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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 4
BL

You team up with a local group for a day’s adventure at the Perito Moreno Glacier, by road and then boat across the ‘Brazo Rico’ of Lake Argentina. Supplied with crampons you are taught to walk on ice before a mini-trek on the glacier, beside extraordinary ice formations, deep crevasses, and small lagoons in shades of blue. You loop back through Magellanic forest, sail to the dock and transfer to the main visitor area for impressive views of the glacier from its range of catwalks. Overnight in El Calafate. The mini-trek on the glacier is ‘moderate’, for ages 10-65. About 1½h is spent on and around the ice, in groups up to 10. When adverse conditions prevent trekking on the ice you walk in other areas.

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 6
B

El Chaltén and Mt Fitz Roy

You are driven around Lake Argentina and along the north shore of Lake Viedma. As you near the rufty-tufty village of El Chaltén the Fitz Roy massif stands straight ahead in an iconic view. We suggest you drop your bags at your hotel and take the easy self-guided hike to Mirador de los Condores.

DAY 15
B

At the appropriate time you are transferred to Santiago airport in time for your flight onwards or home overnight.

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 £4,295
upper-range hotels, shared excursions £4,780
top-range hotels, shared excursions
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

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.

 

 

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

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.

 

Providencia
Double room