Tag Archives: El Calafate

Kayak & Trekking Experience Río La Leona

A 14 km full day adventure to discover the delightful La Leona River and take a hike through Los Hornos Mount. Explore a glacial river surrounded by the Patagonian steppe and learn about geology!


In the Santa Cruz province it is said that Río La Leona is one of the most beautiful rivers in the Patagonian steppe. With a 70 km flow of turquoise waters, this glacial river is born at the Viedma Lake and discharges at the Argentino Lake.

An interesting fact: its name was given due to a female puma attack (colloquially called “leona”, which means lioness) that suffered Francisco Pascasio Moreno, the famous Perito Moreno, on an expedition towards the Santa Cruz River in the summer of 1877.

Surrounded by the most arid steppe, with no trees and framed by a wide tiered valley, La Leona provides the scenery for today’s adventure.

After an early pick up from the hotel in El Calafate, we are driven towards Luz Divina, a rural inn. On the way the guide tells us about this faraway place and the river we are about to navigate. Glaciers, flora and fauna complete a very interesting informative talk.

Once at Luz Divina, we get familiar with the kayak equipment and pay attention to the technical brief to know the paddling basics. Even if you don’t have any previous experience kayaking, this activity can be easily done by anyone!

All equipped and instructed, we finally go down to La Leona River. The first paddling stretch takes about an hour and a half. Until we get used to this activity, which for some is the first time ever to get into a kayak, it’s impossible not to be captivated by this outstanding landscape of natural beauty and geological history; to take in this vast environment where the sound of silence is so overwhelming. An untouched scenery that many years ago astonished explorers such as Darwin or Moreno with the contrast of the ocher steppe and the turquoise glacial waters.

The next stop is at Los Hornos Mount, one of the oldest formations in the world. At this mount we take a 2 hs hike discovering the beginnings of Patagonian geography. Petrified trees and dinosaur fossils are witnesses of ancient times where the Earth’s conditions and weather were very different than nowadays.

At this place we will also have a brief lunch (not included) and a hot tea to regain energies for the next paddling stretch.

Back again on our kayaks, after 45 minutes more navigating through La Leona, we reach the final stop of the adventure at Arroyo Turbio. We are welcomed at Estancia La Irene and after settling in and putting away the kayak gear, the team bids farewell with a delicious cold beer before returning to El Calafate.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Daily departures. Full day excursion.
  • Operates from October to April.
  • Requires Min. 1 pax – Max. 8 pax.
  • Min. age required is 12 years old.
  • Very active excursion. Implies moderate physical effort. No previous trekking or kayaking experience needed.
  • Pax should wear trekking shoes, comfortable clothes for paddling (thermal t-shirt, polar jacket or sweater, etc.), thermal or lycra leggins, additional underwear (in case it gets wet while kayaking), sunglasses and sunscreen, backpack or bag to keep personal items in the vehicle.

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Calafate Hotels pick up (starts at 7:30 am) & drop off (4:30 pm). Can be arranged to and from airport depending on flight schedule.
  • Double Kayak and paddles.
  • Safety briefing & Technical equipment: neoprene suit and boots, semi-dry jacket, cockpit cover, helmet, mittens, life jacket, waterproof bag.
  • Bilingual guides (Spanish-English)
  • Snack (hot drinks, cookies or brownies, nuts).
  • Insurance pack for tourism activities.

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Box lunch.
  • Transfers from/to El Chaltén.