Reasons to go to Los Glaciares

  • Gasp at the majesty of Perito Moreno glacier, then explore by boat, kayak or even by donning crampons to hike across its icy back
  • Follow a network of day hiking routes from the mountain town of El Chaltén, to enjoy sublime views of the many peaks and glaciers of the Fitz Roy Massif
  • Embrace your inner gaucho for life on the range at an estancia, exploring the trails on foot or horseback in an epic wilderness
  • Get truly remote with the windswept passes on the Huemul Circuit trek, to wild camp on the shores of an iceberg-strewn lake
  • Challenge yourself on an ice field expedition, traversing some of the toughest and most spectacular scenery that Patagonia has to offer.

What to see & do in Los Glaciares

Perito Moreno glacier

Few national parks can be more perfectly named than Los Glaciares. It’s home to a jaw-dropping 356 glaciers, with many of them easily accessible to visitors.

Perito Moreno glacier is Patagonia’s most famous glacier – and for a very good reason. Though it’s named for Argentina’s most famous explorer, Francisco Moreno, you don’t need to be an explorer yourself to enjoy it. It can be quickly reached by road from El Calafate, and its vast cliffs and almost unfathomable length (nearly 19 miles/30km) can be explored in a variety of ways.

From boat trips and ice hiking with crampons on its back to simply gazing on its beauty from a viewing balcony, Perito Moreno is not to be missed.

Tourist at the viewpoint overlooking Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares

Looking out at Perito Moreno glacier

World-class day hiking in the Fitz Roy Massif

The peaks of the Fitz Roy Massif are what makes Los Glaciares National Park world famous hiking and trekking destination.

The instantly recognisable granite peaks of Mount Fitz Roy dominate the north of the park. Originally called Chaltén ('peak of fire') by the indigenous Tehuelche people, that name is now given to the town that sits below the mountains, offering instant access to a superb network of hiking trails.

Iconic day hikes from El Chaltén like Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Torre take you straight to the feet of the greatest peaks, throwing in a few extra glaciers and pretty mountain lakes for good measure, while the Loma del Pliegue Tumbado hike pulls the focus back to reveal stunning panoramas of the entire range.

Four hikers at Laguna de Los Tres under Mount Fitz Roy in Los Glaciares

Laguna de Los Tres below Mount Fitz Roy

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Marcela says

There might be no better mountain town in the world for both day hikers and serious trekkers than El Chalten. Looking up to see the peaks of the Fitz Roy Massif right above your hotel is an instant trigger for adventure.

Marcela Benegas Patagonia Customer Experience Coordinators

Outstanding multi-day treks

Multi-day treks offer the chance for much deeper exploration of Los Glaciares.

The classic Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Torre hikes from El Chaltén are easily combined into an overnight camping trek – perhaps even adding in the e Loma del Pliegue Tumbado hike for an essential experience.

The most celebrated route here is the Huemul Circuit trek with four days over dramatic mountain passes and along glaciers to take you to the wildest corners of the park.

The southern part of Los Glaciares is less visited by hikers, but offers the chance explore the wilderness past frontier estancia to places so remote you’ll need a boat to get home.

Crossing the Huemul Pass above the South Patagonian Ice Field

Glacier views from the Huemul Pass

The South Patagonian Ice Field

If Patagonia is a place for adventure, then nowhere is better than the South Patagonian Ice Field – the third largest ice field in the world. Those mentally and physically ready to be tested however should grab an ice axe, crampons and snowshoes and prepare for a true expedition.

By climbing the Marconi Pass, intrepid explorers can get a taste of these frozen expanses by camping out on the ice field itself. Expeditions here typically take eight days. The conditions on the ice field are unpredictable such that two extra days need to be built into the itinerary just to account for the ever-changing weather. Those ready to brave the elements will be rewarded with a truly unforgettable adventure. 

Glacier hiking on the Southern Ice Field expedition

Trekking on the South Patagonian Ice Field

More on trekking in Los Glaciares

El Chaltén

El Chaltén is the chilled-out mountain town that sits in the shadow of Mount FitzRoy, and on a clear day the peak completely dominates its skyline. Since the 1980s it's been a mecca for hikers, mountaineers and rock climbers alike.

The town is small but perfectly formed, with a great cafe, restaurant and bar scene to enjoy after some hard days hiking, as well as plenty of outdoor gear shops where you can top up on kit.

Everyone you meet in El Chaltén seems to be either about to head on a trek or has just come back from one. Its supremely relaxed vibe means that it's an easy place to lose yourself in for a few days – or even longer.

El Chalten town sign with Mount Fitz Roy in the background

El Chaltén and the Fitz Roy Massif

Culture & history

Los Glaciares is a place to experience Patagonia's traditional frontier culture and history like nowhere else.

Estancias dot the landscape here – historic ranches often dating back more than a century, and very often first settled in areas so remote that even the native Tehuelche never lived there.

Visiting or staying on an estancia offers an insight into the life of the gaucho, Patagonia's iconic cowboys, who still live and work in the saddle ranching cattle and sheep. You needn't rough it while you so, but they offer the opportunity to connect with a rich cultural heritage in a landscape where the skies, plains an mountains seem to stretch on forever.

A gaucho in Los Glaciares

A gaucho in Los Glaciares

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Chloe says

Los Glaciares offers some of Patagonia's best cultural experiences. Drinking mate with gauchos after a day in the saddle connects you instantly back in time to the tough lives of the earliest pioneers, founding their estancias deep in the wilderness.

Chloe Mazille Patagonia Specialist

Where to stay in Los Glaciares

Most people chose to base themselves in and around El Chaltén, where you can walk straight out your hotel and onto a hiking trail, the return in the evening for a hot shower and to explore the town’s great foodie scene. There’s a good selection of accommodation for all price brackets.

El Calafate also has a wide selection of hotels that are perfect for ease of access to Perito Moreno. 

You can get away from everything to stay on an estancia, or traditional Argentinian ranch, connecting with traditional frontier culture in some of the remotest properties in Patagonia.

If you prefer a bit of pampering, Los Glaciares has some excellent luxury lodges, near both El Chaltén and El Calafate.

Helsingfors-Cristina(1)

Los Glaciares accommodation options

El Chaltén Hotels

El Chaltén Hotels

Originally a climbers' mecca, El Chaltén is peppered with hotels that are still mainly run by staff dying to help you get out and about in the mountains. Spend your days amongst …

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Hotel Kapenke, El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate Hotels

El Calafate is the hub of Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park, and there is no shortage of places to stay. Experience warm Patagonian hospitality at a family run boutique …

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Estancia Cristina in Los Glaciares

Estancias in Los Glaciares

Estancias are the perfect place to disconnect: remote ranches offering a gaucho lifestyle, where you can explore their trails by day then sink into their rustic charms by night.

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Swoop says

Some of the best sunrises and sunsets await those and camp for a night or two among the mountains, when you can enjoy the peaks to yourself. Or you can really go far and find campsites and wild camping on some of the park's most brilliantly remote treks.

How to get to Los Glaciares

El Calafate (airport code FTE) is the main gateway to Los Glaciares national park. From here, it’s just 135 miles (215km) by road to the park’s hiking hub at El Chaltén. From El Calafate, it’s 59 miles (80km) to Perito Moreno glacier.

El Calafate is connected by air to Buenos Aires, Ushuaia in Tierra del FuegoBariloche in the Argentinian Lake District, Trelew at Peninsula Valdes and Cordoba.

There are no direct flights from El Calafate into Chile, but overland travel is possible from Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park.

Sunset over the Fitz Roy massif on the road to El Chaltén

When to go to Los Glaciares

Spring The start of the visitors season. Receding snow reopens the trails. Mornings and nights are still chilly, but there are far fewer hikers on the trails.

Summer Long days of over 17 hours of daylight, with typically fine weather but with strong winds. This is peak season, so booking accommodation in advance is essential.

Autumn A time of glorious Fall colours. One of the best time to visit due to generally clearer skies and fewer visitors, but later in the season there's always a chance of snow.

Winter Snow closes most of the trails and many hotels shut completely. Perito Moreno remains accessible throughout the entire year.

Sunset over the mountains at Estancia Cristina in Los Glaciares
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What our travellers think of Los Glaciares

Los Glaciares National Park trips scored 4.4/5 from 451 reviews

Fantastic tour and itinerary. Read the full review

Travelled: March 2023

Jake Moore - USA

An amazing experience. Almost a glacier behind every corner. Read the full review

Travelled: March 2023

Jake Moore - USA

What was your most memorable moment? So many memorable moments that it is hard to choose. A funny one was when the kayak leader at Lago Desierto told us to put on the special waterproof outfit. I wasn't expecting that. The leader served us cookies and coffee when we took a break on land in the middle of the trip. Then there were snow flurries as we neared the end. It was a great experience! Read the full review

Travelled: March 2023

Christian Schweizer - USA

There were many amazing moments of the trip, but the Perito Moreno glacier was remarkable. I have never seen anything like it. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2023

Sara Wynne - UK

Our 3 day, 2 night hiking experience with our guide was our highlight (although everything was so amazing-it is difficult to choose). The afternoon hike on our first day took us to the celestial lakes in front of the Fitz Roy. Absolutely breathtaking colors and views! We will always picture this moment when reflecting back on our visit to Patagonia. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Andrea Cohen - USA

The weather was unforgiving and uncooperative which resulted in some setbacks. However, the sheer vastness of Los Glaciares is something that can never be put into words or shown through pictures. It's an experience one can only gain from seeing firsthand. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Nick Jakubowski - USA

Stunning. I don't know what I expected for Los Glaciares park and the glacier walk, but the day exceeded whatever expectations existed. We were lucky to have a friend that's a professional photographer on the trip, she managed to capture the beauty of the glacier and so many memories for our group. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Mariel Sabraw - USA

This is the most beautidul place I've ever been to! Read the full review

Travelled: October 2022

Debbie Knaub - USA

Loved this area of Argentina. Spending time hiking around Fitzroy was the highlight. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Brian McIntyre - United States Of America

The trip was an adventure and to see such beautiful scenery was breathtaking. The people of Patagonia were extremely friendly and helpful and without question getting up close and personal with a Glacier was a truly memorable moment. The shear scale of nature in the raw is a beautiful thing to see Read the full review

Travelled: January 2019

David Cook - United Kingdom

The wilderness, the most dramatic scenery you can experience and the people, warm with compassion and incredible depth of care for their communities. Read the full review

Travelled: October 2016

Nic and Julie Iannarone -

A wonderful experience which far exceeded our expectations with spectacular scenery and events.

Travelled: February 2016

Murray -

Review:

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Los Glaciares: Your Questions Answered

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