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Lago Viedma - Hiking El Chaltén - Argentina

Eons ago, when the glacier Campo de Hielo began receding, it gouged the landscape to form Lago Viedma, halfway between El Chaltén and El Calafate. Cruise this lake’s icy waters to the foot of Argentina’s largest glacier, Glaciar Viedma, towering 40 meters (131 ft) above the water. On the northern horizon, Cerro Huemul, the other needle-like peaks of these southern Andes, pierce the sky. Travelers who want more of an adrenaline rush can join one of three levels of trekking on Glaciar Viedma.


How to Get There

To Bahía Túnel (Lago Viedma): Taxi, $23-26. Patagonia Aventura also provides transfers to the lake ($14) and offers the Lago Viedma boat (daily, 2.5 hours, $28) and ice trekking tours (6-9 hours, $85-100) (San Martín 56, Tel.: 43-6424, E-mail:, URL:

El Chaltén, Argentina


Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring: Daypack, snacks, water; warm clothing, including wool or fleece hat, gloves, waterproof jacket and pants, hiking boots; sunglasses, sunblock.

Hiking the trails in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares; in winter, snowshoe or ski them. Boating on Lago del Desierto and trekking the glaciers there. Kayaking or canoeing on Lago del Desierto or Río de las Vueltas. Horseback riding. Experienced climbers, tackle the great massifs: Torre and FitzRoy. On the south shore of Lago Viedma is Bosque Petrificado La Leona, accessible from El Calafate.

Here are other activities in and around El Chaltén that may be of interest: Miradores de los Cóndores y de las Águilas, Lago Toro Hike, Piedras Blancas Hike, Laguna Capri Hike, Hiking in El Chaltén and Garganta del Río Fitz Roy.

By Lorraine Caputo

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

25 Aug 2009

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