Tag Archives: Trekking

ICE AND ADVENTURE IN PATAGONIA

In the heart of chaltén, ice and rock merge into this extraordinary Patagonian experience to make you live an authentic mountain adventure.


We invite those wanderlust spirits to traverse the outermost places of Chaltén, to climb rock and ice, to cross thick forests, and to spend the night at a mountain refuge. Certainly, this is a program that promises an unforgettable experience.

This fresh proposal consists of a two-day experience that includes a guided trekking that starts at Estancia Los Huemules and leads to the impressive Cagliero glacier. The Trekking offers a variety of landscapes, including the possibility to walk the immense Cagliero’s ice cap.

Our adventure begins early in the morning at Los Huemules visitor’s center. From this meeting spot, we start a 2-hour walk through a thick lenga’s forest crossed by a well-maintained trail up to the first lookout point: Laguna Diablo (Devil’s Lagoon). This stretch of the trail is smooth therefore it doesn’t require too much physical effort. From Laguna Diablo, we can appreciate the Cagliero Refuge, where we will spend the night, and part of Valle del Diablo (Devil’s Valley), named after the lagoon.

As we skirt Laguna Diablo’s northern margin and leave Estancia Los Huemules’ property to access Campo Gorra Blanca (a private property), the path gets irregular and a bit more demanding up to Via Ferrata where the second instance of this activity takes place. Vía Ferrata is a one-kilometer rock stretch with a two hundred meter slope. Nevertheless, it was adapted with iron rungs and steel cables to ensure a secure and comfortable climbing, though it demands physical effort since the rocky and icy paths are irregular. At this stage, the guides will provide us will all the necessary equipment for the climbing and instruct us on its use.

After an hour climbing Vía Ferrata, we reach the second lookout point: Mirador del Glaciar, where we will be able to contemplate Cagliero’s unexplored southern side, the immensity of the valley and the walls of Treinta Aniversario and its attendant peaks, especially Diente Del Diablo (Devil’s tooth). A short walk later, the third instance of our experience takes place: the trekking through the glacier itself. This stretch will last approximately two hours and, if the weather conditions are favorable, there is the possibility to have lunch at the glacier’s surface and enjoy its unique scenery.

Lunch finished, we take the same path to return to Puesto Cagliero, arriving approximately at 16:00 pm. Puesto Cagliero is an authentic mountain refuge that offers the possibility to spend the night in its compact yet cozy rooms. At the refuge, we will enjoy a simple and tasty dinner that can be either pasta, homemade pizzas or a warm vegetable soup.

The second day of our excursion starts with breakfast at the refuge, where the guides also provide the box lunch for the day. Then, we have free time to explore by ourselves and take one (or more) of the different self-guided paths that cross  Estancia Los Huemules, perfect opportunity to get familiar with the beauty of this natural environment and its fauna.

As a final observation, it is important to mention that the ice trekking requires great physical demand, therefore, it is important to check your physical conditions before signing up for this program. If Chaltén is your next destination, this is an extraordinary opportunity to make the most of this icy region and feel like a true explorer!

For more information on this program, please contact us at Kallpa Tour Operator.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Feasible from November to March Duration: 2 days
  • Does not operate on Sundays
  • Difficulty: Moderate

SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Bilingual high mountain guides.
  • Climbing equipment
  • Night at Puesto Cagliero
  • Dinner, breakfast and lunch box for day 2
  • Round trip shared transfers from meeting point in El Chalten town to Estancia Los Huemules

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED:

  • Box Lunch for day 1
  • Entrance fee to Estancia los Huemules

 

W Trekking Circuit in Winter

Summer is not the only time to hike in Patagonia! Kallpa took part of a trip to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, to walk the W Circuit in winter time. We want to share this different trekking experience with you.


From May to August it is possible to experience a rare trekking adventure in Torres del Paine: a 6 days hiking wintry version of the famous W Circuit in the cold, through an inhospitable and deserted environment, snow-covered mountains, crowdless sceneries and surrounded by nature. Also, enjoy delicious meals and drinks, spend unforgettable moments and rest the nights in comfy mountain lodges.

Felipe, our Kallpa member that took part on this adventure, describes the ambience: “Such a wild and unique environment allows you a close encounter with guanacos, condors and -of course- with the spirit of the puma, that is present in each and every moment of this great wintertime trekking. At the feet of the bicolored Horns and at the top of the white and blue Grey glacier, in the depth of Ascencio Valley and in the face of Francés Valley, the Andes are overwhelming.”

The journey takes you to the three exceptional spots in the park: the base of the Towers, the French Valley and the Grey Glacier; always in the company of a specialized and expert mountain guide. The last day and for the final picture, a ferry boat ride across Pehoé Lake.

Overall, this unique adventure provides a defiant winter trekking challenge on ascending and descending mountain trails towards impressive lookouts with fantastic views of the amazing Paine Towers, glaciers, lakes and icebergs. Full contact with nature when the park is nearly empty.

Despite the cold, the weather and the fatigue, according to Felipe nothing could make you quit this challenge: “No glacier ice could freeze your sensations. No weather conditions, rain or snow would stop your intentions. On the contrary, they will most probably bring up to the top your physical capacity, internal feelings and strength to walk and fulfill the W Circuit”.

Don’t miss the chance to feel the power of nature along the intense and crowdless W trekking in winter at the southern side of the Torres del Paine Massif, one of the most beautiful natural environments of the World!


 

Walking with Llamas in the Northwest

Take a hike joined by llamas among ancient ruins, salt lakes, valleys, and gorges. An ancestral activity to connect with the Pachamama and the most amazing landscapes in the northwest.


Ever since the beginning of time, the Andean men and the llamas traversed the harsh terrain in the mountains and the high plateau. These particular animals were used not only to transport commercial goods but for their wool, their meat, and their guano.

Nowadays in Tilcara, Santos Manfredi has settled a rural and ecological establishment specialized in taming llamas as a freighting animal, to recreate this ancestral practice. Caravana de Llamas, as it is called, is also dedicated to promoting the conjoint work with local communities, for which they rely on different routes where local families provide their homes and tour guiding.

Santos has developed different trails to hike with the llamas around the Humahuaca Gorge and the Puna Jujeña. With a variety of difficulties and durations (from half day to several days), there are multiple options for everyone, including families. Each hike is developed to satisfy the expectations of the many visitors.

A recommended half day hike is the one towards Salinas Grandes, the salt lakes. Along the way, you have panoramic views of the Humahuaca Gorge. Once at the Salinas, a tent is lifted to provide shadow and to have a well-deserved picnic in the middle of the 45.000 hectares of salt.

For a short and family alternative, a one hour and a half walk around the colorful town of Tilcara will do. You might feel funny walking around the town’s main square right beside a llama, but believe us, is a once in a lifetime experience!

Different paths around the region take you towards ancient ruins, valleys, volcanoes, gorges and salt lakes. While hiking, you learn about the local culture and history. The lamas are always used to carry all the camping equipment, food and personal belongings for the journey, you can’t ride them.

For those travelers in the search of original experiences, walking with llamas is an unforgettable experience in the northwest.


 

A Mountain Refuge in El Chlatén

Imagine yourself in the middle of the Patagonian nature with amazing mountain views, the sound of silence and time at your expense to connect with this surreal environment.


Laguna Cóndor Mountain Refuge provides this experience to anyone willing to unplug from everyday life and technology.

This exclusive refuge is located on the west bank of the Río de las Vueltas, 17 km north of El Chaltén. Surrounded by an imposing scenery, this new lodging alternative combines the wild beauty of a nearly explored place with the facilities of a luxury camp.

The proposal is to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surroundings without the interference of technology, Hence, there is no mobile phone signal, Wi-Fi or TV available. Although there is permanent electricity provided by a hydroelectric turbine that uses the natural river torrent, reducing any impact or pollution that may be produced by a power generator.

Wood is the main element of the refuge. There is a main cabin that works as a common living room with a fireplace where you can sit and read a book, a breakfast room and a restaurant; all with beautiful views of the northern face of the mythical Mt. Fitz Roy.

Laguna Cóndor has eight small cabins located in the best spots of the property. Each one has two beds, a salamander and a deck; offering a complete privacy and comfort experience, an intermediate between a campsite and a hotel. There are also spacious locker rooms with toilets and hot showers; a multipurpose room with a fireplace and view to the mythical Fitz Roy.

The refuge offers different activities and excursions with the objective of providing and intimate contact with nature and the possibility to enjoy the peace of the place. There are many hiking trails and places to go over, from classic full day treks (such as Laguna Torre) to longer and more difficult options.

One of the preferred treks is the ascent to Loma del Diablo; a demanding but rewarding one, given the spectacular view from above of Mt. Fitz Roy. Its top is at 1800 meters, providing a great panoramic view of the whole area.

It is also possible to kayak across the waters of the Laguna Cóndor itself or to ride a mountain bike along the paths crossing the andean patagonian forest and lakes on a self-guided circuit that borders the Río de las Vueltas, including a few stops to contemplate cascades and the local flora and fauna that may come across.

Overall, Laguna Cóndor grants an unusual and reserved experience deep in the patagonian forest, where nature and relax are the protagonists.

Please, do not hesitate to contact our Kallpa Executives to learn more about this lodging option in El Chaltén.