My Patagonia Trip Itinerary (and Poll)

by Dave on February 23, 2012 · 20 comments

Mount Fitzroy / El Chaltén

Mount Fitzroy towers over the small town of El Chalten

One week from today, I’ll be on a flight to Buenos Aires, in advance of my trip to Patagonia with G Adventures! I touched on some of the highlights from the 2-week End of the Earth trip in my initial announcement, however I wanted to delve further into what’s in store for me, and anyone else planning a trip to the region.

Day 1 – Buenos Aires

The first day is when everyone is due to arrive. I’m flying in a day early just to be safe, but will save the serious sightseeing until after I get back from Patagonia. I’m looking forward to getting to know the city in every way — from fine dining to crazy soccer matches, learning the sophisticated tango to partying at the late night discotecas. Let’s see how BA stacks up with my other favorite Latin cities, Medellin and Lima.

Days 2 & 3 – El Chalten / Glacier National Park

I imagine our first travel day will start early, as we fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate, and then transfer by bus to El Chalten. This sets us up for a full day of hiking in Glacier National Park on Day 3. The park features the world’s 3rd largest ice field (after Antarctica and Greenland). We’ll be hiking to Laguna de los Tres for a view of Cerro Fitzroy & Chalten (3,441 meters).

Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina

Days 4 & 5 – El Calafate / Perito Moreno Glacier

We return to El Calafate on Day 4, and drive to Moreno Glacier, which is still within Glacier National Park. Photos of this 60-meter high, half-mile wide glacier are probably the images I most associate with Patagonia. I love glaciers, and I’m super excited to see this massive one for myself.

The Three Towers in Torres del Paine National Park

The Three Towers in Torres del Paine National Park

Days 6, 7, 8 & 9 – Puerto Natales / Torres del Paine National Park

Day 6 is another travel day, and we’ll be spending the evening in Puerto Natales, which sets us up for 3 days and 2 nights of camping in Torres del Paine National Park. Hiking is estimated at 5-8 hours per day, but thankfully, altitude won’t play much of a factor since the base elevation is quite low. And I’m going to cross my fingers for great weather too! As you might recall, there were quite a few large fires burning in the park as of January. These have been extinguished, and I recently received an update to our hiking plans from G Adventures.

Day 7: Trek as per normal to Las Torres del Paine (Towers). The group will overnight in the private Laguna Amarga campsite. Day 8:  Start this day with a catamaran to Pehoe Lake. Trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) and finish off with a catamaran back from Pehoe. Overnight in the Pehoe Ruta campsite. Day 9: Trek along the coastline of Lake Grey to a peninsula with a viewpoint of Glacier Grey. Today will consist of a light 3 hour walk with an option of an extra 1.5 hours tough climb.

Day 10 – Punta Arenas

Chile’s southernmost city boasts 100,000 people, and is also the jumping off point for our day trip to the Otway Sound penguin colony.

The Beagle Channel

The Beagle Channel

Days 11, 12 & 13 – Ushuaia / Beagle Channel

From Punto Arenas, we’ll return to Argentina with a visit to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, and the primary jumping off point for cruises to Antarctica. While I didn’t make it to Antarctica this year, I wanted to at least make sure I got a taste for the experience by visiting Ushuaia. The primary highlight will be a cruise through the Beagle Channel to observe the unique wildlife down there.

Days 14 & 15 – Buenos Aires

The tour wraps up back in Buenos Aires, where I expect the whole group will go out for one last night on the town together. As I mentioned at the top, I’ll be spending additional time in Buenos Aires — at least 4 weeks. More if I’m loving it.

Vote to Help Me Choose Optional Activities

As with any good tour, there are a host of optional activities that are available at an additional charge. Vote below for which activities you’d like me to do. I’ll definitely do the top 3 activities as voted on by you, so please take a moment to help me choose!

Which 3 activities I should do in Patagonia?

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Disclosure: This Patagonia tour is in partnership with G Adventures. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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is the author of 1727 posts on Go Backpacking.

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Categories: Argentina, Chile, Features
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Nepal Guide February 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

Thank you dave for posting


Heather February 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Hey Brock!

So happy for you visiting Patagonia! We loved it! We were there this time last year. We did the 5-day Torres del Paine ‘W’ trek! One of our favorite places of our year long trip in Latin America. I hope the park is ok – heard about the devastating fires there. If you at all have time & resources, this is THE time to do a last minute trip to Antarctica. We got on a last minute boat (you have plenty of time) from Ushuaia. We left port on the Plancius on March 15th and it was by far and beyond the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, magnificent place on this earth. You must go! It’s the perfect time. Have a look online – there are definitely deals to be had. We saw tons of animals and there are less ships around at the end of the season. We saw tons of penguins, humpbacks, minke whales, seals, and even a pod of 20 orcas. It’s worth searching around for some deals. Best thing we have EVER done!


Heather February 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Oops! Sorry, Dave. It’s late here and my mind isn’t quite working, but all of that stuff still holds true! Antarctica or bust!


Dave February 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Thanks Heather. This is actually Dave :) and I would love to get to Antarctica in March, but I doubt there’s a good enough deal to get me there this time around. I’m going to give it some consideration for early 2013.


Kevin Post February 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I doubt you’ll be able to leave after four weeks. Buenos Aires is a very difficult city to leave :)


Kevin Post February 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm

By the way, what’s the deadline for trips to Antarctica?


Dave February 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I think the main season for Antarctica cruises is November through February, with possibly a few extra weeks on either end of that range.


Lissie February 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm

The boat trip through Canal Beagle is incredible – worth going to to Harberton as well! You realise just how amazing it was that sailing ships got through that channel at all.

Punta Arenas I found dull – but I like Ushuaia – it really has an “end of the world” feeling to it.


Audrey February 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm

We didn’t take a boat trip through the Beagle Canal, but heard great things about this excursion. I’d also vote for ice trekking at El Chalten. There’s a great micro-brew place in El Chalten that is perfect for relaxing after a day of hiking. Sounds like a great itinerary – fitting a lot of incredible places into a nice loop. Enjoy!


Dave February 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Thanks Audrey. I’m all for ice trekking, but I’ve always wanted to try ice climbing. They had day trips out of Huaraz, but I heard the ice quality was not too good (sandy/dirty) so I didn’t go.


Ian [EagerExistence] March 1, 2012 at 9:20 am

Only one vote?


Dave March 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Hey Ian, you can only vote once, but you can select up to 3 activities in the poll — sorry I didn’t make that more clear.


Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures March 12, 2012 at 1:24 am

This sounds pretty amazing! I’m just itching to go to Patagonia!


Dave March 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm

After one week it has been amazing. Now into week #2 :)


Alex November 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

How did you get to Ushuaia from Punta Arenas? Do you know the best way? I’m trying to minimize travel costs through Patagonia, taking lots of buses if possible.


Dave November 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

Alex, we took a bus from Punto Arenas (which was flooded the day we arrived) to Ushuaia, but I don’t know the cost as it was included in the tour price.


Zaid November 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I’m SO JEALOUS Dave (in a good way)! It’s been a long time dream for me to visit Patagonia.
Have a WICKED adventure with G Adventures. I’ll be following your posts closely – I may just hop onto a plane for Buenos Aires in December and visit Patagonia as well.


Dave November 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Thanks Zaid. I went to Patagonia in 2012, and had an amazing time. I highly recommend visiting the region if you can.


Zaid December 9, 2013 at 7:33 am

Booked! I’m in Buenos Aires 22 Dec Ushuaia 25 Dec. Got 4 nights booked in Ushuaia – will try to find a ship to Antarctica, then trek north through Patagonia until 29 Jan (my trip home). I’ll be making up my trip on the go, and use blogs like yours for advice on what to see / do


Dave December 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

Have a great time Zaid. I still hope to get to Antarctica one of these years.


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