Trekking in El Bolsón - Joining refuges - Rio Negro, Patagonia

A classic of trekking in Patagonia, joining refuges

  • Start Date : 2024-Nov-25
    End Date: 2024-Nov-28
  • Hora Inicio: 9 am
    Hora Fin: 6 pm
  • Meeting Point:El Bolsón
    End: El Bolsón
  • Duration:4 days + trip
    Availability: 11 spots
Trekking refuges of El Bolson - Patagonia


A classic of trekking in Patagonia that everyone wants to know

A paradise that always gives new sensations: Río Azul Protected Natural Area - Lago Escondido.

In this program we invite you to get to know several of the most famous refuges of this wonderful route on a medium difficulty trail, between forests, crystal clear and deep blue waters, eternal snow, glaciers, condors and many emotions.



We recommend sleeping the night before in El Bolsón, to be ready for the next day, the start of the trek.

Day 1: Meeting in El Bolson early. Presentation of guides and equipment check. Transfer to Mallín Ahogado. Start of the first stretch of trekking to the Hielo Azul refuge. Rest, snack and dinner in the refuge. Overnight.

  • Walking hours: 8

Day 2: Breakfast. Early we will visit the Hielo Azul glacier and return to the refuge; After lunch we will continue up a long ascent to the great plain that takes us to the Swimming Refuge, on the shores of the homonymous lagoon. Rest, enjoy the place. Dinner and overnight in the refuge.

  • Walking hours: 5

Day 3: Breakfast. The route, parallel to the mountain range, now takes us, first on the flat and then on a steep descent, to the magical Cajón del Azul refuge. From there we will continue to the El Retamal Refuge. Rest, enjoy the place. Dinner and overnight in the refuge.

  • Walking hours: 6

Day 4: Breakfast. We say goodbye to the refuge and slowly to the mountain. We descend passing through the great Cajon del Azul and its water pools. Finally we descend and access Mallín Ahodado where our transport will be waiting for us to take us, after a well-deserved toast for what has been done, to the town of El Bolsón. End of the program and our services. Approx 18 hours.

  • Walking hours: 5


Trekking carrying backpack of medium difficulty. Each one must carry their own backpack throughout the tour. Steep ups and downs. Consult porterage of equipment with horses.

Included Services
  • Transfers to and from El Bolsón
  • Professional mountain guides
  • 3 nights overnight in mountain refuges: Hielo Azul, Natacion and El Retamal or Hielo Azul.
  • Full board during the crossing
  • General camping equipment, kitchen and communication
  • VHF communication equipment and emergencies.
  • Permanent assistance

Services NOT included
  • Trip to El Bolson
  • Porterage of equipment with horses (consult)
  • Tips
  • Expenses caused by abandoning the program

Photo and Video Gallery

Where do you sleep

In mountain shelters with mattresses and beds. You must bring a sleeping bag.


Is it a trek with difficulty?

No, they are uphill and downhill trails, but without technical difficulty.

Do you have to carry a lot of weight in the backpacks?

No, we go with companion animals that carry some of the personal equipment and mainly the general one.

What is the weather or temperature?

Although the time of year is summer, mountain ranges 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 13 years of age.

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

  • Special backpack for trekking (60 to 80 litres)
  • Warm sleeping bag (0 degrees comfort) (eg 700gms of feather or good synthetic).
  • Insulating mat (10 to 15mm).
  • Trekking sticks
  • Socks, (thin + two thick, ski or synthetic).
  • 1 pair of shoes-trekking boots (in conditions)
  • 1 second light replacement shoe.
  • long trekking pants (NO JEAN)
  • 1 long coat or leggings.
  • changes of underwear.
  • 3 t-shirts and/or shirts (one long-sleeved)
  • 2 coats (fleece jumper, or wool pullover)
  • 1 waterproof kit (jacket)
  • 1 sun hat (with flaps) and another coat
  • 1 scarf to cover the neck from the sun
  • Warm gloves and scarf or fleece neck.
  • Warm hat
  • Passport, identity card, ID.
  • Medical insurance, social work.
  • Completed personal and medical record, authorization.
  • Headlamp with batteries.
  • Sun glasses.
  • Sunscreen, Lip balm
  • Toilet paper. handkerchiefs Baby wipes.
  • Water containers for at least 2 liters (it can be a plastic bottle)
  • Cutlery
  • Plate or tape (not glass or aluminum)
  • Plastic or metal jar and pottery (not glass or aluminum).
  • dish towel
OPTIONAL, not mandatory (see space and weight)
  • Warm jacket.
  • SILVER TAPE, for blisters and repairs.
  • Mate, bombilla and yerba.
  • Steel thermos.
  • Telescope, monocle. Photographic or video equipment.
  • Book, notebook, travel diary, pencil, pen.
  • Games; cards, dice, etc.
  • Penknives (eg Victorinox).
  • Whistle and lighter.
  • Strong plastic bags to store clothes.

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 1124012278
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Copyright ©2009. All rights reserved.