Mountains and glaciers define the glorious region known as Patagonia. Patagonia’s terrain is a dream for any nature or adventure enthusiast, whether you’re a high-risk climber, a slow-and-steady hiker, or somewhere in between.
Argentina has a lot to offer for trekkers and hikers who are feeling excited to get in touch with nature and discover new paths. As a matter of fact, Argentina holds a national hiking capital: El Chaltén. El Chaltén has the privilege of being part of the Los Glaciares National Park, a protected region with some of the area’s tallest mountains. However, El Chaltén is not the only place to hike; oh no, we have plenty for you all to enjoy! Bariloche, Ushuaia, Mendoza, El Calafate, and Torres del Paine (in Chile) are just a few of the best locations that Patagonia has to offer.
“El Chaltén,” or “the smoking mountain,” is a dead volcano that is almost constantly surrounded by clouds at its peak, most likely due to its former fiery status. But don’t let that scare you off! Are you a beginner hiker? We suggest Capri Lake, Vulture and Eagle Viewpoints, Viewpoint of Margarita Waterfall, Chorrillo del Salto, and Cañadón del Río Las Vueltas.
The most famous treks are Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre, which have a medium difficulty level, and offer great adventures as full-day activities. Other recommended tours for intermediate trekkers are Glaciar Polonia and Pliegue Tumbado, which last approximately eight to ten hours.
Are you an experienced hiker? Lago Toro, Paso del Viento, Glaciar Huemul and Paso del Cuadrado are known to be intense, yet rewarding, treks that require camping and strong-willed hikers. For more technical hikes, La vuelta del Hielo – the Southern Patagonia Icecap- which lasts 17 days, and Glaciar Cagliero are famous for requiring more specific knowledge and preparation.
San Carlos de Bariloche
The city of San Carlos de Bariloche is commonly nicknamed Bariloche. The place is a paradise for hikers, skiers and trekkers alike. As far as hiking goes, the Refugio Frey/Nuñez Trail is one of the best in the area. Stretching high above the lake and town of Bariloche, this trail features a number of charming surprises.
Hikers will be delighted to find crystal-clear streams trickling through the forest portion of the trail, followed by a lovely view of Lago Gutierrez. Another classic Bariloche trek is Cerro Lopez, but for more experienced hikers, we strongly recommend Tronador and Pampa Linda. If you are a beginner, Brazo Esperanza, Piedra de Hasburgo and Cerro Otto are great choices.
Ushuaia: The City at the End of The World
The southernmost city in Argentina has many attractions, and the beautiful and strikingly solitary landscapes that surround it are some of the best in Argentina. There are several hiking spots, but here you can check out our local favorites! Just to name a few, the Martial Glacier and the Tierra del Fuego National Park should definitely be on your hiking list!
El Calafate is the hometown of the amazing and mind-blowing Perito Moreno Glacier, one of Argentina’s finest attractions. There are several activities to do in El Calafate, but if you are interested in doing some trekking, the Mini-trekking and the Big Ice Experience are what you are looking for. Check them out and discover which one is calling your name!
Torres del Paine
One of the most beautiful attractions in Patagonia is, by far, Torres del Paine National Park. After visiting the Perito Moreno, why not try something else? Torres del Paine has two very famous hiking circuits: the O and the W. But if you don’t feel up to it, there are also some less intimidating options!
Leaving the Patagonian area, we find beautiful Mendoza in the zone called Cuyo. Mendoza is very well-known for its talent in creating some of the tastiest Malbec wine and high-quality food, but beyond being a wine/foodie destination, Mendoza also offers some great options for hikers; as a matter of fact, trekking is one of its top attractions.