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Paine and Fitz Roy Patagonia

  • FitzRoy

Background

 "I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." William Shakespeare

Highlights

  • Trek Valle Frances
  • Sail to Grey Glacier
  • EcoCamp Patagonia
  • The Challenging 'W' Trek
  • Views of Los Cuernos
  • Milodon Cave
  • Cycling excursion - New
  • Visit Calafate and Chalten
  • Ice Trek on Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Optional Finish in Punta Arenas
  • Explore Los Glaciares NP
  • Superb Trek to Laguna Los Tres
  • Challenging Hike to Lago Torre
  • Best Views of Mount Fitz Roy

Overview

This amazing 12 day adventure will take to both the Chilean and Argentinean parts of Patagonia. It will give you a comprehensive experience of the tortured landscape with its majestically sculptured mountain peaks and slow moving glaciers.

Our trip will first start in Torres del Paine on the famous W Trek where we will see the Towers of Patagonia as well as sail to Grey Glacier and explore the Milodon Cave. The start and end of the trip will be based at the award winning eco-lodge.

On Day 7 we will transfer into Argentina Patagonia to experience the wonderful Mount Fitz Roy and trek on the resplendent Perito Moreno Glacier. Our expert guide team will inform you of all the wonders of Patagonia so that you return home with a full appreciation of this amazing landscape.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Mon): Travel from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine (L,D)
Day 2 (Tue): Trek Paso Los Cuernos trail (B,LB,D)
Day 3 (Wed): Trek Valle del Frances trail (B,LB,D)
Day 4 (Thur): Trek Pehoe - Grey trail (B,LB,D)
Day 5 (Fri): Trek to the Towers (B,LB,D)
Day 6 (Sat): Eastern Lakes (B,LB,D)
Day 7 (Sun): Leave Torres del Paine arrive in Calafate, transfer to Chalten (B)
Day 8 Full day Trek to Lago Torre (B,LB)
Day 9 Full day Trek to Laguna los Tres (B,LB)
Day 10 Full day trek, back to Calafate*(B,LB)
Day 11 Ice trek on Perito Moreno Glacier (B,LB)
Day 12 Depart from Calafate (B)

Note : B : Breakfast, BL : Boxed Lunch, L : Lunch and D : Dinner

Note : Please bring US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is suggested. 

EXTRA NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION
The Eco Camp in Torres del Paine is an amazing place and many people like to stay on for a few more days after their expedition to soak up the atmosphere and to explore the region further. If you would like to extend your stay please let us know and we can arrange this for you.

Routes

Day 1, Monday, The Patagonian Adventure starts

Torres del Paine NP, Chile

The trip begins with you being picked up from your hotel in Punta Arenas or Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Alternatively you can start your trip in Calafate (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick up & drop off schedule). En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza", where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. 

The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.

 

Day 2, Tuesday, Los Cuernos

Torres del Paine NP, Chile
We start our adventure in the Park with a pleasant walk through the curly Cuernos trail located beside beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this appetizer walk we admire the park’s exquisite flora and fauna, its strong wind and the curious, rapidly-changing weather that’ll accompany us in the upcoming days. As we walk along the trail we enjoy magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif. The trek ends at Refugio Los Cuernos, a small and cozy mountain refuge located by the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. The evening is free for relaxing and enjoying dinner. 

 

Day 3, Wednesday, The Paine Massif’s Heart: Valle Frances

Torres del Paine NP, Chile
After breakfast, we begin a challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep we go depends on our groups’ rhythm - An active walk leads us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif, where there is a truly wonderful view. Then we continue up the trail until reaching the upper section of the valley and admire the valley's entire group of geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). Here we picnic and rest for a while. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well, if the group isn't keen on resting. Then we descend through a rippling terrain of mixed grassland and light forest until reaching Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. We organise our luggage, relax and enjoy a replenishing dinner. 

 

Day 4, Thursday, Glacier Grey

Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Today we hike from Paine Grande Refugio along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern end of glacial Lake Grey. We enjoy a picnic lunch before boarding the boat that sails to the blue face of Glacier Grey. There's lots of time to marvel at this calving glacier during the boat ride across this lake, with its floating pieces of ice. From Lake Grey’s southern end we transfer to EcoCamp. Occasionally the weather may not permit us to sail across the lake, or during Shoulder Season (October and April) the sailing might be cancelled if the required minimum of 10 passengers isn't reached. In this case we will trek up to the sightseeing point offering a spectacular view of the Glacier. Then we'll return on foot to Paine Grande and take a catamaran to Pudeto’s dock, from where we're driven back to Ecocamp. 

 

Day 5, Friday, the big challenge: Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine NP, Chile
Time for a big breakfast and lots of enthusiasm - Our goal today is to complete the most famous trekking trail in Torres del Paine NP! We walk from the camp site towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp. 

 

Day 6, Saturday, Eastern Lakes*

Torres del Paine NP, Chile

Today is a relaxed day after yesterday's challenge. We set off lesuirely after breakfast and drive to Laguna Azul passing by Cañadón Macho, home to a rich fauna including guanacos and ñandúes. We stop en route to enjoy views of the Patagonian steppe and the towers from a different angle. At Laguna Azul we hike to the viewpoint where we have a gorgeous view of both the lagoon and granite towers. After lunch we drive to the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake where the Fauna Trail begins. As we walk northwards along the trail we see fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos, ostrich-like ñandús and maybe the occasional puma print! We pass by Goic lagoon and after an approximate 5 km relaxed walk we reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station where we’re picked up and driven back to Ecocamp to celebrate over our farewell dinner.

*Please note that if there are more than 6 travellers in the group there's an option to split into two groups, with one group (or the whole group if everybody's in the mood!) cycling to Laguna Azul!

 

Day 7, Sunday, Adios Torres del Paine hello Los Glaciares NP, Argentina

We wake up early and start driving to the Cerro Castillo border crossing with Argentina. In Castillo we board a bus to El Calafate, a small town set on the edge of Los Glaciares NP amid dramatic scenery and natural beauty. If there are fellow travellers starting the trip in Calafate we’ll meet them in town. 

In Calafate a local guide meets us and give us a trip briefing while we have lunch and then we have a couple of hours to explore the town. From the bus terminal we embark on an approximate 4 hour bus ride to El Chalten, a tiny outpost beside Los Glaciares National Park at the foot of the impressive Mount Fitz Roy. The drive takes us across isolated dirt roads through the pampas and along the northern end of Viedma lake. Once we’ve checked into our hotel in El Chalten, it’s time to get some rest and prepare for the upcoming days.
 
Overnight Hosteria Senderos 3*, El Chalten
N.B. The following excursions around El Chaltén might vary in order
 
Day 8, Hike to Laguna Torre

Los Glaciares NP, Argentina 
Today we do a full day hike along the Cerro Torre trail to Laguna Torre, a stunning mountain lake with the majestic Mount Torre in the background. We set off after breakfast walking eastwards following the trail through beech forests towards Fitz Roy river. We continue towards Base Camp de Agostini and then do a short hike to Laguna Torre, admiring the western view of Cerro Torre and the Adela range. Icebergs can be seen peacefully floating on Laguna Torre as the wind pushes them towards the coast. We stop at various points to appreciate the magnificent view and enjoy a picnic. Later, we return to Chalten following the same trail. Upon our  return, we are free to enjoy a delicious dinner at one of Chalten’s cozy restaurants before heading back to our hotel from the previous night.
 
Overnight Hosteria Senderos 3*, El Chalten
 
N.B. Alternatively you can choose to trek on Glacier Viedma. Please see the price section for additional costs.
 
Day 9, Laguna Los Tres
 
Los Glaciares NP, Argentina 
Today we trek to Laguna Los Tres, with a great view of Mount Fitz Roy - the landmark of Los Glaciares National Park! We begin our hike by heading towards Laguna Capri, passing its northern corner. Then we follow the Fitz Roy Trail up to Blanco river, passing the mountaineering camp Poicenot. Finally, a short steep trail takes us to Laguna de Los Tres where we witness one of the park’s most marvelous natural scenes - the turquoise-blue of the lagoon framed by Fitz Roy’s spires and glaciers. Here is the perfect time to enjoy our picnic and soak up the scenery while relaxing in such a memorable place. When everyone’s ready we hike back to Laguna Capri and continue along the trail back to tiny Chalten to spend the final night in our hotel here.
 
Overnight Hosteria Senderos 3*, El Chalten
 
Day 10, Trek & El Calafate 
 
Los Glaciares NP, Argentina 
A full day trek along the Pliegue Tumbado trail. After an hour trekking up the hill we’ll reach Mirador de las Carretas with an excellent view of Cerro Torre and the best sights around Mount Fitzroy. After hiking all day and enjoying a packed lunch, we return to Chalten to gather our luggage and begin the journey back to Calafate. We’re dropped off at the terminal to board the 6pm bus, following the same road through the Argentinean pampas. We arrive in El Calafate in time for dinner in town before heading back to Calafate hotel. 
 
Overnight Hostería Sierra Nevada 3*, El Calafate
 
Day 11, Glacier Perito Moreno
 
Calafate, Argentina 
We enjoy an early breakfast and board the minibus heading to Perito Moreno glacier. After a couple of hours we reach Los Glaciares National Park and continue driving to Bajo de las Sombras bay sector where we board the boat that sails approximately twenty minutes on Lago Rico to reach the southern wall of the glacier. On the other side the guide gives us a short talk about the formation of glaciers with other interesting details about local geology. From this point we do a short walk to the edge of the glacier where we’re given the crampons to be fitted to our shoes. Now we start the ice trekking adventure! As we walk ahead we have spectacular views of the glacier and its surroundings. Our trek finishes at a little ice bar serving whisky on freshly chopped millenary ice from the glacier.
 
After having lunch, we continue to the footbridges with multiple viewpoints of the glacier’s incredible north side with its mighty cracking walls. Here we’re free to enjoy the surroundings at our leisure. After the thrilling encounter with the glacier, we drive back to Calafate for the final night in our hotel here.
 
Overnight Hostería Sierra Nevada 3*, El Calafate
 
N.B. Due to operational insurance issues, the age limit for doing the ice trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier is 65 years old. If a passenger exceeds this age then an alternative excursion to the Glacier will be arranged.
 
Day 12, Adios
 
Calafate, Argentina 
Today marks the end of our memorable trip... Adios Patagonia, hopefully we’ll meet again! After having breakfast, a transfer will take us to the airport and we’re free to continue traveling on our own.

Inclusions

Chile

  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary
  • 2 nights in Refugios
  • 4 nights at EcoCamp Patagonia (Standard Domes Upgrades Available to Suite or Superior rooms)
  • Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park
  • One expert English speaking trekking guide
  • The porter service for this trip (see note in Pre Departure Information)

Argentina

  • Visit Calafate and Chalten
  • Ice Trek on Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Optional Finish in Punta Arenas
  • Explore Los Glaciares NP
  • Superb Trek to Laguna Los Tres
  • Challenging Hike to Lago Torre
  • Best Views of Mount Fitz Roy

Exclusions

  • Flight tickets (Santiago to Punta Arenas return approx AUD$500 approx)
  • Insurance (this is mandatory and can be purchased from us).
  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff.
  • Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp.
  • Items of personal nature

Maps

Extensions

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