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Lago Roca and Cerro Cristal - Hiking El Calafate - Argentina

Lago Roca, a thin sliver of lake known for its fly fishing, lies within the national reserve section of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. One kilometer (0.6 mi) past Huala campsite, you'll find Cerro de los Cristales (1268 m / 4160 ft), from the peak of which you can see Torres del Paine, the various arms of Lago Argentino and Glaciar Perito Moreno. Modern humans aren’t the only ones to frequent this lake. Ancient people painted abstract designs and hunting scenes on erratic rocks left behind by the retreating glaciers.


Trekking and horseback riding can be done from Lago Roca. Trekking del Glaciar offers a 10-kilometer (6-mi) excursion in the area, as well as to Paso Zamora on the Chilean border (Tel.: 02902-49-8447, E-mail:, URL:

52 kilometers (32.5 mi) southwest of El Calafate, on Ruta 15
El Calafate, Argentina

Hiking Types:
National park, Day trip, Historical site, Camping, adventure, Nature trail

Getting There
Buses to Lago Roca operate only September – mid-April ($10; Cal-Tur once daily, Taqsa four weekly). Other times of the year, you’ll have to rent a car or go on tour (gravel road).

Travel Tips: No entry fee is charged for this sector of the park. There is a free national park campsite with no services (not even latrines) called Huala. The private Camping Lago Roca has a campground, dormitory, bike rental and other services (Tel.: 49-9500 / 49-9930, URL: Camping $6.50 per person). Obtain fishing permits from the national park office in El Calafate.

Price Description: Free.

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

Head into Parque Nacional Los Glaciares to boat to and trek Glaciar Perito Moreno and the other glaciers, fish at Lago Roca. Go out to the estancias to enjoy an asado del palo and go horseback riding. Explore the ancient history of the region, at Cuevas del Waliche and Bosque Petrificado la Leona. In town, visit the museums or birdwatch at Reserva Laguna NĂ­mez.

Currencies accepted
Argentine Peso

Here are other activities in and around El Calafate that may be of interest: Perito Moreno Glacier,

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

27 Aug 2009

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