Join Go Get Lost as we explore one of the most magnificent natural areas on the planet, the mythical Patagonia region at the tip of South America. It’s on every hiker’s bucket list, over 400,000 square miles of sparsely populated wilderness between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, with undulating steppes, forests, deserts, lakes, rivers, fjords, the Andes mountains and over 350 glaciers, many of which are still growing! We’ll base ourselves in Argentina, in two of the best towns for exploring the region. Each day will be filled with exciting adventures amid the trails and peaks of this vast and beautiful area…and each evening will be spent at a cozy and relaxing hotel, drinking in the local ambiance and dining on fine Argentinian cuisine.
You can also arrive a few days early and sample the culture and nightlife of Argentina’s historic capital city on our exciting Exploring Buenos Aires pre-trip tour.
Led by Go Get Lost owner Jeff Fafoglia. Jeff has been leading groups of adventurous travelers to the far corners of the planet for over 27 years. In the past you might have found him creeping through the African bush to get his clients the perfect camera angle, or guiding a group of divers through the midst of a school of circling sharks off the Galapagos Islands. These days it’s a bit tamer, his favorite gear is now a good pair of hiking boots for the backroads of Europe or the trails of South America, and to keep his clients happy his weapon of choice is a corkscrew.
“I never tire of leading trips. My goal on every tour is to connect with my travelers, and to connect them to the magic of the region we’re visiting. One of my greatest joys in life is watching the expressions on people’s faces as I introduce them to my favorite places…and my favorite people…in some of the world’s most fascinating locales!”
Tour Dates & Pricing
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Day 1 - Bienvenido a Argentina
When you arrive at El Calafate airport you'll make your way by cab to our centrally located 4-Star hotel in the bustling town of El Calafate. El Calafate is a small town in the Argentinean Patagonia, situated in the southwest part of the Santa Cruz Province over 2,000 kilometers south of Buenos Aires. It is an important destination as the hub to visit different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park, including the Perito Moreno Glacier (one of the most impressive glaciers in the world), and the Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains. Its name is derived from a little bush with yellow flowers and dark blue berries that is very common in Patagonia. After checking into your hotel, you'll have some free time to rest and relax, or wander at your leisure. Later this evening we'll have an orientation meeting...with wine, of course! Afterwards we'll enjoy a superb Patagonian dinner at one of our favorite local grills.
Day 2 - Seno Mayo Hike
After breakfast this morning we'll start our exploration of this incredible area. The itinerary begins inside Los Glaciares National Park, departing from Punta Bandera port. We will navigate Canal De Los Témpanos to enter Seno Mayo of Argentino Lake, the biggest and most austral lake in the country. When arriving at Toro Bay, a walk to interpret the Andean Patagonian forest will be done accompanied by our private hiking guide. The circuit allows appreciating a variety of cherry trees, cinnamon trees, lengas, ñires and even a centenarian cherry tree whose trunk is bigger than three meters in diameter. After having crossed the forest, we will meet a stream fed by a waterfall. From this point, it is possible to appreciate a limestone rock formation, whose stockade is 180 meters tall and 100 meters wide. After this, we will return to the boat to head to the next destination. Navigating lake Seno Mayo will give us great views of Mayo Hill’s glacier and the hanging glacier of Negro Hill. When disembarking at Negro Hill, the guide will start another short walk, providing more details of the Andean Patagonian forest and its vegetation, typical of mountain regions of the South of Chile and the South West of Argentina where mountain forests are abundant. After returning to the ship, we will sail to the North Wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier and disembark in the floating dock of Puerto Moreno, located at the foot of the famous footbridges. There we will visit the balconies to get panoramic views of the different fronts of the Perito Moreno Glacier. The Perito Moreno Glacier is a glacier located in the National Park in the southwest of Santa Cruz province, Argentina. The glacier is an astounding 97 square miles of moving ice, almost 20 miles in length and 4 miles wide, moving over 3 feet a day. It's one of 48 glaciers in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, located in the Andes system shared with Chile. Today you'll get views of this amazing spectacle from all angles...from water level to above the top. Occasionally massive chunks of ice calve off the leading edge of the glacier and crash into the lake, creating an awesome display of sound and action!
OPTIONAL (with upcharge) For those who are fit and under 65, we can offer a minitrekking adventure on Perito Moreno glacier. The excursion begins in the embarking pier located in “Bajo de las Sombras” port, about 6 km before the glacier Balconies- where you embark for 20 minutes navigation across the Rico Arm, enjoying breathtaking views of the Perito Moreno glacier’s front wall. You disembark on the opposite shore, where specialized bilingual mountain guides welcome you and lead you to a small shelter. After checking the last details, you'll follow your guides along the lake’s shore towards the edge of the glacier. Once on the ice, the guides put each participant a pair of crampons on, and explain how to use them. The two hours circuit that follows introduces you to the fascinating landscape of the glaciers: streams, small lagoons, gullies, crevasses and plenty of ice formations of the most incredible blues. The trekking is moderate. The ice surface over which you walk is irregular but firm and safe. You will receive explanations about flora, fauna and general glaciology of the region and also about the particular phenomenon that happens in the Perito Moreno Glacier and eventually produces its rupture. After the walk, a stroll through the forest brings you back to the shelter.
Tonight you're free to explore the town of El Calafate,,,relax and enjoy!
Today's Seno Mayo walk is rated EASY. It's actually a series of 3 short walks, on fairly level, rolling terrain through forests and alongside lakes. The total distance may vary depending on which trails we choose, but we'll probably hike less than 5 miles total today. The trail surface can be uneven with rocks to scramble over. The last "walk" is actually on a series of catwalks which climb up the side of a slope. You can go as high (or as low) as you want, appreciating the different viewpoints at various levels.
If you opt for the minitrekking glacier walk, it is rated EASY to MODERATE. The distance is similar to the Seno walk, but the trail surface is obviously a bit trickier as you're walking over ice. The crampons you'll wear make your footing very secure, and with a little care it's very difficult to slip and fall. You must be under 65 years of age for this walk.
Day 3 - Estancia Cristina Hike
Estancia Cristina is the main house of a historic Patagonian ranch, located in an amazing natural environment, surrounded by glaciers, the Andes and Argentino Lake. Due to its location, we will navigate through the Argentino Lake to access to the Ranch. We depart from Punta Bandera Port in the morning ferrying on the northern arm of Lake Argentino up to the last permitted point of navigation on the Upsala Channel, where stunning views of the Upsala Glacier await. Upsala is a monster...335 square miles, 37 miles long and 230 feet high. We'll have some nice views of it at various points on our hike today. After disembarking at Estancia Cristina, we will board a unique 4WD vehicle with a specialized guide. Our ride will take us in ascent along the Feruglio cordon for 9.5 km where we will leave our vehicle. From there we will walk to the Upsala Glacier Lookout Point, which features stunning views of Lake Guillermo, the imposing Upsala Glacier’s eastern front and the South Patagonian Continental Ice Field. From there we will begin a trek over Fossil Canyon, an area with a great concentration of unique marine fossils, geological treasures left uncovered after the passage of the oceans long ago. This trek is a gradual downhill descent. During the journey, there will be a break for our packed lunch at a picturesque spot, and then we'll walk down to Estancia Valley and to the boarding pier.
Today's hike is rated MODERATE, with a distance of a little over 8 miles, The length of the hike pushes it to the far end of Moderate, but there is not a lot of ascent, as the 4x4 vehicles take us up fairly high, so most of the walk is level or a descent. The terrain is very rolling, with quite a few short up-and-down sections. The trail surface is good, mostly packed but with some rocky areas.
Day 4 - Torre Mount Hike
This morning after breakfast we'll have a private transfer across the impressive and vast Patagonian steppe to the small mountain village of El Chalten. El Chalten is a small mountain village in the west of Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, at the foot of the Andes Mountain range. El Chalten is in a strategic position inside the Glaciares National Park, at the base of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains, both popular for climbing. This charming village was built in 1985 to help secure the disputed border with Chile; however, today El Chalten is considered the perfect jumping off point for a wide range of trekking, climbing and kayaking adventures among the dazzling mountains and glaciers.
Torre Mount, along with Fitz Roy, is the other major trekking area, ending in a beautiful view of several mountains, including CerroTorre, one of the most difficult mountains to climb in the world. The trail starts inside the village, soon a steeper path will bring you up to the Fitz Roy river valley. After 20 minutes, you will be amazed to find the Fitz Roy River Canyon, with the picturesque Margarita Waterfall across the canyon. From here, you begin to have excellent views of the surrounding mountains. Eventually we reach the amazing viewpoint of Mirador del Torre, with impressive panoramic views of Cerro Solo, Cerro Torre, Mount Fitz Roy and the Adela Range.
OPTION: If time and daylight permits, you have the option to continue on the trail, perhaps all the way to Laguna Torre, where the views of Cerro Torre are at their best, and you'll also have a great vantage point for seeing Grande Glacier.
Tonight we'll explore the quaint frontier town of El Chalten, and recharge with a hearty mountain meal at one of our favorite local bodegas. Tonight you can stay up and check out the amazing star display of the Southern hemisphere, the clear skies untainted by city lights or pollution.
Today's walk is rated EASY. It's a little less than 5 miles, depending on how far along the trail we venture. The first section is a moderately steep ascent on a good trail, but only for a short distance. Then follow rolling terrain ascending gently through a lenga forest. We retrace our steps back to the trailhead. I you opt to continue along the trail towards Laguna Torre, the rating will increase to MODERATE, and eventually CHALLENGING, mainly because of the length, the ascent to return to the trailhead, and the quick pace you'll have to maintain in order to complete the hike before dark. The full hike is 13.4 miles, with 1,634 feet of ascent.
Day 5 - De Las Vueltas River Kayak Adventure
After breakfast this morning we'll have a private transfer up a gravelly access road deep into the mountains. Hidden away in a peaceful, forested valley we find Laguna Condor lodge, where the experts at kayaking the mountain rivers will outfit us for our trip downstream. You will meet your specialized guide at the mountain refuge and after a technical briefing and allocation of the equipment, you will start your adventure by brushing up on your skills by practicing a bit of paddling in the Cóndor Lagoon where your guide will finish adjusting your movements. Kayaking with sit-on-top kayaks is surprisingly easy, and even first-timers will have no trouble today. The river itself is fairly shallow in most spots, if you happen to fall into it, you'll usually be able to stand up easily! We'll enjoy a moderate descent today through this glacially-formed, winding river, with some small riffles and gentle currents. The landscape is nothing short of spectacular, offering a different viewpoint than you'll find on the trails. Lenga forests line the slopes above, and the peaks of Fitz Roy can often be glimpsed towering over you. You'll also enjoy a totally different ecosystem than you've been experiencing in the mountains, with South American wetland birds and animals often sighted.
For lunch today we'll stop at a riverside camp and let our guides cook up a quick meal, typical of the kind the hardy explorers eat as they venture through this wilderness. Later we'll resume our paddle and eventually find ourselves back in the village of El Chalten!
Tonight you're free to wander and explore the local bars and restaurants, rubbing shoulders with climbers, hikers and adventurous souls from all over the globe. Great fun and amazing conversations!
Today's adventure is rated EASY to MODERATE. There is no hiking, just sitting and paddling. Since there is a nice current, most of the time the paddling is simply to keep you heading in the correct direction. There are a few instances where you may have to paddle vigorously for a minute or two, but they are few and far between. The water is cold but the supplied wetsuits are very comfortable and very warm, even if you take a swim. Much (but not all) of the river is less than 2-3 feet deep, so it's easy to climb back into your kayak if you happen to fall out. The guides are amazing, and very helpful. The Moderate rating would be for those who are totally unused to this sort of thing, and find they'll be somewhat tired out by the end of a long, exciting day on the river.
Day 6 - Fitz Roy and Laguna de los Tres Hike
Today is the day we've been waiting for...one of the world's most famous and exhilarating hikes...up to mythical Fitz Roy! This is the main and the most beautiful trekking in the area, it leads us just in front the stunning Mount Fitz Roy. We'll have an early breakfast today, and start with a transfer up the valley to the Pilar trailhead, 11 miles away from El Chaltén. The first part of our day is spent in a gorgeous forest of beech, lengas and ñires, bordering the Blanco River. After an hour we find the first lookout with an excellent view of Piedras Blancas Glacier. Another hour will find us at Poincenot camp, after about 45 minutes, where there will surely be tents of different nationalities. Then nearby, we cross the river by a small hanging bridge to reach the base camp "Rio Blanco", which is only used by climbers. There is also a protection
of logs armed by National Park Guardians, and is used like a shelter from the bad weather. At this point, the guide will take those with more energy to Laguna de los Tres viewpoint which, from Blanco River, is 450 vertical meters in 1 hour trek. The view of Fitz Roy Massif, its lagoon and glaciers, is simply spectacular. A few meters away, you can also find a very good view of Sucia Lake. For those wishing to avoid the steep trek up to Laguna de los Tres, there is an option to take a gentle, rolling trail that winds through open country at the base of the mountain. It too offers amazing, postcard views of Fitz Roy, albeit from a different angle. Both groups return to El Chaltén on the path that goes through the Capri Lagoon lookout. By late afternoon the weary hikers will walk into El Chalten, and to a much-deserved shower and rest.
Tonight we have a special farewell dinner planned in one of El Chalten's more intriguing restaurants. It's always enjoyable to re-live all of the adventures and misadventures of the trip, to offer plenty of toasts, and to exchange our favorite pictures! AND to plan our next adventure!
Today's walk is CHALLENGING if you do the full trek up to Laguna de los Tres viewpoint, mainly because of the length of the day and the steep part. It is MODERATE if you opt to skip the steep part. The distance is a little over 10 miles for the longer version, with a very steep switchback trail that ascends 450 meters to the Laguna de los Tres viewpoint. The trails are varied, mostly rolling with much in a lenga forest, some in open scrubland, and some on open rocky trails. All of the trail surfaces are good, and on the steep part we go very slow and work our way up. Very do-able for our average Go Get Lost hiker.
Day 7 - Adios Argentina
Your Go Get Lost tour ends today after breakfast with a private transfer to the El Calafate airport, approximately 3 hours away.
Due to availability at the time of booking, hotels listed may change to similar hotels
El Calafate: 4-Star Hotel Kosten Aike This beautiful property boasts an unbeatable location, just two blocks from El Calafate’s main avenue and minutes from the International Airport. This four-star property is a chateau built entirely of wood and regional stones. Its exclusive decor recreates the age-old designs and exquisite art of the Tehuelches in draperies, paintings, handicraft and ironwork. The Hotel faithfully adheres to the traditional hospitality of the authentic Patagonians.
El Chalten: 3-Star Senderos Lodge At the very doors of El Chaltén, within Los Glaciares National Park, at the foot of the Fitz Roy Hill, Senderos Lodge offers a rustic accommodation with a typical Patagonian architecture, inspired in antique farms from the 1920's and with all the modern hotel comfort. Its 21 rooms offer guests a unique experience to feel and live this outstanding Patagonian spirit reflected in local ambiance and mainly shown by the warm and personalized service of its professional staff.
El Chalten: 3-Star Chalten Suites Nestled in one of the most spectacular corners of Patagonia, Chalten Suites Hotel is a warm refuge with only 33 rooms, designed and cared for by its owners to create an atmosphere of relaxation for the exclusive purpose of enjoying the mountains and the Patagonian Andean forest. They offer spacious rooms with direct views of the magnificent Fitz Roy and Torre hills and the entire surrounding cordon. In addition, all our common spaces were designed so that at no time of the day we miss this incredible view.
- 3 Nights, Double Occupancy Standard Room at 4-Star Kosten Aike Hotel in El Calafate (or similar)
- 3 Nights, Double Occupancy Classic Room at 3-Star Sendoros Lodge in El Chalten (or similar)
- 6 Breakfasts
- 6 Box Trail Lunches, one bottle of water per lunch included
- 3 Dinners, water and local wine included
- 4 days of hiking with expert local hiking guides
- 1 day of kayaking on the De las Veultas river
- All boating and ferry fees
- All entrance fees to sites on itinerary
- All national park fees
- All transportation once the tour starts
- Group departure transfer
- All tips for drivers, waiters, etc (EXCEPT for your primary local hiking guides in El Calafate, and in El Chalten)
What´s not Included
- Meals not specified in itinerary
- Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary (all group meals include water and/or wine)
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
- Single supplement charge
- Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.
- Arrival transfers
- International airfare
- Gratuities for your primary local trekking guides
- Any costs associated with options or free time