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Southern Patagonia Trekking Tour

estancia cristina
Southern Patagonia Trekking Tour
patagonia hiking trips
patagonia treks

Forge your own path on a 7-day trek through uncharted southern Patagonia, away from tourist trails to explore rarely documented landscapes. With the help of seasoned guide Diego, traverse hidden valleys connecting Helsingfors and Cristina Estancias, encountering wild rivers, cascading waterfalls, and imposing mountains. Embrace the solitude of this remote Argentinean wilderness, with minimal trails and no other travelers in sight.

Group

7 Days

Feb

Fit

Intermediate


Highlights

Embark on the most secluded route in Glaciers National Park

Set up camp in a solitary setting facing a glacier and explore the extraordinary Fossil Canyon

Trek alongside the Moyano section of Viedma Lake

Description

Venture far from the usual routes on this 7-day trekking journey into the untamed terrain of southern Patagonia.

Our path leads us through sparsely explored regions where we navigate using natural landmarks, encountering minimal trails and no other individuals.

As we trek through the valleys linking the Helsingfors and Cristina ranches, we will encounter beech forests, rivers, waterfalls, striking mountains with hanging glaciers, and the vast, untouched solitude of this remote area in Argentina.

Trek alongside the Moyano arm of the Viedma Lake to reach vantage points offering stunning views of the imposing North and Moyano Mountains. Camp in isolation facing a glacier and uncover the extraordinary Fossil Canyon

Explore the history and heritage of the region by embarking on visits to two authentic Patagonian Estancias. Delve into the rich cultural tapestry of Patagonia as you engage with the local traditions, customs, and way of life at these historic ranches.

Hike through extremely remote areas of Patagonia, embracing the essence of adventure and discovery. Note that Patagonia's remote hikes are not for the faint of heart. They demand physical strength, mental resilience, and a deep respect for the wilderness. But for those who answer the call, they offer experiences that transcend mere exertion

Contact me today, and let's craft your unforgettable Patagonian adventure.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Camping equipment tents

- Camping equipment cooking utensils

- Transport during the trip

- Accommodation included

Price details

Included in the price:

-Guide proficient in both English and Spanish for trekking and mountain activities

-Group assistant included *

-Necessary permits for the program included

-All meals covered throughout the tour *

-Provision of camping equipment, including tents and communal kitchen gear

-Transportation from El Calafate to Ea Helsingfors

-Lake transfer from Ea Cristina to Puerto Punta Bandera

-Ground transportation from Punta Bandera back to El Calafate

Not included:

-Transportation to/from El Calafate

-Accommodation in El Calafate or El Chalten

-Personal travel health insurance

-Gratuity

-Meals not mentioned in the program

-Porter services

-Personal equipment

-Any additional service not explicitly mentioned above

-Optional lodging on the first night of the program


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to El Calafate

We will greet everyone at the El Calafate airport and start our trip to either the city of El Calafate or the Estancia La Estela (ranch) by the shores of Lake Viedma (depending on flight times). In the afternoon, we will go over all equipment and the route for the upcoming week.

Day 2: Departure from Estancia Helsingfors

We start the day by traveling to Estancia Helsingfors from either El Calafate or Estancia La Estela. It's important to note that Estancia Helsingfors is situated 180km from El Calafate, with about 70km of the journey being along a dirt road, potentially taking up to 4 hours. This marks the starting point of our trek.

The ranch is positioned at the entrance to the Seno Moyano of Lake Viedma. We will trek along this section of the lake, navigating the natural contours of the terrain amidst low vegetation. The valley we traverse is between the Mascarello and Huemules ranges, offering scenic views of glaciers descending from the South Patagonian Icefield and the Moyano mountain range.

Our camp for the night will be set up near the lake, close to an old abandoned hut.

Day 3: Trek to the Moyano Mountains and North Canyon

We continue up the valley through an area of hills and ravines until we arrive at a viewpoint that allows us to see the Valle del Quemado (Burned Valley) below us, the North pass ahead of us, and the spectacular Moyano and Norte mountains with their important hanging glaciers.

We enter into the Valle del Quemado, cross over tree trunks, and then start climbing to reach the upper part of the North pass at ~1,100 meters above sea level. From the pass, we can see the entire mountain range of the Mascarello Strict Nature Reserve (Mascarello Strict Nature Reserve) and the North Canyon, which begins a long descent towards Lago Argentino (Argentine Lake).

From here we will descend about 200m on uneven rocky terrain in the shadow of the imposing walls of the Moyano and Norte mountains, and cross an area of mallines (Patagonian wetlands) and low forest to look for a good campsite.

Day 4: Trek to the North Valley

Starting from our camp adjacent to the woodland, we traverse a substantial glacial moraine into a river valley. Here, we will journey along the valley, maneuvering around numerous Patagonian wetlands and navigating our way through forests without established trails.

If the weather allows, we will set up camp with a vantage point overlooking the remarkable hanging glacier and lagoon of North Mountain.

Alternatively, if the weather is not suitable, we will proceed a bit farther to establish our camp within the forest.

Day 5: Discover Laguna Anita's valleys

On this day, we will continue our journey through the valley, following paths created by animals and keeping the river to our right, leading us to a remarkable series of waterfalls.

After navigating through forests, Patagonian wetlands, and low vegetation, we will ascend once more and cross a ridge to a series of terraces. From this vantage point, we will observe Lago Argentino and Estancia Cristina in the distance, the Canon of Fossils on the opposite side of the river, and sections of the glaciers that flow from the South Patagonian Icefield.

We'll set camp in the wilderness near the river and the Laguna Anita.

Day 6: Explore the Canyon of Fossils

Leaving our campsite near the lagoon, we proceed towards the Catarina river in search of a suitable crossing point for the glacial waters.

Once across the river, we navigate through the extraordinary Canyon of Fossils until we reach a rocky ledge with striking geological formations and vibrant colors. This extraordinary location, near the South Patagonian Icefield and surrounded by expansive glaciers flowing towards Lago Argentino, will be exclusively ours to explore.

Our day concludes upon reaching the restored Upsala hut, nestled behind a rocky promontory and in close proximity to the viewpoint of the Upsala Glacier.

Day 7: Journey back to El Calafate

On the final day of our spectacular journey, we will rise early to enjoy the morning light over the Upsala Glacier from the viewpoint.

Once we've had our breakfast and enjoyed the last morning of tranquility, we will start our descent towards Lago Argentino where we will wait for the boat that will take us back to El Calafate by sailing for 3 hours.

Optional: Want to end with a bang? Add nights at Cristina after your hike. Imagine waking up to glacial grandeur, exploring crystal-clear lagoons, and savoring the triumph of completing your journey with breathtaking views.

 

Details

Accommodation

While most nights will be spent camping, on our final night returning from the expedition, we'll have comfortable beds in a double room at a hostel in El Calafate.

More info

  • The campsites and daily distances are provided as estimates. The guide will ultimately determine the camping location based on the hiking pace, weather conditions, and terrain.
  • The lunch schedule is adaptable, and the guide will seek a sheltered spot away from the wind for meals. Each participant is responsible for carrying their sleeping bag, sleeping mat, a portion of the tent, and a share of the group's food.

Meeting point

We will meet you at the El Calafate airport and start our trip to either the city of El Calafate or the Estancia La Estela

Equipment you will need to bring

You'll also need: Backpack with a capacity of 60-65 liters, Sunglasses, Headlamp, Water container, preferably a Nalgene bottle, Sunscreen (SPF 35 or higher) and lip balm, Personal hygiene essentials, Mosquito/horsefly repellent, 0.5L thermos, Bowl, spoon, and cup, Sleeping bag with a comfort rating of -12°C (ideal down-filled), Inflatable insulation (preferably Thermarest), Plastic bags for safeguarding equipment/clothing (waterproof bags recommended),


FAQs

What activities can I expect on this Patagonia trekking tour?

Be prepared to navigate rugged off-road trails, traverse precarious moraines with careful balance, ford a gushing river, and possibly soar through the air on a zip line or tread carefully on flat terrain with crampons. Expect moderate exertion for 6-10 hours with medium backpacks (12-15 kg), covering long distances on uneven terrain with occasional steep climbs/descents.

How will accommodation be handled?

Although the majority of nights will be spent camping, on the last night of the expedition, we will enjoy the comfort of double rooms at a hostel in El Calafate.

Where will we meet at the start of the trip?

We will greet you at El Calafate airport and start our journey to either the city of El Calafate or Estancia La Estela.

Will I need to bring any technical equipment of my own?

For the best experience possible, you should bring the following items:

-Backpack with a capacity of 60-65 liters

-Sunglasses

-Headlamp

-Water container, preferably a Nalgene bottle

-Sunscreen (SPF 35 or higher) and lip balm

-Personal hygiene essentials

-Mosquito/horsefly repellent

-0.5L thermos

-Bowl, spoon, and cup

-Sleeping bag with a comfort rating of -12°C (preferably down-filled)

-Inflatable insulation (preferably Thermarest)

-Plastic bags for safeguarding equipment/clothing (waterproof bags recommended)

What's included in the price?

Included in the price are the following:

-Guide proficient in both English and Spanish for trekking and mountain activities

-Group assistant included *

-Necessary permits for the program included

-All meals covered throughout the tour *

-Provision of camping equipment, including tents and communal kitchen gear

-Transportation from El Calafate to Ea Helsingfors

-Lake transfer from Ea Cristina to Puerto Punta Bandera

-Ground transportation from Punta Bandera back to El Calafate

-Accommodation for one night

What is not included?

Excluded from the price:

-Transport to/from El Calafate

-Accommodation in El Calafate or El Chalten

-Personal travel health insurance

-Tips

-Meals beyond those specified in the program

-Porter services

-Personal equipment

-Any supplementary service not expressly stated above

-Optional lodging on the initial night of the program

About the guide

Guide profile image

Diego

5.00

(8)

Mountain Guide

I graduated in Buenos Aires as Universitary proffesional in tourism and as a Mountain Guide in Mendoza province. I started working in adventure activities, horseback riding and mountain ascents. Then i moved to Patagonia that was my dream place for living and thanks to this profession it became in my place for working and personal development.

After several years of experience working in these mountains and numerous trips around the world looking for adventures and experience, I managed to unite both professions in an objective, so Serac Expeditions arose. In the last 15 years working with Serac, I have organized trips for thousands of people and personally guided hundreds of them in diverse and remote places in Patagonia, Chile, Peru and Bolivia.

Today my passion is not only guiding but also organizing special and personalized trips for people who enjoy exploring in nature and at the same time push their limits. My ideal is to provide a safe trip, spend a good time togheter with my clients and be flexible to provide a great experience and memories. To do this I work with a group of guides that share my ideals and way of working.

Languages

English

Certificates

AAGM

Request more information

What people are saying about Diego

Diana

5.00

Our trip to Patagonia was a once in a lifetime opportunity that checked off all the boxes! We had excellent guides, the accommodation was perfect and each day was more beautiful than the last. Explore-Share ensured we connected with the appropriate people whenever we had questions and the customer service was 5 star!

5.00

This was a great trek. The organization by and support from the Serac team was top notch. I reserved well in advance and the communications I received before my trip were always clear and timely. Once I arrived in EL Chalten, everything was smooth. Hostels were arranged and the team arrived to walk us through the trek. The guides were knowledgeable and helpful, the trek was challenging but the views were rewarding. Highlights were camping in "iceberg bay" and the hike up to Paso del Viento. The shuttle back to El Chalten was timely and even came with a complimentary beer! The trek is tough so not for the mentally unprepared.

5.00

My husband and I had a great experience with Serac - we did the El Chalten Mountain Escape trek and it was fantastic. Our guide (Christian) was very knowledgeable and kind; food was excellent and they even had wine portered to our campsites each night. All in all, highly recommended!

5.00

I first saw the opportunity to trek the South Patagonia Icefield when I was in El Chalten 3 years ago. I finally took the plunge this year and signed up with Serac Expeditions for their late-February departure - best decision ever! The Expedition itself is incredible! Only about 100 people/year undertake it so you get to see a part of Patagonia that few others have experienced. And of course the scenery is amazing. I won't lie - the expedition is challenging (especially for a relatively small female), but if you go in with reasonable fitness and the right mental attitude, it is totally doable and absolutely worth it. It also helps when you have decent weather :) Serac Expeditions are wonderful! They are very responsive and helpful throughout the whole process of arranging the trek, provide excellent equipment, and work with incredible guides (million thanks Juan and Rafa - you guys are awesome!). They also include some special surprises along the way, but you'll have to sign up yourself or read my blog posts to find out what ;) 100% recommend Serac Expeditions and this trek. I am now wanting to return to do the Marconi - Estancia Cristina expedition with them, but this time at the start of the season (November) to experience the Icefield with snowshoes rather than crampons.

5.00

Super professionals, great choice! When looking for options for trekking in Patagonia, Serac was the company that responded in the shortest time. They asked for our preferences and skills and they put together a plan for us. We adapt the program to our preferences and they always guided us and recommended what seemed best to us. Super thoughtful throughout the whole  planning. We spent 1 day in the Perito Moreno glacier and 4 days hiking guided by Martin (great experience with him, very good guide, at all times he knew how to adapt the plan to the climatic conditions and our fitness) Everything from the pick up to the airport, the hostels, the camping, the food to the guided one by the mountain have been exceptional !!!! Thanks to all the team, Diego, Sergio and Mariano for being so aware of us!


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