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Santa Cruz Province

Hiking

Our most recommended Santa Cruz Province Hiking

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

1. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

Discover the beauty of the Perito Moreno glacier on a guided walking tour on this day trip from El Calafate. Cross the Rico channel on a boat and ride thorugh the unique ecosystem of a Magellanic subpolar forest in comfortable van or bus. Start your trip with pick-up from certain hotels in El Calafate and take the 1.5-hour transfer to Bajo de las Sombras Port. Board a boat to cross the Rico channel. Join a group of up to 20 people and take a 20-minute walk to the glacier.  When you arrive, get kitted out with crampons and begin the ascent. Hike for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes enjoying the ice formations and discovering the flora, fauna, and glaciology of the region. Learn about the phenomenon of glacier rupture.  Then, return to the refuge through the Magellanic forest. From there, cross the Rich Arm of Lago Argentino and sail in front of the glacier. After this, spend approximately 1 hour exploring a network of walkways which offer a new perspective of the Perito Moreno Glacier.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

2. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

Depart from your hotel in El Calafate at around 10:30 AM and set off for the Perito Moreno Glacier located inside the Los Glaciares National Park. Travel for 80 kilometers (50 miles) until you arrive at the west end of the Magallanes Peninsula. Then, enjoy plenty of time to explore this natural ice formation due to your early start.  Begin your tour of the national park by strolling along a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) network of boardwalks. Admire the glacier from multiple perspectives as you climb up to different levels and balconies. Spend 2 hours exploring the runways and use this time to eat a packed lunch or make a stop in one of the restaurants.  Next, take an optional 1-hour boat ride in front of the northern wall of the glacier. After the tour, return to El Calafate via the same route, arriving at approximately 6:30/7:00 PM.

El Chalten: Laguna de los Tres Trekking Tour

3. El Chalten: Laguna de los Tres Trekking Tour

Reconnect with nature and admire memorable landscapes on this trekking trip to El Chalten and the Laguna de los Tres, lunch included. Admire the local scenery and landscapes throughout the hike, including views of Fit Roy Mountain. The trip starts with the pickup from the hotels in the morning. Take the mythical Route 40 bordering the Argentino Lake and undertake a trip to the town of El Chalten, 220 km from El Calafate. Once in Chalten, stop at Rancho Grande (bar and mountain refuge) to use the restroom, receive your map, and learn the use of canes and crampons if necessary. Enjoy free coffee and snacks to recharge both before and after the trek. On the trek, venture inside part of the Andean Forest. If you are lucky, you'll see some of the animals that live there. Surprise yourself with all the landscapes that you will cross on your way. You'll soon find this to be a dream-like natural place. The path that is used is the Fitz Roy. Starting and ending in the same place, it's 10 km out and 10 km back. For the first two kilometers, the path is demanding. During kilometers 8 to 9, the path is also very demanding. The trip includes a lunch box (ham and cheese sandwich, muffins, granola, fruit, and water). After enjoying the impressive views of Cerro Fitz Roy and Laguna de los Tres and filling yourself with the magic of the place, you'll return to El Chalten via a well-marked path. Staff will be waiting for you at the fixed meeting point in advance for the return ride to El Calafate. Depending on the weather conditions, the route or sights seen may vary. Other spots you may visit include Camping Poicenot, Laguna Capri, and Sendero Torre.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

4. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

The trip begins with pickup from El Calafate and travels 1 hour and 30 minutes to Bajo de la Sombras Port. From here, sail across the Rico Channel and descend on the southwestern coast of Patagonia to reach Perito Moreno Glacier. Upon arrival at the glacier, enjoy a 1 hour and 30 minute hike with your mountain guides along a path next to the glacier. Arrive at a magnificent view point and marvel at the vast frozen landscape that stretches out before you. From here, attach the iron crampons to the ground and begin your hike walk across the ice. Trek across the ice for around 4 hours, admiring the fascinating ice formations from start to finish. From your expert guides, learn about the flora and fauna that thrive in this unique environment, and listen to interesting facts about the glaciology of the region, and in particular about the phenomenon of glacier rupture. Finally, return to Bajo de las Sombras Port to gaze at the view of the glacier from the walkways and balconies, and then return to the city of El Calafate.

El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

5. El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

Located on the northwest coast of Lago Argentino (Argentino Lake), the historic sheep ranch of Estancia Cristina was founded in 1914 by Joseph P. Masters and his wife, and on this full-day tour from El Calafate you will explore the estancia to discover how it maintains the history of the family. First, you will sail among the icebergs and mountains of Lago Argentino to Upsala Glacier, the 2nd largest within Los Glaciares National Park. Departing from Punta Bandera by modern and comfortable boat, enjoy the most stunning up-close views of the blue ice. Upon arrival at the Estancia you will learn how the sheer perseverance of the Masters family made the inhospitable place a small paradise that they could call home. Visit the Estancia’s museum, and the old shed where the sheep were sheered. Next, take a short walk to see the estancia’s chapel and country house. From here, you will embark on a 2.5-hour hike to the surprising waterfall of Cascada de los Perros, surrounded by native ñires shrubs. Enjoy panoramic views of the Caterina River valley, and Patagonian wilderness, back across to Estancia Cristina.

From El Chalten: Full-Day Cagliero Glacier Ice Trekking

6. From El Chalten: Full-Day Cagliero Glacier Ice Trekking

Meet your guide at the offices in El Chalten at 08:00 to travel to Los Huemules Ranch. Its visitor center will be the starting point of this excursion. At 09:00, start your trekking following the Diablo River upstream on a 2-hour long hike through a lush forest of lengas, going by a well-maintained trail, which will give you access to the Diablo Lagoon (770 meters above sea level), from where you can see the Cagliero Refuge and from where the second stage of the excursion will begin outside the Estancia Los Huemules. At approximately 11:00, the second part of this excursion will begin, which consists of skirting the northern margin of the Devil's Lagoon by an easy but irregular terrain until reaching the beginning of a via ferrata (rock climbing sector). Before the beginning of this section, the guides will provide the necessary equipment to the participants and instruct them in its correct use. The total extension of this section will be 1 kilometer long with 200 meters of unevenness. It will take you 1-hour to reach the viewpoint of the glacier. From there, you can observe the unexplored Cagliero Sur Glacier (950 meters above sea level). From the viewpoint, a short walk will take you to the front of the glacier where the guides will distribute the crampons to begin the third part of the program: the trekking and hiking on the glacier. The average time spent on top of the glacier will be about 2-hours, depending on the weather conditions and the physical level of the group. The meeting time with an El Chaltén transfer will be at 17:30. Return to the starting point at the offices at around 18:30.

From El Chaltén: Laguna de los Tres Full-Day Trek

7. From El Chaltén: Laguna de los Tres Full-Day Trek

Start the trek with a transfer to the trailhead at El Pilar, located 17 km to the north of the town. Take in the lovely views of the Río de Las Vueltas valley and the impressive Cordón de Los Cóndores as you drive. Start walking through dense forest until you arrive at the first viewpoint, the Piedras Blancas glacier. End up in a clearing and admire the peaks of Saint Exupéry, Poincenot, Fitz Roy, Mermoz, and Guillaumet. Continue for a few more minutes until you arrive at Poincenot campground, located in beautiful lenga forest inhabited by countless varieties of birds. Then climb 400 m in about an hour until you arrive at Laguna de los Tres. Arrive at the highest point on the path, where you will be rewarded by majestic views of Fitz Roy, the glacier de los Tres, and its lagoon. From here, circle Laguna de los Tres and head towards the Laguna Sucia viewpoint and its glacier. After a rest and a bite for lunch, start the descent and walk back to El Chaltén. Pass some varying landscape, crystal clear streams and Laguna Capri, a favorite spot for photographers. Visit the lagoon as you drop down into the valley where El Chaltén is located.

El Chalten: Laguna Torre Trek

8. El Chalten: Laguna Torre Trek

Start your moderate 11 mile-hike to Laguna Torre at a designated meeting point in downtown. On the way, your guide will tell you about the impressive landscapes you’ll see while passing the Fitz Roy River, cross wide, glacially-formed valleys, and fairy-tale woods. You will be amazed by the views when you reach Mount Torre viewpoint, where you’ll get to know the Adela mountain range & its glaciers. Hit the trail again and pass by De Agostini campsite and cross old glacial moraines until Laguna Torre appears right before your eyes. Take your time to admire the breathtaking Cerro Hill crowning the lagoon, and the floating glaciers bobbing in the blue waters. Be prepared, this is a high-probability wildlife-spotting section. Try to catch a Magellanic woodpecker working diligently in a tree or a humble huemul (the Patagonian deer) strolling along the shore. After a restorative moment to eat lunch (not included) with this peaceful backdrop, start your hike back to El Chaltén.

Hike Cerro Torre: Full-Day Trek from El Chalten

9. Hike Cerro Torre: Full-Day Trek from El Chalten

You can scratch hiking through Patagonia off your bucket list after this exciting trek to through Torre Lagoon and Mount Cerro. Join your expert guides and discover why El Chalten is often called the trekking capital of the world. Explore the beautiful Cerro Torre and follow the river past stunning waterfalls and the spectacular Fitz Roy Rio Canyon. Marvel at the Bifida, the Standhard, and the needles of Egger and watch as the beauty of the region begins to unfold before your eyes, exposing breathtaking views of the glaciers of the Cerro Torre and the Adela's cord. End the trek at the Adela's cord, continue on to the deAgostini base camp, where the elite climbers prepare to climb the tower, or extend your visit to the famous Mirador Maestri which forms a natural balcony along the glaciers and Laguna Torre. At the end of your trek, enjoy a comfortable return to your hotel in El Chalten.

Los Glaciares National Park: Full-Day Glacier Adventure

10. Los Glaciares National Park: Full-Day Glacier Adventure

Begin with a pickup from your hotel and a 37-mile drive to Los Pioneros boarding, in the southern area of Los Glaciares National Park. Sail for an hour before disembarking at the end of the Brazo Sur, where your first trekking of 1.24 miles will start. Go to Lake Frías and navigate your way in Zodiac-type boats to the opposite side of the lake. Begin your second trek of 2.79 miles passing through a forest with centuries-old Lengas, and then through an old glacial valley. Walk until you reach Lake Frías Superior, which is covered with icebergs. See the Dickson, Cubo, and Grande glaciers. Enjoy a box lunch with these amazing views before returning to El Calafate and back to your hotel accommodation.

Frequently asked questions about Santa Cruz Province Hiking

What are other things to do than Hiking that are worth visiting in Santa Cruz Province?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Cruz Province

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What people are saying about Santa Cruz Province

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 40 reviews

Perito Moreno glacier is an absolute must if traveling to Calafate. First, we had tons of photo opportunities on a boat en route to the mini-trekking area. Once we arrived to the foot of the glacier, it was time for lunch which was BYO (we missed the fine print and forgot to bring our own, but had packed snacks in our backpack). Then we had a nice walk to the glacier, stopping on the way for pictures and to get outfitted with crampons and a helmet. The actual trekking on the glacier was awesome — helpful guides explaining how to best/safely traverse. There was even a surprise snack/beverage at the end before getting off of the glacier! Note: most of the guides didn’t speak English, but we were still able to understand most of it. One important learning — we could have saved a ton had we booked with the tour company directly instead of GYG. As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to pay for everything (excursions, food, hotel) with pesos if you are able to exchange USD for it.

The overall experience was great. Annie and the bus driver gave us an excellent service. The time expended in the tour was enough and the Perito Moreno is a most in Calafate. Thanks for the experience. Juan & Alberto

Amazing tour, highly reccomend ! One of my life time experince. The tour is very good organised, and guides are really profesionals !

a magical and amazing place...worth every penny...you must be in good physical condition to achieve the Fitz Roy

prompt arrival of vehicle with appropriate dropoff and pickup, and explanations of the trek prior