Our Patagonia Discovery Trek will take you to the wilderness of Chile and Argentina, home to world-famous national parks, pale blue glacial lakes, curious wildlife and mesmerising glaciers. In small groups of 4 to 14 travellers, and accompanied by our naturalist and expert guide, you will experience the best of Patagonia: eagles and condors will put on a show gliding above soaring ice-tipped peaks, native orchids and songbirds will complement your walks through pristine beech forests, you will get up-close with iceberg-calving glaciers and peaceful grazing guanacos will welcome you as you walk through the pampas. Welcome to Patagonia!
LEVEL 2 – Moderate Hiking Style
Some difficult terrain. Multiple consecutive +5 hour hiking days. May be impacted by high altitude. Good fitness, health and hiking experience necessary.
- See Puerto Natales & the Balmaceda Glacier
- Zodiac cruise along Chile’s Serrano River
- Beech forests, native orchids & glacial lakes
- Day treks through Chile’s Torres del Paine
- Condors, eagles and guanacos
- Trek to ice-tipped Cerro Torre & Fitz Roy
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.
Day 1 Arrive El Calafate
On arrival into El Calafate, please make your own way to the group hotel (details will be provided in your final documents). This township, founded in 1927, is best known as the ‘national capital of the glaciers’ and is the gateway to the Patagonian Los Glaciares National Park including the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore the town or walk down to Lake Argentino to watch the waterbirds. You will have a briefing in the afternoon to meet your guide and learn about your upcoming adventure, before having the first dinner with your group.
Overnight El Calafate. (D)
Suggestions of activities in El Calafate:
Reserva Natural Laguna Nimes: ideal for spending a morning or an afternoon bird watching, just a 10 minute walk from downtown. www.lagunanimez.com
Glaciarium: Amazing and extremely interested Museum of Ice. Very close from town with free transfer. http://glaciarium.com/en
Day 2 Visit Perito Moreno Glacier And Drive To El Chaltén
This morning we depart very early to the breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier to watch and listen to the frequent ice calving. Later, we drive across the arid Estepa Patagónica to El Chaltén (approx 4 hours).
The village of El Chaltén is in the north of Los Glaciares National Park and it’s from here that we make our day trips. We enjoy dinner together this evening.
Overnight El Chaltén. (B,D)
Days 3-4 Day Walks To View Fitz Roy And Cerro Torre
Over the next two days we enjoy day walks to the base camp of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Mount Fitz Roy is found at the northern end of the park and is part of a range of bizarre peaks including the needle like rock pinnacle of Cerro Torre. For a climber it looks to be one of the most unclimbed peaks in the world – in fact it was only scaled for the first time in 1974. To the south runs a great chain of massive glaciers that basically follows the line of the Chile/Argentina border.
The dramatic rock spires beckon and our days here will be a highlight of the trip. The beautiful valleys hold crystal clear streams and are home to a multitude of bird life. During the short summer the beech trees and the flowers bloom profusely and we are here at the best time to enjoy it.
Overnight El Chaltén. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Drive Across The Pampas To Puerto Natales
Today, we leave El Chaltén and Argentina as we cross the border into Chile, driving across the pampas to Puerto Natales. Set on the shores of Seno Última Esperanza, this city is the gateway to the famous Torres del Paine National Park. The afternoon is at leisure and this evening you may like to sample King Crab in one of the seafood restaurants.
Overnight Puerto Natales. (B)
Day 6 To Torres Del Paine By Boat On Serrano River, Via Balmaceda Glacier
This morning we leave Puerto Natales and journey towards Torres del Paine National Park and its fabulous scenery. We board a boat and travel down the fjord, pausing at the Balmaceda Glacier enroute. We then change onto Zodiacs and continue along the Serrano River before reaching Torres del Paine.
Overnight in Torres del Paine. (B,L,D)
Days 7-8 In Torres Del Paine, Day Walks
Over the next few days we plan to view the highlights of the park on foot. The first day we explore the park on a bus to reach the most remote areas, with stops for short treks. On the second day we will do a long and amazing trek to reach the base of Las Torres peaks.
The next two nights are spent in Torres del Paine. (B,L,D)
NOTE: The trekking level will depend on the group’s level of fitness, bearing in mind that many of the highlights of these parks require a 7-8 hour walk (round trip). There are other walks we can choose which are easier and provide excellent views of the parks, however as with any trek, the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the day. The whole experience of trekking in Patagonia will spoil you!
Day 9 Drive To Punta Arenas
We drive for approximately 3-4 hours across the steppes following the face of the Andes. The scenery is breathtaking, with great rolling hills dotted with stunted beech trees. We plan to arrive in Punta Arenas in the late afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure, with time for last minute shopping or indulging the ‘dulce de leche’ a dessert you will by now be familiar with!
Overnight in Punta Arenas. (B,D)
Day 10 Punta Arenas
Today your trek will end in Punta Arenas, where you can continue your adventure at your own arrangement. (B)
- 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 8 dinners
- Standard to Superior hotel and lodge accommodation throughout
- Private transport
- All guide fees and National Park entrance costs
- English-speaking local guides
- Trip accompanied by Aurora Expeditions trek leader
- International or domestic flights,unless specified
- Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Passport, visa, reciprocity fees and vaccination charges
- Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
- Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
- Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
- Optional activity surcharges
- All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges.
Who's on this trek?
Leila Melina Soto
Leila was born in Argentina, where she spent half of her life. The other half, she’s spent living in Spain, France, China and England. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting, she travelled to Patagonia and fell in love with the forests, glaciers and mountains. Since 2010, she has lived in El Chalten and has worked as Tour Leader in Los Glaciares National Park and Torres del Paine National Park.
In 2017, she became a Mountain Leader and obtained the certification of the Union of International Mountain Leader Associations. She became an official trekking guide of Los Glaciares National Park as well as Wilderness First Responder.
She loves wildlife and enjoys spending time birdwatching and taking pictures of the amazing landscapes you will share with her.
Her passion for glaciers led her to Iceland, where she has worked as a trekking guide since 2017. Nowadays she spends her time between that beautiful island and Patagonia, always enjoying leading groups through breathtaking landscapes and sharing her passion for nature.
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