If you are seeking a full-on experience with the natural environment of the area, we recommend this day-long excursion which includes boating, trekking, and glacial hiking at Viedma Lake and Glacier. There are numerous tour operators who offer full day trips to the Glacier, which normally include transfers to and from El Chaltén, the boat ride to the Glacier, and equipment for the guided glacial trek.
The day typically begins around 08h30, with a short 15 Km drive from El Chaltén to Bahia Túnel on the northern shore of Lago Viedma. Here, you’ll board the Fonrouge, a boat with capacity for up to 60 persons, for a 09h00 departure. The boat excursion lasts two hours, sailing from Bahia Tunel to the southern end of the lake, where a multitude of icebergs gather in the waters surrounding the rocky shore.
You’ll have the opportunity to disembark and hike a short distance to an overlook where you can take in the grand expanse of the Viedma Glacier, against the backdrop of Cerro Huemul’s peaks (2,677 m). Viedma is the second largest of the Southern Ice Field’s 48 outlet glaciers (978 Km²) and one of the few with easy access. Adventurers can join bilingual guides, who will provide crampons and other ice-hiking gear before heading onto the glacier. The trek typically takes 2 to 2½ hours, before concluding at the rock cropping where you will re board the boat for the return trip.
Some practical advice: Dress for warmth with multiple layers of clothing. It is easier to peel off layers than to attempt to compensate for too little clothing. Prepare with layers for all weather conditions; in Patagonia it is common to experience many forms of weather in the same day!
Activity Type: Multisport Excursion
Sector: Viedma Lake, El Chaltén
Starting Point: El Chaltén
Ending Point: El Chaltén
Considerations: Check the Service Directory for tour operator details.
Distance: 60 Km
Duration: 8 hours.
Seasonality: October to March
Difficulty: The boat trip and hike to the overlook are suitable for all; the glacier hike only for adults with the proper level of physical fitness.