Astonishing in size and truly spectacular in form, El Perito Moreno – aka Argentina’s most famous glacier – truly deserves to be called “unmissable.” But a trip to the park can feel like your hard-earned pesos are disappearing more quickly than Patagonia’s glaciers.
It’s possible to visit on the cheap, although be aware that “cheap” is still a relative term. Hop on a public bus from the terminal (
To get up close and personal, consider an afternoon of ice trekking, where you strap on your crampons to crunch across the surface of the ice, climbing through crevasses and shafts and getting to see what a glacier actually looks like. Expect to spend around
78mi (125km) north of Perito Moreno lies Argentina’s self-proclaimed hiking capital, El Chalten, which makes an excellent base for exploring the hiking trails of the northern sector of Los Glaciares National Park.
The most popular is the eight-hour round trip to Laguna de
But Los Glaciares National Park is packed with other trails beyond this crowd-pleaser. A detour on the return trip from Laguna de
For a more challenging trek, the four-day Huemul Circuit – which requires experience and technical equipment, the latter of which you can rent in El Chalten – is quickly establishing itself as a unique alternative to the more famous W trek in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park.
If that doesn’t satisfy your urge to get off the beaten trail, this trek over to Chile might just do it. The two-day, one-night adventure combines hiking and a boat journey as you cross from El Chalten in Argentina to Villa O’Higgins at the very end of the Carretera Austral in Chile – with stunning views of Fitz Roy, glaciers, and lakes.
It’s not a trip to be taken lightly – quite literally, as you’ll be carrying all of your gear at least 9mi (15km) before reaching the boat to cross Lago O’Higgins – but it’s well worth the effort. It’s easy to feel like a pioneer as you pass through one of Patagonia’s most unexplored reaches, and you might even catch a glimpse of the critically endangered huemul deer.
Heading north of El Chalten, the next 311mi (500km) of
Dated at a whopping 7,300 years BC, the multi-colored, stenciled outlines of handprints are believed to show evidence of one of the earliest hunter-gatherer cultures in the continent – and look like they were painted just yesterday. Get here on a tour from nearby Perito Moreno or Los Antiguos and admire the handprints in all their splendor (look out for the one with six fingers), as well as the pictures of guanaco being hunted and shamanic ceremonies, all left for eternity on the rock face.
Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno aren’t the only epic treks in Argentina. Insider Caroline shares her favorite trails around the country.
With vast Nahuel Huapi lake at its center and charming Bariloche as its hub, the Lake District offers endless opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and feasting your eyes on glorious views.
Watch World Nomads’ Gloria Atanmo as she travels to the wilderness of Patagonia, at the southern tip of Argentina.