A 3 day Argentina trekking holiday in Patagonia. Trek El Chalten highlights to the classic viewpoints inc Laguna de Los Tres, Cerro Fitz Roy and Reserva Los Huemules
This 3 day Argentina trekking holiday in Patagonia takes in the two classic viewpoints of the El Chaltén region as well as the less-frequently visited Reserva Los Huemules.
Combine Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Torre with an ascent of the remote Loma del Diablo and enjoy a night of camping in the native Lenga forests and one night indulging in the luxury of the Eco Camp.
Trek El Chalten highlights and attractions:
-Visit the Loma del Diablo in the Reserva Los Huemules to explore less-well-known parts of the El Chaltén area
-Enjoy a night of luxury camping in the wooden domes (complete with private bathroom) of the Eco Camp
-Climb to the Laguna de Los Tres for an incomparable view of Cerro Fitz Roy and Laguna Sucia (Dirty Lake)
-Camp in a typical Patagonian Lenga forest near Laguna de los Tres and enjoy an unforgettable sunset across the Fitz Roy mountain chain
Trek El Chalten: Itinerary
Day 1 of Argentina trekking holiday in Patagonia: Reserva Los Huemules - Loma del Diablo
We leave El Chaltén by car and travel 20km along the scenic Río de las Vueltas to the starting point of our trek - a village in the Los Huemules nature reserve. After we register our hike at the Visitor’s Centre, we will start our climb towards the Loma del Diablo (1790m).
Depending on the weather and the physical condition of the group, we may ascend through the full 1200m of altitude to reach the summit, or we may opt to climb only to the beautiful viewpoint located just above the tree-line at 1050m.
At first, the trail climbs through a forest of Lenga and Ñire and offers glimpses of the different glaciers and peaks in the area. Once we pass 850m, the terrain becomes quite steep and the vegetation reduces in height, revealing mountains in every direction.
If you would like to explore the reserve but would prefer a less strenuous hike, we will instead take the route to the Lagunas Azul and Verde (Blue and Green lakes) which connect via a valley to Laguna Diablo. In this way, we can avoid the steep ascent. This is also the route that we will take if the weather is particularly bad and ascending to the viewpoint and peak is too dangerous.
After our hike, we will spend the night at an Eco Camp - relaxing in cabins with private bathrooms, and enjoying a hot tub on the shores of the Río de las Vueltas.
Distance: 16km +500/-500m (to the viewpoint)
Duration: 7/8 hours
Level of physical exertion: moderate
Included: Night in a cabin with private bathroom and all meals (Box Lunch, Dinner) included
Day 2 of Trek El Chalten: Laguna de Los Tres - Fitz Roy
Today begins with a short transfer to the start of the trail into the National Park at Hostería El Pilar. From there, we hike along a beautiful trail through the lenga forest, following the Río Blanco (White River) towards the Poincenot campsite.
Along the way, we will stop to learn a little about the flora and fauna that is characteristic of the Patagonian Andean forest and also visit the beautiful Piedras Blancas (White Rocks) viewpoint. Here we will see the Piedras Blancas glacier and its associated glacial features, including the erratic boulders and lateral moraines left behind as the glacier retreated over the last few decades.
We will have many different views of the Fitz Roy mountain chain as we make our way towards our objective for the day - the magnificent Laguna de Los Tres. This unforgettable location has the best view of Cerro Fitz Roy - and one of the most impressive vistas in all of Patagonia. We will have plenty of time to take in this unforgettable view before descending to the Poincenot campsite for snacks and drinks in advance of our dinner.
Distance: 11km +650/-400m
Duration: 6 /7 hours
Level of physical exertion: easy
Included: 1 night of organized camping at Poincenot campground with breakfast, a boxed lunch and dinner provided
Day 3 of Argentina trekking holiday in Patagonia: Laguna Torre - Cerro Torre - El Chaltén
From our forest campsite, we will enjoy the first light of day breaking over the incredible Ritz Roy mountain range.
After breakfast, we leave Cerro Fitz Roy behind us and head off towards a lovely valley with rolling hills and the Lagunas Madre e Hija (Mother and Daughter lagoons). We will have plenty of time to stop and take photos and, if we are very lucky, we may even spot the small group of Cauquenes that is sometimes found in the area. The trail leads us through forests of Lenga and Ñires and across a large moraine before arriving at our destination - Laguna Torre (Tower Lake).
Here, we will stop and have lunch while taking in the spectacular views of the Torres mountain chain and Glacier Grande (Big Glacier). If the weather conditions allow, we will then hike towards the viewpoint Maestri for the closest view of Glacier Grande. This viewpoint is named after the controversial Italian climber, Cesare Maestri, who designed his strategies for climbing one of the most difficult mountains in the world from this location.
Once we are ready, we will leave the lake and mountain and follow the trail through the Cerro Torre valley back to El Chaltén.
Distance: 17km -400m
Duration: 7/8 hours
Level of physical exertion: easy
Included: Breakfast and boxed lunch provided