The glaciers and mountains of Patagonia are legendary among hikers and nature enthusiasts as the region attracts crowds of travelers every year.
Argentina lies within this region and has numerous trails to explore - including some very iconic treks as well as some lesser-known trails for hikers who prefer a quieter experience.
If you’re planning on going hiking in Argentina, here are the best trails and hiking spots that you simply must check out!
El Chaltén is an Argentinian village situated within the Los Glaciares National Park. It marks the starting point of many popular hiking trails, include the Fitz Roy trek, Laguna Torre and Laguna de los Tres.
As the trekking capital of Argentina, El Chaltén is the perfect spot for hikers to explore. It is surrounded by mountain peaks to explore and many beautiful lakes to see.
Whether you’re looking for something quick and easy, a full day hike or a more advanced multi-day trek, El Chaltén has it all.
The Refugio Frey hike begins at Bariloche - another hot spot for hikers and mountaineers. This trek is a popular day hike that offers stunning views and is relatively easy so anyone can enjoy it. However, there are some more strenuous sections so be prepared!
The hike is about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) each way and takes about 8-9 hours. Along the Refugio Frey trail, you will traverse through lush forest with several trickling streams - making it a very peaceful and pleasant hiking experience.
Once you reach the summit of the trail, you will be treated to a magnificent view of a tranquil lake surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Cerro Catedral. We recommend spending some time here and having lunch.
You can then choose to make the return trip or carry on a little farther until you reach Refugio Frey. Before your hike, you can make a reservation to stay at the refugio for a night or you can camp for free at the campsite and enjoy the serene views for a little while longer.
Mount Tronador (or the ‘thundering mountain’) is the highest mountain in Nahuel Huapi National Park with a height of 3491 meters. The mountain is famous for its eight beautiful glaciers and got its name from the booming sound the glaciers make when they melt and fall.
The most popular hike on Mount Tronador is to the Alerce Glacier. This day hike is fairly easy and you can make a booking to stay at the Refugio Otto Meiling at the top of the trail. Or you could camp at the top and enjoy the magical view of the night sky twinkling above the glaciers.
You can also hike to the Castaño Overa Glacier from Pampa Linda. Tour operators even offer guided hikes that allow you to cross over the glacier. Although, this requires a little more mountaineering experience.
While Iguazu Falls isn’t exactly a remote hiking destination, it is definitely a sight worth seeing. Iguazu Falls is a national park filled with hiking trails and circuits meandering around the impressive waterfalls.
No matter which circuit you choose, you will be rewarded with the most magnificent views of multiple waterfalls. The lower circuit takes only two hours and takes you to 8 stunning viewpoints, while the upper circuit shows off the waterfalls from a higher angle, allowing for a spectacular view of the colossal Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) waterfall.
Once you’ve spent some time gazing at the waterfalls in awe, you can take a ferry to a small island and enjoy some relaxing time on the beach.
The Paso de las Nubes is a two day trek through the Lake District. Translating to ‘Path Through The Clouds’, the pass connects Pampa Linda, Frias Lake and Puerto Blest, and got its name from the clouds that can often be seen creeping over the ridge.
This trek starts at Pampa Linda and takes you up the pass through beautiful dense forest and treats you to stunning views of Mount Tronador. You'll camp next to, or stay at, the refugio and then descend the next day to see the beautiful Laguna Frias.
Of course no Argentinian hiking list would be complete without mention of the famous Fitz Roy Trek. You can choose to do a day hike in this area or take on the full Fitz Roy Trek, which takes about 3 to 4 days.
The hike is fairly easy and takes you through the most picturesque mountain scenery. With snow-capped peaks and pristine turquoise lakes, this trek is an epic experience.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of Argentina’s most famous natural features and is one of the safest glaciers in the world! This quick day hike is a unique experience and is definitely one for the bucket list.
The trek requires walking on ice so you’ll need to wear crampons, but you don’t need to be an experienced mountaineer to manage it. You’ll walk over the gentle hills of ice (while avoiding any sinkholes and crevasses) and see chunks of glacier tumbling into the water below.
Last but certainly not least is the Cerro de los Siete Colores, or the Hill of Seven Colors, which is a fascinating geological formation located in Purmamarca. This multicolored mountain has layers of pink, white, purple, orange, green, red and yellow sediment which has built up over millions of years.
There are several trails around Purmamarca that lead to breathtaking viewpoints where you can see the seven colors of the mountain in full force. We highly recommend spending a night year and waking up early for a hike. The colors are most striking in the morning light.
These trails are very easy and more like a leisurely walk rather than a hike but the Cerro de los Siete Colores is not a sight to be missed when in Argentina.
The best time to visit Argentina for hiking is during the springtime: October to November. The summer months, December to February, are also good as the weather is more mild and pleasant.
Many people travel to Argentina during the summer months. So if you’re looking for a quieter hiking experience, make sure you plan your trip for spring or autumn.
The weather can be very fickle and it is often very windy around the mountains so make sure you pack some warm clothes and a windbreaker whenever you choose to go hiking in Argentina.
Adie is a nature and wildlife lover living in Cape Town, South Africa. Growing up, she had many opportunities to explore the outdoors by hiking, going on safaris and venturing into the karoo with her family. This led to her love of animals, the environment and discovering new places to explore.