Exclusive Programmes

Patagonia Total
El Calafate, El Chaltén & Torres del Paine

Exclusive Programme by Walk Patagonia

Length: 13 days and 12 nights
Grade of difficulty: Moderate
Experience required: Experience in trekking
Season: October to April

Description

An exclusive proposal from Walk Patagonia to embark on a spectacular and unforgettable programme that includes the most diverse activities in the most extraordinary places of Patagonia. Vist the Perito Moreno Glacier, be amazed by an ancient petrified forest on the infinite Patagonian steppe, walk along the most famous paths in the area of El Chaltén – Fitz Roy, experience trekking on the biggest glacier in Argentina, navigate immense lakes, share experiences with travellers from all over the world in mountain refuges and enjoy the beautiful views of the indescribable masses of granite at Torres del Paine in Chile.

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: Madre Tierra Boutique Hotel or similar.

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 60 m 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: Madre Tierra Boutique Hotel or similar.
 

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 Chaltén.

  • Overnight: Hostería Senderos or similar.
 

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 back into El Chaltén, why not enjoy a local homebrew or hot chocolate with waffles and homemade cake?!

  • Duration 8/9 Hs
  • Distance: 22 Km.
  • Overnight: Hostería Senderos or similar.
 

Day: 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: Hostería Senderos or similar.
 

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 famous climbers in the past have spent a night or two before scaling one of these granite massifs.

  • Duration 6 Hs
  • Distance: 20 Km.
  • Overnight: Hostería Senderos or similar.
 

Day 7: Trek to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado and Bus to El Calafate

The final 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). On your return to Chaltén you will catch the 18.30 bus back to Calafate. On arrival, either walk or taxi to hotel.

  • Duration 6/7 Hs
  • Distance: 18 Km.
  • Overnight: Madre Tierra Boutique Hotel or similar.
 

Day 8: Journey from El Calafate (Argentina) to Puerto Natales (Chile)

In El Calafate, either walk or order a taxi to take you to the bus station. The bus leaves at about 8am and arrives into Puerto Natales between 13/14hs. (Depends on the border crossing). When you arrive into Puerto Natales you can either walk or catch a taxi to your accommodation. In the afternoon we can go through the next few days in the National Park with you. Perfect time to ask any questions! Free afternoon for a wander round Pto Natales – visit local museum and try the national tipple of Pisco Sour?!

  • Overnight: Hotel If Patagonia or similar.
 

Day 9: Glacier Grey

Catch early bus to National park and get off at Pudeto to catch the catamaran across the lake to Paine Grande Refuge. After checking in walk to the first viewpoint of Glacier Grey – about 2 hours away. Glacier Grey comes directly off the Continental Ice Field and is enormous! The icebergs that you will also see floating along Lake Grey are also huge and stunning! Depending how energetic you are feeling you could continue on and get a lot closer to the glacier. Return to the refuge for a good hot dinner.

  • Duration 4/8 Hs.
  • Distance: 11/22 Km.
  • Overnight: Paine Grande Refuge.
 

Day 10: Valle Francés - The Horns

Today you start with an easy couple of hours trekking toward the Italiano Camp, from where you start the serious uphill into the Valle Francés. After about half an hour there is a great viewpoint and if you want to go further you go all the way to the Britanico camp. Enjoy lunch with 360-degree views, at the half hour stop or beyond!

The views of the glaciers and the sensation of being in a bowl surrounded by towering granite mountains is sensational. Trek back to the Italiano Camp and carry on for a couple of hours on to Cuernos refuge, your second refuge of the trip.

  • Duration 8/9 Hs.
  • Distance: 24 Km.
  • Overnight: Cuernos Refuge.
 

Day 11: Nodenskjold lake

Today you follow the path that goes alongside the Nordenskjold Lake, the path is undulating and crosses various streams where you may end up doing some hopping from stone to stone! The colours of the water and the landscape today are breath-taking. The last section of the day is gentle uphill towards the Chileno refuge located in a mature lenga forest, a change from some of the more desert like landscape you will have seen today. If the weather is amazing and you have more energy you may want to go up to the base of the Torres late afternoon – depends on how you are feeling – if not – leave until tomorrow as planned.

  • Duration 6 Hs.
  • Distance: 14 Km.
  • Overnight: Chileno Refuge.
 

Day 12: Base of The Torres

The famous trek up to the base of Las Torres for sunrise or a bit later if the weather isn’t perfect. The trek begins in a dense lenga forest and then the last hour is across an old moraine, a bit more challenging but all made worthwhile when you arrive. The granite walls, lagoon and the huge sky above make this place very special. After a good break to enjoy the Torres del Paine and take lots of photos you start the trek back down, past Chileno Refuge and on to Hostería las Torres. From here you catch a bus to Laguna Amarga and then another one back to Puerto Natales where you will deserve a good meal and a good nights rest!

  • Duration 7 Hs.
  • Distance: 22 Km.
  • Overnight: Hotel If Patagonia or similar.
 

Day 13: Bus to El Calafate and Fly Out

Either walk or order a taxi to take you to the bus station. Bus leaves at about 8am (to be confirmed). You arrive into Calafate at about 13/14hs. You can catch a flight any time after 16 Hs. 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 and/or Torres del Paine 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.
  • In Torres del Paine you could opt for some mountain bike fun near Laguna Azul and/or kayak near Serrano Glacier. Please ask.
  • Programme details
  • This includes:
  • Accommodation:
  • 3 nights accommodation in El Calafate in Madre Tierra Boutique Hotel, or similar, includes breakfast.
  • 4 nights accommodation in El Chaltén in Hostería Senderos, or similar, includes breakfast.
  • 2 nights accommodation in Puerto Natales in Hotel If Patagonia, or similar, includes breakfast.
  • 3 nights accommodation in refuges in Torres del Paine Park, includes breakfast & made up bed in dorm.
  • Meals:
  • Breakfast: every day.
  • Box lunch on Days: 3,10,11,12.
  • Evening meals on Days: 9,10,11.
  • Transport:
  • Transport from your hotel in Calafate to Chaltén with a visit to the Petrified Forest en route.
  • Transfer to trailhead for trekking.
  • Transfer to port for Viedma glacier Ice trekking.
  • Public bus Chaltén-Calafate.
  • Public bus Calafate/Puerto Natales/Calafate.
  • Public bus Pto Natales/Torres del Paine National Park/Pto Natales.
  • Catamaran across Pudeto to Paine Grande Refuge.
  • Excursions:
  • Excursion to Perito Moreno glacier.
  • Excursion to Petrified Forest – La Leona.
  • Guided trek to Laguna de los Tres.
  • Ice trekking on Viedma glacier.
  • Others:
  • Guide on Days 2,3,4 & 5.
  • Entrance fee to Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Help/advice from us while you are in Chaltén and Puerto Natales.
  • This doesn't include:
  • Transfers in El Calafate and Pto Natales.
  • Bus from Torres to Laguna Amarga – must be paid in person, locally.
  • Meals not mentioned.
  • Fizzy and alcoholic drinks.
  • Personal equipment (look at the recommended kit list).
  • Porters.
  • Gratuities.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Anything not specified in the programme.
  • Recommended Personal Kit List:
  • Back pack (60 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.
  • Tape/Compeed - something for blisters.
  • Personal hygiene kit.
  • Penknife.
  • Torch.
  • Plastic bags (various sizes).
  • iPod, small book, camera, etc.
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We want to share our passion for Patagonia so we invite you to touch, feel, taste, listen, and see the magic of these natural places.

We never tire of showing the natural beauty that surrounds us

Chorrillo Del Salto. Trekking from El Chaltén. Los Glaciares National Park.

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El Chaltén - Santa Cruz - Patagonia – Argentina
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