when to go
November - March
Day Hikes / Multi-day Treks
Only one region in the world has inspired bandits, revolutionaries, and multi-million dollar clothing lines. In Patagonia, dusty roads cut through vast swathes of grassland, dotted with guanacos and blanketed by silence. Jagged, snow-capped peaks soar in the backdrop, giving way to turquoise glacial lakes.
At times, it can be hard to wrap your head around the immense size and remoteness of this region. A frontier-like atmosphere is pervasive, and it intensifies the further south you travel. Distances are long. The weather is moody. Patagonia is too big to care about a little thing like predictable climate patterns, so prepare for four seasons in a day.
Unpredictable weather is a small price to pay for overwhelming scenery on this scale, including the otherworldly Fitz Roy Mountain and Perito Moreno Glacier. Even better, there are scores of well-marked, easily accessible trails on which to explore it all. If you love hiking amid endlessly inspiring scenery, Patagonia is one of the finest destinations on Earth.
When it comes to trekking, the Argentinean outpost of El Chalten is nothing short of a mecca. Mind-blowing day hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding opportunities all start off right from town. Venturing into the northern sector of Los Glaciares National Park, you’ll find the stuff Patagonian dreams are made of: glaciers, turquoise lakes, mountain peaks, and condors.
During the day, El Chalten is quiet as everyone is out basking in the natural wonders. Come Happy Hour, everyone is ready to hydrate (or dehydrate) and refuel inside the the many colorful dining and drinking options.
dining + drinking
Despite the fact that nothing really grows here, the town has a surprising number of great restaurants. It turns out there are a lot of chefs from Buenos Aires who like to hike and rock climb around El Chalten.
There’s only one place to start the day, and that’s at woman co-owned Primo’s Coffee Bar. Here, you’ll find the best coffee in El Chalten. The service and chilled vibe don’t disappoint either.
For viandas (packed lunches) for your hike, head to woman-owned Curcuma, an all natural, vegan outpost. When you’re in need of refueling after a strenuous day, Monte Rojo serves the town’s best burgers and has craft beer on tap.
Perito Moreno Glacier
hiking | kayaking
From El Chalten, your private transportation will take you back to El Calafate for a visit to the Glaciers National Park. Here, you’ll visit the astounding Perito Moreno Glacier, which is one of the world’s only advancing glaciers.
Torres del Paine
From El Calafate, it’s just a few hours’ drive to Puerto Natales, the gateway to Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. You’ve come all this way, so you might as well do the unforgettable O Trek, which covers 130 km over seven days.
This is one of our favorite treks for two reasons. First and most obvious, the scenery is why Patagonia is famous. Have you ever seen an ice field up close? Secondly, 7 days in the wilderness isn’t as rough as it sounds when your destination each day is a charming refuge with great food and wine, and your mornings start with French Press coffee. Torres del Paine is challenging enough for seasoned hikers, yet comfortable enough for the beginners. Don’t miss it.