What better way to kick off the year than with a trip to one of the most dramatic places on Earth? WT adventurers Craig and Runi Foster joined our In Patagonia adventure in January, and were amazed by the pristine landscapes and exhilarating hiking.
Our trip to Patagonia was, for most of us, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. When my wife and I first decided to travel to Argentina and Chile, we wrestled with how best to accomplish this. We decided to go with Wilderness Travel based on the trip design and strong recommendations from some friends. We enlisted participation from several of our close friends and “took the plunge.” To say the least, we were not disappointed, and this trip was perfect in every respect for us. Here are some photos of our adventure.
After exploring Buenos Aires for a day, we flew south to Ushuaia, the southernmost point in South America. We explored the breathtaking surroundings of the Beagle Channel, which included a boat trip to an island colony of Magellanic penguins.
Following our comfortable stay in Ushuaia, we flew north to the Patagonian region of Argentina, landing in El Calafate. As we set out across the vast and dry steppe, we saw the first of many herds of guanacos around two major lakes, Lagos Argentina and Lagos Viedma.
As we got closer to our destination, Los Glaciares National Park, the grand Fitz Roy massif came into view.
We were in Los Glaciares National Park for several days of hiking. Our base was near the delightful and vibrant town of Chalten, a mecca for hikers and climbers from all over the world.
At the top of our ascent, we were rewarded with a breathtaking view overlooking a glacier lake!
Here is one last glorious view of Fitz Roy, Poincenot, and Cerro Torre before we headed south.
At the Helsingfors Estancia, a historic lodge in Patagonia, we enjoyed an authentic “asado” outdoors on the shores of beautiful Lago Viedma.
Our hike from Helsingfors up the Alfredo River to the picture-perfect Alfredo Glacier and Lago Azul afforded us an ideal lunch spot; we were the only people there that day.
One day, we ditched our hiking poles for horses and wound our way down the trails near Lago Viedma.
The massive Perito Moreno Glacier forms a natural “ice dam” that blocks an arm of Lago Argentina from the main lake; periodically, the ice melts and allows the “higher” water from the left to flow into the greater lake to the right.
We got an up-close look at the glacier—so close you could hear the calving and grinding of ice!
A rainbow is always a good sign for a hiking day. This is where we began our hike near Torres del Paine.
Our Trip Leader, Karen Lund Petersen, leans back to demonstrate the “supportive” power of Patagonian winds.
Our hike to the great towers of Torres del Paine traverses along a mountainside and brings us to a glacier lake, where we enjoyed a rare “clear” view of the south, central, and north towers.
This adventure greatly exceeded expectations: the uniqueness of the experiences and attention to detail along the way was clearly the best. We look forward to our next journey with WT.
—Text by WT adventurer Craig Foster; photos by Runi Foster, Craig Foster, David Ingram, Terri Ingram, and Karen Lund Petersen; In Patagonia.