Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina – Hiking in Patagonia

Mount Fitz Roy in Argentina has to be one of the most stunning sights I have ever seen! I’ve always wanted to go hiking in Patagonia and can’t quite believe I’m finally here. I’m sharing a room with Sonia who, weirdly is from Manchester and just a month older than me-we seem to have a lot in common 🙂 I had actually thought that this trip might attract a slightly older crowd but the majority of people in the group seem to be a very similar age to me. There are 5 Brits, 3 Canadians, 2 Norwegians, 1 Portuguese and 1 Luxembourger.

Hiking in Patagonia
We had to get up at 6am to get a bus to the airport and take our flight to El Calafate down in Patagonia. At that time loads of people were coming out the clubs, especially being a Sunday morning – there was a really cool looking fake-castle type building at the end of a pier on the sea with lots of revellers spilling out of it.

The landscape as we flew in was stunning. Such blue waters and almost like moonscape. It felt very calming somehow thinking that I was coming so far south and basically to the end of the earth (the name of my tour ;-)). It was very windy as we came into land too which Patagonia is well known for. There was a really cool woman at the baggage carousel – she was in her 70s, from London and had the most hardcore tattoos I’ve ever seen on anyone let alone a woman in her 70s. She had decided to travel for 6 months before she got ‘too old’. She was brilliant.

Hiking in Patagonia
We met our guide, Rodrigo who is Chilean and is absolutely great. We got a bus transfer to El Chalten and it was stunning scenery the whole way. Our lunch stop was apparently where Butch Cassidy hid out for a bit….

Hiking in Patagonia

El Chalten is really cool. It’s the newest town in Argentina (1985) built in a rush to beat Chile to the land claim! It has the feeling of a ski resort – there are a lot of little bars, restaurants and shops and everything is made of wood. There are also lots of random packs of dogs. We had our first dinner together as a group – I had locra which is an Argentinian stew made with beef, pork, maize and veg. It was delicious. And lots of red wine too of course.

Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina - Hiking in Patagonia
We got up early the next morning to start our 15 mile walk to see views of the Fitz Roy Range but it was hammering it down! We made a group decision to wait until 11am to see if it had cleared as starting off in pouring rain is a bit soul-destroying. What a good decision it was – it cleared up and was beautiful sunshine for the rest of the day. And what stunning views of Mount Fitz Roy! It was absolutely beautiful and so clear – apparently it is only like that around 10% of the time. Our guide Juan was great – he pointed out some calafate berries which apparently once eaten guarantee your return to Patagonia. They tasted a little like blueberries.

The last hour of the walk everyone was pretty tired, it was a long walk for the first day but totally worth it. We got back at 8.30pm (it’s great having these long days, it doesn’t get dark until about 10.45pm) and we had a well-deserved beer and dinner.

Hiking in Patagonia

The next day a few of the group went to do an ice climb – I was tempted but it was pretty expensive and sounded pretty difficult! So Sonia, Ina and I did the Laguna Torres walk which was a nice (and relatively short after yesterday!) 3-hour round trip. There were lovely views from the lookout and we were lucky with the weather yet again. We had lunch in a little cafe and then had a wander round the town. We sat in the sun and had one of the local beers. When the sun shone it was actually really warm!

Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina

We got chatting to 2 guys visiting the area and tried to practise my Spanish a bit – I love trying to speak it but wish I was so much better! One guy was Argentinian and one was Chilean – we were talking about the difference between nationalities and Hernan (the Argentinian) was laughing that Chileans are far more emotional than Argentinians even though by British/European standards the Argentinians are very emotional too! They also reminded us of the South American rule that you can have a boyfriend in each country. So the question is never “do you have a boyfriend?”, it’s “do you have a boyfriend in Argentina?” I remember that from when I’m in Brazil. Such different standards, haha.

Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina

We came back to the hotel and then got the bus to El Calafate which seems a fun town with a great vibe. We had a group dinner again and then tried to get to sleep in a boiling hot room….there was underfloor heating on all the time which would be lovely in the winter but not when it’s 18 degrees outside….

If you are interested in my trip, I travelled with G Adventures for 2 weeks on their End of the Earth tour which you can read more about here.

Hiking in Patagonia



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10 Replies to “Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina – Hiking in Patagonia”

  1. Hi Louise,
    This sounds like a great trip. I always enjoy going places i have never been and meeting new people and exploring the area. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.
    Mitch

  2. Hi Louise,
    I really like your website and adventure. I always enjoy going places where I do not know anyone and exploring the area and meeting new friends. I looked through some of the other places you have been and laughed at you Nashville experience. Yes Fireballs are evil… Anyhow Happy Trails to You!
    Mitch

  3. Thank you Louise. What fun. I have never travelled out of the continental US and Canada, but I do love to adventure out. The photos were awesome. I especially loved the Australia one. It is a dream of mine. I plan to keep this link so I can explore more with you.

  4. Hi Louise,
    Even reading your narrative about your hiking/trek expedition in that remote area of Argentina, what added to the article were the incredible photo images that you took along route. The images backed up what you stated about the landscape being so breathtaking!

    Your roommate for the trip, Sonia appeared to come from a part of England quite near where you live. What were the odds of that?

    I have never been to Argentina however on this trip you appeared to have done it correctly with just a small group of people. I always remember my first trip to Europe in the summer of 1984 – several Scandinavian countries. Our tour group was an entire jumbo jet full of people; more than 250. What an absolute horrible experience as part of that trip was just time being wasted trying to line all those people up each morning with their luggage and then pack them onto about 5 – 6 buses traveling from town to town. We were like cattle.

    Small groups are the way to do tours, especially hiking. I also got a kick out of the difference in communication when telling someone if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend in Argentina. You hinted that apparently it would be asked/answered differently in Brazil.

    Is this your first time in that country?

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Wow, I can’t imagine being part of a group of 250 – a logistical nightmare I’m sure! The tour I went with have a maximum of 12 people which was perfect.

      Haha, yes the South Americans are much more forward than us British! And from my experience the Brazilians don’t take no for an answer! Haha. It was my first time in Argentina but I’ve been to Brazil twice now – I still haven’t seen the north of Brazil though which I’d love to.

      Louise

  5. Hi there,
    This is a very interesting post and also very informative. I can see your passion is all about travel and well done for sharing your experiences with all who will visit your website.
    The scenery looked awesome and it sounds as if it was great fun and was surely a great educational and learning curve as well.
    Learning all about the different cultures, the different styles and also the local cuisine must have been interesting also.
    Well done and thanks again for sharing
    Cheers.Phil Browne

  6. Wow, what a fantastic trip. I need to put South America on my bucket list. I think the food sounds incredible, especially the Argentinian stew, you spoke of. It’s very interesting that it doesn’t get dark until so late at night, I never thought about that, being so close to the South Pole. That certainly makes for a full day of activities. Is there anything that you didn’t get to do, that you would definitely want to do, if you had another trip there? It sounds like an amazing once in a lifetime adventure!

    1. Hi, thanks for your comments. It really was a fantastic trip – I think I would love to do an ice climb next time – and trek all the trails I didn’t do last time! I really hope to get back to Patagonia one day!

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