View the natural wonders of Patagonia - snowy peaks, towering ice and breathtakingly beautiful glacial lakes, and visit to the Argentinian "Mekka" of hikers and climbers – El Chaltén.
The city by the Lago Argentino, El Calafate, originally was a sheltering place for wool traders. The town was officially founded in 1927 by the government of Argentina to promote settlement, but it was the creation of nearby Perito Moreno National Park. This place is also excellent base for further activities, like horseback riding, climbing practices in the Adventure Park and, of course, hikes to the fields of ice. There are no planned group activities upon arrival; however the first challenges are expected on the next day with a full day excursion into Glacier National Park, including a visit to the continental ice shelf and Moreno Glacier. Take an optional boat trip on the lake in front of the glacier. The southern continental ice field is the second largest on the planet (after Greenland's); however, the Moreno glacier can be simply described as huge (in average 74 m high, the area of 250 sq.km). Keep an eye out for condors, rheas, eagles or flamingos en route. On the next day head to El Chaltén - a village at the bank of the river Río de las Vueltas that was built to secure the disputed border with Chile. Today the sole reason for its existence is the tourism. Hikers and climbers from around the globe congregate here, waiting for good weather to undertake the challenges presented by nature. Take an optional hike through rugged landscapes of towering mountains and breathtakingly beautiful glacial lakes to Rio Blanco Base Camp and Laguna de los Tres vantage point, and if weather permitting, of the complete view to the Mt Fitz Roy that remains among the most technically challenging mountains on Earth for mountaineers. On the next day in El Chaltén enjoy free day and all the Patagonia offers. There are innumerable trails throughout the park to choose from or a boat trip on Lake Viedma with a close-up view of Viedma Glacier for a more relaxing way to take in the scenery. Drive back to El Calafate on the last day and plan departure in the afternoon.