Patagonia Ice Trail | Trip Itinerary
DAY 1/Sun: BUENOS AIRES. Arrival in Buenos Aires. Meet and greet at the International airport and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at Hotel Pulitzer or similar. Free time to relax after your flight. This afternoon we've included a short tour for you.
Being Buenos Aires such a big city, with many corners, we offer the possibility to walk around the city escorted by our specialist guides and have the feeling the "porteños" have. We will follow historic paths, fashion trails, turn of the century parks and plazas among the most popular ones.
There will be various approaches to the city and they will depend on the location of the passenger’s hotel.
It is a good idea to include a visit on the day of arrival so if passengers have to wait for their room at the hotels, they can enjoy some time visiting the surroundings while their room is being prepared.
The aims of these walking tours are:
• Have visitors get acquainted to the area in which their hotel is located.
• Get a glimpse of their future visits of the city
• Have a relaxed and peaceful stroll after a long flight and enjoy some time outside with fresh air.
DAY 2/Mon: BUENOS AIRES - USHUAIA. Transfer to the domestic airport to fly to Ushuaia. Arrival in Ushuaia, the Southernmost city in the world. Meet at the airport and transfer to the ALTOS de USHUAIA hotel. Accommodation. This is a nice hotel, located on the upper areas of the city which offers nice vistas. This is a quaint hotel in the city of Ushuaia. It is very simple, yet cosy and with great atmosphere. (B)
Tierra del Fuego contains all the different ecosystems, which typify Patagonia on a single island: South Atlantic coast, bushy steppe, Andes surrounded by glaciers, snow, lakes and forests. As if it weren’t enough the island also has its unique sub-Antarctic rainforest. Unexpectedly lush beech forests are covered with a magic carpet of green mosses, lichens waving in the wind in this seemingly enchanted forest.
Afternoon city trek in the city of Ushuaia. The hike starts at El Mirador del Beagle area, a side neighborhood located in the highest part of the city and an example of the amazing development of Ushuaia in the last years and the smooth transition between the city and the natural surroundings. Upon our departure and towards the forest, this trail will allow us to enjoy the amazing vistas of the city which picture the history of the development of the city through the years: the Presidium, then the Naval base, the Industrial area (when Ushuaia has been a duty free area) and the newly built neighborhoods. From the very beginning all these vistas have the magnificent Beagle Channel and the islands beyond as a backdrop. (B)
DAY 3/Tue: FD HIKE CERRO CORTES – TIERRA DEL FUEGO 360° Trekking in the Forest -The best views of Tierra del Fuego - Forests, Mountains, Peat Bogs, Glaciers…
Transfer from the hotel to the trail head where we start hiking on a steep path while enjoying the local forest: lenga, guindos and ñires. About 600 m (1970 ft) height we find the last remains of the vegetation, the end of the forest. From that point there is a 30 minute hike to reach the summit. Once on top we will enjoy great photo opportunities of the Mt Olivia, a landmark in Ushuaia, on the Andean Range. Isla Navarino and behind the legendary Murray Pass that leads to Cape Horn, Ushuaia and Mount Susana and following our tour the Martial range, the Andorra Valley and Rio Chico valley as a backdrop. Our way down follows the same path, after having had lunch in one of the most incredible setting in this legendary land. Operates: November to April. (B, L)
DAY 4/Wed: TIERRA DEL FUEGO NP. TREKKING AND CANOEING Full day visit to the Tierra del Fuego NP. Upon arrival in the park, we start a 7 km trek (3.5 hours) to a wonderful scenic point overlooking Lake Roca, Lagunas Verde and Negra, Rivers Ovando and Lapataia and Bahía Lapataia. Hiking through this beech forest we will be able to look for the Magaellanic woodpecker, largest in South America, Austral parakeets, black-chested buzzard eagles and Andean Condors. Lunch in the camping area of Lake Roca.
Afternoon paddling in the National Park. After an instructive view in Lago Roca, kayak Ovando River, which flows, into the Green Lake, one of the most beautiful views of the Park. During this easy- downstream ride, we will enjoy the crystal-clear, quiet waters of Ovando River. We will run into Laguna Verde, one of the most wonderful spots in this part of the Park. As we go on, we will be amazed by the beauty of the scenery. Approaching Lapataia Bay, we may encounter sea birds flying over, looking curiously at us: sea petrels, albatross, and steamer ducks, among others. Lapataia Bay is our final destination. After we disembark, we just relax and enjoy the early, southern sunset behind the mountains. We are at the end of the southernmost reaches of the Panamerican Road, at the end of the world. We drive then back to Ushuaia and the hotel. (B, L)
DAY 5/Thu: USHUAIA - EL CALAFATE - EL CHALTEN. Morning at leisure in Ushuaia to enjoy the city or visit the very interesting End of the World Museum. Transfer to the airport to fly to El Calafate. Reception and transfer to the bus station to board the bus to El Chaltén (4 hours), a small windswept town at the foot of Mt. Fitz Roy. Upon arrival, accommodation at KALENSHEN Hosteria, a small property that has a swimming pool which is a SUPERB treat when hiking the Patagonian lands! Balance of the day at leisure to get acquainted with the area. (B)
DAY 6/Fri: MT FITZ ROY . Full day hike to Mt Fitz Roy base camp and Laguna de los Tres. After breakfast 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 “Chaltén” (exhaling fumes mountain). Further hike to Laguna de los Tres, at the base of Mt. Fitz Roy. Three glaciers drain into this greenish lagoon with majestic Mt. Fitz Roy towering above. Enjoy breathtaking views to SE Lake Viedma and the endless Patagonia steppe. Slope: 1100 m. Approx. hike: 8 hours (B, BL)
DAY 7/Sat: LAGUNA TORRE. Full day hiking another Patagonian classic: Mt 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. After a 45 minutes climb you will find an even area surrounding an old lagoon where, vegetation is starting to grow again. The trail enters a forest with a slight descent leading to a lookout facing the Cerro Torre range and the Adelas Mt. 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. Enjoy lunch at the Laguna Torre, and after enjoying the Maestri lookout, hike back to El Chalten where a van will be waiting for you to drive you back to the hosteria. Slope: 600 m. Approx. hike: 10 hours. (B, BL)
DAY 8/Sun: EL CHALTEN- EL CALAFATE. After breakfast, free time for a further hike in the area or drive to town and enjoy a short hike to a scenic point overlooking the famous Mt Torre. Afternoon board a bus to El Calafate (about four hours bus ride). Arrival. Accommodation at Hosteria Koi Aiken in Calafate. (B)
Between the 48 and 51 South parallels, the Andes Range is covered by a large extension of permafrost known as the Patagonian continental icecap, which stretches for 560 miles from north to south. So large it is, that it is also called “the third pole” after its huge concentration of ice. It is the origin of 47 major glaciers, such as the famous Period Moreno glacier.
DAY 9/Mon: LOS GLACIARES NACIONAL PARK. Transfer to Los Glaciares NP in the Sub-Antarctic Continental Ice-cap, which extends over 60000 sq km (23000 sq miles) and gives birth to several major glaciers along the Patagonian Andes. We will board small boats to cross Argentino Lake in front of towering ice walls of the Perito Moreno glacier and will navigate around the blocks of ice which are constantly calving from it. We will land on an uninhabited beach, where the mountain guides will lead us to a small shelter. After checking last details, abilities and a short safety briefing the groups are divided into smaller groups of 20, and head to the lateral moraine of the glacier, where the guides will outfit us with crampons and our Ice Trekking exploration will begin.
The two hour circuit that follows will introduce us to the fascinating landscape of the glaciers: streams, small lagoons, gullies, crevasses and plenty of ice formations of the most incredible and different kind of blue. Together with the hike the guides will introduce us to this amazing area: flora & fauna which includes such species as: Andean condors, buff-necked ibis, black-chested buzzard eagles, ashy headed geese, etc. After having enjoyed this amazing experience, we will have lunch (pack lunch provided by the hotel) in a small beach by the Glacier to then navigate back to the board walks to observe the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier from the board walks.
Note: Transportation from el Calafate to the glacier is in a shared basis, does not include a guide, and does inlcude free time to explore the glacier look-outs.
Note: Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park is not included, and will be collected at the park. Current entry fee is 45 Argentine Pesos, and must be paid in local currency. USD are not accepted.
Note: ** For our HARD CORE TREKKERS we suggest that they consider joining the BIG ICE EXPEDITION which gets into the heart of the glacier. Click here for more details. There is an $100surcharge per person for this tour*** (B, BL )
Special notes regardingthe Mini-Ice trekking:
- Recommended Gear: Comfortable sports wear, long trousers, warm sweater or pile, water or windproof jacket, sun glasses, sun block, gloves.
- Ages: Between 12 and 60 years old.
- This tour is NOT recommended for: Travelers older than 60 years old people and children under 12 years old, as they are not allowed to participate; Pregnant women; people with vertigo, overweight, or some kind of difficulty to walk on their own or who need assistance to move around.
- In the case that passengers over 60 years feel that they are able to do so and are fit enough, we will ask them to sign a release form that states that they have read the conditions to join this trek and that they are able to perform this activity. Final decision on participation is subject to approval by the ice-trekking office.
- This trek operates from Late September to the end of April (weather permitting)
DAY 10/Tue: EL CALAFATE - BUENOS AIRES Transfer to the airport to fly back to Buenos Aires. Arrival transfer & check in to your hotel for one night. This night we suggest a farewell dinner and Tango Show. (B)
DAY 11/Wed: BUENOS AIRES . Transfer to the International airport. ** Rooms will be available till noon. There is a possibility to leave the luggage at the hotel’s deposit until the time of the transfer to the airport.Late check out on request and maybe subject to an extra cost. (B)
B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; BL=Box Lunch; D=Dinner
Oct 14-24; Nov 4-14; Nov 11-21; Dec 9-19; Dec 16-26
Jan 13-23; Jan 27-Feb 6; Feb 10-20; Feb 24-Mar 6; Mar 10-20; Mar 24-Apr 3