My recent trek with Trekking for Kids in Patagonia, the southern part of the continental Americas, had two components:
- A day hike and a glacier visit in the Argentinian side of Patagonia, and
- A 5-day hike in the Chilean side of Patagonia, including a glacier hike.
Here, I will cover the day hike in Argentina. A later post will cover the glacier visit to Perito Moreno glacier and further posts will cover the 5-hike along the W circuit in the Torres del Paine Park in Chile.
Hiking in Argentina: Fitz Roy and its siblings
The day hike in Argentina took us to a beautiful setting north of the town of El Calafate in the large southern provide of Santa Cruz: the National Glaciers Park and Reserve (Parque y Reserva Nacional Los Glaciares). After landing in El Calafate from Buenos Aires (about 3 hour+ flight time), we headed to the small town of El Chaltén (established in 1985 mainly to serve as a border town and entry point to the area we were going to hike in). From El Chaltén we would start our day hike anchored on the majestic Fitz Roy peak. What makes this area magnificent is not just Fitz Roy (which used to be called El Chaltén) but the series of peaks that go with it along the glaciers that sit in the spaces in between.
Approaching Fitz Roy taking Senda El Pilar
We left our hotel, El Barranco, on a vehicle to take us to the entry point for our hike. It was not the typical entry point as we had to cut through a small hotel (Hostería El Pilar) that sits right by one of the entrances to the park (we had permission to do so!). We reached the trail we were looking for, Senda El Pilar, which we took and followed the Río Blanco facing first Torre Eléctrica and its glacier, then moving on to see the Marconi glacier.
There are quite a few spots to stop for great pictures but Fitz Roy and its siblings are ever-present. In no time, we got to a point with a great view of Fitz Roy and the Piedras Blancas (“white rocks”) glacier:
Soon after that, at Poincenot camp, Senda El Pilar would end and we would then turn to take Senda Fitz Roy to return to El Chaltén. Poincenot has camping grounds that have latrines if people prefer using those. From Poincenot, trekkers can go up to Laguna de los Tres but we did not do that portion.
We proceed to take Senda Fitz Roy for the second and longer part of our hike. On that trail, we hit the Capri Lake where some enjoyed cooling off their feet – or even a quick dip!
This was one of the last great vantage points for admiring the peaks and glaciers. We entered different terrain as we proceeded to the last part of our hike.
Once we finished the trail, we just walked right into town!
Our hike had been around 15 kms and it took us around 7 hours with a few nice stops along the way. I highly recommend this hike – not strenuous but moderate and with the amazing views I have shown you here (and others I did not!).