DAY 1 Calafate: Arrival to El Calafate. Airport pick up and
DAY 2 Calafate: Breakfast. At 7 am or 9 am depending on season, Perito Moreno Glacier Full Day Tour: People from all over the world come to this remote place in Southern Patagonia to be a witness of the Ice Age. This is one of the only moving glaciers in the planet, and a visit is not only worth, is a MUST.
You start from El Calafate early in the morning to enjoy the landscape, the nature, the fauna and the wide variety of birds (trying to arrive to the glacier before everyone). Through the gateways you visit the north face of the Perito Moreno Glacier, in different viewpoints from different altitudes.
DAY 3 Puerto Natales: Breakfast. Departure to Puerto Natales. Arrival and Accommodation.
DAY 4 Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine (Regular Bus): Registration time at Rodoviario (Bus Station): 2pm.
Departure: 2.30pm. / Arrival to Porter?a Laguna Amarga: 4.30pm.
Transfer in a regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. The journey lasts approximately 2 hours (112 Km.), passing through Cerro Castillo (a small border town situated along the route to the park and 54 Km. from Puerto Natales).
Upon arrival to Laguna Amarga, all travelers must get off of the bus and visit the CONAF Administration Office where they will follow all protocol necessary to enter the park, the park entrance fee is included in the cost of the program. Having finished the paperwork, travelers will board the transfer vehicles that belong to Transportes Las Torres and which will take them to the sector surrounding the Cerro Paine Ranch and then on to The Welcome Centre of their first accommodation site.
NIGHT 1 of W-Trek: Refugio Torre Central.
DAY 5: Trekking Base Torres Lookout (7 / 8 hours, 13 Km): Recommended time to begin the trek: 9am
The first stage includes an ascent for about 1,5 hours, with beautiful views of the surrounding lakes and Mount Almirante Nieto?s hanging glacier (2.670 m.a.s.l.), until arriving to Refugio El Chileno. Here, the traveler will go through check-in, recharge energies and leave his/her main luggage before initiating the climb with a small rucksack. From here, and for about an hour, the traveler will cross a millennium-old forest of lenga trees before arriving to the base of the ?Morrena?. At this point, he/she will ascend for about 45 minutes in order to arrive to one of the site?s most magnificent areas, "Base Torres Lookout", from where the imposing Torre Sur (2.850 m a.s.l.), Torre Central (2.800 m a.s.l.), Torre Norte (2.600 m a.s.l.), Nido de Condor and Glacier Torre can all be appreciated.
Level of difficulty: High.
NIGHT 2 of W-Trek: Refugio El Chileno / If there are no beds available at this shelter, the alternative is to return to Torre Central (2 hours additional walking time).
DAY 6: Trekking Refugio El Chileno/Refugio Los Cuernos (5 - 6 hours, 11 Km): Recommended time to begin the trek: 9am
A moderate trek around the Macizo Paine, circling the base of Mount Almirante Nieto. From Refugio El Chileno, and after half an hour?s walk, the traveler arrives to the ?Atajo?, a path on the right that continues towards Refugio Los Cuernos. Along the journey the traveler can take in the incredible sites of Lake Nordenskj?ld, the hanging glaciers and local flora, including the ?ciruelillo? or ?notro? trees, which delight in displaying their characteristic red flowers from December onwards.
After a four or five-hour walk, the traveler will arrive to the area entitled Los Cuernos, which is considered by many as one of the most welcoming spots along the entire circuit.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
NIGHT 3 of W-Trek: Refugio Los Cuernos.
Day 7: Trekking to Franc?s Valley / Paine Grande (11 - 12 hours, 25.3 Km): Recommended time to begin the trek: 8am
The first two hours are fairly light with views of Lake Nordenskj?ld until arriving to ?Camp Italiano?. At this point, we recommend that you contact CONAF staff and make arrangements for leaving backpacks at the camp before beginning the ascent with just a small rucksack containing water, food and warm clothing. The climb begins from the valley of River Franc?s and continues all the way up to the Franc?s Glacier Lookout (1.5 hrs). From there, the climb continues along the path until arriving to the area called ?Brit?nico? and the ?Brit?nico Lookout?, which offers one of the national park?s most impressive landscape views. The peaks that can be appreciated from this lookout are Paine Grande, Catedral, Hoja, M?scara, Espada, Aleta de Tibur?n and Cuerno Norte. The return trek follows the same path down to ?Camp Italiano? and then onwards to the sector known as Peho?, where the shelter is located.
Level of difficulty: High.
NIGHT 4 of W-Trek: Paine Grande Lodge.
DAY 8: Trekking to Grey Glacier (8 - 9 hours, 22 Km).Torres del Paine - Puerto Natales: Recommended time to begin the trek: 9am
Roundtrip to the Grey Glacier Lookout. After about one and a half hours the traveler will reach the first lookout, where it?s possible to observe the glacier at a distance. From there, the traveler will follow a path that circles the west bank of Lake Grey. After about one and a half / two hours the traveler will reach the main lookout with spectacular views of Grey Glacier, Cord?n Olgu?n and the ice floes. The return journey follows the same path, arriving to the sector known as Peho?. At the pier the traveler will board a ferry and take a trip across Lake Peho?, disembarking at the sector known as Pudeto from which point a transfer will be waiting to take customers back to Puerto Natales. Accommodation in Puerto Natales
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Ferry Itinerary PM / AM:
-Registration time at the pier: 6.00pm/ Departure: 6.30pm/ Approximate arrival time to Rodoviario Natales: 10pm.
-It is possible that due to physical and climate conditions the traveler prefers to return on the first ferry. In this instance, the walk will only reach the first lookout (three hours approximate roundtrip). If taking advantage of this option, registration time at the pier is: 11am/ Departure: 11.30am/ Approximate arrival time to Rodoviario Natales: 4.30pm.
-It?s important that on this day the traveler effectively calculates walking times in order to be on time for the ferry departures.
-When walking to the glacier, backpacks can be safely left at Paine Grande Lodge (a free service for travelers who are staying at this place).
DAY 9: Puerto Natales /Punta Arenas Airport: Breakfast and check out. Regular bus to Puerto Natales Airport. Optional bus to El Calafate
In El Calafate you will find yourself at the gateway to the majestic world of glaciers.
This town is near Lake Argentino, a green water surface covering 1,600 km2, with a length of 60 km and a width between 12 and 14 km. It also has great mysterious depths, like all lakes orginated from glaciers, ranging from 35 m in Feruglio, on the southern shore, to 300 m off the Avellaneda Peninsula.
El Calafate connects you with the most unknown and magical features of our geography. It is 316 km. from Río Gallegos, 185 m.a.s.l. and receives its name from the small bush calafate, indigenous of Patagonia. Its fruit is a delicious berry very good for the elaboration of jam. According to tradition, whoever eats calafate will return for more. But reality indicates that whoever visits Calafate wants to stay there forever.
It is a tourist resort of both national and international importance, since it is the start of all glacier circuits. It is an oasis of poplars, willows and pines at the border of the steppe.
This small town and all its magic are a must for lovers of glaciers.
El Calafate presents a dry climate, with an average maximum temperature of 19ºC, and an average minimum of -2º in winter. The length of the day changes according to season. In summer, the sun rises at 5.30am and sets at 11pm. In winter the day is shorter as there are only 8 hours of daylight.
El Calafate is the main supplier in the area. It has a population of around 8,000 inhabitants on a 155,000-hectare surface, with rivers and creeks draining into the Atlantic Ocean through the Santa Cruz River.
The Glaciers National Park covers a surface of some 600,000 hectares with 47 glaciers, such as the Viedma, the Moyano, the Marconi, the Upsala, the Agassiz, the Bolado, the Onelli, the Peineta, the Spegazzini, the Mayo, the Ameghino, the Moreno and the Frías, all of them located within the Atlantic basin.
El Calafate can be visited thanks to a significant bus fleet used for excursions and modern boats that allow you to enjoy the classical viewpoint of the Perito Moreno Glacier or the audacious expeditions to cross the glaciers from one side to the other. The International Airport of El Calafate, inaugurated on November 17, 2000 and located 23km away from the city, receives direct flights from Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Pto.Madryn, San Carlos de Bariloche, and Puerto Natales, among other cities.