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Hike in a canyon of fossils

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Hike from Estancia Cristina in a crimson and gold, fossil-stamped canyon among the icy peaks of Argentine Patagonia. 

If you are staying in the El Calafate region, and enjoy walking, you shouldn’t miss this scenic hike from one of Patagonia’s most remote historic ranches, Estancia Cristina. This property, founded by an English pioneer over 100 years ago, is dwarfed by towering ice-capped peaks, and has one of the most beautiful and breathtaking settings in the Patagonian Andes.

You depart by boat from a jetty not far from El Calafate to sail on iceberg-strewn Lago Argentino, with superb glacier views. Disembark at the estancia and jump into an all-terrain vehicle to ride up into the mountains, to be rewarded by a fabulous panorama of the eastern side of the Upsala glacier, the southern Patagonian icecap, Lago Guillermo and - of course -the snowy crests of the Andes.

From here, it's a superb, if somewhat challenging downhill trek (you do need to be fit) back to the ranch through the Cañadon de los Fosiles (Fossil Canyon) where the erosive effects of glaciation has revealed an open-air museum of sea fossils. The canyon’s strata of crimson, russet, gold and pewter rocks create a dazzling display as you climb down.

Activity Rating: easy

Argentina
El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Expert

    It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

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