Head to the wilds of Patagonia for the ultimate eight day escape with Patagonia United. From the calving, blue walls of the Perito Moreno Glacier, to the mighty prowess of the granite towers of Torres del Paine, every step of the way is filled with adventure and discovery. Experience the best of Chilean and Argentine Patagonia on hikes, treks, and more that bring you up close and personal with the majesty of these untamed landscapes, with quality accommodations and hearty, local meals at night under starry skies. Experience the real Patagonia with Patagonia United.
The Patagonian Adventure Starts
Located on the blustery tip of the Magallanes region in Chilean Patagonia, the historic port city of Punta Arenas will be the starting point for our Patagonian adventure. After being fetched from your Punta Arenas hotel or the Punta Arenas airport (PUQ), kick back and relax for a drive with our transfer service to EcoCamp Patagonia, located roughly 5 hours away in scenic Torres del Paine National Park. You can also start your trip in El Calafate on the Argentine side of the border (see our weekly transfer board for EcoCamp's pick up & drop off schedule).
During the drive to EcoCamp, we’ll pass through sprawling fields of native flora and fauna, perfect for watching from the car windows. We’ll make a quick stop in Puerto Natales, the town nearest to the park, which is located on the shores of “Last Hope Sound”. After setting off again, we’ll take a detour to visit the Cueva de Milodon (Cave of the Milodon). It was here that the remains of a giant ground sloth were first discovered in the 1890s, and the event and location has been immortalized in Bruce Chatwin’s famous travelogue “In Patagonia”.’ We’ll have the chance to walk around the massive cave, and get to see a made-to-scale model of the sloth, showing just how colossal the creature was in real life.
After entering Torres del Paine and getting your first glimpses of the famous Torres, we’ll arrive at EcoCamp Patagonia. Nestled on a hilltop in the heart of the park, here we’ll spend the night in a cozy Standard dome with a view of the Torres, able to relax and enjoy fine dining and possibly a drink in the Bar Dome before the first day of adventures.
Trek to Base of the Torres
After a filling breakfast in the Community Domes, we’ll set off toward Hosteria Las Torres down the road to take the uphill path to Ascencio Valley to start the climb to the base of the Torres, one of the most popular treks in the entire park.
The path climbs through beech forests and past small rivers and other scenic sights, stopping to rest when the group needs it. Before the final payoff of seeing the Torres, we’ll need to tackle a steep moraine of jumbled rocks and boulders. The going can be tough but the view is more the worth it. Standing at the edge of a glacial lake with the three massive granite spires towering overhead is both a humbling and exhilarating experience. After stopping for lunch and to savor the view (and take plenty of photos), the group will backtrack the way we came to return to EcoCamp for dinner.
Western Lakes and Grey Glacier
After breakfast, the day starts with a drive across the park, offering great opportunities to admire the views of Paine Grande and the iconic Los Cuernos peaks with their horn-like spires of black granite. We’ll park to take a quick walk to the gushing majesty of the Salto Grande waterfalls in front of the Paine Massif, where the aquamarine waters of Lake Nordenskjold cascade down into Lake Pehoe. We’ll follow the trail a bit further to a perfect lookout spot to admire the view and take pictures, before getting back in the car near Lake Pehoe to drive to the shores of glacial Lake Grey. Here, after a filling box lunch, we’ll board the boat that will ferry us through the cold waters, past floating sculptures of deep-blue ice, all the way to the massive front wall of Grey Glacier. The boat will spend some time going along the front so we can see different viewpoints, before returning us to land and then back to EcoCamp via car.
*During shoulder season (October and April) the boat trip to Grey Glacier may be canceled as the boat requires a minimum of 8 passengers to sail, which might not be reached in some cases. If this is the case we will plan an alternative excursion in the Park.
Crossing the Border to Argentine Patagonia
After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to EcoCamp and start the drive out of Torres del Paine to Argentine Patagonia. At the Cerro Castillo border crossing, we’ll pass through immigration and then continue on for lunch in the small, quaint town of El Calafate surrounded by the dramatic landscapes of Argentine Patagonia. We then head onward to Chalten, yet another tiny outpost located close to the mighty Mount Fitz Roy, where we’ll spend the night in a local hotel before the next day’s outing. Dinner on your own.
Get ready for a thrilling full-day trek along the Cerro Torre trail to the stunning Laguna Torre, with the iconic outline of Mount Fitz Roy rising majestically in the backdrop.
Setting out after breakfast, the path will take us east through virgin beech forests. At the gushing torrents of the Fitzroy River, we continue on to Base Camp de Agostini. From there, it’s not far through increasingly more spectacular mountainous scenery until we reach our goal: Laguna Torre. The scene is captivating: Mount Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, and the Adela mountain range frame the lake which is dotted with icebergs of all shapes, sizes, and shades of blue. We’ll follow along the shore of the lake to different viewpoints to soak up as much of the view as possible, take pictures, and eat lunch. Then we backtrack to Chalten for dinner on your own and a good night’s rest.
Mount Fitz Roy
Another hike awaits today, this time along the beautiful Rio Blanco. The trip starts with the drive to the head of the trail, located roughly eleven miles north of Chalten, where we’ll follow the trail to the Piedras Blancas Glacier, a hanging glacier descending from the base of Mount Fitz Roy.
Here, we’ll take a chance to enjoy the view during lunch, and then forge onward to a viewpoint that offers incomparable vistas of the majestic Mount Fitz Roy and its surroundings. Then we follow the trail past Laguna Capri and end up back in Chalten for dinner on your own and sleep.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Today is the day for one of the greatest highlights of the trip: the epic Perito Moreno Glacier! If Mount Fitz Roy is the king of Argentine Patagonia, then the Perito Moreno is its queen, and today we get the honor of gazing upon her magnificence.
Finishing up after breakfast, we drive back to Calafate through the rolling pampas, arriving around noon to leave our luggage at the hotel and head out to the glacier.
First, we’ll go the lesser-known north face, away from the crowds, to take in its grandeur in peace and quiet. The gigantic glacier, with its gradients of blue and jagged edges, is one of the best places to see calving, so hopefully we’ll get the chance to see some chunks fall off the front wall into the glacial Lake Argentino below. Next, we take a short walk to the footbridges, admiring the scenery along the way, before embarking on a short boat ride up close to the front of the glacier.
After this day of icy thrills, we return to Calafate for a final night. Maybe spend this evening at a local dinner show to learn more about the culture and enjoy some delicious food.
Sadly, it’s time for this trip full of invigorating exercise and unforgettable sights to draw to a close so we can return to reality. After breakfast, relax in the transfer to the local airport for your departure flight.
(Please note: if you are taking the optional extension to finish the trip in Punta Arenas, then a early private transfer will take you to Puerto Natales where you will have the chance to have lunch (not included) and continue onwards to Punta Arenas, where you’ll spend the night in a hotel. The next day, after breakfast, a private transfer will take you to the airport for your flight.)
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Oct 01, 2018 to Apr 30, 2019 |
Starting at $2685 during Low Season
- Accommodation: 3 nights at EcoCamp’s Standard Domes, 2 nights at Hotel Los Senderos (or similar) and 2 night at Hostería Los Hielos (or similar).
- All excursions as indicated in the itinerary at EcoCamp Patagonia
- At EcoCamp, transport included during excursions will be semi-private, shared only with other passengers doing the same activities.
- Transfer from Chile to Argentina in regular bus.
- Regular transfers and excursions in Argentina.
- English speaking guide for all excursions.
- Guide ratio aprox. 1:12. Max group size: 16 people.
- All national park fees and Cueva del Milodon ticket.
- Boat crossing ticket over Grey Lake and/or Pehoe Lake.
- Nautical Safari to Perito Moreno Glacier.
- Chile fullboard at Ecocamp, breakfast, lunch box on excursions and dinner (soft drinks or wine included in dinner).
- Argentina with breakfast and lunch box on excursions.
- Lunch on Day 4 in El Calafate.
What's Not Included:
- Flight tickets.
- Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip).
- Voluntary tipping of guides and staff.
- Soft drinks or snacks not served with meals at EcoCamp.
- Dinner in Argentinan part.
- Items of personal nature.
Images & Videos
FAQ & More
The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, the strong marine influence and the effect of the Southern Patagonian Ice field make the weather hard to predict. In spring or early summer, fine weather may change almost without warning, bringing rain and even snow. Even in summer (December to March), you should come prepared to find strong cold winds (up to 80mph) and rainfall. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF.
This trip demands a moderate level of physical activity. We take as many stops as necessary depending on the rhythm of the group. Travellers doing the active excursions will find them sufficiently energetic. To enjoy these more active treks it is essential to be in shape before arriving. All trails visited in the programs are under 1,000 m / 3,000 ft high so passengers don’t need to worry about altitude.
A complete packing list will be provided upon booking your trip.