Fitz Roy & Torres del Paine Hiking with Camping

From: $5,799

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Dec - see all dates

Total Days: 13

Activity Level: 4

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Price:

2014/2015

REI member: $5,799

Non-member: $6,375

2015/2016

REI member: $5,999

Non-member: $6,600

Additional Fees

2014/2015

Single supplement: $1,299 (2 singles maximum)

Flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate (estimated): $350

Argentina entry fee: $160

Holiday supplement: $500

Additional Fees

2015/2016

Single supplement: $1,399 (2 singles maximum)

Flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate (estimated): $350

Argentina entry fee: $160

Chile entry fee: $160

Holiday supplement: $500

Trip Dates:

2014/2015

  • Nov 10–22
  • Dec 1–13
  • Dec 26 – Jan 7 H
  • Jan 12–24
  • Feb 9–21
  • Mar 2–14

H = Mandatory holiday supplement applies.

2015/2016

  • Nov 30 – Dec 12
  • Dec 28 – Jan 9 H
  • Jan 18–30
  • Feb 29 – Mar 12

H = Mandatory holiday supplement applies.


Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-15

Activity Level: 4

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Hotels, 6 nights; Estancia (ranch), 2 nights; Camping, 4 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Hike to iconic Mt. Fitz Roy and trek Torres del Paine's famous "W" route
  • See the stunning landscapes of the Patagonian Andes
  • Experience our heralded Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking itinerary with 4 nights camping

The dramatic landscapes of Patagonia are a treasured destination for hikers the world over. Craggy peaks towering over plains provide some of the most memorable vistas in all of South America. This trip follows the same itinerary as our Fitz Roy & Torres del Paine Hiking trip, but with four nights of comfortable camping in place of hotel stays.

We start our exploration of the Andes in Buenos Aires with a tour of Argentina's lively capital city. After traveling to El Chalten, we hike to the base of Monte Fitz Roy, one of the most iconic mountains in the world. From there, travel across the Argentine steppe to Chile's Torres del Paine National Park. Following the famous "W" route, we trek to the stunning Paine Towers, through French Valley, and near Grey Glacier—three of the most noteworthy destinations in the park.

We spend our nights in the perfect combination of small hotels, a working ranch, and four nights camping at Pehoé Lake and below the Paine Towers. Join our experienced guides on this breathtaking trip to a unique and stunning corner of the Earth!

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Enjoy a city tour of Buenos Aires followed by dinner and a tango show.
  • Day 2 - Fly to Calafate and drive to El Chalten at the base of Mt. Fitz Roy.
  • Day 3 - Hike to Laguna Torre for fantastic views of Cerro Torre (10,265').
  • Day 4 - Hike to Laguna de los Tres, a beautiful lake beneath Mt. Fitz Roy.
  • Day 5 - Take a boat cruise to massive Perito Moreno Glacier. Overnight in a lovely estancia.
  • Day 6 - Morning hike with panoramic views of the Andes. Traditional barbecue tonight!
  • Day 7 - Arrive at our campsite in Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Day 8 - Full-day hike to the Paine Towers viewpoint (Mirador de Las Torres).
  • Day 9 - Hike past Cerro Paine Grande into the French Valley. Move camp to Pehoé Lake.
  • Day 10 - Hike to Grey Lake for views of Grey Glacier and the Continental Ice Cap.
  • Day 11 - Stop in the Park Vistor Center before a final hike in Torres del Paine.
  • Day 12 - An early departure back to Punta Arenas. Farewell celebration dinner tonight.
  • Day 13 - Our Patagonian adventure ends this morning as we depart Punta Arenas for home.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Enjoy a city tour of Buenos Aires followed by dinner and a tango show.

    Your trip begins today in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Arrive in Buenos Aires' Ezeiza International Airport this morning and transfer to our centrally-located hotel. After lunch, we join our local guide for a city tour that includes a visit to the Plaza de Mayo, Recoleta Cemetery and the colorful San Telmo and La Boca neighborhoods. Later this evening, we enjoy a typical Argentine welcome dinner and sultry tango show with our local host. Dinner and hotel included.

  • Day 2 - Fly to Calafate and drive to El Chalten at the base of Mt. Fitz Roy.

    We transfer to the city airport this morning for our four-hour flight (not included in trip cost) to El Calafate - the small desert oasis named for the abundant bushes that dot the countryside. Upon arrival, we're met by our trekking guide and drive across the open landscape, typical of Argentine Patagonia, to our hosteria (small hotel) in El Chaltén at the base of Mount Fitz Roy. Our route takes us around the southeastern shores of Lago Argentino, South America's third largest body of water, and past picturesque Lago Viedma. As we drive, we watch the granite fin of Mount Fitz Roy rise up behind the turquoise waters of the lakes and will likely spot some ñandú (a flightless bird similar to an ostrich). We arrive at the community of El Chaltén, in the foothills of the massif, in the afternoon. Time permitting, we'll enjoy a short level hike to Chorrillo del Salto Falls before returning to town for an orientation meeting and dinner. If skies are clear this evening, we can ponder the thousands of stars that form the Southern Hemisphere constellations such as the Cruz del Sur (Southern Cross) and the Corona Australis (Southern Crown) and look for distant galaxies and nebulae, like Andromeda and the Clouds of Magellan. Overnight in our hosteria in El Chaltén for the next three nights. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Driving distance: 135 miles (3 hours).

  • Day 3 - Hike to Laguna Torre for fantastic views of Cerro Torre (10,265').

    Today's hike takes us toward the southwest, along the Fitz Roy River valley. The trail is fairly easy as we cross some ancient terminal moraines left behind when the glaciers of the last ice age receded. We arrive at the first Mirador (lookout) after 1½ hours of gentle uphill hiking and enjoy inspiring views of Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy and other nearby peaks. With sheer walls topped by a mushroom-shaped ice cap, Cerro Torre's 10,265-foot summit is one of the most difficult to climb in the world. Continuing along a mostly flat, scenic trail through patches of lenga forest, we finally reach Laguna Torre. After a relaxing picnic lunch near the lake, we continue along the moraine for better views and photo opportunities of the Cerro Torre summit and the Ventisquero Grande Glacier. Our return hike takes us part-way along a different trail before rejoining the main trail that runs along the Fitz Roy River. All meals included.

    Hiking: 10.5 miles (6½ hours).

  • Day 4 - Hike to Laguna de los Tres, a beautiful lake beneath Mt. Fitz Roy.

    After breakfast this morning we drive to the trailhead and then hike toward Mount Fitz Roy, following the Río Eléctrico River to its junction with the Río Blanco, then turning south to make our way closer to the foot of the peaks. Along our route, we identify a variety of colorful flowers and several species of birds. We also notice the unique, apricot-colored fungus called llao-llao, which only grows on trees of the species, Nothofagus. Hiking uphill, we stop at the basecamp area where climbers stage their expeditions to Fitz Roy's 11,290-foot summit and enjoy the craggy panorama. Resuming our climb, we continue ascending the steep zig-zag trail to Laguna de los Tres (2 additional miles roundtrip and 1,300' elevation gain). From this small lake, we have outstanding, close-up views of the nearly vertical rock walls of Fitz Roy's east face, the impressive spire to the south called the Poincenot Needle (9,960'), and the unusually blue, Piedras Blancas glacier. Following a picnic lunch, we return to the base camp area and continue on to the valley floor and the trailhead near El Chaltén. All meals included.

    Hiking: 11.5 miles (7½ hours), elevation gain 980' with option of additional 2 miles (1½ hours) and 1,300' elevation gain.

  • Day 5 - Take a boat cruise to massive Perito Moreno Glacier. Overnight in a lovely estancia.

    We drive back to El Calafate this morning and continue further into Los Glaciares National Park, following the Brazo Rico section of Lago Argentino. At the narrowest point on this arm of the lake, we stop at a lookout to view the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier, the only glacier outside of the Polar Regions still advancing. We observe and photograph the massive sheet of ice (three miles wide and 190 feet high) from various angles, as we walk along the paths that wind along the river bank, across from its snout. Weather permitting, we'll have our lunch overlooking the glacier before joining our guide for an hour-long boat ride on the lake for another close-up perspective. This afternoon, we drive to Estancia Nibepo Aike, an authentic working ranch that offers a glimpse into the distinctive Patagonian lifestyle. Comprised of nearly 25,000 acres and located in Los Glaciares Park overlooking the Brazo Sur arm of Lago Argentino, there are plenty of activities at the ranch and lots of natural beauty to contemplate. We have time before dinner to walk along the lake's edge and enjoy the solitude. Overnight at the estancia for the next two nights. Driving distance: 240 miles (5½ hours). All meals included.

  • Day 6 - Morning hike with panoramic views of the Andes. Traditional barbecue tonight!

    This morning we set out on a short but steep hike towards the windy Filo de los Cristales peaks. The mostly off-trail route passes through typical Patagonian steppe and patches of forest with panoramic views of the Andes including Lago Argentino and the Perito Moreno Glacier off in the distance. After a hearty lunch and short siesta back at the Estancia, those who wish can participate in an additional short hike along the shoreline of Lago Roca and enjoy impressive views of the lake and Mount Cervantes (7,805'). Further south loom the mountains separating Los Glaciares National Park from Paine National Park on the Chilean side. Birdlife in this region is abundant and we may encounter upland goose, buff-necked ibis, Chilean flickers, American kestrel, and many more during our walk. Those who prefer not to hike this afternoon can choose from a variety of activities including horseback riding with a baqueano guide toward the Brazo Sur section of Lago Argentino or Laguna Frias (at additional cost), fishing, biking or just relaxing and taking in life on the ranch. In the evening, we savor a hearty Patagonian barbecue made with fresh ranch ingredients. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5-6 miles (4 hours) mostly off-trail on steep terrain. Options for additional hiking this afternoon.

  • Day 7 - Arrive at our campsite in Torres del Paine National Park.

    Leaving the ranch after breakfast, we continue overland across the Patagonian plains to Torres del Paine National Park, a crown jewel in the Chilean National Park system. After passing through Cerro Castillo, a small village near the Chilean border, we get our first views of the Paine massif, towering above the plains in the distance. Upon entering the park (established in 1970 and given World Heritage status in 1978), we are often greeted by small herds of guanacos, a wild relative of the llama. We continue to the Sarmiento Park Station where, following a short break after our drive, we begin an afternoon hike. Our route follows a trail up and over the steppe-covered foothills, past small ponds and meadows where we can photograph noisy buff-necked ibis, en route to the Laguna Amarga guard station. Other possible wildlife sightings include red-fox, hares, flamingos and upland geese. Our campsite for the next two nights is located beneath the Paine Towers, near the Ascencio River. All meals included.

    Driving distance: 225 miles (6 ½ hours). Camp elevation 600'.
    Hiking: 4.5 miles (2½ hours). Elevation gain 650'.

  • Day 8 - Full-day hike to the Paine Towers viewpoint (Mirador de Las Torres).

    Today, we have the option of taking a shorter hike near our campsite along the shore of Lake Nordenskjold or participating in a demanding, but highly rewarding hike towards the Paine Towers. We follow a trail that leads across the Ascencio River then climbs uphill along a steep path paralleling the river's right bank. As we gain altitude, we have excellent vistas of the Paine River, winding its way through the surrounding countryside below us. We cross a boulder moraine to reach the high cirque where we find the basecamp from which expert climbers from around the world attempt to scale the towers' walls. Before us lies an awe-inspiring landscape encompassing the impressive granite spires of the near-vertical towers, rocky moraines and hanging glaciers, all surrounding a lovely turquoise-colored tarn. After a picnic lunch beneath Torres Norte (8,530'), Central (9,185'), and Sur (9,350'), we descend the same trail back to our campsite. All meals included.

    Hiking: 11.5 miles (8 hours). Elevation gain 2,600'.

  • Day 9 - Hike past Cerro Paine Grande into the French Valley. Move camp to Pehoé Lake.

    Rising early, we drive through the park to the boat dock on Pehoé Lake and board a catamaran for the 20-minute ride to the far side. The vessel is covered, but with clear weather most passengers stand outside to take in the wonderful views of the impressive Paine Horns. From the arrival dock, we follow a short trail to our campsite and, after setting up, begin hiking through the rolling foothills at the base of Paine Grande peak. We cross the French River on a foot bridge and follow a steep trail along the narrow gorge. Our route takes us through lenga forests on the southeastern slopes of Cerro Paine Grande (the highest peak in the park at 10,007') and crosses a few small creeks. As we gain altitude, we scramble through rocky sections of the mountain's boulder moraines to a breathtaking lookout point. On a clear day, we have fantastic views of the high peaks that surround us from this extraordinarily beautiful cirque. The Paine Horns (8,530'), as well as the Máscara (7,545') and Espada spires (8,205') are among them. We marvel at the geology of these incredible rock formations as we watch patches of snow break loose and thunder down Cerro Paine's rock and ice face. We spend the next two nights at the Pehoé Lake Campsite. Camp elevation: 300'. All meals included.

    Hiking: 11.5 miles (8½ hours). Elevation gain 1,850'.

  • Day 10 - Hike to Grey Lake for views of Grey Glacier and the Continental Ice Cap.

    This morning we hike toward Grey Lake for a panoramic view of its four-mile-wide glacier. Crossing a dry, shallow valley, we contour around the lower slopes of Cerro Paine Grande watching for soaring condors along the way. Our trail passes a small, secluded tarn before reaching a ridge with fabulous views of Grey Lake and the massive Grey Glacier. Icebergs may be floating in the lake's grayish waters, blown from one end to the other by the strong Patagonian winds. Views of Cerro Zapata, (5,020') as well as several sparkling waterfalls cascading down the mountainsides add more drama to the surrounding landscape. Trip members interested in getting even closer to the glacier can continue further along our trail and get close-up views of its ice walls and caves. Grey Glacier is one of three glaciers in the park that originate at the Continental Ice Cap, visible on a clear day as a huge white mass on the horizon. Along the return route to camp, there are excellent opportunities to spot some of the park's 105 species of birds, including grebes, coots, torrent ducks, oyster catchers and others. All meals included.

    Hiking: 9 miles (5 hours). Elevation gain 985'. Continuing all the way to the glacier adds an additional 6 miles (4 hours).

  • Day 11 - Stop in the Park Vistor Center before a final hike in Torres del Paine.

    After a short exploratory walk this morning, we catch our catamaran for the return trip across the lake and drive to the Park Visitor Center for a brief visit. We have the opportunity to examine a relief map, review the trails we've hiked and talk to the ranger about the geographical features of Torres del Paine. After lunch, we take a final hike - either along the black sand beaches of Grey Lake or in the secluded Pingo River Valley. This is a gentle, forested trail that offers different scenery and terrain than we've experienced to this point in our adventure. Finally, we drive to our final hostería, where we share our dinner and enjoy the play of light and clouds as the evening sun turns the Paine Horns shades of gold and mauve. All meals included.

  • Day 12 - An early departure back to Punta Arenas. Farewell celebration dinner tonight.

    We leave the park very early this morning, heading south across the Patagonian steppes to Puerto Natales, a quaint fishing village overlooking Last Hope Sound. After a short visit we continue to Punta Arenas, one of southern Chile's main ports, located on the Straits of Magellan and considered the southernmost city on the continent. We'll celebrate our amazing adventure at a farewell dinner in a local restaurant and spend the evening in a small, nearby hotel. Driving distance: 225 miles (7 hours). All meals included.

  • Day 13 - Our Patagonian adventure ends this morning as we depart Punta Arenas for home.

    After breakfast one group transfer to the Punta Arenas airport will be arranged for travelers departing today. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather, trail and road conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Meals as noted in the daily itinerary; accommodations while camping, in hotels and on the ranch; guide leadership and support staff; group airport transfers; all noted ground transportation within Argentina and Chile; tango show in Buenos Aires, Perito Moreno boat excursion and Pehoé Lake catamaran ferry; park fees; camping permits; group camping gear such as tents, cooking equipment and Therm-a-Rest pads (bring your own sleeping bag).

Not Included

International airfare into Buenos Aires and departing from Punta Arenas; internal airfare from Buenos Aires to El Calafate; 1 lunch; sleeping bags; cost of medical immunizations; insurance of any kind; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; entry fees for Argentina (subject to change); alcoholic beverages or soft drinks; gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated as Vigorous [4]. Trip members should be strong, experienced hikers in good physical condition. This is a remote trip, with long (but spectacular) days of hiking and no easy access. Hiking trails may be muddy with numerous stream crossings and participants should come equipped with a spirit of adventure. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least three months prior to departure. Recommended exercises include hiking, jogging, cycling and/or swimming. Get out on those hills if possible!

Weather

The weather in Patagonia is notorious for high winds and extreme variability. Days can range from sunny with temperatures in the 70s to rain, hail, and occasionally even snow. Nighttime temperatures often drop down into the 30s and 40s. Please come prepared for all possibilities and equipped with good quality raingear.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Fitz Roy & Torres del Paine Hiking with Camping Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To obtain maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you choose your clothing and gear for this trip. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Weather

The weather in Patagonia is notorious for high winds and extreme variability. Conditions can range from sunny with temperatures in the 70s to rain, hail, and occasionally even snow. Please come prepared for all possibilities and equipped with good quality raingear. Nighttime temperatures often drop down into the 30s necessitating the need for a sleeping bag rated to 10-20º F.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Tents
  • Sleeping pad (full length)
  • Cooking and eating utensils while camping
  • Trip leader first aid kit
  • Stoves and fuel
Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Duffel bag - extra-large
  • Duffel bag - medium (for the gear you will take with you on the ferry to Pehoé Lake Camp for 2 nights)
  • Daypack (2,000 - 2500 cu. in.) to carry your lunch, camera, water bottles, extra clothing
  • Luggage tags
  • Passport pouch or money belt
Camping Gear
  • Sleeping bag with stuff sack (rated to approx. 10-20º F)
Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and evening wear during nights spent in hotels
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Midweight thermal underwear tops and bottom, synthetic or wool
  • Hiking pants, lightweight, synthetic and loose-fitting
  • Hiking shorts, lightweight and synthetic
  • Long-sleeve shirt(s)
  • T-shirts, synthetic
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks, synthetic
  • Casual socks
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
  • Rain pants, waterproof and breathable, side-zip pants are highly recommended
  • Insulated parka/ski jacket, down or synthetic, able to accommodate your sweater underneath
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Bandana
  • Wool or fleece gloves
  • Gaiters, ankle-high
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, waterproof, lightweight, broken in, aggressive tread
  • Camp shoes such as tennis shoes or sandals
  • Comfortable shoes for travel and evening wear during nights spent in hotels
Travel Accessories
  • Two (2) one-quart water bottles or hydration system
  • Water purification tablets or filter
  • Flashlight and spare batteries/bulb or headlamp and spare batteries/bulb
  • 1/2 roll of toilet paper
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Small washcloth and small bath towel
  • Baby Wipes or hand sanitizer gel
  • Personal prescription medication
  • Insect repellent
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Plastic garbage bags (2) to line duffel bag if it rains
  • Rain cover or large plastic bag for your daypack
  • Hiking stick or trekking poles
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, spare media card and batteries
  • Small binoculars
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Whistle
  • Thermos
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Ear plugs
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Travel pillow
  • Several Ziploc plastic bags
  • Shower sandals

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Wind chill can be a significant feature of this trip. Air temperatures can be relatively warm, but when the wind is constant you can be robbed of body heat quickly. Adequate wind/raingear is very important.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS® and Thermax.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresFitz Roy & Paine Hiking
 
4.8

(based on 12 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Guides (12)
  • Group camaraderie (11)
  • Well organized itinerary (11)
  • Exceeded expectations (10)
  • Food (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (11)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (11), Active adventures (10), All the details planned for me (9), I liked the itinerary (8), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (6)

      Reviewed by 12 customers

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      4.0

      Indescribable beauty

      By CK and KK

      from New York, NY

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Stunning Views

      Cons

      • Itinerary Could Be Better

      Best Uses

        Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

        We were reluctant to sign up for this trip because we feared it might be too strenuous. The activity level turned out to be quite manageable. There frequently was an option to avoid an especially tough section of trail, but we recommend that you do those optional extensions if you can!

        We also weren't certain what it would be like to do a group trip like this. It turns out that getting to know the other participants over two weeks of shared experiences was one of the highlights! We had a wonderfully interesting and diverse collection of personalities, and we all gelled so well. Our guide Martin was an amazing mix of naturalist, geologist, climber, athlete, historian, travel planner, meteorologist, social coordinator, and comedian!

        The itinerary had us all meet in Buenos Aires for a very quick tour and tango show before we departed for Calafate. We'd recommend that you arrive a couple of days early in Buenos Aires on your own to get a proper experience there.

        The itinerary also allowed us, in our opinion, too much time for meals in the cities of El Calfate and Puerto Natales in particular, when we would have preferred to do another hike instead. Most everyone on our trip reported putting on a few pounds during the trip!

        Overall, we're very glad we did this trip with REI. It would have been difficult to do so much on our own in Patagonia. While the weather was intense, the experience in nature with our fellow participants was well worth it.

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
        • Why did you choose this trip?:
        • Always wanted to go to Patagonia and wanted professional guides to ensure that I did it the right way.
        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
        • Having a wild puma stare us down from 20 meters away. And the amazing clouds. Yes, clouds!
        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
        • Be ready for all weather conditions. We had snow, sun, rain, and hail all within minutes of one another. The wind is incredibly strong and rarely subsides. Bring your own powerbars; the trail snacks provided weren't the most nutritious/healthy. Bring your own sleeping mats; the mats provided weren't the most comfortable. Nobody used water purifiers during the trip.
         
        5.0

        Great hikes, great guides, fabulous trip

        By KMS

        from Philadelphia, PA

        About Me Avid Adventurer

        Site Member

        Pros

        • Activity Level
        • Exceeded Expectations
        • Food
        • Group Camaraderie
        • Guides
        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • Quality Equipment Provided
        • Well Organized Itinerary

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

            Don't forget rain gear, and also include waterproof gloves. The wind can be very strong and if you have clear lenses to swap into your sunglasses bring them along to protect your eyes on cloudy days.
            The hikes and views were fabulous, bring a nice camera and learn how to use the panorama mode!
            The knowledge of our guides (Martin, Senad, Juan and Ricardo) was invaluable. They were organized and efficient and definitely made sure we were taken care of.
            I'm vegetarian and was a bit worried I'd go hungry on this trip but there were no problems with food. We all ate very well and there was always a tasty meat-free option on the menu.
            The hiking days during the camping portion are long, but the camp staff sent us off in the morning with enough lunch and snacks to keep a lumberjack happy. The energy 'bars' are, predictably, not a brand you find in the states so you might want to bring your own trail snacks. After those long days we were thrilled to find snacks and drinks in the dining tent to tide us over until dinner (which is a bit late - about 8 pm).

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me
             
            5.0

            Best Trip Ever!

            By Patty T

            from Cupertino, CA

            About Me Avid Adventurer

            Site Member

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Quality Equipment Provided
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                Having traveled quite a bit in the last 10 years, I would venture to say this was a trip of a lifetime and probably the best trip I ever had. The attention to detail and care the REI guides and staff (Martin Castrillo, Senad, Juan, Ricardo, etc.) put in and was awesome. I want to go back!

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • Wanted to seek an adventure in a beautiful untouched place.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • drinking whiskey on a glacier beach and hiking in one of the most beautiful places on earth such as cerro torre and fitz roy. We also stayed at a very beautiful ranch and rode horses.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • always have a positive attitude as weather conditions may be unpredictable.

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                The best of Patagonia

                By Schuyler

                from Hartford, CT

                About Me Avid Adventurer

                Site Member

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Activity Level
                • Exceeded Expectations
                • Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Varied Activities
                • Well Organized Itinerary

                Cons

                • Quality Equipment Provided

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                  The food, hikes, and accommodations were amazing. The best were the restaurant in Punta Arenas at the end of the trip, the camp snacks waiting for us after hikes, the gorgeous hotel on Grey Lake the night after camping ends, Nibepo Aike ranch (the lodging, food, and staff) and the hikes to the Torres, Grey Glacier, and the German restaurant our first night in El Chalten.

                  Our guides were top-notch. Guido was incredibly well-organized, always keeping us informed on plans and changes. His knowledge was remarkable, as was his ability to convey information to us. I would love to have him as a guide again. Our assistant guide in Chile, Claudio, was just as good, as were the camp staff. Our driver, Alfredo, was also great. When we took the ferry back across Grey Lake in pouring rain, he had the van ready at the dock for us to get right on.

                  A few very minor complaints would be that two out of three mattresses at the campsite would not hold air. The camp staff was quick to replace them, but when you find your mattress deflated after midnight there isn't much to do until the next morning. The restaurant we ate at after crossing the border into Chile was by far the worst of the trip, located in a tourist trap shop with the table literally in the middle of the shopping. Otherwise, the food on the trip was amazing.

                  I think it is a necessity of flight schedules, but no one on the trip enjoyed a 3:00am wake-up to go to the Buenos Aires airport after getting back from the tango show at midnight. But, given flight times to El Calafate, any change to the trip here might mean either sacrificing the tango show or half a day in Patagonia.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • We chose this trip for our honeymoon. Usually, we like to plan out trips on our own, but liked the idea of having the details set for us after all of the wedding-planning. Patagonia itself was a dream destination.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • The highlight of the trip was varied hikes to gorgeous vistas, all accompanied by our guide Guido's excellent lessons on the geography, nature, settlement, and culture of the areas we were visiting.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Be skeptical with some of the gear on the packing list. Some items are key, however: trekking poles for rocky downhills, goot boots, rain gear, etc. Do every optional hike! They lead to some of the best views. Bring a good camera, but one that is easy to hike with.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Jaw Dropping Scenery

                  By Noah

                  from Philadelphia, PA

                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                  See all my reviews

                  Pros

                  • Accommodations
                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Exceptional Adventure
                  • Food
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Jaw Dropping Scenery
                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                  • Quality Equipment Provided
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                  • None

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                    Hope to have martin as your guide - his knowledge, personality and experience made the trip a success! Be fit and flexible - train appropriately and be ready to take a lot of pictures!

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • Destination - Bucket List Adventure - Granite Needles, Glaciers, Glacial Lakes and More
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • No question - the landscapes are other worldly, jaw dropping - Fitz Roy, the Horns of del Paine, Perito Moreno and Gray Glaciars - all unbelievable
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Be fit and flexible - hikes are long and, as with all adventures changes in itinerary occur - pack your sense of humour - it is light weight and your fellow travelers will greatly appreciate it

                    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent Adventure in the Deep South

                    By D Squared

                    from Atlanta, GA

                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • Accommodations
                    • Activity Level
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Food
                    • Group Camaraderie
                    • Guides
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                        There is no need to bring water purifiers - all the water is drinkable direct from the streams. Bring layers - no heavy coats. It is windy at times, but your rain jacket can double as wind protection. You will need rain gear and gaiters to keep you feet dry for stream crossings. Another good idea is to have some water shoes like keens to ford deep streams if you have rain while hiking. No need to exchange money in Chile - they take dollars without any problems. We had no bugs, so not sure bug repellent is necessary either. Bring some trash bags to line the bottom of your tent if it is raining. The tent bottoms can weep water. Bring 4 sets of underclothes when camping. If it is humid, nothing you wash will dry out. Hiking poles are not necessary but useful to some. I went in March which is their "September". It was not cold at all and the sleeping bag did not need to be rated to 10 degrees F. Bring a quick drying camp towel to take showers with at the camps. There are two assistant guides - one for Argentina and one for Chile. We also had three camp staff members for the camping portion. Planning your tips ahead of time makes tipping easier.

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • Wanted to travel to Pantagonia.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Seeing all of the glaciers and dramatic mountains up close was worth the trip. Our trip leader, Martin [@], was excellent. He was selected as one of REI's top guides this year.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Don't be put off by the camping. The tents were comfortable and the food was good. There was a major fire in January 2012 and the results are very sad, but this does not take away from the trip. Some days were long, but I would rate the trip more of a 3. There are no high altitudes and the steeper hikes were doable by everyone (we had folks from 22 to 65).

                        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Best trip ever

                        By lone ranger

                        from Rohnert Park, CA

                        About Me Casual Adventurer, Senior adventure dude

                        Pros

                        • Activity Level
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                            The glaring thing I do not like about REI trips is the single supplements fee. It really is a rip off of the single traveler. It doesn't cost any more to REI if the trip has the minimum group number, and singles don't add to the cost regardless of REI's statements. Really bad policy here. For this reason alone I may not travel with REI again. The best part of this trip was the quality and ability of our guide and driver. Very well organized and was able to make changes on the fly. He should be commended on his work and his choice of our driver.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • I had done a lot of reading about the area, and like to visit lonely out of the way places. Come to find out like minded people the world over visit here.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • The highlight of this trip was the absolutely fabulous guiding and teaching by Martin. Also, the driver Diego was a conscientious and humorous gentleman. The group really gelled as a unit and we come to become great friends.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Get in the best shape you can for lots of hiking, vertical hiking. Expect delays and changes to itinerary. If you sweat a lot like me, bring many changes of shirts and don't expect not to wash you own stuff.

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent collection of day hikes

                            By texaggie

                            from San Diego, CA

                            About Me Avid Adventurer, Extended backpack trips

                            See all my reviews

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Quality guides
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                                Be prepared for long days because dinner is not until 8 pm and you will go to bed around 10. This may not sound very late, but you will be tired after awsome day hikes. Have a few snacks to munch on and a nap before dinner if possible. This trip had a little more "touristy" feel than my Everest Base Camp trip.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • Very unique terrain and mountains. Compared to other national parks or tourists locations this is less travelled. I travelled with rei to Everest Base Camp and they did a very good job also.
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • Guides
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Be prepared to eat lots of beef! If you are a vegan, make that clear to rei before the trip. Practice "tebowing" to prevent yourself from being blow off the trail when it is windy.

                                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Fantastic!

                                By JRBJ

                                from Pittsburgh, PA

                                About Me Avid Adventurer

                                Site Member

                                Pros

                                • Accommodations
                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Food
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                                    On a trip like this group dynamics can add or detract significantly from one's enjoyment. We all had, I believe, a very positive experience in this regard. The trip leader, Martin [@] did an excellent job!

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Friends from prior trip, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • Interest in Patagonia
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • The variety of scenery, accomodations, wild life, etc. The trip leader and staff were great!
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Enjoy the variety.

                                    (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    STUNNING BEAUTY, FIERCE WILDERNESS

                                    By Carol Climber

                                    from Spokane, Washington

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer, High energy, Not a whiner, Outgoing

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

                                    • Accommodations
                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Glaciers
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Vast landscapes
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary
                                    • Wildlife up close

                                    Cons

                                    • Sleeping pads went flat
                                    • Weather is a gamble

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Fitz Roy & Paine Hiking:

                                      --Scenery is unbeatable. Wild, rugged, intense, and oh, so impressive. Defies description in mere words.
                                      --We saw guanacos, rheas, crested caracaras, pgymy owls, Magellanic woodpeckers, and foxes up close.
                                      --Great balance between vigorous hiking, down time, hotels, and camping.
                                      --Outstanding food. Must love beef! In Chile, great fish and crab.
                                      --Our guide was a world-class climber and told us about the various routes up the towers and peaks. Fascinating!

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Outstanding Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • Patagonia has been on my destination list for 20 years, and I finally got to go! Chose REI because of the itinerary and activity level. This trip exceeded all of my expectations because we had unbelievable weather and a hilarious, fun group.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • The French Valley. The most beautiful hike I have ever done, and that is saying something.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Weather can do anything: gale force wind, rain, hail, sun. Be prepared and greet what comes with a smile.

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