fósiles, a unique valley where marine fossils that have been uncovered by glacial activity can be seen. In the late afternoon you travel back to Puerto Bandera and continue on to El Calafate to arrive in the early evening.

DAY 6
B

Transfer to El Chaltén-Trek to Capri Lagoon

Today you move on from El Calafate and, head to the small town of El Chaltén regarded as one of the best hiking areas in all of Argentina. On arrival you drop off your things, and immediately have a chance to stretch your legs with a gentle and incredibly scenic hike to the Capri Lagoon whose blue waters are surrounded by forests and mountains. The trail climbs steeply before entering the Del Salto valley and continuing towards Mount Fitz Roy. After approximately 1 ½ hours, you reach a viewpoint with panoramic views of the De las Vueltas valley before continuing to the Capri Lagoon. Here your effort and determination are rewarded with a stunning view of Fitz Roy range. Return to El Chaltén by the same path.

DAY 7
B

Trekking Cerro Torre & Lagoon

Set out from El Chaltén on a path which begins with a slight slope and follows the Fitz Roy River upstream to its source. After about 15 minutes you reach the first viewpoint across the river from the Margarita waterfall with panoramic views of the Adela Mountain Range, including the peaks of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy. Continue on to reach the Cerro Torre viewpoint with even more stunning views of the range. You hike through the undulating valley to the De Agostini base camp and Laguna Torre, an icy lagoon fed by the stunning Grande glacier. Enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding granite peaks before returning to El Chaltén by the same path.

DAY 8
B

Trek the Viedma Glacier

Transfer to the picturesque port of Bahia Túnel and sail Lake Viedma to the glacier of the same name, the largest in Argentina which flows into the lake from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Begin by heading south on a pleasant journey with views of the Fitz Roy and Huemul peaks before veering to the west to approach the glacier whose imposing face stretches for 2 kms and rises 40 meters above the Lake with a distinctive striped appearance caused by the mixture of bands of volcanic ash & glacial debris with fresh ice. Disembark on a promontory in front of the Glacier and, after a short walk, put on crampons and step onto the ice itself for an amazing two hour trek giving you a stunning close up view of the Glacier’s cracks and crevices. Back on land there is a short break before re-boarding the boat and returning to Bahia Túnel and on to El Chaltén.

DAY 9
B

Free morning in El Chalten and transfer to El Calafate

This mornig you are free in Chaltén for either another trek in the National Park or to relax in town. Later today at the agreed time you then return to El Calafate for one final night before travelling on towards Chile.

DAY 10
BD

to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

Today travel from your hotel in El Calafate across the border of Chile and into Torres del Paine National Park to your chosen lodge. Your stay is on an all inclusive basis with all of your meals and excursions chosen on a daily basis. The drive into the park takes around 5 hours including the boarder formailities, and the journey is a scenic one as the iconic Torres del Paine skyline creeps into view.

DAY 11
BLD

Full day in Torres del Paine

Today you have a full day of excursions to chose from. There is a large variety of half day and full day tours and activities which cover most areas of the park such as the French Valley, Lake Sarmiento, Inges Lagoon, Salto Grande Waterfall, Lake Nordenskjold, Las Torres and Cuernos del Paine. Activities are on a shared basis generally in small groups, and you are able to chose the level of activity you would like.

DAY 12
BLD

Full day in Torres del Paine

Today you have a second full day free to chose from the menu of excursions on offer.

DAY 13
B

To Punta Arenas

Today you leave Torres del Paine on the road leading south, via the town of Puerto Natales. After around 4 hours you arrive into Punta Arenas, the largest town in the Magellanes region where you you stay for next two nights.

DAY 14
B

King Penguins and Tierra del Fuego

This is a full day excursion by boat to Tierra del Fuego, and then by vehicle for a visit to the site of a small colony of King Penguins. The site is controlled by local authorities, and is one of the world's more accessible places to see the second largest species of Penguin up close. Across the Bahia Inutil and at the mouth of the Marazzi river you have around 45 minutes with this small colony, and keep an eye out on the way and heading back to Punta Arenas for other typical Patagonian marine and birdlife.

DAY 15
B

to Santiago

Today you you leave Patagonia and after a short transfer to the airport take your flight north to Santiago. After you have made your way through the arrivals area you are greeted by your guide and taken to your hotel in the city centre where you then have the remainder of the day at leisure.

DAY 16
B

City tour and afternoon at a winery

Depart from your hotel and start with a visit to Santa Lucia Hill, an important site where Santiago was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 and now an attractive park in the centre of the city. Continue to Lastarria, a typical neighbourhood that is a gastronomic, cultural and touristic hub, before then heading towards the urban Parque Forestal. Next you reach Bellavista, a bohemian neighbourhood of restaurants, boutiques and galleries and finally arrive at San Cristobal Hill and take the funicular to the Immaculate Conception Sanctuary where a statue of the Virgin Mary is located for fabulous panoramic views of the city. Later today you head south to the town of Pirque to visit the Concha y Toro Winery, one of the most famous wine makers in Chile. Currently, Viña Concha y Toro is the largest exporter of wine in Latin America, with a presence in over 130 countries. The tour will take you through the country mansion and into the vineyards and wine cellars stocking the most well known Casillero del Diablo bottles. At the end of your tour you will have the opportunity for a tasting of various wines, whilst there is also a shop on site should you wish to take anything away with you.

DAY 17
B

Depart Chile

Today you are transferred to Santiago airport in time for your international flight home.

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, shared excursions 2 people sharing £5,040
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

Hotel Pulitzer

Buenos Aires

The Pulitzer is a modern hotel located in the centre of Buenos Aires. Rooms are equipped with safe, minibar, airconditioning and free high speed wifi whlist there is a downstairs bar that serves lights meals and drinks throughout the day. Up on the 7th floor there is a swimming pool and even a gym where it is possible to book in for a massage.

 

 

Hotel Pulitzer
Hotel exterior
Days 3 - 5

Hotel Sierra Nevada

El Calafate

This is a lakeside hotel with attractive gardens running down towards the shore of Lago Argentino. Rooms are a little dated, but are equipped with cable TV, private bathroom and heating for the colder months, whilst there is wifi in the communal areas, a small gym and bikes which are free to hire.

Hotel Sierra Nevada
Hotel gardens
Days 6 - 8

Hotel Kalenshen

Kalenshen is a good value, basic accommodation option well located in the centre of town and close to the start of many of the walking trails. There are 17 simple rooms with air conditioning and heating, and whsilt there is an internet connection, like with many of the places to stay in El Chalten it is intermittent. Whilst the rooms are simple, this is one of the few hotels in El Chalten with an indoor pool.

Hotel Kalenshen
Hotel entrance
Day 9

Hotel Sierra Nevada

El Calafate

This is a lakeside hotel with attractive gardens running down towards the shore of Lago Argentino. Rooms are a little dated, but are equipped with cable TV, private bathroom and heating for the colder months, whilst there is wifi in the communal areas, a small gym and bikes which are free to hire.

Hotel Sierra Nevada
Hotel gardens
Days 10 - 12

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 13 - 14

Isla Rey Jorge

Punta Arenas

Located near the main square, this colonial building features 22 rooms (including one junior suite) with amenities such as cable TV, telephone, hair-dryer and safety box. The hotel also has a bar which serves food, a games room and internet access.

Isla Rey Jorge
Front of the hotel
Days 15 - 16

Hotel Providencia

Providencia

A newly renovated, 75 room traditional hotel with a garden swimming pool and fitness centre, conveniently located near the Providencia metro station and close to the entrance to the Cerro San Cristobal. Rooms have cable TV, A/C and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on site, as well as pleasant gardens and food is served in the terrace area by the pool.

 

Hotel Providencia
Double room