In April 2023, I had an amazing opportunity to spend a little over a week in Argentina. My brother’s friend got married, so we decided to travel to Argentina and make a trip out of it. Both of us are avid hikers and love outdoor activities, so most of our time was spent exploring nature.
Days One and two
US to Argentina
My brother took a direct 8-hour flight from Miami to Buenos Aires, and I took an earlier flight to Santiago, Chile, to meet him in Buenos Aires around 8 pm. After we met up, we took an hour bus ride to Newberry airport and caught a 4 am flight to El Calafate. It was quite exhausting, but we were thrilled to arrive in a small town surrounded by enormous mountains. We drove a rental car for 3 hours up to El Chalten, where we took a two-hour hike up the northern mountain and enjoyed the beautiful views of the small town surrounded by mountains in the background.
After the hike, we ate at a local restaurant and tried Argentina pizza and a classic hamburger. Then, we walked around the town, which was composed of hotels, restaurants, a few stores, and the essentials. We called it a day to rest for the next day’s adventure.
Days Three and Four
The next morning we started our hike to Laguna de los Tres, the hallmark of El Chalten. We started the hike at 10 am when the sun was out, and it was roughly 45 degrees, which was perfect weather for hiking. This hike was my favorite, with different trails and terrains, hiking on a small trail on the side of a mountain, walking through a forest, crossing some wooden log bridges, and more. We hiked mountains, walked through valleys, and drank fresh spring water.
The last section of the trail was the most challenging, an hour of climbing rocks up a mountain, but we made it to the top, and the breathtaking view was worth it. We spent some time there and hiked back to El Chalten, where we had 13 miles of hiking in 6 and a half hours. Before leaving town, we stopped at a local ice cream house and tried different flavors. We then drove 3 hours into El Calafate, where we ate at a local restaurant and watched a tango-style dance.
Days Five and Six
We started on the trails that took us on different scenic routes with metal walkways. We took a lot of photos and enjoyed the surreal experience, from the walkways that sometimes went through trees to the beautiful views of the mountains and the glacier. We saw the glacier calving and saw how blue the water was. We spent around two hours there, but realistically, you could stay for 15 minutes and get the same experience. The whole thing was less of a hike and more walking, but the metal pathways made it easy.
When we visited the glaciers in El Calafate, it was mid-day during the week and off-season, so there weren’t many people around. It was peaceful and serene, and we were able to enjoy our lunch while taking in the beautiful sights. We noticed a few others eating there too, and we agreed that it was a wonderful lunch spot. After we finished, we headed to Puerto Bandera, which had been recommended to us by our waitress.
As we drove down by the waterside, we saw more breathtaking views of the mountains. We didn’t stay too long, but we were able to take advantage of the peacefulness and quietness since there was no one else around. On the way back to El Calafate, we saw many animals, including sheep, alpacas, horses, a fox, cows, and more. We realized that there was a good variety of animals in the area.
We stopped at a local bakery to try some sandwiches and drinks, and I couldn’t resist trying the Cool Mango drink, which consisted of mango, peach, and passion fruit. It was delicious! We also picked up some fresh empanadas to go so we could enjoy them later. After a busy past two days, we went back to our Airbnb to unwind and relax. I had some homework and a CCDC team practice to attend as well.
Days Seven and Eight
The next morning, we packed up and headed to the airport, en route to Posadas. We flew from El Calafate (FTE) to Buenos Aires/Newberry (AEP) and then to Posadas (PSS).
Once we arrived in Posadas, we met up with some friends and spent a couple of days with them. One of the highlights of our trip was experiencing a traditional Argentina wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding with numerous events and activities spread throughout the 12 hours that we stayed there (from 5 pm to 5 am). We tried a wide variety of Asada (grilled meat) that Argentina is known for and learned a lot about the culture.
While we were in the area, we also visited Iguazú National Park near the border of Brazil. The park featured numerous waterfalls throughout the area, and we spent half a day just walking the different trails and taking in the breathtaking views. We went on a day that was overcast and slightly rainy, but the temperature was great and we were glad we didn’t go when it was super sunny and hot outside.
If you’re an avid hiker, I highly recommend taking the Laguna de los Tres hike. The experience of trekking through the Patagonian wilderness and reaching the turquoise lake at the foot of the Fitz Roy mountain is nothing short of exhilarating. As you make your way up the rocky trail, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment with each step and as you reach the top, the panoramic view of the landscape is simply awe-inspiring.
Although it is a challenging hike, it is worth the effort. The weather during our hike was ideal with temperatures ranging from 35-50 degrees Fahrenheit. While this may sound cold to most people, the sun hitting your skin makes it feel warm and pleasant.
If you’re planning to do the hike, I suggest starting early around 8 am, and packing a lunch to enjoy at the Laguna de los Tres before heading back. The hike takes the entire day, but the stunning views and feeling of accomplishment are worth it. Alternatively, if you have more time, consider camping overnight and exploring the other trails and sights that El Chalten has to offer.
If you’re short on time, I recommend visiting Laguna de los Tres and Glaciar Perito Moreno last, as these two experiences were the highlights of our trip. By saving the best for last, we could have fully appreciated the mountains and breathtaking views. However, if you only have two days, I suggest visiting one spot each day to fully soak in the beauty of the region.