The 8 best day hikes in Patagonia

The best day hikes in Patagonia – Patagonia and hiking go hand in hand. There’s a plethora of national parks, protected areas and trails to choose from. But it can all be a little over-whelming we you first start to look at the region. That’s why, after many kilometers, astonishing views, rain storms and sore legs we put together this list of the 8 best day hikes in Patagonia. Whether you are an experienced hiker or not there’s a hike here to suit every ability. And you can rest assured that you won’t be disappoint by the trail or the view on any of these. If your’re more interested in longer hikes, check out our favourite multi-day treks in Patagoina. 

Mt Fitz Roy (Laguna de Los Tres) – El Chalten, argentina 

20 kms – 8 hours

This is the most picturesque spot in the Northern Sector of Los Glaciers National Park and easily one of the best day hikes in Patagonia. The last 2 kms of the trail is steep and challenging. Make sure that you allow extra time for this and take care in strong winds and bad weather. You need to register at the visitors centre before leaving for this hike because this section can be hazardous. But the rewards are spectacular and worth all of the effort to get there. This was my favourite day hike in all of Patagonia. You can also do a multi-day trek here that links up with Cerro Torre. 

Sunset at fitz roy mountain in El chalten
Mt Fitz Roy - El Chalten, Argentina
Photo: Malwina Wisniewska

Mirador Las Torres – Torres del Paine National Park, chile

16 kms – 7 hours

The most iconic day hike in all of Patagonia. We loved this hike and it easily made our list as one of the best day hikes in Patagonia. The Torres has a lot of hype surrounding it but the trail really does live up to it all. The walk to reach the lookout is incredibly scenic and enjoyable. Even without the incentive of reaching The Torres I would recommend this hike. The only downside here is the amount of people that the hike attracts, but it’s easy to see why. Make the most of the long Patagonian summer days by starting early or later in the day if you can. You can also do this hike as part of a multi-day trek on the O circuit or W trek.

The best day hikes in Patagonia

Laguna cerro castillo – villa cerro castillo, chile

18 kms – 6 hours

It doesn’t take long for the day hike to Cerro Castillo to start climbing up. The entire hike is quite steep and by no means is it an easy hike. The views at the top are mesmerising.  The water of the lake is the most unbelievable blue I have ever seen. Most who people visit Patagonia won’t have heard of this hike. This plus the fact that is a little more difficult to reach, means that you wont have to deal with crowds of people on the trail. One of the best day hikes in Patagonia without the crowds. If you are travelling along the Carretera Austral be sure not to miss it.

A hike to the Laguna lookout at Cerro Castillo on our Carretera Austral road trip. One of the best day hikes in Patagonia
Laguna Cerro Castillo - Villa Cerro Castillo, Chile

volcan chaiten – park pumalin, Chile

14.5km – 3 hours

This is another great stop on the Carretera Austral. The magnificent Volcano erupted in 2008 causing immense damage to Parque Pumalin and Chaiten Town. The park was subsequently closed for 2 years. Afterwards a short but steep trail was made to the crater rim of the Volcano.

The best day hikes in Patagonia

Lago chico loop + The douglas tompkins lookout – park patagonia, chile

12 kms – 4 hours

To reach the start of this trail you need a 4WD or alternatively, there is a parking area at the well signed start of the 4WD track. Parking here will add an extra 6km onto the loop. The hike offers spectacular views of Lago Cochrane and Mt. San Lorenzo. This hike and the entire Parque Patagonia are one of Patagonia’s best secrets. We were here in the middle of summer and didn’t see another person on the trail. We actually saw more wildlife than people. On the trail, we saw Huemul dear, Armadillos, Guanacos and more! If you don’t feel like completing the entire circuit the best lookout in the park is only a short stroll from the car park – The Douglas Tompkins Lookout. 

Hiking in Parque Patagonia
Park Patagonia - Chile

Cerro lopez – barriloche (colonia suiza)

9kms – 4 hours

This was our favourite hike in the Barriloche area. We stayed in Colonia Suiza and left from there in the early morning. This adds a couple of kilometres onto the walk along a dirt road. There are two refugios along the trail. The first is Roca Negra, then Refugio Lopez where you can stay or buy some food.  Be sure to stop in for a beer at Berlina Brewery at the end of your hike for a beer. They do a great Stout. 

The best day hikes in Patagonia

hanging glacier – queulat national park

6.5kms – 2.5 hours

This beautiful trail passes through wet, dense temperate rain forest. There are many different bird species that can be spotted from the trail. This is one of the wettest places in Chile. Yearly precipitation is around 4000mm, so often the trail is wet. It’s a very different trail to others that we have picked as the best day hikes in Patagonia but still an astonishing hike. From the lookout you get a beautiful view over the lake to the suspended glacier.

one of the best day hikes we did in Patagonia
Hanging Glacier - Queulat National Park, Chile

laguna esmerelda – ushuaia

9.5kms – 6 hours

An easy but wet and muddy peat forest hike. This magical walk is surrounded by the Andes Mountains and Ojo del Albino Glacier. Along the way you can see the Beavers Dam although a cool sight, these are an introduced species that have caused a lot of damage to the area.

Serious about hiking in Patagonia? Then check out our favourite multi-day hike as well. 

The best day hikes in Patagonia

Ruby & Josh

Two Lost Feet

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