Argentina Patagonia Multisport – Bariloche to Fitz Roy

Trip Length 10 Days
Group Size 4–14
Activity level
Starting from
$5,999 for REI Members
$6,499 for non-members
Departures Mar 2021-Apr 2022

Spend 10 days hiking, biking and kayaking from the lakes of Northern Patagonia to the epic spires of Southern Patagonia.

Patagonia is a legendary place, renowned for its raw natural beauty and awe-inspiring landscapes. This trip combines the best of Argentina’s Patagonia regions: the lakes and mountains of Northern Patagonia and the iconic peaks of Southern Patagonia. In the North, we travel lodge to lodge, exploring lakes by kayak, summiting peaks on foot, and mountain biking on trails through lenga forests that contour the banks of tranquil rivers. This region is almost as famous for its food as it is for its natural beauty—long days spent in the outdoors are rewarded with microbrews, Argentinian wines, local chocolate, and traditional Argentine asados.

As we travel to Southern Patagonia, we trade paddles and pedals for hikes that will amaze at every turn. Lago Torre and Laguna de Los Tres (Fitz Roy) are bucket-list hikes for every hiker, showcasing the rugged beauty of Patagonia at its finest. Each day our guides unveil a new part of Patagonia and each night we rest happily in our comfortable lodges, reminiscing with new friends about all the beauty our world has to offer.

Special departure in Dec 2020
View the total solar eclipse from Patagonia! Our Dec 13, 2020 departure date coincides with the eclipse on Dec 14. We'll head to the path of totality that day and hope for clear skies. Book early to secure your spot.

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Trip Highlights

  • Kayak the sapphire lakes of Patagonia’s lakes district
  • Hike to epic viewpoints, including the Frey, Lago Torre and Laguna de Los Tres (Fitz Roy)
  • Cycle trails through lenga forests in Patagonia’s verdant north
  • Hike and boat to visit the mighty Perito Moreno glacier, one of the world’s few stable glaciers
  • Sample traditional Argentinian food and world-class wine

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be in good physical condition, capable of hiking up to 8 hours with distances ranging from 10–13 miles and 2,500–3,200' elevation gain for successive days in a row. It is not necessary to be an experienced kayaker or cyclist although it is beneficial to have some previous kayaking and biking experience. You should be at ease in a small boat and know how to swim.

This is a remote trip with no easy access. Trails may be muddy with numerous stream crossings, boulder fields or loose scree. The weather may also add to the rigors of this itinerary with high winds, driving rain and possibly snow.

  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking

What's Included

Meals as noted on the itinerary; all accommodations; guide leadership and support staff; airport arrival transfer on Day 1 and one group transfer on Day 10; all noted ground transportation within Argentina; and park fees.

Accommodations

Lodges; 9 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Bariloche and walk through Nahuel Huapi National Park

This trip begins in Bariloche, Argentina. We meet our travel companions at 2pm at our lakeside host hotel. Bariloche is a beautiful city located on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Bariloche offers something for everyone: lakes and rivers for kayaking and floating, mountain ranges to hike, and world class mountain biking trails to ride. After meeting our guide and the rest of the group, we leave the city to explore Lake Nahuel Huapi. Our hike today offers spectacular views of the city and, if it’s clear, Volcano Tronador with its eight glaciers flowing off all sides. Our welcome dinner showcases Bariloche’s other claim to fame: delicious food, wine and beer. Dinner included.

Walking: 2 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +330’ / -330’

Itinerary variation for Dec 13, 2020 departure
To see the Dec 14 solar eclipse from the path of totality, we will drive 2 hours north from Bariloche on day 1 and spend two nights at a rural estancia. The itinerary will resume as normal starting day 3.

Day 2

Mountain bike the Limay River Valley

After a peaceful night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we head to the Limay River Valley where we’ll get fitted for our mountain bikes. Today’s mountain biking excursion takes place in the estepa. Estepa is a unique type of landscape and makes up the majority of terrain in Patagonia. It’s categorized by low-lying mountains, plateaus and plains—perfect for all levels of bikers. Our ride today follows the Limay River on old estancia trails, providing beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. After arriving at a small village in the area we shuttle back to Bariloche. Lunch is served on-trail, and we have the afternoon free to explore Bariloche. Known as the “Switzerland of Argentina,” Bariloche is a very walkable city filled with restaurants, cafes and shops. Breakfast and lunch included.

Cycling: 15 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,150’ cumulative gain

Itinerary variation for Dec 13, 2020 departure
To see the Dec 14 solar eclipse from the path of totality, we will drive 2 hours north from Bariloche on day 1 and spend two nights at a rural estancia. The itinerary will resume as normal starting day 3.

Day 3

Hike Cerro Catedral to the Frey

Hiking to the Catedral basin and visiting Refugio Frey is considered must-do in this region—and rightfully so! This hike takes us far above the city of Bariloche and the glittering lakes below. We walk along ridgelines and through valleys before emerging into a granite cirque of towers. Refugio Frey sits serenely at the edge of the alpine lake, surrounded by the cirque on one side and sweeping views of the Bariloche area on the other. We enjoy lunch here at the refugio, and after some time to rest and explore we make our way back down. Rather than returning the way we came, we peel off on a trail headed to Lago Gutierrez and wind our way down to its shore. At the far end of the lake lies our lodge for the night, an old estancia filled with charm, good food, and even better views. All meals included.

Hiking: 11.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,000’/ -4,000’

Day 4

Kayak and hike in Lake Mascardi

We continue to dive deeper into Patagonia today. Leaving our lodge behind, we launch kayaks in the next lake over. We follow the shoreline and paddle for over an hour until we reach a dock. We leave our kayaks here and take off on foot, crossing a narrow pass of land between the two arms of the lake. A viewpoint on the trail allows us to see the whole Manso Valley and our old friend, Tronador. At the end of the lake we meet our boat shuttle which takes us to our lodge for the next two nights. The lodge was founded by pioneers of the region, before the area was designated as a national park. Today, we have the chance to stay at their home and share in the natural beauty of this area—an incredible experience! All meals included.

Kayaking: 2.5 miles (1 hour); Hiking: 5.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,200’ / -1,200’

Day 5

Explore the Vuriloche Valley by foot and raft

Channeling our inner pioneer, we spend the day exploring the upper Manso Valley. Our day is filled with a hike to a viewpoint of Tronador (we’re very close now!), a traditional estancia BBQ, and a rafting trip down the Manso River to where it meets Lake Mascardi. Mount Tronador dominates the scene but the entire skyline is lined with glacier-capped peaks that contrast with emerald green forests and glassy blue lakes. It’s not hard to see why pioneers chose this place to settle down and why it’s now a designated national park. All meals included.

Walking: 4.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: minimal; Floating: 1 hour (Class II)

Day 6

Arrive in El Chaltén

Today is a transfer day as we journey from Northern to Southern Patagonia. We bid a fond farewell to Tronador and the Manso Valley, bound for the Bariloche airport. A short flight brings us to El Calafate, the main hub for Argentina’s Southern Patagonia district, and home of the famous Perito Moreno glacier. We’ll return later to visit the glacier but today we continue onward to El Chaltén, the mountain town that serves as a basecamp for hiking and climbing trips into the Fitz Roy group. We settle into our hotel for the next two nights and have the rest of the evening to explore before dinner. All meals included.

Van transfer to airport: 2 hours; Flight: 1.5 hours; Van transfer to hotel: 2.5 hours

Day 7

Hike to Laguna de Los Tres

After breakfast this morning we drive to the trailhead and then hike toward Mount Fitz Roy. We follow the Río Eléctrico River to its junction with the Río Blanco, then turn south to make our way closer to the base of the peaks. Along our route, we identify a variety of colorful flowers, unique plants and several species of birds. Hiking uphill, we stop at the basecamp area where climbers stage their expeditions to Fitz Roy's 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, and the unusually blue, Piedras Blancas glacier. Following a picnic lunch, we return to the basecamp area and continue on to the valley floor to the trailhead near El Chaltén. Dinner is on your own tonight. El Chaltén is a small town filled with microbreweries, restaurants, shops and cafes—our guides will happily recommend their favorite spots. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking: 13 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +3,150’ / -2,280’

Day 8

Hike to Lago Torre and transfer back to El Calafate

The hike to Lago Torre is a varied and spectacular trail. We start by crossing some ancient terminal moraines left behind when the glaciers of the last ice age receded. After 1.5 hours of gentle uphill hiking we arrive at the first Mirador (lookout) and enjoy inspiring views of Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy and other nearby peaks. Continuing along a mostly flat, scenic trail which traces the original glacier valley, through patches of lenga forest, we finally reach Laguna Torre. The lagoon features the Torre glacier calving on the far side, and the Cerro Torre group and spires rising in the background. Upon returning to El Chaltén we pack up and head south, back to El Calafate. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and have some free time before dinner. All meals included.

Hiking: 13 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,950’ / -1,100’; Van transfer: 2.5 hours

Day 9

Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion

The Perito Moreno Glacier is a truly awe-inspiring force of nature. Today’s excursion allows us to see the only glacier outside of the polar regions that’s still advancing from a number of different vantage points. We start off at an estancia located on the western side of the glacier. From there we board our boat and sail through the arms of the lake to reach a spit where we can disembark and walk to a stunning vista of the glacier. Back onboard the ship we continue sailing closer to the glacier. We disembark again and head to the narrowest point on this arm of the lake, where we stop at a lookout to view the spectacular glacier. We’re able to 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. In the afternoon, we transfer back into town. Our farewell dinner tonight is at a local restaurant. All meals included.

Walking: 3 hours. Boat ride: 1 hour

Day 10

Bid farewell to Patagonia

After breakfast, one shuttle to the El Calafate airport will be arranged for travelers departing today. Breakfast included.

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.

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (emailed prior to departure date)
  • Passport

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.