With its imposing snow-capped mountains, crystalline lakes and striking glaciers, Patagonia is the ultimate hiking destination.
Trekking in Patagonia –
Situated in the southern end of South America and covering terrain in both Argentina and Chile, it’s home to some of the most popular hiking trails in the world. These Patagonia hikes are suitable for both beginner and advanced hikers and with a little planning, most are easily accessible.
Prepare for Your Trek –
It’s important to prepare well before setting off on your Patagonian hiking experience. The weather is extremely changeable, so expect all four seasons, sometimes in one day, and pack accordingly. Hiking boots, lots of light layers, and waterproof clothing are essential.
The wind can be very strong in Patagonia, sometimes even reaching speeds of 74 miles per hour. If you’re going to be camping, you’ll need to make sure your equipment can hold up against the wind.
Best Hikes in Patagonia –
Naturally, your preparation must also extend to choosing which hikes you’ll take. We’ve listed some of the best hikes below to give you ideas for your Patagonian adventure.
1. Torres del Paine ‘W’ & ‘Circuit’ Treks
Torres del Paine is a very popular hike in Patagonia, and with good reason. From the distinctive rock towers that give the national park its name to the stunning Glacier Grey and more, Torres Paine National park is full of jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery.
When planning your Torres del Paine hike, you have two main options. The W or the Circuit trek. The W hiking trail covers roughly 80 km of distance starting at Refugio Paine Grande and ending at Glacier Grey. In contrast, the circuit trek is a 110 km loop starting and finishing at the Torres del Paine Welcome Center.
Both trails allow you to see the famous towers and the beautiful lake beneath them. The main difference between the two hikes is the distance. However, it’s worth noting that the W trek doesn’t have as much of the beautiful scenery as the full circuit.
The John Gardner pass and Los Perros Glacier are just two sights you miss if you choose the W trek. However, whichever you choose you’re guaranteed to be bowled over by the beauty of the national park.
- Starting point: W trail: Refugio Paine Grande. The Circuit: Torres del Paine Welcome Center.
- Duration: The W trail: 3- 4 days. The Circuit: 7-8 days.
- Difficulty: Intermediate
2. Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre Trek in Los Glaciares National Park
This hike is right up there with Torres del Paine in terms of awesome scenery. Plus, you can also adjust the hike length according to your level.
The Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre are two separate hikes, which depending on your stamina, you can do together. Combining the two creates a two-day hike and requires an overnight stay in the Poincenot campsite. The hike covers a total of 36 km.
You’ll see a lot of excellent sights on this hike. The highlights include unparalleled views of the beautiful and rugged Fitz Roy mountain, as well as visits to the distinctive mountain Cerro Torre, the fantastic lake Laguna Torre and the Glacier Grande.
- Starting point: El Chaltén
- Duration: 2 days
- Difficulty: Intermediate
Watch out for our next article which consists the other treks in Patagonia.