Los Glaciares, Argentina

 

Mount Fitz Roy in Los Glaciares National Park

From Torres del Paine, we crossed the border into Argentina to visit Los Glaciares National Park. On our way north towards El Chaltén, we stopped at the Perito Moreno Glacier.

Perito Moreno is one of 47 glaciers that extend from the 13,000 km2 Southern Patagonian Ice Field. This glacier is roughly 250 km2 and is 30 km in length. The Perito Moreno Glacier is actually growing in size and happens to be one of only three Patagonian glaciers that is doing so.

Perito Moreno Glacier

The face of the glacier soars 75 meters above the surface of Argentino Lake and extends 170 meters below the lake. Boardwalks in the forest near the lake provide excellent viewing platforms of the glacier.

Spring in Patagonia

We watched several large chunks of ice collapse off the glacier face. Caught one collapse on video below

The 75 meter tall terminus of the glacier

El Chalten

The small mountain town of El Chaltén sits at the base of  Mt. Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres. The town was founded in 1985 to help secure Argentina’s disputed border with Chile, but is now a world renown destination for trekkers and climbers.

Many visitors choose to do day hikes from town, but we chose to backpack for four days in order to spend more time in the mountains. Our first day we hiked to Laguna de los Tres for a spectacular view of Mt. Fitz Roy.

A hardworking Magellanic woodpecker we found along the trail. See the video of him in action below!

Hiking to Laguna de los Tres with Mt. Fitz Roy in the background

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Jenn and Mt. Fitz Roy

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Laguna de los Tres

A curious fox

nettie

 

Raptors

Our view of Fitz Roy from camp

The following day we hiked along the Rio Blanco to Piedras Blancas Glacier. As we headed to make camp along Laguna Capri, the weather started to turn. It was going to be a cold night!

Piedras Blancas Glacier

The needle-like spire of Cerro Torre as the weather blew in

The next day we headed to Laguna Torre. Unfortunately the weather prevented us from seeing the 3128 meter spire of Cerro Torre  as it was engulfed in clouds. As we reached the glacier-fed lake, we watched as two men stripped and swim to a nearby floating glacier. Crazy tourists!

Backpacking through southern beech forests

Laguna Torre

After a few cold nights, we were happy to head back to town. The next day the weather was stunning and we spent the day walking along the Rio del los Vueltas and around town.

Rio de los Vueltas

We decided to hike one last trail to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. The weather unfortunately wasn’t spectacular which inhibited seeing Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy for the majority of the hike, but it was my birthday so we made the best out of it 🙂

Alpine vegetation and views from the top

Lago Viedma

Lago Argentino

We absolutely loved Los Glaciares National park and El Chaltén. The scenery was stunning and the trekking amazing. We left Argentina and crossed back into Chile bound for Santiago, the capital. Unfortunately we would say goodbye to Jenn as she headed back home to Portland as Nettie, Dan, and I continued our journey.

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