Torres del Paine / Fitz Roy Massif

  • Torres del Paine - © By Flickr user PhillieCasablanca
  • Torres del Paine - © By Flickr user Cordyph
  • Fitz Roy Massif - © By Flickr user flopisubmarina
  • Torres del Paine - © By Flickr user Cordyph
  • Fitz Roy Massif - © By Flickr user jennifrog
  • Torres del Paine - © By Flickr user Cordyph
  • Fitz Roy Massif - © By Flickr user GeoffLivingston
  • Torres del Paine - © By Flickr user WelshBoy
  • Fitz Roy Massif - © By Flickr user SN1
  • Torres del Paine - © By Flickr user PhillieCasablanca
  • Fitzroy Massif - © By Flickr user Geoff Livingston

Key information: Torres del Paine / Fitz Roy Massif

    • The Torres del Paine of Chile, and the Fitz Roy Massif of Argentina, are geologically similar and geologically astounding; and, geographically, next door.
      • Incredible, iconic spires of heavily eroded granite surrounded by the glaciers, lakes and forests of Patagonia. Superb walking into the heart of these magnificent areas.
        • A surprising variety of flora and fauna too, considering these regions' frigid and often bare moonscapes: Magellanic forest, llama-like guanacos, condors, the occasional puma, and the 1.5m tall rhea (of the ostrich family).
          • This is wild, remote country. While you will be inspired by nature's harsh beauty, you need to be well prepared. The weather, particularly in Los Glaciares National Park, can be horrible.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating93
  • Beauty37
  • Natural interest18
  • Human interest2
  • Charisma36
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating93
  • Note: Consistently bad weather in Fitz Roy.

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable - up to 10 days
  • Maximum Altitude: Not high
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
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Fitzroy Massif - © By Flickr user Geoff Livingston

WALK SUMMARY

Both Chilean and Argentinean Patagonia demonstrate the full scale and drama of the South American continent, narrowing to the sea at Tierra del Fuego and the notorious Cape Horn. Between them the regions present a modern ice age, replete with calving glaciers, frigid lakes and rough-hewn towers of striated rock.

Chilean Patagonia is perhaps the nation's most famous region: some claim, given Chile's other wonders. Cut off from the rest of the country by impassable mountains and violent storms, only by air or sea or overland from Argentina can you penetrate into this astounding landscape. Islands, glaciers, icebergs and mountains all vie for fame. It is truly a natural, glacial wilderness.

The world's southernmost city, Puntas Arenas, sits amidst this extreme landscape. Its airport makes it a natural base for expeditions here, albeit still some 400km from the Torres Del Paine National Park. In Chilean Patagonia, these could entail:

  • A Torres del Paine hike, to or round the eponymous mountain range at the heart of its National Park (a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve).

  • Parque National Laguna San Rafael

  • Plaena Lake National Reserve

  • Bernardo OHiggins National Park

  • Queulat National Park

  • Isla Magdelena National Park

  • Plus many more!

Argentinean Patagonia tells a similarly spectacular story. Los Glaciares National Park, which hosts the fantastic Fitz Roy Massif, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and at 8,500sq miles, its scale is matched only by its grandeur.

Approximately a third of that area is covered by ice-fields connecting over 45 major glaciers. Pristine vistas wherever you turn, and a marvelous variety of terrain, make for breathtaking stuff.

An excursion to Argentinean Patagonia could include:

  • The beautiful Fitz Roy Massif (Mount Fitzroy), standing at 3,405m.

  • Lago Viedma and Lago Argentino, the largest lake in Argentina.

  • The Perito Merino glacier, regarded as Argentina's most famous and important, which routinely bisects Lago Argentino in its capricious advance.

  • The Upsala and Onelli glaciers (Onelli with its accompanying forest and hidden, mountain-ringed lake).

  • Estancia Cristina, a rustic relic of early 20th Century wool farming.

  • Cascada de los Perros, with views to the daunting Upsala Glacier.

  • Don Bosco mountains.

To locate Torres del Paine and the Fitzroy Massif in relation to each other, see here (Fitzroy is nearby El Chalten on the map).

Given these walks' fundamental similarity, and the fact that few travellers will have the time and energy to explore both areas, we have combined these areas for assessing our Top 100 walks.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Fitz Roy Massif - ©By Flickr user flopisubmarina

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Torres del Paine - ©By Flickr user Cordyph...
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