PATAGONIA 4 to 13 days, 3 to 12 nights
A new paradise for trekking...
Torres del Paine National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier, El Chaltén trekkings :
-> 3 exceptional places close to each other
-> 5 separate packages to adapt to your wishes, time availability and physical condition
Package A (13 days/12 nights : D1-D13) - TORRES DEL PAINE “O” CIRCUIT (8 days trekking) + PERITO MORENO GLACIER + EL CHALTÉN (2 days trekking)
Package B (10 days/9 nights : D1-D10) - TORRES DEL PAINE “O” CIRCUIT (8 days trekking)
Package C (10 days/9 nights : D4-D13) - TORRES DEL PAINE “W” CIRCUIT (5 days trekking) + PERITO MORENO GLACIER + EL CHALTÉN (2 days trekking)
Package D (7 days/6 nights : D4-D10) - TORRES DEL PAINE “W” CIRCUIT (5 days trekking)
Package E (4 days/3 nights : D10-D13) - PERITO MORENO GLACIER + EL CHALTÉN (2 days trekking)
Forget the stress of everyday life, take a little break to spend a few days in fabulous landscapes !
TORRES DEL PAINE NAT. PARK
<- “O” CIRCUIT (D2-D9,
8 days trekking, ~56hrs, ~120km)
“W” CIRCUIT (D5-D9,
5 days trekking, ~38hrs, ~86km) ->
PERITO MORENO GLACIER
PRIVATE VAN EXCURSION
(D10, 2h50 in transfers, 1h visit and observation from the footbridges)
LOS GLACIARES NAT. PARK - EL CHALTÉN
<- LAGUNA DE LOS TRÉS
(D11, trekking 10hrs, ~20km)
(D12, trekking ~7hrs, ~22km) ->
In Torres del Paine National Park : Comfortable lodges and / or fully equipped campsites, with full board
Outside Torres del Paine National Park : Single or double room suites in medium to high category hotels, with breafkast
History & Culture
Torres del Paine National Park
Ranked among the 10 priority destinations for hikers in the world !
The impressive combination of wild nature and a human aspect tanned by wind, ice and rain makes Chilean Patagonia one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in South America.
In the Magalhães Region, about 110 kilometers north of Puerto Natales is located what is probably the most beautiful Chilean park, the Torres del Paine Paine National Park. Founded as a park in the late 1950s, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978. It covers an area of approximately 242,000 hectares.
The Torres del Paine Paine National Park surrounds a huge mass of mountains that can be informally divided into two parts. To the south, “Los Cuernos” and its incredible ballet of stratified shapes and surfaces. To the northeast, the famous granite “Torres del Paine”, which attracts climbers from all over the world. The entire mountain range was formed over the last ice ages, sculpting a chain of peaks independent of the Andes. In its surroundings are spectacular glaciers, such as Grey, and melting lakes with waters in shades of blue, green and gray. Its milky appearance comes from the voluminous load of minerals that has been pulled from the slopes by the giant tongues of ice for tens of thousands of years. Lakes like Sarmiento, del Toro, Pehoé, Nordenskjold and Gray are often shaken by violent gusts of wind, forming indescribable dances of water. The sound of waterfalls, like Salto Grande, forms a perfect combination with the ubiquitous hum of the air. Intermingling these formations are also valleys, grasslands of low vegetation, full of plants like the valiant ñire, and Andean forests, where flocks of guanacos, woodpeckers, foxes, ñandus, condors, deer and pumas, the hardest to see, stroll. Unfortunately, in 2012, a a fire burned up to 33,000 hectares of the park, including most of the trees. Between Valle del Francés and Lake Pehoe, you can see the spectacle of these bare trees, swept by the winds, as if whitewashed, where the sun comes to give a magical tint to this open-air cemetery.
There are plenty of options to enjoy the Torres del Paine National Park...
With a few hours, you should focus on quick walks to the foot of the granite towers (2:30 to 3:30 on average) or embark on boat excursions on Lake Pehoé and Lake Grey. For those who enjoy trekking, try the “W” Circuit between the Torres valleys (4 to 5 days), or the “O” circuit, which goes around the mountain and reaches about 1350 meters of altitude (7 to 10 days). But, despite its majesty, Torres del Paine is not located at a high altitude, and trekking in there demands more from the legs than the lungs.
The Torres del Paine National Park has 12 equipped camping areas along the W and O circuits (with tents, mattresses and sleeping bags for hire, but also caretakers, collective kitchen, snacks and generally showers), including 6 coupled with lodges offering more comfort (bunk beds with clean sheets in collective rooms, hot showers, restaurant, bar, lunch boxes, tourist information center, ...). The park also has 7 luxury hotels and spas.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Between Torres del Paine Paine National Park and El Chaltén, there is El Calafate, capital of the Argentine province of Santa Cruz, and 1h15 drive away, the majestic Perito Moreno glacier, whose unmissable visit is part of our package.
Surrounded by forests and mountains, the Perito Moreno glacier is located in the Los Glaciares National Park (created in 1937, 724,000 hectares, 356 glaciers).
The Perito Moreno glacier extends from the southern Patagonian ice field, on the border between Argentina and Chile, to the southern arm of Lake Argentino, 5 km wide and 60 m high. The glacier is considered one of the most important freshwater reserves in the world. It has also been called the "8th wonder of the world", due to the exceptional view from its top.
At various points along its length, the glacier dams the waters of Lake Argentino that put pressure on the ice, creating a tunnel with an opening of more than 50 meters, through which the waters of the River Arm end up descending to Lake Argentino. The water pressure causes a collapse at the edge of the glacier, forming an incredible spectacle. This process is repeated over irregular intervals : 1988, 2004, 2006, 2008. Tourists can observe the phenomenon from the walways 200 meters away. It is also possible to walk on the glacier, with appropriate shoes and clothing, and accompanied by specially trained guides.
Historically, in 1879, the British captain of the Chilean Navy, Juan Tomás Rogers, was the first to discover the majestic glacier that he named "Francisco Gormaz" (director of the Hydrographic Institute of the Chilean Navy, sponsor of the discovery expedition). A few years later, Rudolph Hauthal, of the Argentine Boundary Commission, decided to name the glacier "Bismarck" in honor of the Prussian chancellor. The treaty that defines the border between Argentina and Chile (in parallel 52), signed in 1881, determined that the glacier is under Argentine sovereignty. In 1899, Argentinian Lieutenant Iglesias, in charge of studies for the Argentine Hydrographic Institute, named Perito Moreno Glacier in honor of Francisco Moreno, creator of the Argentine Scientific Society and a renowned researcher in the southern region of Argentina.
The capital of trekking in Argentina !
Anchored in the heart of Los Glaciares National Park, this small village for decades was just a destination for hermit farmers and tough mountaineers. For them, the landscapes of Patagonia, with melting lakes with blue and milky waters, combined perfectly with some of the most difficult peaks on the planet. Today, with improved access (main roads, El Calafate airport), El Chaltén has less than 2,000 permanent inhabitants but it has become popular with hikers around the world, as well as less sporty tourists looking for superb natural panoramas.
El Chaltén is entirely dedicated to tourism, and actually full of backpackers and hikers. It offers many accommodation options, ranging from hostels to more sophisticated hotels, and good options for restaurants, pizzerias, bakeries and bars.
El Chaltén has always been famous among climbers, attracted by two spectacular mountain sets, which are permanent challenges for the best climbers on the planet.
The peaks of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre are not even very high, compared to the mountains of the central Andes or the Himalayas, but only the best conquer them, because of the vertical faces covered with ice, inclement wind, unpredictable weather conditions and ice crusts that form and break off with extreme ease.
For those who are not mountain climbing enthusiasts, hiking is also full of surprises. On the way, you may see foxes, wild ducks, and other small mammals (cougars are becoming increasingly rare). Under the guidance of the guide, you can learn a lot about geology and botany, and will provide you with explanations about the formation of glaciers.
In national parks and local private land, there are many hiking options, from short hikes to day trips, depending on your time and physical condition. The most common day trips are Mirador de Los Condores and LasÁguilas (40 minutes), Laguna Capri (2 hours), Piedra del Fraile (2 hours), Laguna Torre (4 hours), Laguna de los Tres (5 hours) .
You can go on a 2-day or longer walking tour with a guide : Paso Huemul-El Chalten (3/4 days) or the Southern Patagonian Ice Field Tour from Viedma Lake (7 or more days).
Some excursions by car or moutain bike are also worthwhile : Viedma lake and glacier (tour with ice trekking option), Lago del Desierto, Petrified Forest La Leona.
The climate of the region, as in all of Patagonia, is somewhat unpredictable, with sometimes sun, heavy rain and snow on the same day. In the summer, from December to March, windless days are rare and there may be sudden changes in weather and temperature, so it is better to take waterproof clothes and sunscreen for your trekking. In October-November and April-May, months with the highest flow of tourists, temperatures are milder. In the winter, from June to September, temperatures can drop to -15 ° during the night and snow accumulation can occur for days.