Exclusive Programmes

Calafate & Chaltén Classic

Exclusive Programme by Walk Patagonia

Duration: 8 days and 7 nights
Grade of difficulty: Moderate
Experience required: Experience in trekking
Season: October to April

Description

El Calafate and El Chaltén are the departure points to visit some of the most emblematic glaciers and peaks of around the world. Walk Patagonia has prepared a selection of the main highlights for you to visit in Glaciares National Park: Perito Moreno Glacier, Mounts Torre and Fitz Roy. This programme also includes the great experience of walking with crampons on Viedma Glacier, the largest glacier of Argentina and to be surprised by the arid landscape of the steppe by visiting a 70 million year old Petrified Forest. This programme includes comfy and friendly accommodation where you can relax and replenish your energy levels after days full of discovery and excitement.

Itinerary

Day 1: El Calafate

Arrive into El Calafate. Depending on what time you arrive you might have time for visiting the centre, bird watching at Laguna Nimes or visiting Glaciarium – the ice museum – a great introduction to Patagonia! (And maybe a drink in the ice bar?!)

  • Overnight: Accommodation in El Calafate.

Day 2: Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier

Today you will be picked up from your hotel and driven the 90km to the Perito Moreno glacier. On the journey there you will have a few photo stops; 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. You will have time for wandering around and enjoying the views. There is a cafeteria at the glacier for snacks and hot drinks. At the end of the day you will be dropped off at your hotel. A great highlight to start your trip on!

  • Overnight: Accommodation in El Calafate.
 

Day 3: Excursion to Petrified Forest and transfer to El Chaltén

You will be picked up from your hotel at about 9am and driven to La Leona ranch. Here you will have time for a quick toilet/coffee stop. You will then get back on the bus and go along an unpaved road in an estancia to then go walking for a couple of hours in the petrified forest. During the walk you will be able to marvel at this unique scenery. We will learn a bit about the geology of the area and the dinosaurs that used to live in this area some 70 million years ago. This arid landscape is quite different to the lush forests you will see near Chaltén! After lunch you will carry on with the journey and arrive into Chaltén at about 4.30pm. In the afternoon we will go through the rest of your time here in El Chaltén.

  • Duration 7/8 Hs
  • Overnight: Accommodation in El Chaltén

Day 4: Trek to Laguna De los Tres and back to El Chaltén

This trek is one of the classic and unforgettable treks in Southern Patagonia. You will leave El Chaltén with your guide in a transfer to the trailhead, at El Pilar, half an hour away. You then start this lovely walk in a forest on a path that ascends gently until you reach the viewpoint of Piedras Blancas glacier. You’ll have a short break here to enjoy the view of this hanging glacier, a perfect example for a Geology schoolbook, with its seracs, lateral moraines and lake. You then continue on past Poincenot and Río Blanco campsites. After another short break, you start the most challenging section of the day up to Laguna de los Tres. The effort is all made worth it by the breath-taking views you get at the top, of Mt Fitz Roy and its satellite mountains. After lunch, enjoying this amazing view, you start the descent towards El Chaltén via Laguna Capri, another very photographic spot in the national park! When you arrive into El Chaltén, why not celebrate and enjoy a local homebrew or hot chocolate with waffles and homemade cake?!

  • Duration: 8/9 Hs.
  • Distance: 22 Km.
  • Overnight: Accommodation in El Chaltén.

Day 5: Ice trek on Viedma Glacier

You start the day with a 20-minute transfer to the port on Lake Viedma. You will then travel for about 45 minutes across the lake until you reach the glacier and be able to admire 40m high walls of ice and their infinite hues of blue. After disembarking and putting on your crampons you will be ready for trekking on the glacier for about 2 hours. You will have plenty of time for taking photos and admiring lovely lagoons, sinkholes, ice caves and other ice formations. There will be guides on hand at all times to help you and to answer your glacier questions! After the ice trekking you get back on the boat, to the port and then back to Chaltén.

  • Excursion duration: 7 Hs.
  • Overnight: Accommodation in El Chaltén.

Day 6: Trek to Laguna Torre

Today you will walk on your own. You can depart from the hotel by foot. The trek is a bit gentler than the day before – not so much climbing! Today you enjoy the views of Mt Torre, the Aldea Range, Mt Solo and several glaciers. During the trek you’ll be able to appreciate several glacial terrains, ñire and lenga forests and some great spots for panoramic views. Geologists and photographers for its perfect shape love this glacial valley. You can also visit De Agostini campground where some of the most famous climbers in the world have spent a night or two before scaling one of these granite massifs. Another great day of nature!

  • Duration: 6 Hs
  • Distance: 20 Km.
  • Overnight: Accommodation in El Chaltén.

Day 7: Trek to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

The final self guided trek in the national park; it also starts from the door of your hotel! This trek takes you along less walked trails and takes you up to a 360° viewpoint. You can appreciate the Torre and Fitz Roy valleys, the mountains themselves, the Patagonian steppe and Viedma Lake – the largest lake of Argentina. In the last section of the trail you will come across different flora, found in these high plateaus and exposed areas, and if you look closely you will also spot marine fossils (ammonites and belemnites).

  • Duration: 6/7 Hs.
  • Distance: 18 Km.
  • Overnight: Accommodation in El Chaltén.

Day 8: Bus to Calafate / Airport

The bus to Calafate departs at 8 o’clock, arriving in at the airport at about 10.30/11am so you can catch any flight 12 o’clock onwards. End of Services

  • Optional extras/changes
  • If you want to live the experience of trekking and camping we can adjust this programme accordingly.
  • If you want to learn more about El Chaltén you can hire a guide. Please ask.
  • If you have already ice trekked, maybe you would like to try Ice climbing on Viedma Glacier?
  • If you have an extra day spare you could take a day trip to the stunning Lago del Desierto from El Chaltén.
  • Accommodation
  • Options in El Calafate and El Chaltén:
  • CategoryEl CalafateEl Chaltén
    HostelHostel LibertadorHostel Patagonia
    B&BKapenkeCumbres Nevadas
    TouristMadre Tierra Boutique HotelHostería Senderos
    SuperiorHotel de Campo Kau YatunHotel Destino Sur
  • Programme details
  • Includes:
  • Accommodation:
  • 2 nights accommodation in El Calafate, includes breakfast.
  • 5 nights accommodation in El Chaltén, includes breakfast.
  • Meals:
  • Packed lunch on Day 3.
  • Transport:
  • Transport from your hotel in Calafate to Chaltén with a visit to the Petrified Forest en route.
  • Transfer to trailhead for trekking on Day 4.
  • Transfer to port for Viedma glacier Ice trekking.
  • Public bus Chaltén-Calafate or airport.
  • Excursions:
  • Excursion to Perito Moreno glacier.
  • Excursion to Petrified Forest – La Leona.
  • Guided trek to Laguna de los Tres.
  • Ice trekking on Viedma glacier.
  • Entrance to Private property.
  • Help/advice from us while you are in Chaltén.
  • This doesn’t include:
  • Entrance fee to Perito Moreno glacier (about U$S25 per person).
  • Transfers in El Calafate.
  • Personal equipment (look at the recommended kit list).
  • Gratuities.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Anything not specified in the programme.
  • Recommended Personal Kit List:
  • Back pack (30 litres).
  • Warm hat.
  • Cap/sun hat.
  • Buff/scarf (something to keep your neck warm).
  • Short and long sleeved t-shirts (synthetic).
  • Fleece.
  • Waterproof jacket with hood (like Gore-Tex).
  • Trekking trousers.
  • Waterproof trousers.
  • Warm gloves.
  • Light waterproof trekking boots.
  • Trekking poles (optional - or hire locally).
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • Sun block (SPF 40) and lip balm (it’s dry in Patagonia).
  • Water bottle - 1 litre.
Exclusive Programmes

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Mt Fitz Roy from Laguna Capri. El Chaltén. Los Glaciares National Park.

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Walk Patagonia - Walk & Trek EVT - Leg. 14504 - Disp. 440.
Tourist Service Provider of trekking and expeditions in Los Glaciares National Park
El Chaltén - Santa Cruz - Patagonia – Argentina
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