Argentina’s Torres del Paine and UNESCO World Heritage Site is Parque Los Glaciares. This area features its own glaciers, beautiful mountain vistas and contains the “end of the world.” Below you’ll find the many great experiences available on the Argentinian side of the border…
A bus ride and a $25 USD entrance fee away from El Calafate is the Perito Moreno Glacier. This glacier is special because from a bus ride alone you can see great views of the vertical ice walls from the walkable park balconies. Whereas these views are typically only viewable from a boat ride. Hielo y Aventura hosts most of the ice-hikes on the glacier.
I did the “Big Ice” extended ice-hike here which was a rush-rush march to the glacier as soon as you get off the boat, make sure you are fit. Don’t worry about the bag size requirement on the website you just need something big enough to carry your lunch. Seeing the glacier water pools and crevasses was really cool, but due to the expense and rush-rush attitude of this excursion it sounds like the Grey Glacier ice hike might have been more enjoyable.
El Chalten feels like a small ski-town, but instead of downhill skiing everyone is here for climbing the Mount Fitz Roy and surrounding mountains. The hiking here is also amazing with great treks to Lago de los Tres to see the Fitz Roy (you’ve seen it) and to Lago Torre to see the stone towers (map). These are truly amazing hikes. The best thing about Chalten is you can step foot outside your accommodations and walk to a trailhead, but I found the lodging and food a bit more expensive than I had expected (like a ski town).
Probably the least traveled circuit in Southern Patagonia, the Huemel Circuit goes around the Mt. Fitz Roy range. This circuit gets close the ‘real’ rugged and remote Patagonia ideal people imagine when they think of this region. The trek isn’t very well marked and easy to take a wrong trail. You may have a hard time getting definitive trail information about the trek so I’d recommend either getting a guide or finding some reliable information in El Chalten. To quote someone who finished the Huemel Circuit, “it was wild and windy and the trail required ingenuity and toughness.”
Cape Horn is a another UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego Cape Horn and Alberto de Agostini National Park. Potential excursions include excursions through the archipelago (which can be rough due to the meeting of the two oceans), a walk to the southern most tip of South America, backpacking in Tierra del Fuego and eco-tourism to see the penguins, dolphins, killer whales and whales