Paved road beside golden valley leads into tall dark mountains with snow-covered peaks en route to Explora El Chalten.
Dark steely exterior of a modern lodge with tall windows sitting beside a tree on the Explora El Chaltén trip.
Massive diamond-shaped glacier of white & blue tumbles into a turquoise lake of glacial silt, seen on Explora El Chaltén.
Explora El Chalten traveler stands on a boulder by a turquoise lake with a hanging snowfield under jagged peaks in the distance.
Explora El Chalten guests walk through autumnal valley under a blue sky en route to tall jagged peaks in the distance.
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South America Patagonia Land Tour

Explora El Chaltén

Explora El Chaltén is a lodge-based exploration of Argentinean Patagonia, witin four zones: Los Huemules Conservation Reserve, Los Glaciares National Park, Desert Lake and Argentina’s Southern Ice Field. This remote, modern lodge sits 11 miles northwest of El Chaltén, looking onto the Electric Valley and Marconi Glacier.

This customizable wilderness adventure offers more than 30 activity options, including hiking, climbing, high mountain ascents, overland trips by van and even multi-night trekking expeditions. Choose from half-day or full-day adventures for activity levels spanning from easy to moderate, advanced and expert. While a 4-day itinerary exists (inquire for pricing), we recommend a longer 5-, 6- or 7-day itinerary as an ideal way to experience Explora El Chaltén, or we can customize your experience.

This tailored-to-you trip offers numerous highlights in a world-renowned destination for those who love nature, climbing and trekking. Take in the Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park — a unique and renowned glacier per its ability to grow at the same rate as its loss, therefore maintaining its relative size. Los Glaciares National Park hosts over 100 bird species, including the Andean condor. Desert Lake, on the border of Chile and Argentina, features amazingly pure water hemmed in by mountains and is thus a popular ecosystem for a substantial amount of varied wildlife. And the Southern Ice Fields are not only stunning but also source the network of brooks, streams, lakes and rivers around which life unfolds and thrives.

Your wilderness headquarters is Explora El Chaltén Lodge, a modern 20-room wilderness lodge with a feel that complements the unique natural beauty of the area. After a long day exploring Argentinean Patagonia, relax in this intimate property and its onsite spa amenities. Each evening, sit down with your guide to plan the next day’s explorations. This lodge’s remote, very private location offers a privileged jumping off point for an unforgettable Argentinean Patagonia experience.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Chile tours, Patagonia tours and Patagonia trips.



Itinerary

Explora El Chaltén Itinerary

The Explora El Chaltén trip is a choose-your-own-adventure experience in Argentinean Patagonia that begins and ends at the airport in El Calafate on the border of Argentina and Chile.

Route map of Explora El Chaltén Argentinean Patagonia adventure, showing lodge location & 4 exploration zones: Southern Ice Fields, Los Glaciares National Park, Los Huemules Conservation Reserve & Desert Lake.
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Day 1
Arrive Explora El Chaltén, Los Huemules Conservation Reserve, Argentina

Be greeted at the airport by Explora staff who will take you on the 8-hour overland journey from El Calafate to the Explora El Chaltén Lodge nearby to the village of El Chaltén, in the private Los Huemules Conservation Reserve. Stop at a restaurant en route for a light meal.

Accommodations

Explora El Chaltén

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Days 2 - 4/5/6
Explore Los Huemules Conservation Reserve from Explora El Chaltén

Each evening during your stay at the El Chaltén lodge, select from 30+ explorations for the next day, to get you out exploring in small groups with a bilingual guide. Activities range from easy to moderate, advanced and expert, and self-guided options also exist. Choose off-the-beaten-path adventures, from four different zones, including hiking, high mountain ascents, climbing, overland travel, overnight excursions, or a combination. Below is a sample of how you might spend your days.

Featured Hiking Explorations

Mirador Fitz Roy
This moderate, full-day, 5.9-mile hike in the Los Glaciares National Park zone takes about 5.5. hours. Take a van from the lodge to the Los Glaciares National Park. Cross the forests to get a great view of the Los Andes Mountain Range’s massifs. On clear days, watch Mount Fitz Roy and the Agujas Mermoz and Poincenot in all their glory. Finally, reach the viewpoint to Mount Fitz Roy, with a unique perspective of this rock formation and all the mountains around it.

Perito Moreno
This easy, full-day exploration to the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Los Glaciares National Park zone, involves hiking and ice, takes about 6 hours and is subject to availability. Drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier, learning more about its history, the Patagonian steppe, the area’s nature, the dynamics of glaciers and the features that make this one so special.

Lago del Desierto
This advanced, full-day, 8.1-mile hike in the Desert Lake zone takes about 7.5 hours. Take a van from the lodge to the south shore of the Desierto Lake. From there, cross this historical lake while enjoying the view of the Vespigniani Glacier. Land on the northernmost tip of the lake and take a rugged track through the forest, reaching some of the most unexplored parts of this area. Reach the southern edge of the lake and finalize the exploration taking a van back to the lodge.

Featured High Mountain Explorations

Paso del Cuadrado
This advanced, full-day, 13.7-mile high-mountain experience in the Los Glaciares National Park zone takes about 10.5 hours, is subject to availability, and is an ideal exploration for travelers wishing to have a different experience and perspective of the Patagonia. Surrounded by mountains, hike along the Eléctrico River through a Patagonia forest while enjoying a view to the Marconi Glacier. Then hike up a steep slope, leaving the forest behind and approaching the impressive mountains that seem to grow in height upon approach. The north side of Mount Fitz Roy is waiting from a lookout that is the highest point of this exploration.

Cerro Madsen
This expert, full-day, 13.5-mile high-mountain experience in the Los Glaciares National Park zone takes about 10.5 hours and is subject to availability. The ascent to Cerro Madsen, in the Fitz Roy area, is a perfect challenge for beginners in the mountains or for those who want to make their first summit in Patagonia and treat themselves to one of the most wonderful views in the world.

Featured Climbing Explorations

Conexión vertical
This easy, half-day climbing tutorial experience in the Los Huemules Conservation Reserve zone takes about 2.5 hours and is subject to availability. El Chaltén is one of the best places in the world for rock climbing, so start by learning more about the sport and local hot spots. Take in a rock climbing briefing that covers the main places to climb in El Chaltén, history, how to control your body and the importance of trusting partners.

La Roca
This moderate, half-day climbing experience in the Los Huemules Conservation Reserve zone takes about 3 hours and is subject to availability. El Chaltén is known worldwide for rock climbing. Many of the world’s top climbers have gone up the Fitz Roy, Torre, and La Guilloumet mounts, among others. For those with the appropriate experience, take on beginner climbing routes and others that are more demanding, always being mindful of safety.

Featured Overland Explorations

Río Arriba
This easy, half-day overland exploration in the Desert Lake zone takes about 5.5. hours. Leave the lodge by van, going through the different curves and beautiful waterfalls that are formed thanks to the geography of the Río de las Vueltas valley, to go into the deepest and most humid forests of the Lago del Desierto Provincial Reserve. Stop for a panoramic vista and after reaching the lake, return along the route to the lodge, stopping at a small waterfall to enjoy lunch.

Colonos
This easy, half-day, 2.4-mile overland exploration in the Los Glaciares National Park zone takes about 1 hour. This exploration is a trip in time, including a guided visit to the house of pioneer Andreas Madsen, a Danish man who arrived in 1901 to work with Perito Pascasio Moreno and built the first houses in El Chaltén. Learn about their history, the challenges faced by Madsen and his family, and everyday life in an estancia over a century ago.

Featured Overnight Expeditions

Hielos Patagónicos
This expert, 3-day expedition in the Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur) zone spends 2 nights away from Explora El Chaltén Lodge and is subject to availability. Hike from the lodge, bordering the Diablo River valley. Spend the first day among Patagonian forests until we reach the edge of the Diablo Lagoon. We sleep at the Cagliero refuge. The next day will be spent hiking up rock cliffs towards the Southern Ice Fields. It will be a day of contrasts between the valley, the lagoons, and this huge ice expanse. We camp through the night. On the next day, we enjoy the splendor of this place, contemplating the mountains as we descend over ice and snow, until reaching the rock of the Eléctrico River valley. We cross the river in a zip line and hike to a forest, where a van will be waiting for us to return to the lodge.

Campos de Hielo Sur
This expert, 6-day, 56-mile expedition in the Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur) zone spends 5 nights away from Explora El Chaltén Lodge and is subject to availability. Campo de Hielo Sur is considered one of the most remote and inhospitable places in the world. Walking through this huge plateau of ice and snow is one of the most transformative experiences an explorer can have. If conditions permit, spend 6 days among forests, rocky slopes, lagoons and wide expanses of ice and snow, all bordered by imposing mountains. It is a demanding walk with a changing climate.

Accommodations

Explora El Chaltén

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5/6/7
Depart Los Huemules Conservation Reserve, Argentina

While this extraordinary time in Argentinean Patagonia has come to an end, you will take your Explora El Chaltén memories with you for a lifetime. Enjoy a delicious breakfast before your included transfer takes you to the airport, or to the next leg of your adventure.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfer from and to El Calafate airport on a preset schedule; accommodations and guided explorations; all meals, plus snacks and open bar; trekking poles; tickets to nature reserves and Los Glaciares National Park; access to the hot tubs and leisure areas; WiFi in common areas.

Exclusions

International airfare, insurance of any kind, discretionary gratuities, spa or massage service, laundry, premium wines or other items of a personal nature such as phone calls; peak season/holiday surcharges (please contact AdventureSmith for details).

Payment & Cancellation

Shoulder & High Season:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special payment and cancellation terms may apply for bookings made under special and last-minute deals. Changes may be made without penalty up to 30 days prior to check-in. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to check-in:
Up to 30 days – full refund
29 to 15 days – 50% of total trip cost
14 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Peak Season:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special payment and cancellation terms may apply for bookings made under special and last-minute deals. Changes may be made without penalty up to 60 days prior to check-in. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Peak Season cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to check-in:
Up to 60 days – full refund
59 to 30 days – 50% of total trip cost
29 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Explora El Chaltén adventure begins and ends in El Calafate, Argentina (FTE). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to El Calafate in time for the 12:00pm scheduled pick-up (or 11:00am pick-up from local El Calafate hotels). Plan flights to depart El Calafate anytime after airport drop-off at 11:30am (or local El Calafate hotels drop-off at 12:00pm) on the final day. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Arrival and departure transportation can also be arranged from Explora Torres del Paine Lodge (8-9 hours), at various times. Pick-up outside of scheduled times will incur an additional fee. Please inquire for details.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities cover all areas in Los Huemules Conservation Reserve, either by foot or van. Prior climbing experience is required for actual climbs. Hikes range from easy to expert overnight expeditions and mountain ascents. A bilingual English or Spanish guide will accompany each small group. Provided gear includes walking sticks for hikes, and all the necessary equipment for climbing.

Room Configuration

For the 2022-23 season, single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at one of the following supplements of the per-person listed rate in select rooms upon availability:
– Shoulder (34%): Oct 1-31; Apr 1-30
– High & Peak (70%): Nov 1-Mar 3

High Season programs may have fixed check-in dates with stays of 5 or 7 days.
Christmas & New Year programs have fixed check-in dates with stays of 5 or 7 days.

Families & Children

There are additional beds for children 3 to 11 when sharing their parent’s room. Maximum one extra bed per room and two children per adult. Children under the age of 3 are complimentary when sharing room with their parents. Please inquire for special rates for children ages 3-17 years old accompanying their parents, which are subject to availability. Rates for children aged 12-17 traveling with their parents are not valid during High Season and Peak Season.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

22-23 Season:
Shoulder: October 1-31, 2022; April 1-30, 2023
High: November 1-December 22, 2022; January 2-March 31, 2023
Peak: December 23, 2022-January 1, 2023

2022-23 Shoulder Season
Explora El Chaltén Lodge
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From $3648USD
Per Person
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2022-23 High Season
Explora El Chaltén Lodge
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From $4560USD
Per Person
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2022-23 Peak Season
Explora El Chaltén Lodge
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From $5240USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About The Lodge on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Explora El Chaltén Lodge

Deep in the private Los Huemules Conservation Reserve, the remote Explora El Chaltén Lodge features the best of Argentinean Patagonia. Relax and explore among the surrounding dense forests, Eléctrico River and Marconi Glacier, with the Southern Patagonia Ice Field nearby.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Explora El Chaltén

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