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How To Do The Fitz Roy Hike In Patagonia (Laguna De Los Tres)

The Fitz Roy hike to Laguna de los Tres in Patagonia is one of the most stunning treks in Argentina, offering breathtaking views of the Fitz Roy massif and its surrounding landscapes. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for and enjoy this iconic hike:


  • Location: El Chaltén, Argentina, within Los Glaciares National Park.
  • Distance: Approximately 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) round trip.
  • Duration: 8-10 hours round trip, depending on your pace and time spent at the lagoon.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging, especially the final ascent to Laguna de los Tres.


  1. Best Time to Hike: The best months to hike are during the Austral summer, from November to March, when the weather is more stable and the days are longer.
  2. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition, as the hike is long and involves a significant elevation gain, especially in the final section.
  3. Permits: No permits are required for day hikes, but check in at the visitor center in El Chaltén for trail conditions and weather updates.

What to Bring

  1. Clothing:
  • Layers: Dress in layers to adjust to changing weather conditions.
  • Waterproof Jacket: Essential for rain and wind protection.
  • Hat and Gloves: For sun protection and warmth.
  • Hiking Boots: Sturdy and well-broken-in with good ankle support.
  1. Gear:
  • Daypack: Comfortable with enough space for your gear.
  • Water Bottles/Bladder: Carry at least 2-3 liters of water.
  • Trekking Poles: Helpful for the steep sections.
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen: UV protection is crucial.
  • Map and Compass/GPS: Always useful for navigation.
  1. Food: Pack high-energy snacks and a lunch to keep you fueled throughout the hike.

The Hike

  1. Trailhead: The hike starts from El Chaltén, either from the town itself or from the Hostería El Pilar, which offers a slightly different and scenic approach.
  2. Route:
  • From El Chaltén: Follow the well-marked trail that begins near the ranger station. The initial section is a steady climb through a forested area.
  • From Hostería El Pilar: This route follows the Río Blanco and offers spectacular views of Piedras Blancas Glacier before joining the main trail to Laguna de los Tres.
  1. Key Sections:
  • Rio Blanco Camp: A popular spot to rest and refill water bottles.
  • Final Ascent: The last kilometer is the most challenging, with a steep climb of about 400 meters (1,312 feet) in elevation over rocky and sometimes slippery terrain.


  1. Laguna de los Tres: The endpoint of the hike, offering stunning views of the Fitz Roy massif reflected in the glacial lagoon. Take time to explore and enjoy the panoramic vistas.
  2. Laguna Sucia: A viewpoint just a short distance from Laguna de los Tres, offering views of another beautiful glacial lake.

Practical Tips

  1. Weather: Patagonia’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. Be prepared for sudden changes and check the forecast before starting your hike.
  2. Start Early: Begin your hike early in the morning to avoid the crowds and to give yourself ample time to return before dark.
  3. Pace Yourself: Take breaks as needed and enjoy the journey. The views along the way are as impressive as the destination.
  4. Respect Nature: Stay on marked trails, carry out all trash, and respect the natural environment.


  • In El Chaltén: There are numerous lodging options ranging from hostels and guesthouses to hotels.
  • Camping: For those interested in camping, there are designated campgrounds such as Campamento Poincenot, which is closer to the trail and can make the hike to Laguna de los Tres shorter and more manageable.


  • Inform Others: Let someone know your hiking plans and expected return time.
  • Emergency Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit, a whistle, and a flashlight.
  • Navigation: While the trail is well-marked, having a map and a compass or GPS is always a good idea.

The Fitz Roy hike to Laguna de los Tres offers an unforgettable experience with some of the most dramatic landscapes in Patagonia. With proper preparation and respect for the natural environment, it will be a highlight of your visit to Argentina. Enjoy your adventure!



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