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Estancia El Cóndor - Lago del Desierto Trek

Serac Expediciones - 5 days

  • Estancia El Cóndor - Lago del Desierto Trek
  • 5 days / 4 nights
  • Max. group: 0 Persons
  • Difficulty: Medium
Overview
Route
What's Included?
Accommodation
FAQ
Los Glaciares National Park
Packing List
Safety
Serac Expediciones
How to Book

Overview

> Experience life at a traditional Patagonian Estancia
> Get to see the local fauna, like guanacos and choiques
> Enjoy starry nights from the camps in the heart of the Andes

Estancia El Condor is located on a remote area in southern Patagonia, the starting point for this special trekking. It allows to experience the life at a typical Patagonian Estancia, with stunning and unique sightseeing along very little used trails. Following this itinerary, we’ll cross some rivers, climb up high mountain passes, camp in virgin forests until we finally reach Lago del Desierto Lake and El Chalten.

Note: This tour is available from October to April. For other dates please check availability. 

 
 

Route

What's the plan?

Day 1: The itinerary begins with a transfer from El Calafate or El Chaltén along the Patagonian steppe grasslands. It takes around 5 hours to get to this original Estancia in a far and wild corner of Patagonia.  Along the way, we could have the chance to see some of the typical fauna like guanacos, choiques, red foxes and condors.

Services included: Night in a double, private room with dinner and breakfast included.

Day 2: After breakfast, we prepare our backpacks and start the trek heading north along the main arm of the San Martin Lake. This huge and deep lake that looks like a fiord has an unreal turquoise color that is worth the trip just to see it. Our destination is the area called La Nana, where a small and attractive refuge will welcome us. We can choose to sleep in tents or in the refuge.

Distance: 17 km
Trekking time: 8/9 hours
Services included: camp with services, gear and all meals (B, BL, D)

Day 3: From La Nana to the next camp, the terrain is more rugged, with many short up and downs, always overlooking Lake San Martin. At the highest point, we will change our direction near the border with Chile, leaving the lake behind. Today we will stay on the left side of the river Martinez de Rosas and will have to wade the river 2-3 times until we get to our camp.

Distance: 17km +800
Trekking time: 8/9 hours
Services included: camp with services, gear and all meals (B, BL, D)

Day 4: We continue up the valley through beautiful beech forest, following and crossing the river a few times and then we gain altitude around 300 meters. We maintain the height gained as we move into the valley. We set our camp nearby a water stream ideal for drinking, cooking and refreshing ourselves. Today is also a long and varied day, tiring after wading the river many times and climbing slopes.

Distance: 15km +300/-500
Trekking time: 5/6 hours
Services included: camp with services, gear and all meals (B, BL, D)

Day 5: We start the day walking through the forest and continuously gaining altitude until crossing the edge of the vegetation. From above, at an altitude of around 1350 meters, we will enjoy a fantastic wild landscape. Rivers, snowed peaks, a dense forest at the bottom of the valley and a few hanging glaciers on our way. Then we gradually descend into a valley running south. Once we get to the end of this valley and after crossing a wide pass we can see to the other side, to the western valleys and the blue Desierto Lake. Once at the level of the lake we walk for another hour to reach the southern end of the Desierto Lake, with great views of the Fitz Roy north face and Vespignani peak. 

Distance: 18km +350/-750
Trekking time: 9/11 hours
Services included: camp with services, gear and all meals (B, BL)

Note: all participants must carry their own sleeping bag and mat, plus the necessary equipment and food for the program (4 to 5 kg per person).

 

What's Included?

Included:

 Transport
Round trip transportation to the starting point of the expedition is included in the price of the trek. You may start this trek from El Chaltén or from El Calafate. On the first day of the trek, you will meet at Serac Expediciones' office where your private transport will be waiting for you. On the last day, you will be driven from Lago del Desierto to El chaltén.

√ English and Spanish speaking trekking guide
Professional mountain guides, duly entitled by National Park and experienced in this program will be joining you during the trek. There will be 1 guide every 4 trekkers.

Accommodation
You will spend the first night of the trek in a double, private room at Estancia El Condor. The second night you can choose to spend it in a tent or in refuge La Nana. The rest of the nights you will spend in camping sites along the way. 

 Camping Equipment
Tents and all necessary cooking equipment will be provided by the trekking company.

√ Technical equipment
Technical equipment such as carabiners and ropes will be provided by the trekking company during the trek when necessary. Satellite communication will also be available in case of an emergency.

 All meals indicated in the schedule
All meals during the Expedition, including Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and snacks, are included in the price of the trek.

 Permits and Entrance Fees
The permits required and the entrance fees to the National Park are included in the price of the trek.

Not included:

× Airfare
You have to make your way to El Chaltén. The total amount is exclusive of flights to and from Argentina. 

× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

× Sleeping bag
Sleeping bags are not included in the price of the trek. You can either bring your own or rent one in El Chaltén before the trek.

× Tipping
Tipps for the guide are not included in the price of the trek. You decide how much to tip, but if you got a good service from your guide, be generous.

Accommodation

Accommodation

You will spend the first night of the trek in a double, private room at Estancia El Condor. The second night you can choose to spend it in a tent or in refuge La Nana.

The rest of the nights you will spend in camping sites along the way. Tents and cooking equipment will be provided by the trekking company.  Sleeping bags are not included and is recommended that you bring your own together with a Therma-Rest mat. If you don't have a sleeping bag, you can rent one in el Chaltén.

FAQ

FAQ

Lago del Desierto
Famous for its unique color, Lago del Desierto (Desert Lake) is a lake situated on the border between Chile and Argentina. Actually, there have been several disputes regarding which country this breathtaking lake belongs to. In the end, it was agreed it belongs to Argentina.

The trek to Lago del Desierto is a must if you are visiting El Chaltén. To get to the lake you can choose to make a trek from El Chaltén through wonderful Lenga forests, where you will discover the local flora and fauna, characteristic of the region. If you prefer, you can also get to the lake by car, it is only 37 km away from El Chaltén through Route 23.

Situated in the heart of the Andes and away from civilization and human intrusion, this lake is the perfect place to get in contact with nature and discover the Lengas and Ñires that make this region so attractive.

Best season
Truth be told, you can visit the Argentinean Patagonia whenever you want. Most National Parks are open all year round and all seasons have something special to offer. That being said, the most recommended time of the year to enjoy Patagonia is from October to April, when days are longer and temperatures are not that low. During wintertime (June to September) you may have some trouble completing your trek due to bad weather conditions and snow. Moreover, not all tours can be operated during these months.

How to get there
The most popular choice to get to El Chaltén, and the whole region in general, is to fly to El Calafate. From El Calafate, you have plenty of private shutters and public buses that can take you to El chaltén.

Tipping
In Argentina, tipping is a common practice. The tip usually depends on the service provided, so if you had a friendly guide who took care of you and made sure you had everything you needed, then, be generous. A common tip for an experienced guide would be USD 15/20 per day of trek. But again, it depends on the service.

Training
Do you make it to your destinations as planned? Often this depends on the unpredictable weather in the mountains. However, it can also depend on your own physical condition.

Do you like walking, have you done trekking at an altitude more often and do you do sport twice a week on average? With a little extra training, you’ll soon be ready for this beautiful trekking in Patagonia.

Is this the first time that you are trekking in the mountains? Make sure you are well prepared. This is important for your safety, but also for that of your team. Make sure you start six months in advance with an hour’s walk twice a week. Read this blog post and get fit for trekking in Patagonia

Los Glaciares National Park

Los Glaciares National Park

Los Glaciares National Park is the biggest National Park in Argentina and was created in 1937 in order to preserve an extensive area of continental ice and glaciers, the southern Andean-Patagonian forest, and samples of the Patagonian steppe. It was also declared a World Heritage Site by the UNSECO in 1981.

Within this park, visitors can get to know the local flora and fauna, part of which are endangered species. Moreover, visitors can get to see glaciers such as the Perito Moreno or climb Mount Fitz Roy.

This National Park covers an area of 726,927 ha and is situated in Santa Cruz province. The park is located in the Argentinean border with Chile and borders the Torres del Paine National Park to the south, in Chilean territory.

If you like trekking, this park is ideal for you. The park has plenty of trekking trails that will guide you to breathtaking glacial lakes and will walk you through majestic forests. At Los Glaciares National Park you will get to see Patagonia in its purest form.

Packing List

Packing List

Trekking in Patagonia is no walk in the park. Weather conditions can change rapidly and you need to be prepared for whatever mother nature may throw at you. Serac Expediciones has prepared a recommended gear list to make packing a bit easier for you:

Gear:

• 50 to 60 liters backpack 
• Sleeping bag for -12º C comfort min. (synthetic or duvet filling) 
•Therma-Rest mat (inflatable better) 
• Medium mountain boots with Gore-Tex ideally 
• Crocs (for resting at the camps and river wading) 
• Trekking poles 
• Sun-glasses for snow and ice and googles 
• Headlamp with new batteries and spare batteries 
• 1-litre bottle (Nalgene ideally) 
• Sunblock (35+ or more) 
• Lips sunblock 
• Minimum personal hygiene items 
• Dry bags to protect your staff 
• Vacuum bottle 0.5L 
• Cup, plate, spoon

Clothing:

• Gore-Tex waterproof jacket with hood 
• Softshell jacket with hood (2nd layer) 
• Waterproof light over pants 
• Softshell trekking trousers 
• Underwear synthetic fabric t-shirt and trousers (2) 
• Spare underwear 
• Three pairs of trekking socks 
• Wind-stopper gloves 
• Liner gloves 
• Waterproof over gloves 
• Warm hut and cap 
• Neckerchief or Buff for neck protection (optional) 
• Light feather or synthetic warm jacket for the night

Safety

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks.

Serac Expediciones

Serac Expediciones

Serac Expediciones is a company dedicated to designing and operating adventure programs in mountain environments. Whether you like trekking, skiing, mountain biking or kayaking, in 10 years of experience we have consolidated our work based on our values: Commitment, Service, Quality, and Safety. We have multiple trekking program options with different difficulty levels. We organize your trip based on your needs, availability, and budget to make your visit a unique experience. Join us and discover the beauty of Patagonia.

How to Book

How does it work?

On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.

Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on support@bookatrekking.com

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy

You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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