Patagonia is enormous. It encompasses both Argentina and Chile’s southern regions. Torres del Paine and Parque Nacional Los Glaciers are both located nearby (Chile). Mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and well-maintained paths made this part of Patagonia a hiker’s dream.
Several buses go from Calafatte, where the airport is located, on a daily basis. El Chaltèn is about a 3-hour bus ride from there. There is a little visitor center just before town that should not be overlooked. Excellent service and very knowledgeable.
El Chaltèn is a tiny town with hotels, tourist shops, restaurants, and coffee shops in different price ranges. Trekking trips, horseback riding, and other activities are available through various businesses. On day walks, the park is virtually totally accessible. Hikes last anywhere from 2 to 8/10 hours. Many motels provide box lunches for hikers. Drinking water from streams along the path is safe. On the way, we just filled up our water bottle.
We came upon this tiny chap excavating holes in the ground during our walk. I had no idea what kind of animal it was, but the visitor center informed me that it was a Pitchie from Patagonia. It looked like an Armadillo to us.
We got up early because it was going to be a long day and we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time at the lookout. The trail starts near the end of Avenida San Martn, where the village of El Chaltén comes to a close. There is a parking lot at the start, but we were staying in a hotel 100 meters away.
We arrived at Poincenot base camp 4 hours after we started. From there, the trail climbs for another 400 meters. To the Tres Lagunas. This is the steepest and most difficult section of the trail. It was supposed to take an hour, but it ended up taking me an hour and a half! I was even worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it! However, the trail came to a close at the old moraine ridge, which provided a spectacular view of the lagoon and De los Tres Glacier. It was well worth my time and work.