Fitz Roy and Paine Explorer

An expansive group tour experience combining the best hikes in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. Travel into the heart of Torres del Paine on a unique and dramatic Zodiac boat ride. Celebrate your final night in an authentic ranch with a traditional Patagonian BBQ. A tour leader and expert local guides will ensure the seamless running of your trip from start to finish.

12 Days

$3,995

Fitz Roy and Paine Explorer - 12 - $3,995

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Explore the Fitzroy massif with all three of the most exhilarating day hikes that give you a close up view of Cerro Torre, mesmerising lagoons and glaciers and Mount Fitzroy itself
  • Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier and surrounding fjords by boat, or why not try some ice hiking?
  • Zoom into Torres del Paine by Zodiac - the most exciting way to enter the park
  • Hike the famous 'W' and witness the mile-high granite towers, the French Valley and the Grey Glacier
  • Celebrate your adventure with your final night at a traditional estancia and a lamb asado

Start from El Calafate and end at Punta Arenas

Landmarks visited on Fitz Roy and Paine Explorer

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Let the adventure begin!

Fly to El Calafate where you will be welcomed by your friendly tour leader who will be joining you for the first week. You will be provided with transport all the way to your hotel in El Chalten: the gateway to Mount Fitz Roy and Los Glaciares National Park.

El Chalten sits at the base of Mount Fitz Roy and on the edge of the South Patagonian Ice Cap. This place combines the magic of the glaciers, hidden lagoons, estancias with a rich history, Viedma Lake and the magnetic presence of Mount Fitz Roy.

In the evening, get to know your group over a delicious welcome dinner in a local restaurant. This will also be a great opportunity to get to know your tour leader who will give you a briefing on the following days.

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Hosteria Paraiso or similar, El Chalten


Day 2: Hike to Laguna Torre

The trek to Laguna Torre is one of the most spectacular walks of El Chalten. You'll get an impressive view of the Torre massif, the Adela range, Mount Solo and their respective glaciers. This is a relatively gentle trail, so it's a great hike to ease you in on your first day.

You set off from El Chalten and after a gentle ascent, you'll enter a small wood. From here, the path starts to gain height and straightens up alongside the Fitzroy River until it arrives at a viewpoint of the river canyon and the Margarita waterfall.

After about an hour of walking, you arrive at the Cerro Torre viewpoint. Here, you can have a short break and enjoy the magnificent views of Cerro Torre, the Adela range and the glaciers.

The trek continues for 2 hours through grand lenga forests, across old glacial moraines and over wet plains that were once river courses. You're likely to see a wide range of birds, including the Magellanic woodpecker if you're lucky.

Finally, you arrive at Laguna Torre where you will see huge icebergs formed by ice that has fallen from the face of the glacier.

After a rest and lunch at the lagoon, you start the trek back to El Chalten

Length of excursion: 7 - 8 hours, 20km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Hosteria Paraiso or similar, El Chalten


Day 3: Hike to Laguna de Los Tres

This is your chance to get up close to the iconic and imposing Mount Fitz Roy. While this trek is steep in places, the spectacular views once you reach the top make it totally worth it.

After being dropped at the trailhead, around half an hour's drive from El Chalten, you will begin your walk in beautiful, dense forest that protects you from the winds coming off the ice cap. You will see several magnificent glaciers right from the start.

The path climbs gently and, at a certain point, you leave the forest behind and arrive at a clearing where you can admire the mountain peaks in all their splendour.

The challenging section is one hour of steep uphill to get to Laguna de los Tres. Your efforts are rewarded by the breath-taking views you get on arrival of Mt Fitz Roy, Laguna de los Tres and the glacier. By circling the lagoon, you will also reach the lookout for the stunning Laguna Sucia and its glacier.

You will have lunch at the lagoon (weather permitting) before starting the descent back towards El Chalten. On the way down, you will be spoilt by a variety of landscapes. You pass through forests, over crystal clear streams and alongside the incredibly picturesque Laguna Capri. After visiting the lagoon you will drop down into the valley and back to El Chalten.

Length of excursion: 8 - 9 hours, 22km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Hosteria Paraiso or similar, El Chalten


Day 4: Hike to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

Fantastic, elevated views overlooking the National Park with a panorama of peaks. It is uphill all the way there and downhill all the way back.

You set out on the hike from El Chalten. Having walked uphill, crossed over small streams and weaved through woods for about an hour, you come to a clearing with a picture postcard view of Mount Fitz Roy, Torre and Huemul.

The hike continues across the pampas before passing through woodland where a variety of bird species make their home. On leaving the forest, you will step into a more alpine terrain dotted with wild flowers. In fact, this area used to be the sea bed, so you can also spot marine fossils such as ammonites and belemnites which are about 100 million years old.

Eventually, you will reach the magnificent viewpoint with a fantastic panorama of the Torre and Fitz Roy massifs. After enjoying lunch with an unforgettable vista (if the wind isn't too strong!) you return back along the same path to El Chalten.

In the evening, you will be provided with transport to your hotel in El Calafate.

Length of excursion 8 - 9 hours, 18km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Kapenke Hotel or similar, El Calafate


Day 5: Boat trip to Perito Moreno Glacier

You can't visit this part of the world without visiting the captivating Perito Moreno Glacier.

Your day will begin with an hour's journey to Puerto Bandera where you will embark on a boat ride that gives you a unique approach to the glacier. The drive follows a beautiful route around the edge of Lake Argentino. There will be time for photo stops along the way and you may even be lucky enough to spot condors and eagles.

Once you have stepped aboard, the boat journey will take you along Canal de los Tempanos toward the northern face of the glacier. Before you reach the glacier, the lake branches off and you will enter Seno Mayo until you get to Bahia Toro where black sand meets glacial blue waters. You will hop out here and take a short walk through beautiful coihue rainforest, typical of the Patagonian Andean region. Finally, you arrive at an impressive waterfall and fascinating rock formations. Your guide will tell you all about the fauna and flora, glacial formations and the history of Perito Moreno.

On return to the boat, you will continue the ride before making a second stop for another forest walk and a closer look at Glacier Mayo.

You will embark once more for an hour's boat ride that will take you right up to the northern face of Perito Moreno. You will spend some time watching its spectacular display of calving ice and the formation of deep blue icebergs.

After disembarking at the bottom of the visitor walkways opposite the glacier, you will have the opportunity to explore along the paths which offer brilliant views of the glacier from a different perspective.

Alternative excursion (extra): Ice hike on the glacier - during the trek you learn all about the behaviour of the glacier and its natural environment; you will be mesmerised by countless blue lagoons, deep cracks and huge sinkholes.

Length of excursion: 9 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Kapenke Hotel or similar, El Calafate


Day 6: Next stop... Puerto Natales

Your tour leader will accompany you on the morning bus crossing the border from El Calafate to Puerto Natales. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Stretch your legs along the waterfront, take some time to explore the town or simply relax as you will have some free time this afternoon.

In the evening, you will meet your trekking guide for Torres del Paine who will accompany you right until the end of the tour. You will have dinner at a local restaurant with your guide, group and tour leader. Your guide will brief you on the following week which will entail a fabulous journey by boat and Zodiac into Torres del Paine National Park and four days of trekking.

This will be your last evening with your Argentinian tour leader who will be heading back across the border the following morning.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Francis Drake or similar, Puerto Natales


Day 7: Zodiac up the Serrano River into Torres del Paine National Park

You'll really be making an entrance into Patagonia's most popular destination with this Zodiac ride up rivers, past glaciers and through lagoons! Thanks to the unique opportunity of travelling by Zodiac, you will get some fabulous views of the national park that few people get the chance to witness.

Start the day by jumping aboard an enclosed-cabin boat at Puerto Natales that will take you all the way up the 'Ultima Esperanza' fjord to a point close to the Balmaceda glacier. Here, you will disembark and set off on a short walk through native woodland, spotting a variety of birds along the way. Eventually, you will reach the spectacular Serrano Glacier and its beautiful lagoon of icebergs.

Having spent some time taking in this astounding setting, you will board a rib-Zodiac dinghy and be taken across the Serrano river to a restaurant with a wonderful view of the glacier for a barbecue lunch.

After lunch, you will hop back into the Zodiac and continue up the Serrano river for a couple of hours, taking in Torres del Paine National Park from a unique angle.

By the time you reach your final stop at Serrano village, you will have observed some astonishing scenes of the South Patagonian Ice Field.

Length of excursion: 8 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Dome at Riverside Camp


Day 8: Hike to the base of the Towers

This wonderful and, at times, steep hike follows the Ascencio River into the valley and up to the base of the colossal towers.

You will start with an uphill hike and after about an hour you begin to catch your first glimpses of the valley. The trail takes you through incredible beech forests and past glaciers and waterfalls.

The trek continues through the valley for around an hour and a half. You then start a steep ascent up a huge terminal moraine.

Having zig-zagged your way up, you eventually come to the breath-taking viewpoint where you will be confronted by three giant granite towers and the lagoon. You will have lunch at this incredible spot.

After bidding farewell to the towers, you will start the descent, following the same path back down to the refugio.

Length of excursion: 7-8 hours, 18km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Torre Central or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)


Day 9: Hike around Nordenskjold lake and behold the Cuernos

Today is a gentle day taking you around the base of the Almirante Nieto Mountain to capture the stunning sight of the 'Cuernos' - the horns of Torres del Paine, with continual views of the vast greens of the Nordenskjold lake.

After passing the camp ground, the trail arrives at Inge lagoon. If you're lucky, you will see Andean condors or eagles hunting hares and small rodents.

The trek continues along a well-marked path that ascends gradually from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain, crosses the Bader River and eventually arrives at Refugio Los Cuernos.

Length of excursion: 6 hours, 11 km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Los Cuernos or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)


Day 10: Hike into the French Valley

This is the middle valley of the 'W', which offers fantastic views of the Cuernos and Paine Massif, as well as the lakes.

Start the day with a 2-hour walk on an undulating path that leads to the French River. You will begin to get your first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Following this, the path takes you uphill for about an hour through a beech forest.

You eventually reach the French valley viewpoint where you are surrounded by mountains - the Cuernos, Espada and Fortaleza - and the valley opens out below, revealing a fantastic view of the lakes.

During lunch here, you may even get to witness some avalanches tumbling off the hanging glacier.

You follow the same path back down until you reach the entrance of the valley. Here, you take a different path around the southwestern side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the park. The path leads you through native beech forests that have been affected by bush fire and up to the shores of Lake Pehoe.

Length of excursion: 7 hours hiking, 18 km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande or supported camping (tent set up with sleeping bag and mat provided)


Day 11: Hike and Glacier Grey boat ride

Prepare yourself to be mesmerised by this vast glacier, both from the land and from the water.

You'll begin early with a hike to Glacier Grey. Initially, you ascend a narrow, winding path that leads to Laguna Negra where the South Patagonian Ice Field comes into view.

Follow the path through forests and over rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint.

This is where you'll have lunch and, if you're lucky, you may even witness ice calving from the enormous glacier face.

Straight after lunch, you will embark on an exciting boat adventure that will allow you to get a closer view of the glacier.

On the boat ride back, you will get some fantastic views of Paine Grande and pass some spectacular icebergs displaying infinite tones of blue.

Finally, you will be transferred to Estancia Lazo, a working cattle ranch on the edge of Laguna Verde with incredible views out towards the Paine Massif. This will be where will you spend your last night with the rest of the group and will celebrate the end of your adventure with a traditional asado.

Length of excursion: 4 hours walking, 12 km, 2 hours sailing on Lake Grey, 1 hour by transfer

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hosteria Mirador del Payne (Estancia Lazo)


Day 12: All good things must come to an end...

Transport will be provided from Torres del Paine National Park to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas airports.

Say goodbye to your guide and fellow group members.

Take away memories of an unforgettable trip!

Meals: Breakfast

What our customers think

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Start date Price (pp)
November 2018
19-Nov-2018 $3,995* Guaranteed Date
December 2018
17-Dec-2018 $3,995 Guaranteed Date
24-Dec-2018 $3,995* Guaranteed Date
January 2019
7-Jan-2019 $3,995 Limited Availability
February 2019
18-Feb-2019 $3,995* Limited Availability

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $3,995

Please note: The expected group size is 6 to 12 people, which we believe to be the best size for hiking groups. 

In the unlikely event that fewer than 6 people register for a particular departure date then the trip will still be guaranteed with just 4 people.

Estimated prices per person (USD) for optional extras on Day 5 at Perito Moreno Glacier are as follows:

Big Ice Hike - $200

Mini Ice Hike - $60


Single supplement is USD $655 per person for single room in El Chalten, El Calafate, Puerto Natales and Estancia Lazo. If you are willing to share with another solo traveller then you will not be charged this supplement and we will match you with someone of the same gender. If no other single traveller is found, then the single supplement will be reduced to USD $155.

Includes

  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Accommodations as indicated in itinerary
  • Transport to & from airports
  • Tour leader in Los Glaciares National Park
  • Guides in Los Glaciares and Torres del Paine National Parks

Excludes

  • Los Glaciares National Park fees (equivalent to approx. $32 USD for El Chalten and $32 USD for Perito Moreno)
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Any extra excursions (prices indicated above)
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal Equipment
  • Gratuities

Questions about this Trip?