Hiking to Laguna de los Tres in Argentina
Los Glaciares National Park in Argentinian Patagonia is home to the glorious mountain of Fitz Roy. Towering at an astonishing height of 3 359 meters, it includes one of the most amazing peaks in the world. Climbing it is one of the biggest challenges for mountain climbers. It’s no wonder one of the most amazing hiking trails in the world allows you to reach the bottom of Fitz Roy. Together with beautiful grand lakes such as Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Sucia and the magnificent sights around, they attract mountaineers and nature lovers like magnets.
How to get to Laguna de los Tres
Hiking to Fitz Roy is the most popular choice for tourists who visit El Chaltén. This is the longest hike, which will take you to the magically beautiful lagoons, from where you get an amazing view of Fitz Roy. The distance of about 25 km (round trip) can be completed in 6-7 hours, according to the intensity of walking. Add an extra 4 km, if you go to the Glaciar Piedras Blancas observation point.
You can reach Laguna de los Tres by starting at El Chaltén through Laguna Capri or by leaving from Hosteria El Pilar by going through the Mirador Piedras Blancas. The El Pilar path is actually shorter, but you have to bear in mind that it is located about 15 km away from El Chaltén.
Hiking to Piedras Blancas and Fitz Roy
Before starting my hike I was advised by the hotel manager not to go to Fitz Roy because of the strong wind and cloudy weather. As I did not want to lose the day I made the decision of only going to the Piedras Blancas glacier, but I changed my mind and I ended up changing my plan and going to the bottom of Fitz Roy.
If you start your hike from El Chaltén it won’t take long to end up at the first observation point Mirador Del Rio de las Vueltas.
A bit after this the road splits in two and you can pass through Laguna Capri or Mirador Fitz Roy. The path is very well marked, as the kilometers passed are marked on each sign.
This route provides one of the best views in Patagonia. Walking on the path you will go through camps, wooden bridges, crystal clear rivers, lakes, forests and hills. The hike is incredibly picturesque and many times you will want to sit on a rock and admire the beautiful nature of Patagonia.
After passing through Laguna Capri and continuing to walk you will reach the end of a road which splits in two. In one direction is the observation point for the Piedras Blancas Glacier, and in the other for the Laguna de los Tres. If you decide to add Piedras Blancas you will have to walk an additional 2km. in one direction. From Mirador Piedras Blancas you will get a fantastic view of the glacier through the valley.
Until the ninth kilometer the path is relatively easy to walk on, as only the last one kilometer is steep and tiring. The hardest part of the hike immediately starts when you cross the Río Blanco River.
You will see warning signs that the area gets steeper with a 400 meter climb. The last stage of the hike is mainly only upwards, but it reveals a beautiful view of the valley.
The final point of the route is called Laguna de los Tres. Los Tres (The Three) refers to the Cerro Fitz Roy, Poincenot and Cerro Torre peaks, as all of them could be seen from the coast of the lagoon.
Just when you think you’ve reached the top of the hill, you will see another small hill. This is the last steep part of the hike to Fitz Roy, before being awarded with the most amazing view that could exist.
Reaching the top you will feel incredibly full filled by the efforts made. When I reached the cobalt blue lagoon and the three granite peaks behind it I was literally left speechless from the view. I could not believe that nature could create something so beautiful and graceful. The only downside was that the clouds never moved away from Fitz Roy and at times the wind was unbearable.
Best time to visit Laguna de Los Tres
The best time to visit Patagonia is from December to March (the summer in the southern hemisphere). The weather is warmer and the day is long enough.