Hike Patagonia In Depth
For those looking to explore a corner of the world that is well off the tourist track (in addition to some incredible highlights), this two weeks of hiking through some very remote areas of Patagonia is your opportunity to roam wild and free, my friend. With snow-capped mountains and blue skies as your backdrop, you’ll hike through otherworldly Torres del Paine National Park, staggering El Chaltén, sobering Glacier National Park, and the highly celebrated W Trek. Get ready for the walk of your life.
Laguna de los Tres full-day guided hike (El Chaltén). Class III rafting. Perito Moreno Glacier guided tour (El Calafate). Torres del Paine NP excursion with porters (3 nts). W Trek. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Catch a glimpse of Mt Fitz Roy, Marvel at Perito Moreno Glacier, Savour the scenery in Patagonia, Hike the spectacular W Trek, Snap a photo of the famous three peaks of Torres, Enjoy the vibrant city of Buenos Aires
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Please note that Aerolineas Argentinas allows 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kg on internal flights. For every extra kilo the airline will charge $10 per kg at the time of check-in.
Whilst in Torres del Paine, this tour stays at different campsites each night. As such, all travellers will need to carry backpacks with personal items with them for the duration of the hike. You will be able to leave your big bags at the hotel in Puerto Natales and just take what you need with you for the trek. You will have porters to carry camping equipment, sleeping bags and food. You will also have extra porters to carry a total of 2.5 kg of personal items per passenger. The porters will give you a bag to store these items.
You will need to carry your daypack everyday which will be approximately 5 -10kg. Items you will need to carry in your day pack include: water, lunch for the day, an extra layer of clothing and any other personal items over the 2.5 kg carried by the porters.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Boat, local bus, plane, private vehicle, hiking.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Please Note: Aerolineas Argentinas allows 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kg on internal flights. If luggage is overweight, the airline charges 650 ARS at check-in (approx. 35 USD).
Hotels (10 nts), camping (3 nts).
My Own Room Exceptions
Nights 9-12: W Trek.
Officially the airport is called Ministro Pistarini International Airport, but it is commonly referred to as Ezeiza. It is situated 35 km (22 miles) from the city, about 40 minutes in a taxi. A taxi to the centre cost approximately $45 USD and can be arranged from the official counter inside the Arrivals area.
If you are arriving from abroad and have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will meet you at the airport. If no one is there, take a public taxi to the hotel and we will reimburse you. If you have not paid for an arrival transfer, the best way to get into town is by public taxi or by buses (info below). If your taxi driver does not speak English and you do not speak Spanish, simply show driver the hotel address to simplify communications.
There is also a bus company that can take you to the hotel of your choice in the centre of Buenos Aires. Manuel Tienda Leon is the most well known, and costs about $13 USD (80 ARS). Their counter is at the customs exit.
There are exchange facilities in the Banco de la Nacion at the airport with 1.5% commission, ATM Visa and Mastercard facilities available. There are many official places to exchange money in centre of the city.
ARGENTINA’S “RECIPROCITY FEE”:
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities are planned. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Argentina: +54 11 2150 2581
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 2150 2581
After hours Emergency number
From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 15 3425 0380
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
Available for Rent:
• Walking poles (3000 CLP per day)
• Windproof rain jacket (4000 CLP per day)
• Windproof rain pants (2000 CLP per day)
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Day pack (30 litres is a good size)
• Pack liners to waterproof bags
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet (sleeping bag and sleeping mat are provided on the trip)
• Windproof rain gear
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)
• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
• Walking poles (Highly recommended.)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: The best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials in layers, as this is quick-drying and can keep heat in better. We suggest a base-layer, then a mid-layer such as a light fleece jacket or similar, then a windproof and waterproof layer.
Note: All other camping equipment for the Torres del Paine trek is provided and included in the cost of your trip. Porters will carry 2.5kg of your personal gear for you while on the hike. You will be required to carry only what you need for the day in your day pack. Any luggage not required for the hike will be left at the hotel in Puerto Natales.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS). The currency in Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.
You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Please bear in mind that cost of living in the southern cone countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) is much higher than the rest of South America, and in the case of Argentina, more comparable with Europe. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities and estimated pricing.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
PRODUCT_LINE: SAPI, ID: 24537
Day 1 Buenos Aires
As there are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting, check into the hotel and enjoy the city. Opt to visit the districts of La Boca, Recoleta, and San Telmo or catch a tango show.
Booking pre or post trip accommodation is highly recommended to fully experience this vibrant city.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Buenos Aires/El Chaltén
Fly south to the province of Santa Cruz and the town of El Calafate before transferring overland to El Chaltén. Often referred to as the trekking capital of Argentina, El Chaltén is the gateway to Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres, two of the most beautiful peaks in Patagonia.
Enjoy free time to warm up for the upcoming trek, opt to take a short hike to a nearby lookout or explore around town.
The luggage restrictions for all Aerolineas Argentinas flights are 15kg for checked baggage and 5kg for carry-ons. No organic food is allowed as Patagonia is a protected area. Bags will be checked upon arrival in El Calafate.
Plane (3.50 hour(s))
Local bus (3.00-3.50 hours)
Day 3 El Chaltén (1B)
Jump into a raft and enjoy the ride through Glacier National Park. Watch the mountains fade into the distance and paddle down Class III rapids.
El Chaltén Rafting
Day 4 El Chaltén (1B)
Laguna de los Tres is the most popular trek in El Chaltén and for good reason. On a clear day, the view of Cerro Fitz Roy and the sparking teal lake below are spectacular. The gradual start to the trek provides time to appreciate the stunning landscape and ease into the challenging trekking ahead. Although the 400m (1,312 ft) incline to reach the lake is taxing, the reward is well worth the effort.
Glacier National Park Guided Hike
Day 5 El Chaltén/El Calafate (1B)
Explore one of El Chaltén’s many trekking routes. Opt to explore the Laguna Torre trail to spot the dramatic Cerro Torre, hike to Laguna Capri or head up to the Condor Mirador to enjoy great views of the town. Afterwards, head to the quaint little town of El
Calafate, and opt for a hearty dinner to refuel.
Local bus (3.00-3.50 hours, 152km)
Day 6 El Calafate (1B)
Argentino Lake, discovered in 1873, is the southernmost of the four water sheets produced by the Pleistocene Glaciation. With its fjords and fingers it covers 1,505km² (935 mi²), and is considered one of the most breathtaking lakes in the world.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is an imposing river of ice, 2.7km (1.7 mi) wide by 55m (180 ft) high, which descends from the continental ice field to the Canal de los Tempanos.
Perito Moreno Glacier Tour
Day 7 El Calafate (1B)
Home to the immense Perito Moreno Glacier, the quaint alpine town of El Calafate is the perfect base for exploring the nearby glaciers. Los Glaciares National Park, the most renowned in Argentina, was created in 1973 to preserve this vast glacial area encompassing the Upsala Glacier and the incredible Onelli Bay.
The main strip of this tiny town is lined with small wooden shops, browse for souvenirs, chocolates, or stop in one of the restaurants for a rest.
Day 8 El Calafate/Puerto Natales (1B)
Once a small fishing village, Puerto Natales is now a hub of adventure enthusiasts itching to explore unforgettable Torres del Paine NP.
Get any last-minute shopping done and rent all equipment needed for the hike. Extra gear not needed for the Paine hike can be stored at the hotel.
Local bus (5.00-6.00 hours, 362km)
Day 9 Puerto Natales/Serrano Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Embark on a 4-day excursion within Torres del Paine NP, hiking the famous W Trek. Start the 62km (38.5 mi) route by trekking to the base of Las Torres to see the dramatic three towers and turquoise lagoon below.
W Trek – Day 1
Day 10 Serrano Camp/Paine Grande Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Wake up surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, enjoy a scenic drive and a picturesque ferry ride on Lake Pehoé. Hike to Grey Lake and the lookout point for Grey Glacier and admire the scale of this immense glacier.
W Trek – Day 2
Boat (0.75 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Paine Grande Camp/Cuernos Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Hike to the French Valley lookout and take in the awe-inspiring views of the mountain range spreading across the national park. Marvel at the dramatic, contrasting greens and greys of the landscape.
W Trek – Day 3
Day 12 Cuernos Camp/Puerto Natales (1B, 1L)
Enjoy the final day of the W Trek. Wake up to the amazing views of the Cuernos del Paine (the Horns of Paine) and continue trekking to Las Torres Campsite. Finish by snapping a photo of the mountains reflecting in the Lake Nordenskjöld and enjoy the sense of accomplishment.
W Trek – Day 4
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 13 Puerto Natales/Buenos Aires
In the evening, leave Patagonia behind and fly back to Buenos Aires.
Local bus (5.00-6.00 hours)
Day 14 Buenos Aires (1B)
Depart at any time.