Transpatagonian Trekking - Double crossing to Chile - Desierto Lake, El Chalten

Trekking expedition through a unique region of Patagonia

  • Start Date : 2024-Jan-08
    End Date: 2024-Jan-13
  • Hora Inicio: 8 am
    Hora Fin: 10 am
  • Meeting Point:El Calafate, Santa Cruz
    End: El Chalten, Santa Cruz
  • Duration:7 days + trip
    Availability: 6 spots
Glacier Trekking with crossing to Chile - Desierto Lake - Ohiggins Lake - El Chalten


Walking in Chile and Argentina, between lakes and glaciers of the South Patagonian Ice Field

Our program invites you to walk through one of the most impressive areas in Patagonia, of worldwide attraction. Between Desierto Lake, the southern ice field, and Lake Ohiggins, there is an environment of powerful landscapes that include small glaciers, large glaciers and turquoise lakes, due to glacial minerals. Includes crossing the Lago del Desierto by boat, Candelario Mansilla, a place guarded by carabineros, sightings of the Chico and Ohiggins glaciers from land (or on board option). Return through the Chilean forests until crossing back to Argentina, on a route that ends up being circular. It does not present great technical or physical difficulty.

Modality and difficulty
Trekking journey carrying backpack with weight. There are permanent slopes, between forests and high passes. You must carry your own backpack with personal equipment and a bag of group food. Overnights are in wild areas (without restrooms), in tents and/or mountain stalls.



Day 1: Transfer to El Chalten 10 am approximately. Check In at the Hostel. Equipment check, presentation of guides. In the afternoon we will take a short walk along the trails around El Chaltén.

Day 2: Transfer by charter vehicle to the southern head of Desierto Lake. Round trip hike to the Huemul Glacier, with great views of the lake. On the afternoon, cross by boat to the north head of the lake, to the Gendarmerie post. Customs formalities. Short hike to camp, by the lake. Overnight

Distance: 5 km
Duration: 3 hours

Day 3: We begin the journey to the west, towards Laguna Diablo, along a path that goes into the forest. We camp next to the lagoon, almost on the border with Chile, at the Hito del Tambo.

Distance: 11 km
Duration: 6 hours

Day 4: Crossing to Chile through Portezuelo del Tambo and bordering Lake Chico above to see the homonymous glacier and snowdrift from different places. We continue to the narrowness of the lake with the South Arm of Lake Ohiggins, where we will set up the new camp.

Distance: 10 km
Duration: 7 hours

Day 5: After breakfast, we are ready to make the section through the Portezuelo del Cañadon to the small town of Candelario Mansilla, on the shores of Lake Ohiggins (same lake as San Martin). Rest and new camp.

Distance: 17 km
Duration: 10 hours

Day 6: Rest day. There is a possibility of hiring the boat excursion that visits the spectacular Ohiggins glaciers. New camp in Candelario Mansilla.

Day 7: Trekking day back to Argentina and up to the north head of Desierto Lake, passing through Laguna Larga (Portezuelo de la Divisoria). Cross the lake by boat to the southern headwaters, and from there transfer by vehicle to El Chalten. End of the tour and our services.

Distance: 15 km
Duration: 8 hours


Interesting extra activities:

  • Stay one or two more days in El Chalten to walk diferent trekking trails: Laguna de los Tres, Laguna Torre. Excursion on a boat to the Viedma Glacier, etc.

Included Services
  • Full guided tour
  • Local transfers (El Calafate/El Chalten/El Calafate)
  • Round trip transfer to Desierto Lake.
  • Hostel in El Chalten on day 1
  • Desierto Lake crossing boat round trip.
  • Permanent coordination + trekking and mountain professional guides.
  • Tents: overnight in wild camps and/or shelters
  • All meals, from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 7
  • General camping equipment (pots, heaters, VHF, security elements, orientation).

Services NOT included
  • Travel to the starting point of the trek (flight tickets)
  • Meals in El Chalten
  • Boat excursion in Lake Ohiggins

Photo and Video Gallery


Alto Mirador Lago San Martin
Austral Transpagagonic Trekking

from Lake San Martin to Lago del Desierto + El Chalten, Santa Cruz

Llegando a El Palomar


Do I need to be trained?

For any mountain activity you need to have previous physical preparation, or be physically active.

Do I need to have previous experience?

No previous experience is required, we recommend having good physical condition, and knowing that the modality is a journey, where you walk during the day with a backpack, and spend the night in a wild camp.

Where do you spend the night?

The overnight is done in mountain camps in igloo-type tents, comfortable and for 2/3 or 4 people. No restrooms or services

Do I have to bring a tent?

The tents are included in the service. If you want to bring your own, ask us. You have to load it among all

Is there a bathroom?

No. There are no toilets or chemical toilets. Everything is in nature, delimiting sectors. And you have to maintain the hygiene of the place, taking the papers.

What is the weather or temperature?

Although the time of year is optimal for this journey, in Andean and/or wild areas, temperatures tend to drop at night.

Are there rest stops?

The stops are given with a frequency and graduation according to the intensity. There are stops for lunch, snack, and rest.

From what age can they do this activity?

From 16 years of age. We also recommend that you contact us before registering or registering a minor.

How much does the backpack weigh?

In a woman a range from 13 to 15 kilos, in a man from 15 to 20 kilos.

Is there a porterage service?

No, everyone must carry their own backpack.

What do we eat?

In all our expeditions we offer the service of meals IN FULL BOARD PLAN:

  • March lunches (cold meals): Milanese and tomato sandwiches, cold cut sandwiches, appetizers, salads, tapas, etc.
  • Dinners: Vegetable-bacon-red chorizo ??stews, Chicken and vegetable casseroles, Pasta with various sauces or stew, Roast meat (Chivito), Chaw Fan, Chicken with rice in a saucepan....
  • Breakfasts and snacks: Tea, Coffee, Cappuccino, Mate Cocido, Mate, Milk powder; bread, cookies, jam, honey, dulce de leche; cereals, fruit

It is necessary to complete the personal/medical record to clarify if someone does not eat any type of food.

Difficulty graduation

Mochila: Peso / Duración de la Jornada.

Exigencia Física

Técnico: Dificultad en el Terreno / Equipo.

Fortaleza Psicológica

Exposición a la Altura

Backpack (M)

This point has to do with the weight that we must carry in our backpacks. Trekkings or crossings where we have pack animals allow us to bear less weight on our backs. And the multi-day journeys in Patagonia (without the option of having pack mules) generally make us carry more weight, especially in the early days.

20% Up to 5 Kilos: Short excursion walks / Trekking Talampaya

40% Up to 8/10 Kilos: Round-trip trekking / Vallecitos 3 and 4-day programs

60% Up to 12/15 kilos: Crossing trekking with porting / Crossing of the Andes Paso Portillo

80% More than 15/18 kilos: Cross-country trekkings with little or no portage / Trekkings in Patagonia (Paso Vuriloche, PN Lanin or Nahuel Huapi, etc)

100% More than 25 Kilos: With a lot of equipment on top and little or no porting / Continental Ice

Fitness (F)

We consider physical demands to the wear that we can suffer both aerobic (climbs = possible shortness of breath) and muscle (resistance = many hours walking) and of legs and joints (descents = knees / ankles).

20% half a day or less with little unevenness.

40% more sustained slopes and longer days in the activity. 2-3 days / more than 6 hours per day.

60% Long ascents and descents with a longer duration. Ascents to more than 4000 meters in the central mountain range / intense 4-day trekking (Uruguayan plane)

80% Important work of legs in resistance. Very long days. Very long day ascents (Lanin - Domuyo) or more than 5000 meters. Ice courses.

100% Maximum demand. Aerobic work and constant effort on legs. Continental Ice, Aconcagua, mountains of more than 6000 meters.

Technical (T)

The technical difficulty is mainly based on the terrain. How much can it cost us to climb a slope, if it is very steep or if we have to use our hands in some section (simple climbing), both in rock and snow-ice, or materials such as crampons and pegs in other ascents.

20% flat land

40% trails with moderate ups and downs. General crossing trekkings . Sierra de la Ventana, Córdoba, Patagonia, Cuyo, north, others. Classic ascents

60% Steeper slopes and trails. Possible use of crampons. Domuyo, Cordón del Plata, Cordillera Central.

80% Mixed terrain, with snow or ice. Alvear, Lanin, Tronador. Bolivia, Peru.

100% Highly technical terrain. Glacial transit and climbing in sections. Hill climbing with sections on slopes of more than 60 ° inclination

Psycho (P)

We maintain that this point, the psychological factor, represents a relevant factor. Each one needs a factor of conviction, confidence, self-control and will power to achieve a goal. And depending on the attitude with which we face distances, slopes, terrain and many other objective factors, we can achieve performance with very different results.

20% We will not be much affected.

40% This is a normal level of attention.

60% We require more motivation, enthusiasm and concentration.

80% The activity will require us to be very connected and convinced.

100% Maximum control and emotional-psychological performance.

Adventures (A)

It is the factor that, the height above sea level, influences us depending on the activity we carry out. Managing and overcoming symptoms caused by altitude is the key to this point

0% + sea level.

20% Up to 2000 masl.

40% + 2000 masl.

60% + 4000 masl.

80% + 5000 masl.

100% + 6000 masl.

Gradual Adventure Activity Difficulty System designed by Leandro Scheurle.
Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

Required equipment



  • Trekking backpack (60 to 80 liters) + backpack cover (or large consortium bag to cover it)
  • Sleeping bag and insulation
  • Trekking sticks
  • 1 trekking boots (in conditions). Better if they are high (we are going to pass sections with snow)
  • 1 second footwear (can be slippers, sandals or crocks)
  • Underwear
  • Various trekking socks (minimum 4 pairs)
  • 3 t-shirts and/or shirts (synthetic dry fit type for walking and cotton for outside the activity)
  • Trekking pants (not cotton or jean)
  • Spare-replacement pants
  • Shorts or tights
  • 2 coats (fleece, wool or soft shell-windstopper)
  • Warm jacket or duvet vest (optional)
  • Fleece gloves or similar
  • Warm hat (preferably fleece, or wool)
  • Sun cap (with flaps)
  • Fleece collar or scarf (for the neck)
  • Third layer jacket (waterproof and if possible breathable-windproof type ultrex-gore tex or similar)
  • Passport, identity card, ID.
  • Medical insurance, social work.
  • Completed personal and medical record, authorization.
  • HEADLIGHT with batteries (spare batteries).
  • Strong plastic bags to store clothes.
  • Mountain sunglasses with good protection.
  • Personal kit (medication with the relevant prescription).
  • Sunscreen, Lip balm
  • Soap, shampoo (small to share) and small towel.
  • Toilet paper. handkerchiefs Baby wipes.
  • Personal crockery: plate, glass and cutlery.
  • Water containers for at least 2 liters (it can be a plastic bottle)
  • Camelback, Nalgene or similar
OPTIONAL, not mandatory (see space and weight)
  • Photo camera.
  • SILVER TAPE, for blisters and repairs.
  • Mate, bombilla and yerba.
  • Steel thermos.
  • Water purification tablets.
  • Mini - sewing box.
  • Telescope, monocle. Photographic or video equipment.
  • Book, notebook, travel diary, pencil, pen.
  • Games; cards, dice, etc.
  • Penknife

Rental Equipment

Trekking sleeping bag

Booking in Advance

US$ 16 + options

Pair of Trekking Poles

Booking in Advance

US$ 10 + options

Rental mittens

Booking in Advance

US$ 8 + options

Pair of Crampons

Booking in Advance

US$ 15 + options

Rental : helmet, crampons and ice ax

Booking in Advance

US$ 36 + options

Combo Top: helmet, crampons, ice ax and full harness

Booking in Advance

US$ 50 + options

Category 3 sunglasses - Shepra Julbo Spectrom

Booking in Advance

US$ 5 + options

Backpack for trekking and mountaineering - Woman

Booking in Advance

US$ 10 + options

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Contact and Enquiries

RECOMENDACION: Pueden comunicarse de formar directa al 54 9 1131349558
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Copyright ©2009. All rights reserved.