Hiking? Hmm, not really my thing. That’s what I thought at least when jumping on a flight from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires exactly a year ago. I was on my way to the country of famous steaks, delicious Malbec wine and dancing tango in ancient cathedrals with 70-year old old Argentinian men (trust me, that was awesome). Looking back – all this was great. But what stands out the most of my month in Argentina is the wild south, the immense land of arid steppe, the stretch to infinity; my warm welcome to Patagonia.
Patagonia stretches across Chile and Argentina and consists of cobalt fjords, massive glaciers and national parks full of snow-capped mountains. El Calafate is the best stop before heading to the immense Perrito Moreno Glacier. This is a definite must!
Then you might wonder how I channeled my inner hiker? Well, that all took place in what is known to be the trekking capital of Argentina, the number 1 bucket list spot of every serious hiker; El Chaltén. Days consisting of around 7 or even 8 hours walking result in magnificent views of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Of course, we didn’t start with the longest routes right at the beginning. Fortunately there are different options with the shortest one only being 2 hours and this takes you to the Las Aguilas viewpoints, which is pretty awesome too.
The walk to Laguna Capri is another tip and takes you about 4 hours. Imagine a glistening blue water lagoon – do you have it in mind? Now please add some surrounding peaks full of snow of the Fitz Roy massif and breathe in the forest around you. This is the best place to take a break, sit back and enjoy the silence around you.
Patagonia will take you by surprise. Not only because the wifi in El Chaltén is provided by satellite and therefore, extremely and frustratingly slow or sometimes even non-existent. But most of all because of the immense beauty of the landscapes surrounding you. I’d say go visit this hiking hub!
This post was written by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth.