Trekking Patagonia

Punta Arenas

Otway Sound and Cerro Castillo

Torres del Paine - Rio Serrano

Torres del Paine - Cabanas del Paine

Torres del Paine - Grey Glacier

Torres del Paine - Lake Pehoe

Torres del Paine - Sarmiento Trek

Torres del Paine - The Towers

Los Glaciares - El Calafate

Los Glaciares - Perito Moreno Glacier

Los Glaciares - El Chalten

Los Glaciares - Mt. Fitzroy

Los Glaciares - Posada Lunajuim

Argentina to Chile - The Great Bus Swap

Puerto Natales

Getting to Patagonia

  Trekking Patagonia  
Map of Patagonia Patagonia is the southernmost portion of South America, made up of the Andes mountains to the west and south and plateaus and low plains to the east.  We trekked two famous national parks in the Andes portion: Torres del Paine in Chile, and Los Glaciares in Argentina.

We went in late February, which is the middle of their summer.

We started in Chile, traveling north by van from Punta Arenas to Cerro Castillo via Puerto Natales.  After spending a night in Cerro Castillo, an hour's drive took us into Torres del Paine. where we hiked for four days.  We then continued north via bus to Argentina, stopping for a night in El Calafate to visit the Perto Moreno Glacier.

The next day, another four-hour bus ride took us to the small town of EL Chalten, which is on the outskirts of the Mt. Fitzroy area of the vast Los Glaciares National Park.  After hiking around Fitzroy for three days, we returned by bus to Punta Arenas, spending a night in El Calafate and another in Puerto Natales on the way.  Our total trip was 15 days.

Photo of Map of Southern Chile

Choosing a Tour Company

While you can certainly do it on your own, we wanted the convenience of a tour, and one that featured hiking but didn't involve camping or shared bathroom facities.  We chose Go South Adventures Go South Adventures because they offered lodge based hiking of both parks.

We were generally pleased with Go South Adventures, but there were a number of surprises that made us feel like we were the first of their customers to do this particular trip.  Like all/most of the numberous other companies that book similar trips, the company you book with is merely a middle-man between you and the local companies who do the actual tours.  In Torres del Paine, for example, you seem to end up with Blue Green Adventures no matter whom you booked with.

What to Pack

A travel alarm clock is a necessity; there's no wake up service.  And bring a flashlight.  In our lodgings in Cerro Castillo and Torres del Paine, electricity was turned off at 11:00 p.m.!

Time Differences

Chile and Argentina are an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time, when Chile and the U.S. are both on Daylight Savings Time, which is only from the middle of October until the first Sunday in November.   From the first Sunday in November until the second Sunday in March - when the U.S. is not on Daylight Savings Time and Chile is - Chile is two hours ahead of E.S.T.  And from the second Sunday in March until the middle of October, when the U.S. is on Daylight Savings Time and Chile is not - there is no time difference!