Trekking to Laguna de los Tres from El Chalten: A Complete Guide

Laguna de los Tres

If you’re planning to visit El Chaltén for trekking, don’t miss the Laguna de los Tres trail – it’s undoubtedly a must-visit route. Another outstanding trekking trail in El Chaltén is the trek to Cerro Torre, which is an incredible 25 km expedition offering unforgettable views of Fitz Roy Mountain and the beautiful Laguna de los Tres.

Laguna de Los Tres Trekking: General Facts and Useful Information

Trail map and general information about Trekking to Laguna de los Tres from El Chalten

The trek to Laguna de los Tres, situated at the base of the 3405m-high Fitz Roy peak, is the most popular trekking trail in El Chaltén, Argentine Patagonia. This 25 km long trek takes around 8 to 9 hours to complete and offers a breathtaking view of the Fitz Roy mountain and the beautiful Laguna de los Tres.

The trail passes through unique landscapes with an altitude gain of over 700 meters. Though the trek is challenging, the reward of the majestic Fitz Roy peak and the turquoise lake at the end makes it an unforgettable experience. Starting the trek early in the morning is recommended to avoid the crowds and unpredictable weather changes that are common in the region.

Weather in Laguna de los Tres

Knowing the weather conditions is crucial when planning a trek to Laguna de los Tres, which can take up to 10 hours. The region experiences a cold and dry climate with strong winds, and temperatures can drop rapidly at night, making it important to pack appropriate clothing.

During the summer months (December to February), temperatures range from 5 to 20 degrees Celsius (41 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, with mild weather overall. However, rain, snow, and strong winds can still occur, especially at higher altitudes.

In the autumn months (March to May), the weather can be more variable, with cooler temperatures and a higher chance of precipitation. Hikers should also expect snow at higher elevations and be prepared for potentially icy trail conditions.

During the winter months (June to August), the weather is harsh and cold, with temperatures dropping well below freezing. The trails may be covered in snow and ice, making the trek more challenging and potentially dangerous. The trekking season is usually closed during winter due to extreme weather conditions.

In summary, hikers should be prepared for a range of weather conditions when trekking to Laguna de los Tres, regardless of the season. It’s essential to bring appropriate clothing, including waterproof and windproof gear, as well as warm layers and gloves to protect against the cold. Additionally, hikers should monitor weather forecasts and adjust their plans accordingly to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek.

What to Pack for Trekking to Laguna de los Tres

When packing for your trekking adventure to Laguna de los Tres, it’s important to keep in mind the unpredictable weather conditions of the region. Here are some essential items to consider bringing:

  • Hiking boots: Make sure to bring sturdy, waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support.
  • Warm clothing: Bring warm layers, including a thermal base layer, fleece or down jacket, and a waterproof and windproof outer layer. It can get very cold at night, so be sure to pack a warm hat, gloves, and scarf.
  • Backpack: Bring a sturdy, comfortable backpack to carry your water, snacks, and other essentials.
  • Water and snacks: Bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your trek, and pack high-energy snacks such as trail mix, energy bars, or fruit.
  • Sun protection: The sun can be strong in this region, so be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Navigation tools: Bring a map and compass, and if possible, a GPS device or smartphone with maps of the area.
  • First-aid kit: Bring a basic first-aid kit, including bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and any prescription medication you may need.
  • Other essentials: Don’t forget to bring a flashlight, extra batteries, a waterproof phone case, and a whistle in case of emergencies.

To avoid carrying unnecessary weight during your trek, pack light and bring only essential items. With these items, you should be well prepared for your Laguna de los Tres trekking adventure.

Getting to Laguna de los Tres: Trail to the Fitz Roy

The trailhead to Laguna de los Tres, located at the base of the Fitz Roy peak (3405m), is the most popular route to explore from the remote town of El Chaltén in Argentine Patagonia. It’s a long trek with a total distance of 25 km that will take around 8 to 9 hours to complete, passing through a beautiful and unique landscape with an altitude gain of over 700 meters.

The starting point of the trail is at the end of Avenida San Martín, where the urban area of El Chaltén ends and the parking lot for vehicles is located. During the first hour of the hike, the slope is somewhat steep, and you can access a natural viewpoint of the De las Vueltas River valley. In a few more minutes, you enter the valley of the Del Salto stream towards Mount Fitz Roy. The ñires become more numerous around the path, and approximately an hour and a half into the journey, you’ll reach a well-marked natural rocky viewpoint with a sign that allows you to interpret the mountainous and glacial panorama in front of you.

The trail continues up the Del Salto stream towards the drainage area of the Madre and Hija lagoons. After about four hours of hiking, you’ll first arrive at the Poincenot Base Camp, which is one of the most popular camping sites in the National Park, and after crossing the Blanco River, at the Río Blanco Base Camp used by climbers from around the world.

From here, the trail continues with a somewhat steep slope of approximately 400 meters of unevenness to the De los Tres lagoon, which will require more than an hour of effort. The trail ends at the old moraine ridge, which is an amazing huge arc-shaped formation that currently contains the lagoon. It was formed by the action of glacial advance and subsequent retreat, with an extraordinary view of the lagoon and De los Tres glacier. This is the closest view of the granite wall of Mount Fitz Roy and its unique needles.

If you make the effort to arrive at dawn, the reward will be doubled, as you will witness the extraordinary moment when the hills are stained red with the first rays of the sun. Going down the moraine and skirting the lagoon to its mouth, you’ll find a path that will take you to another impressive sight: the desolate Sucia lagoon and its hanging glaciers. Although access to this viewpoint is possible all year round, from April to October, it will depend on the accumulation of snow on the trail, especially on the final stretch.

The Alternative Trail to Laguna de Los Tres From Hosteria El Pilar

People trekking to Laguna de los Tres

The traditional starting point for the Laguna de los Tres trek is from the town of El Chalten. However, hikers can access an alternative starting point to reach the trailhead, the Hosteria El Pilar.

Hosteria El Pilar is a lodge situated about 17 km from El Chalten and can be accessed by car or shuttle bus. From the lodge, hikers can take a shorter trail leading to Laguna de los Tres than the traditional route from El Chalten. Moreover, the trail from Hosteria El Pilar is less crowded, making it an excellent alternative for those who want to avoid crowds.

The hike from Hosteria El Pilar to Laguna de los Tres takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the hiker’s pace. During the hike, hikers can relish stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The trail also features several resting spots where hikers can take a break and refill their water bottles.

Overall, starting the Laguna de los Tres trek from Hosteria El Pilar is a great alternative for hikers who desire a shorter and less crowded route, while still enjoying the magnificent scenery of Patagonia.

The Best Time for Trekking to Laguna de los Tres

Patagonia is renowned worldwide for its hostile and ever-changing climate, with abundant cloud cover, occasional rainfall, and strong winds throughout the year. Completely clear days are rare, and visitors often spend several days in the area without experiencing an unobstructed panoramic view of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre range. This is why climbers often spend long periods in the village, waiting for a favorable window of good weather.

It’s important to note that there is no dry month in the El Chaltén area. September and November are the least rainy months, but not by a significant difference. November to March is generally considered the best time to visit, as the temperatures are more pleasant and the days are longer. November, in particular, is a great month to visit as there are fewer tourists than during the peak summer months of January and February when Argentinians take their vacations.”

I fixed some minor grammatical errors and rephrased a few sentences to make them clearer. I bolded the important sentences that highlight the challenging weather conditions in Patagonia, the lack of dry months in the area, and the best time to visit, particularly in November when there are fewer tourists.

Do I Need a Special Permit for Trekking to Laguna de los Tres?

No, you do not need a special permit to trek to Laguna de los Tres. The trek is located in Los Glaciares National Park, and entry to the park is free for all visitors. However, it’s important to register at the park ranger station in El Chalten before starting your trek.

The park ranger station is located in the town of El Chalten and is open daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM during the summer months (November to April) and from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM during the winter months (May to October). At the ranger station, you will need to provide your name, nationality, and intended trekking route.

While there is no permit fee for trekking to Laguna de los Tres, it’s important to follow the park’s rules and regulations. This includes staying on designated trails, packing out all trash, and respecting the natural environment.

It’s also recommended to check the park’s website or visit the ranger station for the latest trail conditions and weather updates before starting your trek. By following these guidelines, you can help preserve the natural beauty of the area and ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.

Trekking to Laguna de los Tres: The Poincenot Camp

Poinecot Camp

The Poincenot Campsite is a camping area located in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentine Patagonia, along the route to Laguna de los Tres. It is a popular spot for hikers seeking to trek to the lake, which is famous for its stunning views of Mount Fitz Roy and its surroundings. The hike to the lake from Poincenot Campsite takes about four hours and is challenging, requiring a good level of fitness.

The Poincenot Campsite provides basic camping facilities, including bathrooms, showers, and cooking areas. There is also a common area where hikers can relax after a tiring hike. The camping fee at Poincenot Campsite is relatively affordable.

In general, the Poincenot Campsite is an excellent location for those who want to experience the natural beauty of Patagonia and enjoy a challenging hike to Laguna de los Tres. It is essential to remember that the campsite is located in a national park, and it is important to follow conservation rules and leave the area as pristine as it was found.

Other Tips and Advice for Trekking to Laguna de los Tres

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trekking adventure to Laguna de los Tres:

  1. Start early: It’s recommended to start your trek early in the morning to avoid the midday heat and crowds. This will also give you plenty of time to complete the trek and enjoy the stunning views.

  2. Bring plenty of water: Make sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your trek. The water sources along the trail are not safe for drinking, so it’s important to bring your own water or a water filtration system.

  3. Pack appropriate clothing: As mentioned earlier, the weather conditions in the area can be unpredictable, so make sure to pack warm layers and waterproof and windproof gear. It’s also important to wear comfortable and sturdy hiking boots.

  4. Bring snacks: Pack high-energy snacks such as trail mix, energy bars, or fruit to keep you fueled throughout your trek.

  5. Respect the environment: The Laguna de los Tres area is a protected natural area, so it’s important to stay on designated trails, pack out all trash, and respect the natural environment.

  6. Take breaks when needed: Don’t be afraid to take breaks and rest when needed. This will help you conserve energy and prevent exhaustion.

  7. Take in the views: The views from Laguna de los Tres are breathtaking, so take the time to enjoy the scenery and take photos.

  8. Check the weather forecast: As the weather in the area can change quickly, make sure to check the weather forecast before starting your trek and adjust your plans accordingly.

By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience to Laguna de los Tres.


Laguna de los Tres is a must-visit destination for trekking enthusiasts and is considered one of the highlights of the area. Is it worth visiting? Absolutely! The breathtaking views of the Fitz Roy mountain range and the turquoise waters of Laguna de los Tres make it one of the most beautiful and popular trekking destinations in Patagonia.

The trek to Laguna de los Tres is challenging, but the panoramic views from the top are truly unforgettable. The trek takes you through diverse landscapes, including forests, rivers, and glaciers, which only adds to the unique beauty of the area.

In addition to its natural beauty, Laguna de los Tres is also an excellent spot for photography, offering opportunities to capture stunning shots of the mountains and the lake. The region is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including guanacos, foxes, and condors, adding to the unique experience of trekking in this area.

In summary, if you’re up for a challenging trekking adventure and love breathtaking views of natural landscapes, Laguna de los Tres is definitely worth a visit.

Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

Ramiro Rodriguez

25 years working in travel market, as Sales & Marketing Manager in RipioTurismo, Marketing Manager in Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

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