Emilie and Xander returned just a few days ago from a trip to Patagonia, during which they embarked on a week-long tailor made Trek in Los Glaciares National Park. Here Emilie tells us about their experiences…
Thank you so much…it was an amazing experience and we are definitely coming back to Argentina!!
How was your trip overall?
We really enjoyed the trip and will be back for sure! We especially enjoyed the variation of accommodation and hikes, and the general way of travelling. Hiking with a guide is great as they give you so much information, and it is easier for you to plan your days.
What was the highlight of your trip?
The second day of hiking to the border and back to the lodge was our favourite.
The first day of hiking was quite tough. We went up to the glacier first, which was really nice, and then walked the length of Lago Del Desierto (the boat wasn’t functioning so the original programme was changed slightly). This walk was quite long and a lot of up and down, also it was raining.
The second day was a lot easier, we decided to walk to the border of Chile and back and continue on to the lodge halfway along the lake. It was sunny and the hike to the boarder was very scenic.
Gaston, our guide, told us a lot about the plants, trees, birds and glaciers which we much enjoyed. Eventually we hiked for about 8 hours on each day. The reason we also preferred this area to the last day’s hike is because it was more quiet. We did see quite a few cyclists, but overall it was a very secluded area.
How was your accommodation on the trip?
We liked all of the accommodation we stayed in, especially the lodge on Lago Del Desierto.
Did you manage to visit anywhere else in Chile or Argentina on your trip?
Yes, we continued to do some hiking in Bariloche (Thanks for the accommodation tip, we stayed at Marianna’s hostel which was very nice), then at Hotel Tronador (very nice area but so many horse flies it was difficult to do long hikes.
We did some small hikes, went to Tronador to see the black glacier and waterfalls, and did some canoeing), then to Villa de la Angostura (very nice as well, we did a boat trip and hiked up and down the peninsula – very nice hike), then to San Martin de los Andes (again very nice, we went to Quila Quina beach for a day and climbed to the base of volcano Lanin – very recommendable hike).
After about 9 days in the lake district we spent 4 days in Buenos Aires which was also good but very warm (heatwave - 40 degrees…). We did the usual touristy stuff and most enjoyed the Palermo Soho area.
How well did Swoop Patagonia do helping you plan your holiday, and in finding the best trip or operator for you?
Very well. We were extremely happy with the trip.
How was the operator, Walk Patagonia, and how were their guides on the trip?
Very good. Gaston, the guide, was really great. He told us all about the nature, area and Argentinian culture and was flexible in terms of hike options and durations.
The operator overall was also good, Zoe met us at the bus station and provided detailed information on the next days.
Was there anything that you wish had happened differently/or not happened at all?
We would have liked more time at Perito Moreno. We were picked up at 9 and left at 3 so had about 4 hours there. This was sufficient for a boat trip and walk on the paths (which were really nice!) but we would have like to do the mini trek on the ice. We only heard about that option on the way there and there was space for us to do it, but not enough time as we had to catch the bus to El Chalten in the evening. We would have been keen to leave earlier so we could have done that. But good reason to go back
Do you have any tips for other people who are planning a trip?
We looked at some of your existing itineraries and picked one with varied hikes and accommodation (camping followed by nice lodge) and can highly recommend keeping it varied. The hikes are quite long (all at least 8 hrs) and it is nice to spoil yourself a bit in between and have a “rest day” (even though we did do some small hikes!).
Once again, thanks for everything.