This 8-day journey is a great way to experience the highlights of Patagonia's best national parks, its wildlife and its iconic hiking trails. Your adventure begins in Puerto Madryn, a great base from which to explore this wildlife-rich region of Atlantic Patagonia. In Peninsula Valdes, a haven of marine mammals and birdlife, you'll take in the stunning scenery while visiting a penguin colony, going to a whale watching excursion or snorkeling with sea lions. The itinerary continues to El Calafate city to explore “Los Glaciares National Park”. Hike on the Perito Moreno Glacier, sail pristine lakes, visit an authentic ranch in Patagonia and enjoy a trek through one of the most beautiful canyons in the area; The final destination is El Chalten village where you will walk straight out of your hotel onto trails to beautiful lakes, glaciers and viewpoints of the majestic Fitz Roy mountain. In summary, this is an exciting expedition for wildlife and adventure lovers, a trip that will change your life forever.

This is a flexible itinerary and hotels can be adjusted accordingly to suit your preferences.

Memorable Moments

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1 – Puerto Madryn – Full Day Tour to Punta Tombo Penguin Colony
Day 2 – Puerto Madryn – Wildlife & Whale Watching
Day 3 – Fly from Trelew to El Calafate
Day 4 – El Calafate – Estancia Cristina: Navigation and Full Day Trek
Day 5 – El Calafate – Ice Trek on Perito Moreno Glacier
Day 6 – El Chalten – Half Day Trek to Laguna Capri
Day 7 – El Chalten – Full Day Trek to Laguna de los Tres
Day 8 – El Chalten – El Calafate – Departure.


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Full Itinerary

Early in the morning, meet your guide at the lobby of your hotel and head to the most important rookery of Magellan Penguins within continental Patagonia. More than a million and a half of them arrive at this place every year in order to breed. As you walk with your guide you will see penguins at a really close distance. You will also watch native birds and endemic animals such as guanacos, lesser rheas, cavies and crested elegant tinamou birds. Your trip continues in Gaiman, a Patagonian Welsh town that seems stopped in time and famous for its fabulous teas and Welsh heritage. Enjoy cream pie, dainty tea cakes, torta negra (a rich, dense fruitcake) and savory aromatic infusions intrinsic part of the Welsh tradition. Following tea time, we will return to Puerto Madryn.

Meals: Breakfast, Welsh Tea in Gaiman.
Accommodations: Territorio Hotel

Early in the morning, you will set out for Valdes Peninsula, a reserve of global significance for the conservation of marine mammals. It is home to an important breeding population of the endangered Southern Right Whale as well as important population of southern elephant seals, southern sea lions and killer whales. In Puerto Pirámides, board the especially equipped boats for our whale watching excursion. As you head back, we include stops at sites to see wild Argentinean land animals including guanacos, rheas, foxes, maras, armadillos and elephant seals. At sunset, return to your hotel in Puerto Madryn.

Important Note:
Please note that whale watching is subject to weather conditions, and that whale watching season is June – December. Depending on the season, weather and tides, you’ll visit some or all of the following sites: Caleta Valdes, Punta Norte and Punta Cantor, where you can see elephant seals, penguins and sea lions.

Meals: Dinner.
Accommodations: Hotel Territorio

Today, you will be transfer to Trelew airport for a direct flight to El Calafate. Upon arrival, meet your guide and be transferred to your hotel in the city of El Calafate.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodations: Posada Los Alamos

Following breakfast, we will transfer you to Puerto Bandera harbor to board a boat and sail the Argentino Lake towards Estancia Cristina. On the way to the ranch, you will sail near the Upsala Glacier and see it up close. The Upsala is larger than its more famous neighbor, Perito Moreno, but also more difficult to access. It is the second largest glacier in the National Park with walls rising 200 feet from the water. Upon arriving at the estancia, you’ll make a 4×4 drive to a panoramic viewpoint of the Uspala Glacier and start 9 mile-trek through one of the most interesting and beautiful canyons in the area. The canyon is narrow and filled with deposits of sea fossils. The final trail back to the estancia is through the meadows and rolling hills of this authentic ranch in Southern Patagonia. When you get back, you will have some time to explore the estancia before boarding the boat headed back to Calafate.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodations: Posada Los Alamos

Early in the morning, meet your guide and head to Los Glaciares National Park. Once at “Bajo de las Sombras” embarking port, you will board a boat to cross Lake Rico and reach the opposite shore in front of the southwest wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier. After fitting harnesses and crampons on our footwear we start the ice trekking. There is a breath-taking view of the immense plateau of ice. During the walk, you will be introduced to a number of features within the ice, crevasses, caves, and above all the special feeling of exploring the middle of the ice. Expert bilingual mountain guides will always help you, looking after your safety. You will hike for about 3 hours and a half, and spend some time having lunch on the ice. Back on the moraine we start our descent back to the port, to take the boat and navigate for 20 minutes back to Bajo de las Sombras port. Following the ice trek, your private guide will lead a 1 hour- walking tour along trails that face the Perito Moreno Glacier. There, you’ll enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the glacier and walk along some of the paths.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodations: Posada Los Alamos

This morning, check out from your hotel in El Calafate and enjoy a transfer to El Chalten. Following check in, meet your mountain guide and start a trek to Laguna Capri. This beautiful trek takes you to a viewpoint overlooking a lagoon of blue waters surrounded by native forest which you can reach in less than two hours. From here you can see a unique view of the Fitz Roy massif.
Evening at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodations: Don Los Cerros Hotel

The most desired and exciting trek that takes you to the foot of Mount Chaltén. This natural viewpoint is the closest site to the mythical walls of the Mount Fitz Roy and its surrounding granite peaks and without a doubt the most famous of all treks. Join our local certified mountain guide, in this full day trek around the Laguna de los Tres, with the stunning Mount Fitz Roy as backdrop!

Important Notes:
Although the access to this viewpoint is possible all year round, from April to October it will vary depending on the accumulation of snow on the trail, especially in its final stretch. The total distance of the trek is between 20 and 22 kilometers *(12 miles) with an elevation gain of 800 meters (2624 feet). Keep in mind we must walk almost 10 hours in total. It’s a full day trek suitable for well-trained people.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodations: Don Los Cerros Hotel

After breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport of El Calafate for the return flight to Buenos Aires and connecting flight home.

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From September through March.

Summer, November through March, is the best time to visit Southern Patagonia. During winter, Los Glaciares national park (where the Perito Moreno glacier is situated) is closed due to the cold temperature and many activities and tours can’t be done.

The season to see Southern Right wales starts from the beginning of June until December, when the wales start to move off again. Within this period, there are also a couple of distinct periods when they can be better seen from either the Peninsula or from Puerto Madryn.

The best time to visit the Magellan Penguin colony is between November and March.

There are two different ice hike routes; both take a full day and include your transport to and from El Calafate. The ‘Mini Ice’ trek gives you 1h 40mins on the ice itself as part of a two-hour guided tour (age limit 10 – 65 years old*). The ‘Big Ice’ is aimed at more adventurous visitors and gives you 3h 30mins on the ice (age limit 18 – 50).

*Due to operational insurance issues, the age limit for doing the mini-ice trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier is 65 years old. If a passenger exceeds this age then an alternative excursion to the Glacier will be arranged.

Patagonia can be quite windy, and sometimes one can experience “the four seasons in one day”. We recommend wearing several layers so you will be comfortable in the changeable weather. Prior to your trip, we will provide you with packing tips and suggestions and information regarding any baggage weight restrictions.

No. Travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. But we would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.

You are likely to have limited, if any, cell phone reception or internet access whilst out on treks and in certain towns in Patagonia. There is almost complete coverage in large towns and cities across Argentina (and Patagonia), but when travelling between cities, sailing lakes or hiking in national parks there is little to no signal, and cell phones are not recommended as a reliable form of communication. There are a lot of black spots due to the general topography of the land, and even a gust of wind can cause problems with signal.

Cafes, restaurants and hotels in towns and cities have Wi-Fi. More remote estancias and lodges may have limited signal, and even limited electricity. All hotels included in this itinerary have WIFI included in the rate of your room.

This is a trip for Travelers who have a high fitness level, expect a vigorous pace, are comfortable participating in up to eight hours of physical activity per day, and enjoy challenging themselves physically.

Most tours are at a very active pace, with full day tours and a demanding daily schedule of physical activities such as trekking. Walking/Hiking tours can be on difficult terrain (up to 14 miles on uneven terrain, city hills, or narrow trails along steep hillsides with no railings). Travelers may be in remote and rugged regions with challenging terrain, possibly at high altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). You should also take into account your stamina when traveling long distances and/or with multiple flight changes.

Currently, proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test is required to enter Chile and Argentina. Given the fluidity of the situation, updated entry requirements will be provided 30 days prior to travel.

No vaccinations are needed for this itinerary.

We strongly recommend that you check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/travel) or the World Health Organization (who.int/en) for the latest on required and recommended vaccines for your destination.

We strongly recommend that you purchase this insurance to protect your travel investment. Travel insurance can offer financial protection for trip cancellation and interruption, as well as assistance should you encounter travel delays, baggage loss, or require medical treatment while traveling.

After you sign up for a trip with us, you will receive several pre-trip mailings with specific information about your destination; packing suggestions, etc. You will be able to download our app and have your own password. You will have access to your itinerary, real-time flight alerts and relevant information to help you prepare for your trip.