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Patagonia Travel Itinerary and Trip Recap

Thinking about traveling to Patagonia? Check out this travel itinerary and trip recap of my group adventure with TrovaTrip.

Get to know Patagonia

Patagonia is a region in South America that spans the countries of Argentina and Chile. The vibrant landscape includes mountain ranges, lakes, glaciers, and deserts, all of which come together to create a singular environment of natural beauty.

The mountains of Patagonia are a bucket-list adventure for many because of their legendary beauty and incredible hiking terrain. Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason: the Patagonian Andes are home to many diverse ecosystems and are central to the cultural heritage of the surrounding communities. 

While Patagonia is a long plane ride away from many places, it felt fairly easy to travel there from the United States. Perhaps this owes to being in a similar time zone, within only a couple of hours of EST in the US. The seasonal difference between the countries is one of the attractions: spring and summer in Patagonia line up with fall and winter, respectively, in the Northern Hemisphere.

Why I Chose TrovaTrip for My Patagonia Adventure

Anyone who’s listened to me talk about traveling for more than a few seconds has heard about my love for TrovaTrip, a group travel platform designed specifically for creators and our communities. But rather than simply taking my word for it, I’m going to share why I chose to go with TrovaTrip to plan a group trip to Patagonia.

I got my start in outdoor adventure guiding trips for teens to various parks and recreation areas around the US. There is a lot involved in planning and executing these trips, and the hardest work was done in the months leading up to each excursion.

Traveling with Trova feels like it’s too good to be true—they handle all of the complex logistical tasks necessary to coordinate these trips and allow me to just focus on inviting people along on the adventure. I can even lead a trip to somewhere I’ve never been before because TrovaTrip works with the best local guiding companies to provide knowledgeable and skillful experts on each trip. 

All of that to say, it’s no surprise that when I wanted to go with a group to Patagonia, I worked with TrovaTrip to make that dream a reality. This trip to Patagonia was my 8th trip with Trova, and each one has been a phenomenal experience.

Why Travel With A Group?

There are lots of different ways to travel, but adventuring with TrovaTrip means going along with a group. It may be a daunting prospect to sign up to go somewhere new with a bunch of people you’ve never met—even if you do bring a buddy along—but it’s worth considering a few reasons why group travel is one of the best ways to go.

Meet a diverse set of like-minded people

I love group travel because it allows a bunch of individuals to step out of their comfort zones and explore new places together with like-minded people. Along the way, the group setting provides a safe, supportive community to form relationships that deepen the travel experience for everyone involved. 

Each trip’s roster is full of different names, places, and ages—yet everyone made the same decision to put themselves out there and take the risk of traveling together. It’s so cool to see the different paths that bring everyone together on this journey. Speaking of those different paths…

Make lifelong friends from all over the country (and beyond!)

TrovaTrip has over 150 unique itineraries in destinations across the globe. On every trip I’ve taken, travelers have come from every region in the United States, with some even coming from abroad. Upon arrival, it’s amazing to see everyone’s network expand in real-time. 

Since my first trip with Trova to Nepal in 2022, each subsequent experience has had a few familiar faces. People who sign up for one trip often come back. Travelers who met on one trip knew they wanted to explore together again and convinced each other to do it again in a new place. I’ve loved keeping in touch with my groups via social media, but it’s extra special to see them in person again on a trip, especially when we each travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to get there!

Embrace your independence within the safety of a group

Travel—especially international travel—can attract some free spirits, and for good reason. But some of the most independent folks will wonder if group travel will cramp their style or prevent them from fully embracing what the trip has to offer. 

I’m here to say that you don’t need to worry. As someone who’s traveled solo a fair bit, I can attest that going with a group allows me to have safety and camaraderie, but I never feel limited by anyone else. I still feel like I can push myself and go off the beaten path. If anything, I have more encouragement to do so!

Our 8-Day Patagonia Travel Itinerary

If step one of a trip is getting to the destination, step zero is packing. Using TrovaTrip’s packing guide to prepare was great because it incorporates all of the experiences from their past travelers, Hosts, and local guides. 

After a long time of anticipation and preparation, the day finally came around! Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of our trip to Patagonia.

Day 1: Getting There

The first day was a day of arrivals. Everyone in the group met in El Calafate, Argentina, a city with an airport located on Argentino Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the country. There was an optional activity day for those who got in early enough. Some people explored El Calafate, some went to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier and to an ice bar, while some relaxed after their flights at the hotel. 

I wanted to stay nearby to greet folks as they arrived, so my little group rented bikes and explored near Argentino Lake and the Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve. The reserve had gorgeous walking trails and was a perfect spot for birding and animal sightings in general. 

Once everyone arrived at the hotel, we had dinner together at a local restaurant, met to get briefed on the week’s activities, and headed in early to rest up for all of the adventuring ahead. We knew our goal going in was to focus the trip on a few great hikes and supplement with activities and food along the way. 

Day 2: From El Calafate to to El Chaltén

In the morning after breakfast, the group took a three-hour shuttle to El Chaltén. In addition to the many restaurants, bakeries, and shops I mentioned earlier, one great thing about El Chaltén is its walkability. As we used the village as our “base camp” throughout the week, the group could walk everywhere we needed or wanted to go. 

When we arrived in El Chaltén, we celebrated with a quick meal of empanadas before quickly unpacking and getting ready for our first hike of the week. The Mirador de Los Cóndores y Águilas Hike is a shorter trek, perfect for easing into the week. It provided beautiful views of Lago Viedma and allowed us to get an overlooking view of El Chaltén which really helped put our lodging into perspective. 

After the first hike was in the bag, we went back to the village and enjoyed lemonades, coffees, and pastries from La Nieve Panaderia. In the evening, we had dinner at La Cervecería, a crowd favorite. One great thing about group travel: even though everyone would split up and take adventures at different paces during the day, we’d all come together to eat dinner and talk about our experiences.

After a successful second day, we went back to our hotel, the Pudu Lodge, where everyone stayed all week (and loved it)! 

Day 3: Laguna de Los Tres

By the third day, we were getting into our routine. We’d wake up and have breakfast in El Chaltén before grabbing our daypacks and heading out for the journey that awaited us. The mornings were filled with stories from the previous day and anticipation for what a new journey would bring. 

This day brought us the 10-mile Laguna de Los Tres hike which brought us through both the mountains and valleys. Though there were no disappointments on this trip, this hike turned out to be my absolute favorite (I made a reel recap to commemorate it). 

After the hike, the group got drinks and burgers at La Birre del Rancho, which had a cute patio for soaking up the sun. Of course, the time in the sun got some interested in finding a spot for ice cream, which led us to what would become the group’s obsession for the rest of the trip: Heladería Domo Blanco.

Day 4: Free Day and Fine Dining

The fourth day ended up as a “free day,” presenting the group with several options to choose from depending on what interested people most. Several in the group decided to try Laguna Torre, a challenging 11.5-mile hike with breathtaking scenery the whole way up to the laguna. We were treated to snow in the valley but the sun came up at the top, where we had empanadas to mark our triumph. Here’s my video recap of this day. 

A special dinner at The Asadores was a major highlight of the trip on this day. A phenomenal five-course dining experience is not what everyone expects after a day of hiking, but our group was so fortunate to have the opportunity, which came at a very reasonable price especially for those traveling from the United States. 

Day 5: Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

Day five was a bluebird weather day—the sun was shining and the views of the area surrounding El Chaltén were majestic. We could see the iconic Mount Fitz Roy with crystal clarity, which lifted already high spirits and set the tone for the day. 

We spent all day in Los Glaciares hiking 14 miles along Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. This was a challenging hike with a good deal of elevation gain, but it was absolutely worth the effort for the experience.  Naturally, we all took another well-earned trip to Heladeria Domo Blanco afterward for some ice cream.

Dinner came from La Oveja Negra, a fitting way to wrap up a dreamy day in Patagonia. 

Day 6: Chill Day

After a tiring and fulfilling day before, the group opted for a free day with a more relaxed pace. We had some amazing croissants from Banneton and enjoyed coffee from La Birre.

A very short and easy waterfall hike (Chorillo del Salto) was followed by afternoon snacks at La Vineria Grill. We had dinner at La Tapera, which was the perfect cap for a chill day. You can check out my video recap here.

Day 7:  Glaciers and Boat Tours

On our last day in El Chaltén, everyone split up for activities. One of these was a hike to Huemul Glacier, which featured some of the bluest water I’ve seen anywhere. Others in the group took a boat ride on Lago Del Desierto, offering yet another perspective on the gorgeous scenery.

In the afternoon, we packed up and made the three-hour drive back to El Calafate. Our group had a final dinner together in the upstairs room of  Shackleton Solo, which was the perfect spot to debrief with great views of the lake and city along with yummy food.

We talked about the highs and lows of the trip before saying goodbyes before everyone got ready to return the next morning. The entire trip was a high, but one memory that’ll live forever in my mind is hiking on a perfect bluebird day to the top of  Loma del Pliegue Tumbado with our entire group! 

Day 8:  Heading Home

Day Eight found our group flying out of El Calafate to our respective homes, though some travelers extended their stay in Argentina and beyond. The trip home was long, but many of the travelers were able to catch flights with others on the trip and overlap some of their travel on the way. 

Patagonia was the BEST trip. It was so, so beautiful. The views and hikes were spectacular, and the locals were so kind and welcoming. 

The food was a major hit as well—it definitely complemented and elevated all of the gorgeous natural beauty of the region. Everyone in the group was fun, encouraging, and a blast to travel with. We couldn’t have asked for a better trip—I will 100% be visiting Patagonia again. 

Final Thoughts

Patagonia will go down as one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I’m already thinking about when I can go back, and I’ll be posting sign-ups as soon as I lock in dates for trips in 2025. You can get on the list to be notified using this link.

When I do go back, it will definitely be with TrovaTrip. If you’re a content creator thinking about hosting your own trip, all you have to do is create an account.