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Paine & Fitz Roy Trek


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Experience the best of Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks on foot


Arrive Calafate

Please make your own way to the group hotel in Calafate. A pre-trip briefing will be given around 6pm in your hotel, please ensure you are in the hotel lobby at this time.Overnight Hotel Lar Aike or similar.

Perito Moreno Glacier and drive to El Chalten

Today is a full day tour to Perito Moreno glacier which is on a shared service basis with other travellers. This impressive glacier advances across Lago Argentino. We depart Calafate by bus and drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier Area.Here you have the option to do the Glacier Mini-Trekking (additional cost, must be booked in advance) or alternatively a boat ride on the lake in front of the glacier (additional cost, must be booked in advance).If you decided for the Glacier Mini-Trekking you will take a 20 minute boat ride across the lake before disembarking and hiking through a beautiful forest to the side of the glacier. Here you will be given a short lecture about the geography and how to walk in crampons. You spend approximately 1-3 hours walking through crevasses and exploring the peculiar ice landscape, before returning to the lake front via the forest, catching glimpses of the bright blue glacier through the trees. You then have the opportunity to take a look at the glacier from the viewing platforms. The ice trekking option on the Perito Moreno Glacier is unfortunately only available for people between 10 and 65 years of age without any type of special pre-existing medical condition (further information upon request). This is due to the insurance stipulations of the local authorities which are unfortunately non-negotiable and personal travel insurance will not suffice. For those over 65 (and those who would prefer not to participate in the Glacier Trek) we have great alternatives which provide the opportunity to see the south wall of the glacier. On arrival at Perito Moreno Glacier, you can embark on a boat trip in the Bajo de las Sombras Bay and journey towards the glacier wall (additional cost, must be booked in advance). A distance of around 300 m will be kept from its face, the perfect position to view the glacier and if luck is with us, witness the ice calving off. Following this, another area close to the glacier will be visited where we can enjoy a walk through the forest and view the ice from different angles. The rest of the group will rejoin us and everyone in the group can enjoy walking along the boardwalks and marvel at the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier from different viewing platforms. In the late afternoon we will have a private transfer to El Chalten (2.5-3 hours). Please remember to visit the supermarket in El Calafate the night before for lunch provisions. Alternatively there are a few snack kiosks and a restaurant at Perito Moreno.Overnight Hosteria Senderos or similar.Please Note: the ice trekking option on the Perito Moreno Glacier is only available for travellers between 10 and 65 years of age without any type of special pre-existing medical condition (eg cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, pregnancy, etc). Our team in Argentina has the right to exclude you from the ice trekking if not all necessary criteria for participation are met.

Los Glaciares National Park

We will make our base in El Chalten, a village in the heart of Los Glaciares National Park and one of the last tracts of wilderness in Argentina. The beautiful village has spectacular views of the granite peaks of Fitz Roy looming above our lodge.For three days we journey into the park on impressive day hikes in the company of an experienced hiking guide. The options available to us include a trip to Laguna Torre and the base of Cerro Torre or Laguna de los Tres and Fitzroy Base Camp. The valleys and mountains are all very individual in their beauty and we aim to contrast these views during our visit as well as appreciating the birdlife and flora. Each day walk varies in length, however you should be prepared to walk for 6-8 hours per day, and more if the group decides to hike to Laguna de los Tres. Los Glaciares was declared a UNESCO World Heritage area in 1982 and after trekking in the area you will find it easy to see why.Overnight Hosteria Senderos or similar.

Los Glaciares National Park and drive to El Calafate

Today we spend a last day in Los Glaciares National Park and have enough time for another full day hike. Dependent on the weather we may trek to Pliegue Tumbado, lying 1500 meters above sea level. From here we can admire the valley of the Rio Tunel, surrounded by beautiful mountains of snow-capped peaks and lush slopes. Directly across is Mount Huemul and at the bottom of the valley you can see Toro Lake and Tunnel Glacier. After returning back to El Chalten, a private transfer will take us to El Calafate where we arrive around 8pm.Overnight Hotel Lar Aike or similar.

Drive to Puerto Natales

We start early today and drive across the vast Argentine steppes to the Chilean Patagonia. The journey today is on a comfortable public bus. Our stop tonight is at the beautiful fishing village of Puerto Natales situated on the Ultima Esperanza Fiord. Tonight we have to re-pack for our W-Trek and excursion into Torres del Paine National Park the next day. Your guide will provide more information about this on arrival in Puerto Natales.Overnight Hotel Vendaval or similar.

Boat to Torres del Paine National Park

A spectacular day cruising towards Torres del Paine NP, we enjoy impressive glaciers tumbling down from the mountains and beautiful panoramic views. Many past travellers rate this as one of the best days on this trip. From Puerto Natales we join our boat trip to the massive Balmaceda Glacier which calves into the Ultima Esperanza Fjord. After lunch in a beautiful location on the fjord, we continue onto the National Park by Zodiac, and hope to observe herds of guanaco and rhea as we approach the towering peaks. The Towers of Paine are right before us, as we enter the National Park. This boat trip certainly is the best and most interesting way to arrive into Paine. Our day ends with a short drive to a catamaran across Lake Pehoe to our refugio. There are superb views of the Paine Massif from the Paine Grande Refugio. Overnight refugio or camping.

Hike to Mirador Grey

Today we commence the first leg of the famous “W” hike in Paine. Out trail offers stunning views of Lago Grey, the Towers of Paine and the Grey Glacier. It is immediately clear the scale of the ice and rock in this dramatic landscape. Towering above us the Cuernos del Paine, or “Horns” of Paine and Paine Grande, the highest peak in the massif. This morning is a 3-4 hour hike to view the awesome Grey Glacier and the Continental Icecap beyond. We return on the same trail to Refugio Paine Grande, past mountain lakes edged with wildflowers and stunning views down to the larger lakes below. As a day hike it is possible to walk as far as you wish and turn around, although the trail today has fairly gentle undulations with few steep sections. Walk approx 6-8 hours. Overnight refugio or camping.

Hike to Refugio Los Cuernos & The French Valley

The hike can be relatively easy or more difficult depending on group preference. The easy option is to walk the direct route to Refugio Los Cuernos which will take 4-5 hours. However we recommend taking a detour up French Valley on day 11 depending upon local weather conditions, to experience fantastic views of glaciers, waterfalls and be surrounded by the granite peaks of Paine. The valley is exciting because you hear the thundering of the river, and the creaks and groans of the French Glacier. The views down to the lakes and forests below are also outstanding. This side trip can be 4-5 hours which means this day could be around 9-10 hours in total. On the second day one we can ascend 700 m into the Bader Valley, another “hanging” U shaped valley with yet more superb close up views of the towers from an unusual perspective. The distance is short and the round trip would take no more than 6 hours. Most of the hike is steep and follows an ill defined trail to a deep drop. We rarely see many people on this hike, since it is not an obvious trail and very few people do it. Today we thankful to our experienced and knowledgeable guides who can guide us off the beaten track and show us these highlights. Nevertheless, the wind can be so strong that quite often we can not cross the gate of the valley, and sometimes the park authorities close the trail. Our Refugio Los Cuernos is set above the lake and has great views of the Paine Massif. We spend 2 nights at Refugio Los Cuernos/camp close by and these 2 days are slightly flexible allowing the group to walk into the French Valley or Bader Valley on the first or second day.Overnight refugio or camping.

Hike to Chileno Refugio

Our hike today will take 5-6 hours and follows the scenic Lake Nordenskjöld. We trek through awe-inspiring scenery today passing by emerald glaciated lakes with the Torres del Paine Massif in the background. A steep ascent takes us to the riverside Refugio for the night. Overnight refugio or camping.

Day walk to Towers of Paine

Early this morning we ascend the Rio Ascensio to the base of the towers of Paine to hopefully glimpse the towers as the sun hits them, changing them from grey to a vivid red. This will be a 3 hour return trek with some steep sections. We return to the refugio for breakfast and continue down to Refugio las Torres, effectively completing the “W” trek. Overnight refugio or camping.

Drive to Calafate

This morning we drive back to El Calafate. The drive will take around 5 hours and we should arrive in El Calafate by 2pm (bus station). Please do not plan to depart El Calafate before 4.30 pm. If you require a transfer to the airport from El Calafate or a private transfer to your hotel in El Calafate, please let us know and we can organise this (additional cost).

Additional Information

The Patagonian Andes form a wonderland of glacial lakes, towering granite peaks, impressive glaciers, secluded lakes, beech forests and rolling grasslands. Patagonia is a spectacular region ideally suited to the walker who does not want to commit to a strenuous trek. On our day walks in Los Glaciares National Park we stay in comfortable lodges and trek to the base of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, the granite peaks that have inspired mountaineers and trekkers throughout the world. We transfer to Puerto Natales for a taste of Chile before cruising up the stunning fjords to the impressive Balmaceda Glacier. We continue with a series of fast Zodiacs and a catamaran through pristine waterways to our lodge in Torres del Paine National Park. Viewing the beautiful and awe inspiring scenery from the riverways is an unforgettable highlight of this trip. By contrast our fully supported classic 'W' trek leads into the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park. From our comfortable mountain refugios we trek beneath a panorama of impressive granite peaks rising above the tumbling glaciers and deep blue lakes and undertake exhilarating walks to clamber across the glacial moraine to the base of the peaks. Crossing the button grass we may also appreciate the guanacos and other wildlife, while we hope to spot a mighty condor soaring overhead.

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13 Days



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