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Trekking amongst the peaks of the Fitz Roy Massif

From day hikes out of El Chalten, to multi day treks up to mountain passes, the FitzRoy massif offers incredible views of glaciers, towering peaks and the Patagonian Ice Cap itself.

Check out some trips, read our guide, or view the map of key landmarks.

Trekking Fitz Roy, from El Chalten

The Fitz Roy Massif offers some of Patagonia's most dramatic mountain and glacial landscapes. Unlike its Chilean counterpart, Torres del Paine, you can hike to many of the best vantage points on day hikes, returning to the comfort of your hotel each day. Alternatively those willing to camp will be rewarded with some great multi-day trek routes

Here we share our thoughts on the trekking routes around Chalten and Mount Fitz Roy, as well as example itineraries for including Fitz Roy in a wider tour of Patagonia.  We also have a guide to El Chalten and to the Los Glaciares National Park.

Day Hikes    |    Multi-Day Treks    |    Map of Chalten & FitzRoy

Chalten Day Hikes

Returning each night to a choice of comfortable hotels in El Chalten, these routes take 4-8 hours. Most trails are well marked and some people choose to hike these independently. However guides offer more than just safety and navigation - they'll help you find the best vantage points and leave you with a rich sense of the region's climbing history, geography and culture.  Interested in guided hikes?

Laguna de los Tres

 

Laguna de los TresThis is arguably the best viewpoint in the national park and 'los tres' refers to the 3 peaks that you'll be able to see: Cerro Fitzroy, Cerro Poincenot and further in the distance Cerro Torre.

You can trek from Chalten as a there-and-back route retracing your steps, however it's much better to drive out to Hosteria Pilar and set out from there. This is a 22km route, ascending approx 800m and taking around 7-9 hours if you take your time to enjoy yourself and take it all in. The route starts on a forest path with views across to the Piedras Blancas glacier, and then you have a steep ascent up to the Laguna itself - a great place to stop for lunch if conditions permit. The descent takes you to the wonderful Laguna Capri which also offers great views up to the massif.

 

 

 

 

Laguna Torre

 

On this hike you ascend a perfect glaciated valley up to the the Laguna Torre with its wonderful views to Cerro Torre and the glacier. It's an easier hike than the Laguna de los Tres, normally done over 5-6 hours and covering 20km, ascending 250m-350m depending on whether you continue up to the lookout point Mirado Maestri.



 

Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

Loma roughly translates to 'hill'; as opposed to the dramatic mountain peaks surrounding it, but nevertheless some 1,000m above the town of El Chalten.

This trek takes you to the south of the FitzRoy massif offering a different perspective on the mountains, as well the view south to the Lago Viedma. Although the alititude gain is significant the route is relatively easy going. You should allow 6-8 hours depending on how far up you go, and is around 16-18km round trip. Keep an eye out for the fossils!

Piedra del Fraile

To the north of FitzRoy lies the Electrico Valley and Piedra del Fraile is a charming little refugio and campsite. This is a gentle hike through the forest with very little climb but affords a great view of the vast Electrico Valley and the Marconi Glacier in the distance.

Ice hiking on the Viedma glacier

Another great option for a day trip would be head to the Viedma Glacier to try out some ice hiking for the first time. Whilst you can do this on the Perito Moreno glacier, this glacier just a few miles from El Chalten offers a much wilder and remote opportunity to don the crampons and get up close to the crevasses.

 

Los Glaciares tours (2-8 people) & Hiking FitzRoy  

Highlights of Los Glaciares

Experience the best of Los Glaciares in just 5 days: ice hiking on Perito Moreno glacier (no previous experience required) and 2 days of ...

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5 days

$1,100

The Best of Los Glaciares

Ideal for couples, this is the way to see the glaciers and hike up to the base of Mount FitzRoy in style. Enjoy a ...

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5 days

$2,149

Glaciers, Trekking & Luxury in Los Glaciares

Challenging and remote hikes, combined with a luxurious lodge. Hike off the beaten track, spend 2 nights at a wonderful lake-side lodge that is ...

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7 days

$2,100

Multi-Day Treks: Mt FitzRoy

Camping overnight after longer days of trekking, you'll find great rewards - off the beaten track routes, views out across the Patagonian Ice Cap and new perspectives on the FitzRoy mountains. These can be tackled in any order or direction but these are the four main areas/routes...

The Fitzroy and Torre loop

 

Cerro TorreYou can combine the treks to Laguna de Los Tres and to Laguna Torre into one trip using either the Poincenot or Thorwood campsite, and taking in the Madre & Hija lagoon as well. This is a great two day hike and with a third day with a guide you can cross to Pliegue Tombado as well via Paso Agachonas a more challenging a remote route.

 

Huemul Circuit and Paso del Viento (south)

 

Paso del VientoThis route isn't really accessible for the day hikers and you can therefore expect a much more remote experience as well as views over the Patagonian Ice Cap itself. Cerro Huemul stands at nearly 2,700m and this route circumnavigates the mountain and takes you up to Paso del Viento on the edge of the Ice Cap, and then along the edge of the Viedma glacier and lake. It's a 60km+ route with some tough climbs and terrain, and normally done over 4 days with 6-8 hours each day. 

 

Pollone and Electrico Valleys (north)

 

Rio Electrico BridgeThe Electrico valley leads up to the other major access point to the Patagonia Ice Cap, the Marconi Pass. The Piedra del Fraile campsite is a nice staging post along the way, and as you progress further up the valley the landscape changes dramatically: witness the giant glacial boulders of the Pollone Valley and the other wordliness of Lago Electrico, at the base of the Marconi glacier's terminal morraine. A 2-3 day hike here will give a sense of the vastness and remotess of the Patagonian Andes

 

Lago del desierto and Refugio del Diablo (30km north)

 

Lago del DesiertoTo the north of El Chalten lies Lago del Desierto with a 20km trail around it's eastern edge north to the frontier. There's also a trail to the north west up to Refugio del Diablo which offers 1-2 days very much off the beaten track and a good option for people spending a night or two at Lago del Desierto's lakeside lodge.

 

FitzRoy Trekking (with supported camping) 2-8 pax  

El Chaltén Highlights

Highlights: Cerro Torre, Mount Fitz Roy, Laguna Torre, Laguna de los Tres Accommodation: 2 nights in hotel and 2 nights 2 nights in a ...

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4 days

$831

Huemul Massif & Paso del Viento

Highlights. Windy Pass, South Patagonian Icefield view and hiking over Viedma glacier. Wilderness Accommodation: 2 nights in hotel and 3 nights in camps

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5 days

$982

Paso Marconi & Gorra Blanca Ascent

Climb a 2,900 metre peak overlooking the Patagonian Ice Cap. This is physically very demanding but does not require any technical mountaineering experience. With ...

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5 days

$1,231

Chalten Mountain Escape

Highlights: Cerro Torre, Mount Fitz Roy, Laguna Torre, Laguna de los 3, Agachonas Pass, Paso del Viento and South Patagonian Icefield look out. Glacier ...

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6 days

$1,325

Complete Chalten Trek

THE all-encompassing trek of El Chalten, you’ll be guided in small groups to the best sights, climbs and lagoons of the área. With all ...

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6 days

$2,201

Example Itineraries including Fitz Roy

Below are some of our suggestions for visiting other several regions of Patagonia, as well as trekking around Mt. Fitz Roy. These can be fully tailored to suit your timeframe, budget and interests. Also take a look at our other inspirational itineraries.

Day Hike Patagonia 

14 nights, from USD $5,300 to $7,200

Hike the glaciers, mountains and coastlines of Patagonia, experiencing the famous national parks of Torres del paine, Mount FitzRoy and Tierra del Fuego and get off the beaten track on the island of Chiloe.  This trip is ideal for those who love to hike dramatic trails, but with only a daypack and good quality accommodation each night.

Find out more >>

 

Trekking South Patagonian Andes 

21 nights, from USD $4,500 to $5,600

Experience the very best of Southern Patagonia - Torres del Paine, FitzRoy and Tierra del Fuego.  Hike to famous viewpoints, get off the beaten track, and camp in remote corners of the national parks.  Ideal for experienced trekkers looking to hike deep into the Patagonian Andes.

Find out more >>

 

Map of Chalten peaks, glaciers, campsites and lodges:

Find glaciers, lagunas, peaks and trekking landmarks on our interactive map of El Chalten and Fitz Roy:

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Los Glaciares Guide

Read out guide to the Los Glaciares National Park and find tours that visit the Perito Moreno glacier.

Trekking in Los Glaciares:

 

See Hotels in El Chalten and Calafate and nearby Estancias

See our El Chalten Map

Hotels Los Glaciares NP

Find our recommended hotels in:

 

or see estancias around El Chalten

When are you
thinking of going?

January

See Patagonia at the height of the season, when you'll have 18 hours of daylight and feel Patagonia's infamous wind at its strongest. There are just so many options open to you in addition to hiking, why not try glacier trekking, mountain biking and white water rafting on the rapids of the Futaleufu River?

If you want to visit last minute, the key is moving quickly and booking your flights. Availability in Chalten shouldn't be too difficult but in Torres del Paine it's likely that refugios will be fully booked. Don't worry though, it's warm enough to camp under the stars. If you're still in the planning stages of your trip but hope to go this season, it's a good idea to get flights booked as early as possible and make the most of Patagonia's summer before autumn sets in April.

February

February is a great time to trek Patagonia's national parks, in particular Torres del Paine quietens down as Chilean visitors head back to their cities. In Feb you can expect temperatures of between 5 and 19 degrees in Torres del Paine, and this could be a good time to trek the W Circuit independently if you want to save some money to go kayaking for example.

If you want to go in February but you've left it last minute, you may be able to find a late deal on our Exclusive Deals page. Your best bet is finding a Patagonia Tours which tend to have lots of departure dates to join during February.

If you're considering visiting next season, (starting in October), why not getting your flights booked good and early? If you're lucky you may be able to get flights from London to Punta Arenas for £850.

March

March is the tail end of the season for adventure in Patagonia so the infamous Patagonian wind will be on its way out, there'll be fewer people in the national parks so generally quieter on the trails. This is great as you may find prices come down slightly as the locals and tourists leave, but it's more difficult to get a group together, so could be harder if you're travelling alone (although we'll strive to pair you up with someone). However, most longer, multi-location trips run by our global operator partners still run in March and they tend to have bigger groups, but prepare for rain if your trip visits the lake district!

April

In April the season is coming to an end, so try to get there in the first half of the month for more availability and better weather conditions. If you're hoping to stay in the Eco Camp in Torres del Paine or do an adventure cruise round Cape Horn, they finish for the season in early April, so get going! Luckily it's about this time that skiing in Bariloche becomes available in the Argentinian Lake District. Remember that many mountain lodges and estancias close around this time making it hard to do the W or Full Circuit for example. Plus certain services become unavailable such as the catamaran across Lago Pehoe in Torres del Paine and glacier hiking, so it may be a good idea to go earlier in the season if these are on your list of things to do.

Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

May

Winter is getting into full swing now so you may want to try out volcano skiing in the Patagonian Lake District or tailor made tours that take into account the potentially difficult weather conditions. As many operators and lodges wind down for the winter, fewer travellers visit the trails and parks so private departures on most trips are likely. The weather will be a bit like trekking in wales in Dec, are you up for that challenge?

Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

June

At this time of year, the snow is starting to settle in Torres del Paine National Park and the trees are brown and orange, a very beautiful time to see the highlights. June is also when operators launch their Winter W Circuit and Fitz Roy trips, which vary from the usual itineraries as many refugios are closed and van transfers are required because the catamaran across Lago Pehoe stops. Although days are short and weather temperamental, if you can see Patagonia in winter, it will be serene and picturesque.

Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

July

Mid winter, July is equivalent to our January in terms of weather. This is a great time to take advantage of the skiing Patagonia has to offer, particularly in the Chilean and Argentinian Lake Districts. Araucania offers off piste skiing, whereas Bariloche is home to the popular Cerro Catedral Resort but also caters for off piste skiing. For adrenaline junkies, you can ski down the slopes of several volcanoes on certain trips. If you're planning a trip for next season, start looking at flights as the sooner you book them, the cheaper they are.

If you hope to visit Torres del Paine this month, find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

August

This is a great time for snow shoeing in Bariloche, or skiing in the Patagonian Lake District. There are also some winter trips in the Torres del Paine & Fitz Roy areas. Come prepared - cold temperatures, snow and short days means that your trip may not go 100% according to plan, Chalten is known for snow blocking the roads for a day or 2. Alternatively, August is a great time to plan and book trips for the early part of the season ahead, at this time operators will be starting to release availability and rates to help with that.

August is the last month to take advantage of specially designed winter trips in Torres del Paine. If you're keen to see the park covered in snow, find out more about hiking in Torres del Paine in winter >>

September

In September, it's still pretty chilly in Patagonia, with snow and temperatures of 5 degrees in El Calafate for example. If you're hoping to trek the main national parks, you may find that operators don't have any groups heading out, so you may have to go on a private trip with just your guide. The season really kicks off at the end of September/beginning of October with W Circuit and Full Circuit trips as well as estancias and lodges opening their doors to clients.

However, winter trips are still running in Torres del Paine. Find out more here >>

October

Get in before the crowds - you won't see many people on the W Circuit and you'll have the northern part of the park pretty much to yourself on the Full Circuit (you may even come face to face with the endangered Huemul deer). It's still a bit too early for horse riding and rafting trips, you're best off doing these from November onwards. So if you're thinking about visiting Patagonia this season, get your flights and trips booked, as availability really starts to tighten up over October/November.

November

November is a good time to visit: late spring/early summer. Not too busy but a full range of trips and itineraries to choose from. If you want to visit this month, you need to move fast. Refugios are getting booked up until January, but the operator will work hard to fit you in. Don't forget it takes at least a week to organise a tour, so don't leave it too late!

December

Mid summer, 18 hours of daylight and there will probably be days when you're hiking in shorts and t-shirt. Many Chileans and Argentinians will come down to Patagonia for their Christmas break so availability may be tight and you should expect the National Parks to be busier.

It's essential that you get your flights and tours booked asap, as flight prices are also increasing.

Guide to Patagonia

Patagonia spans over 1,000 miles north to south and landscapes ranging from forests, to glaciers, to volcanoes and deserts. Read our Patagonia Guide to find out: how to get there, when to go, what to see and how to find the best trip. Or find out about:

 

Read our Patagonia Guide >

 

How can we help you?

We are Patagonian specialists, and have helped all sorts of different people arrange their perfect adventure holiday in Patagonia. Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure we're here to help you.

  • Join a group trek or tour
  • Plan an independent day by day itinerary
  • Organise your group's trek, expedition or multi-sport adventure
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Tours of Patagonia

One way to see the very best that Patagonia offers is to book a tour that takes you to 2 or more different destinations in one trip. With these tours you'll be able to spend time in a few areas and have all the logistics, transport and accommodation organised for you as you move around Patagonia. See all of our Patagonia Tours, or consider:

About Swoop

We've spent 15 years exploring Patagonia, and arranged holidays for over a thousand customers. We have a network of trusted guides, lodges, and local operators across the region and delight in helping people plan and arrange a great holiday.

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