argentina; patagonia; glaciers; Glacier National Park; hiking Patagonia; Estancia Helsingfors; Estancia Cristina; Perito Moreno Glacier
Great Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6095  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Lodging: 6 nights hotels and lodges, 5 nights estancias
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 9 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 2-5 hours a day, altitudes below 5,000 feet
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Highlights

  • Exhilarating day hikes—with two options a day—to Patagonia’s most celebrated peaks, including Fitzroy and Cerro Torre
  • Incredible mountain scenery, and an exciting hike with crampons on the Viedma Glacier
  • Historic estancias and fine lodges—some of them exclusive to our group, and welcoming Patagonian hospitality


This was an adventure of a lifetime.Todd J.—Austin, TX

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Some of the most spectacular peaks on the planet are in Argentina’s Glacier National Park, and our hiker’s journey reveals the very best of this grand-scale paradise, where rivers of ice pour down from the Patagonian Icecap and granite towers soar above the pampas. Our hikes—with two options each day—lead across wild steppes and along azure lakes for extraordinary vistas of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre as well as the park’s exalted glaciers, some of the world’s biggest, and they are a treat for the eyes (and the ears, with their creaks and pops). At our welcoming estancias, including Cristina and Helsingfors, both in superb and incredibly remote locations, you’ll feast on Patagonian fare and enjoy hearty red wine at the end of each fine day of hiking.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Buenos Aires / Calafate / Chaltén / Glacier National Park

After enjoying Buenos Aires’ Old World charm, we head to Glacier National Park, a realm of glittering ice fields and 47 major glaciers. Our hiking options bring you to Laguna de los Tres, with panoramic views of the jagged pinnacles of Fitzroy (11,703’), and to Laguna Torre, a glacial lake offering jaw-dropping vistas of the slender spire of Cerro Torre (10,280’). On one day you’ll don crampons for a thrilling walk on the Viedma Glacier, and at its lateral moraine, view ice caves and overhangs in this dramatic and ever-changing landscape.

Days 5-7
Estancia Helsingfors / Perito Moreno

Fed by the ice of the Viedma Glacier, Lago Viedma is the setting for exhilarating hikes, including one that brings you through beech forests (with good birding!) to remote Lago Azul, a sublime glacial lake that truly earns its name. We stay at Estancia Helsingfors, a delightful retreat nestled at the base of mountains that drop onto the shores of the lake. At this wonderful lodge, exclusive to our group, you’ll enjoy great food (delicious roast lamb and freshly-caught trout) and a warm family atmosphere. Heading to Calafate, you’ll get great up-close views of the Perito Moreno Glacier, with its ice blocks plunging into turquoise Lago Argentino.

Days 8-12
Estancia Cristina / Calafate

To reach Estancia Cristina, we boat across Lago Argentino, navigating amid icebergs along the Upsala Glacier, South America’s longest. From this beautiful estancia, a historic former sheep ranch surrounded by glaciers and snowy Andean peaks, our hikes bring you up Cerro Carnero for glorious views of the mountains and the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, and through a fascinating canyon landscape where marine fossils are embedded in the walls. At night we enjoy fine meals and warm hospitality in this estancia at the end of the world. Return to Calafate on Day 11 and depart on Day 12 via Buenos Aires, or join our Iguazu Falls or Estancia extensions.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3+, Moderate to Strenuous. The hiking will be physically demanding at times (but we do offer shorter hiking options on the two longest hiking days). Most of the hiking takes place below altitudes of 5,000 feet. For the most part, the trails are not overly rugged or difficult, but the approaches and descents can be steep, and the trail conditions rocky or muddy. There are also some long driving days across the steppes, and everyone should be prepared for bumpy, dusty road conditions. Please note that your leader may make adjustments to the itinerary and hiking routes, depending on local weather and trail conditions. We recommend you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for this trip. The better condition you are in, the more you will enjoy your experience. We suggest you begin training several months before departure. Start gradually by doing hikes, running, using a Stairmaster, or riding bikes. The object is to improve your overall aerobic capacity and get your hiking muscles limbered up. Even a brisk 30-45 minute walk every other day over moderately steep terrain can do wonders for your conditioning.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2014
Dec 26, 2014-Jan 6, 2015  Jose Argento
2015
Jan 31-Feb 11, 2015  Jose Argento
Nov 22-Dec 3, 2015
Dec 25, 2015-Jan 5, 2016
2016
Jan 30-Feb 10, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2015
$6095 (12-14 members)
$6395 (9-11 members)
$6695 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $1050
Forced single supplement: $850
Internal airfare: $820 (subject to change)
Argentine Reciprocity Fee for US citizens: $160 (must be obtained in advance online)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Iguazu Falls Extension
   from: $985
Estancia Extension
   from: $685

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in comfortable lodges, inns, and hotels
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • Land and boat transportation, airport transfers, and baggage handling as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, meals not specified after each itinerary day, travel insurance, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), and expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Nuss Hotel

Nuss Hotel

Day 1 (1 night), Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Nuss Hotel enjoys a superb location, right in the heart of Palermo Soho, the most bohemian and atmospheric neighborhood of the city. A former ...
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Estancia El Pilar

Estancia El Pilar

Days 2 to 4 (3 nights), El Chalten, Argentina

A charming 10-room country inn surrounded by native lenga forests on the edge of Glacier National Park, this is the best place to stay in the ...
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Estancia Helsingfors

Estancia Helsingfors

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Lago Viedma, Argentina

This century-old estancia has a magnificent setting on Lago Viedma surrounded by world-class Patagonian scenery. There’s nothing else like it ...
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Hotel Kau Yatun

Hotel Kau Yatun

Day 7 (1 night),
Day 11 (1 night), El Calafate, Argentina

Located on the outskirts of El Calafate town, the hotel has attractive grounds and gardens, two restaurants, and a wood-paneled bar. The rooms are ...
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Estancia Cristina

Estancia Cristina

Days 8 to 10 (3 nights), Lago Argentino, Argentina

Founded in 1914 as a sheep ranch and surrounded by the wild mountain and glacier scenery of Glacier National Park, Estancia Christina, accessible ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Jose Argento

Jose Argento, raised in a tiny farming community in Argentina, has had a deep connection to nature for as long as he can remember. With a degree in tourism and a specialization in Glaciology, he loves to talk about ice fields and share adventurous tales of famous Patagonian climbing expeditions. Jose has led our adventures in Patagonia since 2003, and in his words, “I love laughing with my trip members. Working as a Trip Leader is the best job I can imagine. It gets me outdoors, in touch with people, and in touch with nature. Patagonia is a land where history was not written long ago, and humans feel so small. We can see how the land was before humans came.” Asked about a favorite tradition on WT trips, Jose notes, “A meal with Patagonian lamb—this is not just the lamb. Being by the fire, talking, enjoying the flames and a good Malbec with new friends- it seems simple but it is the best.” Having traveled and lived abroad extensively, from Europe to New Zealand, Jose is fluent in English, Italian, and of course Spanish. He spends half the year in Patagonia, and the other half training horses and practicing polo across the globe.

Upcoming Trips:

Great Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia, December 26, 2014-January 6, 2015
Great Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia, January 31-February 11, 2015

Client Testimonials:


Jose was simply fantastic....the perfect trip leader and a wonderfully kind, sweet, competent young man. You have a real winner in him. Howard G., Bethesda, MD
Great Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia
Jose is top notch! He is knowledgeable, friendly, thoughtful, and made sure I was taken care of. He is the BEST trip leader I have ever come across! Bessie L., Milpitas, CA
Great Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia
Jose is a gem! He is wise beyond his years, attentive to the needs of everyone, and very well informed. He loves his country and it shows. Carol M., Palo Alto, CA
Great Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia
Jose was kind, patient, informative, and protective, with a wonderful smile and sense of humor. We all fell totally in love with him! Deena S., Jupiter, FL
Great Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia
Jose is very in touch and sensitive, anticipating traveler's needs and every detail. He obviously enjoys what he does as it shows in his performance! Lisa M., Chicago, IL
In Patagonia
Jose was a truly exceptional guide. He took great care to assess our hiking ability and made sure to keep close to those who needed his help. He also made an effort to walk with each and every one of us individually and get to know us on a more personal level. He spoke excellent English and had a good sense of humor. Overall, a class act through and through. Nancy T., Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
In Patagonia
Jose is one of the best group leaders I have encountered. He is very attuned to each participant, considerate, knowledgeable in a variety of fields, and has a great sense of humor. It is a pleasure to have hiked with him. Annette S., Tel Aviv, Israel
In Patagonia

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Argentina

Estancia Extension

A Countryside Retreat

Cultural Adventures
2 days  -  Level 1

Iguazu Falls Extension

One of the World’s Spectacular Natural Wonders

Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

This was an adventure of a lifetime. Todd J., Austin, TX Wonderful trip—exceeded expectations. Leo R., Mahwah, NJ Really great trip! Everything we expected and more. This was our second WT trip and we'll see you again soon. Thank you! Howard G., Bethesda, MD The food and wines were fantastic, and our stays at the estancias were outstanding. Bessie L., Milpitas, CA
This trip exceeded out expectations with wonderful hikes and comfortable accommodations. Carol M., Palo Alto, CA Trip exceeded all expectations! Fabulous scenery, great accommodations and food, amazing guide. Perfect! Deena S., Jupiter, FL A wonderful experience that exceeded our expectation. Thank you! Emil L., Milpitas, CA