Trekking Fitzroy and Cerro Torre
El Chalten is a young town founded in 1985 at the foot of the impressive Mount Fitz Roy, as mountain known as "the lord of the region, the most beautiful and impressive mountain of the Patagonian Andes." Located in Argentina´s Los Glaciares National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), is an 11,289-foot granite skyscraper that dominates the horizon from hundreds of miles away. Natives, confusing its perennial cloud-covered apex for a volcano, used to call it El Chalten, literally "the mountain that smokes", the same name given in 1985 to the tiny hamlet of climbers, nature lovers, and national guardsmen.
DAY 01 El Chalten
Arrive, El Calafate, transfer to bus station, bus ticket from El Calafate to El Chalten. Meet at bus station and transfer to the hosteria. Accommodation. Balance of the day at leisure to explore on own and visit Chorillo Malo and appreciate - if lucky- the chucau tapaculo an endemic bird of the area or hike to the Cerro Torre lookout point to get started with the area.
DAY 02 TREK FITZROY
Full day dedicated to hiking one Patagonian classic: Fitz Roy mount and Laguna de los Tres. Fitz Roy Mount. After breakfast we will start a hike north towards Fitz Roy with spectacular views of the massif ahead. Sacred and venerated by local Tehuelche groups and believed to be a volcano, they called it "Chalten" (exhaling fumes mountain). We reach Laguna Capri, where Mt Fitz Roy reflects its image in its crystal clear waters. Stop en route for lunch (box lunch not included) and then resume the hike to Laguna de los Tres, at the base of Mt. Fitz Roy. Glacier de los Tres drains into this beautiful high mountain lake with majestic Mt. Fitz Roy towering above. Enjoy breathtaking views to SE Lake Viedma and the endless Patagonia steppe, matchless Fitz Roy and, if you continue down to the lake to the natural balcony onto Laguna Sucia, the Saint Exupéry and Poincenot spires. Although only 2 ½ km and a 400 m drop, this is a steep upwards trail. (One hour from the Rio blanco base camp)
Slope: 1100 m. Approx. hike: 8 hours
Return to the hotel and accommodation.
DAY 03 CERRO TORRE TREK
Full day dedicated to hiking another Patagonian classic: Cerro Torre reaching their base camp and enjoying the incredible vistas. Cerro Torre. Mt Torre or better known as Cerro Torre, famous for its beauty but also for its difficulty to climb. Countless expeditions attempt every year to reach the summit, but only a few succeed. The trail begins with a gradual climb towards El Mirador (the Torre lookout), 1 h 30 min. A short way down to the Fitz Roy River valley and a long rather flat section will take us to the last glacial moraine surrounding the lake. The trail ends in the coast of Laguna Torre which offers a beautiful view of Mt Torre surrounded by Egger, Standhard, spires and the Adelas range as a backdrop together with the glacier Torre.
Elevation drop: 200 m. Lake height: 650
DAY 04 El Chalten
Morning bus ride back to El Calafate.
FLIGHTS: There are no flights to/ from El Chalten. El Chalten is served by the airport in El Calafate (3 hours drive)
The timetable for the buses from Calafate - Chalten - Calafate is:
Calafate to Chalten: departs 8am; **1pm ; 6pm
Departs from the Calafate bus station.. You have to be at the Chalten Travel Bus Company office at the Calafate bus station 30 minutes before the departing time
Chalten to Calafate: departs 7:30 am; **1pm, 6pm
Departs from terminal, you must be there 30 minutes before the departing time.
** 1:00 p.m. in both directions operate between November and March.
Note: If you are a strong hiker, you might be able to finish in time to take the 6pm bus on day 3 to shorten the package and reduce the price. Or you can do a shorter version of the hike that day.
Extension to Perito Moreno Glacier
DAY 04 El Chalten- El Calafate
Morning bus ride back to El Calafate. Transfer to hotel.
DAY 05 Perito Moreno Glacier
Early morning pick up and transfer to the pier to start full day Perito Moreno Glacier tour in which the road leads to the most famous glacier in South America. Entrance fees are included.
The first views of Moreno glacier are breathtaking vistas down a narrow arm of Lago Argentino with the imposing Andean Mountains as a backdrop. As spectacular as it is, it pales compared to a close approach where the constant sounds of this "living" glacier shake the air. Gigantic blocks of ice, frequently break away and crash into the lake, sending spray hundreds of feet into the air and sound like distant artillery fire. The startling contrast of color, sound, motion and size creates a continuously changing mosaic of indescribable beauty.
We will enjoy spare time at the catwalks to simply enjoy, be mesmerized by the constantly calving of ice of this amazing glacier. Afternoon return to El Calafate.
Day 06 - transfer to airport
breakfast, free day till you are transferred to the airport. Can also add on bus to Puerto Natales for extension to Torres del Paine
Can substitute mini-trekking on the glacier on day 5 for an extra US$190 per person