Trekking to Laguna de los tres (El Chaltén)


He trekking to the Laguna de los Tres, right at the base of the peak Fitz Roy (3405m), is the most popular route from the remote town of El Chaltén in Patagonia Argentina. Long trekking, of more than 25 kilometers and little more than 1000 meters of unevenness.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (El Chaltén)

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

El Chaltén is a town of only 1600 inhabitants 3 hours from Calafate, the nearest city. A young town that was founded in 1985 with the aim of strengthening Argentine sovereignty in this part of Patagonia.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

From here, many routes depart as the route to the Torre lagoon, the Salto del Chorrillo, Capri lagoon, the Condor viewpoint and of course, the route to the Laguna de los Tres. All this without counting the first level climbing routes and other activities such as mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, ..., etc.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

Route to the Laguna de los Tres

  • 11 kilometers (one way)
  • 1000 meters of altitude in total approximately
  • Duration: 6/8 hours

To climb to the Lagoon of the Three we must go to the end of town, just where the paved road ends and where there is a parking of Earth. Easily identifiable and with a sign indicating information about the routes. Here you will see different data than our GPS have marked. Mainly because we camped at the Poincenot camp and made a detour through the Capri lagoon and other places to take pictures. A total of 25 kilometers left us and according to the cartel it does not reach 21 km.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

From this point we have 10km to the base of the lagoon, in a completely linear route with the exception of an intermediate section where we can choose two options, or go through the Capri lagoon or by a viewpoint towards the Fitz Roy.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

Leaving the parking lot, the first 3/4 kilometers are in slope, in some cases in excess and where we must slow down. However, the views of the valley through which the Vueltas river passes are exquisite, especially in Autumn.

Capri Lagoon

Later we will go through a forest until we find a fork in two paths. Both options cover the same distance and therefore we recommend choosing the Capri lagoon although we have to climb a bit more slope.

The ideal is to reach the Capri lagoon early (4 kilometers from the parking lot), with the water calm and with the reflection of Fitz Roy on its waters. In our case it was not like that since we made the route in the opposite direction and passing through the lagoon in the afternoon. Also in the same lagoon there is a camp where we can spend the night free of charge with our tent or through a guided route.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

Once leaving the Capri lagoon we will soon join the previously divided path. From that moment, Fitz Roy will be accompanying us along the route to the Laguna de los Tres. Good time to check if hopefully we will not find it covered or free of clouds.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

We follow the path, leaving the river on the right side jump squirt until we get to another detour. This optionally takes us to the Madre e Hija lagoon, a place with magnificent views, although it is normal to ignore it and follow the main path along some wooden walkways until you reach the camp Poincenot (8 kilometers from the parking lot).

Camp Poincenot

Poincenot is one of the main camps in the area along with that of D'Agostini in the Torre lagoon. From Poincenot to the Lagoon of the Three there is barely 1km, short distance but with a lot of unevenness, around 400 meters. Pending to consider if we find snow or ice.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

With good legs the slope is not a problem, if we get tired and in a low form, it will cost a bit and you will have to make more stops than usual. Remember that you have to go back ... In our case, the bad thing was that the weather worsened considerably. The Fitz Roy hid and began to rain.

Trekking to Laguna de los tres (Fitz Roy)

Once this section is over we will place ourselves on the lagoon of the Three and in the background the Fitz Roy. Unfortunately in our case it was hidden, however we had already seen it in previous days.

Lagoon of the Three

To take into account that we are above 1000 meters high and here it is cold all year. Also if we are doing well and there is no wind, it is possible to climb to Madsen hill, to the right of the lagoon. Climb not recommended for those who are afraid of delicate mountain passes.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

To return to Chalten we take the same path, passing through Poincenot. After the camp there is a crossing to the glacier of White stones (2km one way) if we look forward to more. The normal thing is to continue forward and when we arrive at the turnoff by Capri lagoon we opt for the path not taken in the first leg and finish at the Chalten.

Practical data

When should we do this route?

From the end of October to the end of April. These are the best months to do it. The rest of the months we can find snow.

Is the route hard?

It all depends. If we go calmly the route is not very demanding. The slope is small given the great length of the route, almost 25 kilometers, counting that the slope is less than 1000 meters. Even so if we are not used to walking…. Prepare for laces.

How to get to El Chaltén?

It is mainly reached by bus from Calafate. There are at least two companies that depart from the central station, with at least two daily departures. We can buy these tickets at any local agency, at the same station or even online.

Where to sleep?

It is normal to sleep in El Chaltén where there is a very large hotel offer and we are talking about a 1-day route. If we want to spend the night we can do it at the camp Poincenot. It is free and lacks basic services. There is only bathroom. If we want more information about it, we recommend you to read the three day laruta article by El Chaltén.

  • South Destination: magnificent hotel with very comfortable rooms and first class services.
  • Desert Lake: hotel located in a classic construction of the area. Simple rooms but very correct.
  • Country Family Hostel: economic option and with the possibility of shared rooms.

Is there telephone coverage?

There is no coverage in most of the route.

Is it necessary to pay any permit?

No. The route even if you pass through a national park is completely free.

What clothes to take to the route?

If we talk aboutbasic equipment We recommend the following. We have linked some of them so you can see in detail how they are and do not run out of equipment:

  • 30l backpack Water layer for the backpack
  • Basic accessories (knife, compass, ...,)
  • First aid kit
  • Fleece lining and Goretex raincoat if possible
  • A Primaloft or feathers for the cold.
  • A poncho
  • Cap, the head should always go hot
  • A pair of thin gloves
  • High boots
  • Crossing poles
  • Canteen or Camelback with water treatment tablets.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • An umbrella
  • GPS

Do we carry food?

Of course. There is no road bar :-D. Certainly there is a lot of water to drink from the streams, but the food must be brought with us. Energy bars, nuts, fruit, ..., etc.

Excursions to El Chaltén

If we don't have time we can always opt for a tour in El Chaltén.

Book tour in El Chaltén

More information

Travel insurance

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