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Adventures / Wild Hikes

Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno Express

Hike across a UNESCO protected landscape of creaking glaciers and high peaks, reaching a summit few others do for out of this world views.

I'M UP FOR
Wild Hikes
DURATION
4 Nights
DIFFICULTY
Challenging
COMFORT
Basic
LOCATION
Chile, Patagonia
SEASON
November—April
NEAREST AIRPORT

Travel to the small hiking town of El Chaltén, far from civilisation and surrounded by towering, snow-covered mountains. Trek past glaciers and iceberg-filled lagoons, spot local wildlife and summit Cerro Madsen (1806m) for an aerial view of this amazing landscape. Set up camp beneath Mount Fitz Roy itself and contemplate the meaning of life while you gaze at its sheer walls catching the last of the sun’s rays. Finish off the adventure with a visit to the must-see Perito Moreno glacier. Want more? Combine this with our Untouched Torres Del Paine trip for the ultimate trekking fortnight.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • Two days trekking
  • One night camping in the National Park
  • Two nights in hotels in El Chaltén
  • One night in a hotel in El Calafate
  • Certified, English speaking local guide
  • Camping equipment
  • 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner (on camping night).
  • Private visit to Perito Moreno glacier
  • Comfortable public buses to/from El Calafate

Perfect for

This is the perfect trip for adventurous travellers who want to push a bit further and higher than most people do. Reasonable fitness and a bit of previous hiking experience will serve you well.

Need To Know

While out camping we use top quality produce that has been recommended by a nutritionist to ensure your calorie intake is sufficient to sustain you for the day’s hiking. In El Chalten and El Calafate there are several local restaurants and bars that serve hearty Argentinean and international food.

The trip runs from October to April - Patagonian summer. The weather can be unpredictable so you should be prepared for all eventualities with plenty of layers. When the sun is out it can be warm - up to 20°C - although the wind coming off the mountains and glaciers is cold and the temperature at night drops at around 5°C. Rain is possible, and even snow on high ground.

You should have a good level of fitness and some previous hiking experience for this trip. You’ll be hiking up to 20km a day and carrying a backpack weighing 6-8kg. There are some steep climbs, although you’ll have plenty of breaks to rest and recharge.

While camping, tents, sleeping bags and rolls mats are provided. Please see the kit list for what to pack. There is no running water at the campsite, but big bottles with drinkable water to refill.

The following are not included in the trip price:
- Flights
- Dinners in El Chalten and El Calafate
- Travel Insurance
- Tips for your guides (optional)
- Personal hiking equipment

This trip will run with a minimum of 2 people, and a maximum of 12. The guest to guide ratio will be maximum 6:1. Please note, if there are not 2 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Your host recommends to pack:

  • Backpack (30 litres)
  • Warm hat
  • Cap/sun hat
  • Buff/scarf (something to keep your neck warm)
  • Short and long sleeved t-shirts
  • Thermal layers - top and bottom
  • Fleece
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Trekking trousers
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Warm gloves
  • 2 pairs of trekking socks
  • Comfortable, waterproof trekking boots
  • Trekking poles (optional - or hire locally)
  • Sunglasses with UV filter
  • Sunscreen (SPF 40) and lip balm (it’s dry in Patagonia)
  • Water bottle - 1 litre
  • Tape/Compeed - something for blisters
  • Personal hygiene kit
  • Personal basic first aid kit
  • Penknife
  • Head torch (plus extra batteries)
  • Toilet paper

Unfortunately this trip is only suitable for adults age 18 and over.

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Location

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Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering 2,806 square miles, making it the largest national park in Argentina. Home to 47 glaciers, as well as Magellenic woodpeckers and the nearly extinct Huemel deer, 30% of the park is covered in ice, with the rest comprised of mountain lakes and lagoons, glacial moraine and snow covered peaks including the towering 3,405 metre summit of Mount Fitz Roy. The town of El Chaltén is home to around 350 year-round residents and has been named Argentina’s capital of trekking.

Start point

El Chalten, 19.00.

Check in to your accommodation any time, then meet the rest of the group and guide at the host’s local office in central El Chaltén at 19:00 on day one for a pre-trip briefing. The bus from El Calafate (airport or town centre) to El Chalten is included in the price and will be pre-booked for you according to your travel plans. Your local host will confirm all the details with you after booking.

Finish point

El Calafate, after breakfast.

You’ll be dropped at your hotel in El Calafate after visiting Perito Moreno glacier. Breakfast is included the following morning, and check out when you like. Where will you head next? You host can help you arrange your onward travel if required.

What to Expect

Day 1: Travel to El Chaltén

From the town of El Calafate on the edge of the Patagonian ice field, jump on the bus (pre-arranged for you from either the airport, or town centre) and drive for around three hours to El Chaltén, getting your first glimpse of the Fitz Roy massif as you cross the altiplano.

Check into your hotel and then meet your guide and fellow hikers in central El Chaltén, before relaxing over a hot meal in one of the town’s cosy restaurants.

Day 2: Trek Laguna de los Tres and Ascend Cerro Madsen

From the trailhead at El Pilar, set off on foot along a gently ascending path through the forest, to the Piedras Blancas Glacier viewpoint.

After a break to recharge and take in the views of the hanging glacier, tackle the most challenging section of today’s trek - one hour of steep uphill hiking through a landscape of snow-capped mountains.

Catch your breath at the top and then eat lunch alongside panoramic views of Mount Fitz Roy, before crossing the glacial moraine to begin your ascent of Cerro Madsen.

Hike and scramble across rocky outcrops as you climb towards the summit, then look down upon Laguna de Los Tres and the altiplano in the distance.

Once you’ve had your fill, descend to Capri Lagoon and see Mount Fitz Roy reflected in its still, clear waters, then continue on to Poincenot campground, your home for the night, where you’ll set up your tent at the edge of the forest and enjoy a hot dinner cooked over an open fire with views of Mount Fitz Roy.

Total distance hiked: 24km / 12 hours / 1200 metre ascent

Please note, depending on the weather, the guide may decide to switch the ascent of Madsen to day 3.

Day 3: Trek to Laguna Torre

Rise with the sun to watch the morning rays hit Fitz Roy turning its steep rocky slopes into dozens of shades of orange and red.

After breakfast, hike past the Madre and Hija lagoons and then drop down into Torre valley, famous among geologists for its perfect shape carved by glaciers scouring the landscape thousands of years ago.

Follow the valley to the glacial lake of Laguna Torre, keeping an eye out for small icebergs floating across the surface and enjoy the views of Mount Torre – one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb.

Take lunch at the lagoon and then visit D’Agostini camp where some of the world’s most famous climbers have spent a night or two, before following the Fitz Roy river back to El Chaltén to say goodbye to your guide and enjoy a meal with your fellow hikers.

Total distance hiked: 20km / 7-8 hours / 250 metre ascent

Day 4: Head to Perito Moreno glacier

After breakfast, jump on the comfortable public bus back to El Calafate, where your new guide for the day will be waiting with a private mini-van to take you to explore Perito Moreno glacier.

The beautiful 80km drive along the shores of Lago Argentino is worth a photo stop or two. Your guide will tell us a bit about the history of the region, its life and customs, the National Parks and the glaciers. Once we get to the glacier, we’ll have 3 or 4 hours to explore the series of walkways, allowing you to get up close and see the glacier from all sorts of different angles, and possibly a spectacular ice fall or two.

Back in El Calafate at the end of the day you’ll be dropped at your hotel. Explore the town in your own time, and perhaps head out for a final dinner with your fellow adventurers.

Day 5: Say goodbye

Check out after breakfast, say your goodbyes and head off to your next adventure. Are you carrying on to Puerto Natales to trek Torres Del Paine, going south to Ushuaia, or perhaps going to the airport to fly back to Buenos Aires? Your local host can help arrange your onward travel if needed.

A note on our travel style

On this trip, we’ve chosen to move around on public buses to/from Chalten and Calafate. They are direct, comfortable and run regularly, allowing you to keep costs down and the spirit of independence up.

Accommodation

You’ll spend two nights in a simple local guesthouse in El Chaltén that’s well located to explore the small town, with clean, comfortable, en-suite rooms. While trekking you’ll spend one night at the Poincenot camp ground located on the wooded edge of a valley with epic views of the Fitz Roy massif. The campsite is basic, with no shower facilities or electricity. All camping and cooking equipment will be provided by your hosts. On the last night in El Calafate you’ll be in another welcoming 2 star guesthouse with en-suite rooms.

Prices are based on sharing twin rooms with someone of the same sex (or a double if you’re travelling as a couple). Private sole occupancy rooms are available as an extra - ask when you’re booking.

Dates & Prices

Prices include

Accommodation · Equipment · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

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