Itinerary: El Chalten - El Calafate - Torres del Paine - Punta Arenas - Estancia Cabo San Pablo - Ushuaia
Duration: 09 nights / 10 days
Season: October – April
Total km: 1660 km. (390 km. gravel road, 1270 km. paved road)
Buenos Aires – El Calafate: air flight
Day 1: El Calafate – El Chalten
Pick up vehicle at El Calafate Airport.
Drive north along Route 40 and turn towards the West to reach El Chalten, a small windswept town at the foot of the impressive Mount Fitz Roy. (3405m). El Chalten is regarded to be the youngest village in the country, founded in 1985 to develop this remote corner of Argentina. Originally it was only visited by climbers and mountaineers from all over the world. From the road you will observe Lake Argentino, Rio La Leona, Viedma Lake and finally Rio de las Vueltas. Lodging in Hosteria. Distance: 200 km. (paved road)
Day 2: El Chalten
Trekking to one of the circuits to the Fitz Roy or Cerro Torre area.
There are easy, moderate and difficult trekks ranging from one to eight hours. All of them have great views of these famous mountains.
For example a full day hike to Fitz Roy base camp (Poincenot and Rio Blanco) to enjoy impressive views of Mt. Fitz Roy, sacred and venerated by local tehuelche groups and believed to be a volcano, they called it “Chalten” (fumes exhaling mountain).
It is possible to climb up to Laguna de los Tres, a hike of incredible beauty and slightly demanding but which will reward you with magnificent views.
Three glaciers drain into this greenish lagoon with majestic Mt. Fitz Roy towering above. Views to SE Lake Viedma and the endless Patagonia steppe.
-Navigate the Viedma Lake and get to the glacier of the same name.
- Lago del Desierto and enjoy a beautiful road under a huge Nothofagus forest winding along the Las Vueltas River.
Day 3: El Chalten – El Calafate
Driving back to El Calafate along the Patagonian steppe, from the road you will observe the great Viedma Lake and its Glacier coming comes from the continental snow fields.
We suggest stopping at La Leona`s Bar, a typical gaucho bar, where all travellers have to stop in order to cross La Leona river.
El Calafate is a charming small village with good facilities and the gateway to the magnificent PERITO MORENO GLACIER and LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK. Located in the Southwestern area of Santa Cruz Province (streching over 240000 acres, this park was created in 1937). Due to its spectacular beauty, its glaciological and morphological interest, its flora and its fauna, the UNESCO declared it a “World Heritage Site” in 1981. Distance: 220 km (paved road)
Day 4: El Calafate - Glaciar Perito Moreno
In the afternoon, visit to Perito Moreno Glacier and National Park. Perito Moreno Glacier, an important river of ice, 3 km. wide by 50 m high. It is the only glacier in the world which is permanently advancing and shedding big pieces of ice.
Optional: one hour Safari on board a catamaran at Argentino Lake. Or 2 hours minitrekking with grampons on the glacier.
Distance: 160 km. (paved road)
Day 5: El Calafate – Torres del Paine
Drive crossing the border towards Chile at Paso Cerro Castillo – Cancha Carrera up to the Torres del Payne National Park. The Paine massif is one of the most impressive mountain in the wild region of the Patagonian Andes, breathtaking rock spires, tumbling glaciers, milky green lakes, beech forest and windswept grasslands, which supports an amazing variety of geese, ducks and black necked swans, guanacos, foxes and nandú. Lodging at Hosteria Las Torres.
Distance: 260 km. (150 km. paved road, 110 km. gravel road)
Day 6: Torres del Paine
Full day in the park, visiting Nordenskjöld Lake, Pehoe Waterfall and lake, and then on to Grey lake, with unforgettable views of the Paine Horns (Cuernos del Paine) and the Paine Massif. Optional: three hours boat trip to the walls of Grey Glacier or trekking to Refugio Chileno located close to Las Torres. Lodge at Hosteria Las Torres. Lodge at Hosteria Las Torres.
Day 7: Torres del Paine – Punta Arenas
Drive towards the south, to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas, visit to the penguin colony of Seno Otway.
Founded in 1840, Punta Arenas, in the Chilean Patagonia, is the capital of the Magellan Region. It is located in the Brunswick Peninsula on the shores of Magellan Strait.
It is interesting to visit Bulnes Fort where the first Spaniards stayed along the Strait. And the so-called Del Hambre Port is located on the banks of Buena Bay coastline, where captain Sarmiento de Gamboa founded the city of Rey Don Felipe in March 1584.
Years later, the English corsair Thomas Cavendish, found the remains of the former colony and re-named it "Del Hambre Port" (Famine Port). Lodging at Hotel Finis Terra.
Distance: 360 km (247 km paved road, 113 km gravel road)
Day 8: Punta Arenas – Estancia Viamonte (Tierra del Fuego Island)
On board a ferry, crossing the Strait of Magellan from Punta Arenas to Porvenir, after the international border of San Sebastian drive to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. The region of Tierra del Fuego is mainly steppe, but in the neighborhood of Ushuaia next to the Beagle Channel, there are forests of old Southern beeches (nothofagus), snow capped peaks and deep green valleys. Lodging and dinner at Estancia Viamonte.
Estancia Viamonte was founded in 1902, at the request of the Ona (Shelknam) indians, by the sons of the first European settler to Tierra del Fuego, Reverend Thomas Bridges. They were Lucas, author of the book Uttermost Part of the Earth, and his brothers Despard and Will. The estancia follows the Altantic coastline for 27km, providing many stunning, unspoilt spots for observing wildlife. Inland the combination of meadows and rolling hills, covered with antarctic beech, provide impressive views and great trails for exploration.
Distance: 260 km (150 km paved road, 110 gravel road)
Note: the ferry service from Porvenir to Ushuaia runs 3 times a week, otherwise in Primera Angostura the ferry rims everyday, every 30 minutes.
Day 9: Estancia Viamonte – Ushuaia
Drive through the Heart of the Island, the town of Tolwin and Fagnano and Escondido Lakes. Over the Garibaldi mountain pass, arrival in Ushuaia, the capital city of the province of Tierra del Fuego.
The legendary and ancient Jail of Recidivists can be visited, that keeps its impressive architecture as well as the tough history of the south of the American Continent. The harbor and the Paseo del Centenario (a fantastic panoramic point) and the Bebán house that was bought in Sweden and built in 1911 are other attractions.
Distance: 180 Km. (paved road)
Day 10: Ushuaia
On board a catamaran at Beagle Channel you can visit Estancia Harberton, the Pinguinera, the Island of Los Pájaros, the Island of Los Lobos, and the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse. Many species of local birds and seals can be observed.
Day 11: Ushuaia - Ushuaia Airport
Visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park: created in 1960, the park covers 63,000 hectares and protects the Argentinian sub-Antarctic forest, preserving the ecosystem. It houses a vast variety of flora and fauna, the cauquenes birds are native to the region. The lengas are the typical trees. They can reach a height of 30 metres and have a trunk of 1,5 metres diameter. In the National Park of Tierra del Fuego you will find the Pipo Falls, Bahía Ensenada, Roca Lake, Negra Lagoon and, finally, Lepataia Bay. Optional: ride on End of the World train, or Austral Fueguino Railroad.
Drop off vehicle at Ushuaia Airport.
Mobil phone: 0054-9-294-4293463
Juramento 190 Floor 3º Of. 6 - CP. 8400 S.C. de Bariloche