New Trekking Routes Open in Patagonia

Traverse glaciers by foot, horse and boat in Patagonia

Trekking Patagonia: Patagonia's Torres del Paine Mountains in Peri
The Torres dell Paine in Patagonia National Park. Flickr/Reurink

Trekking in Patagonia

Patagonia is a trekking destination like no other. Incredible, non-polar glaciers surround pristine lakes. The thick vegetation of the Andes is cut through with monumental, serrated stones rising high above treeline, and backpackers are wonderfully infinitesimal in relation.

An area within the future Patagonia National Park has an increasing number of trails, and one official loop named Lagunas Altas is being established now. The trail starts at the park headquarters and climbs in the direction of Tamangito Peak, traverses a ridge around several lakes, and descends back to the trailhead. Expansive views of the Aviles Valley are a prime attraction.

Villa O'Higgins in Chile
Villa O’Higgins, Chile. Flickr/Schwabe

Similarly, a new route has opened linking the trekking capital of El Chalten, Argentina to the trekking capital of Villa O’Higgins in Chile. The 133 km trek passes through the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. The new passage roughly follows Route 40, and can be biked, hiked, or traveled by horseback. Ultimately, what has allowed the linkage is the inclusion of boat rides across two lakes. The tour company Say Hueque has established the new route, and offers amenities along the way.

Trekking Patagonia: A Patagonian Lake
Parts of this Patagonian trek are by boat. Flickr/N. Cool

While not a new route, the classic Torres del Paine National Park hike deserves mention. The trail circles the eponymous peaks, which must be seen to be believed. A five-day hike wanders through the park and around the peaks. Few choose to attempt the summit; most simply enjoy the views from the already strenuous trail. Despite the untouched landscape, refugios are arranged at practical locations, offering comfortable cabins for weary travelers. Most choose to camp.

If You Go

Should you choose to check Patagonia off your bucket list, consider making on of these newer routes your adventure. These extended treks can be a good way to experience what is wild and pristine, deep in the wilderness. The tour by Say Hueque sounds like a novel and varied way to make your crossing.

Patagonia Argentina Info

Patagonia Chile Info

Say Hueque Tours