Patagonia, covering the southern tip of South America, is a paradise for hiking and trekking lovers. The area is shared between Chile and Argentina; and in-between the two countries stretches the magnificent Andes mountain range – which means plenty of great hiking trails on both sides! It’s possible to take day hikes from various towns. But in this post, we’ll introduce the best multi-day hikes you can do in Patagonia on your own, without a guide. For each one, we’ll also give prices (correct as of May 2022), difficulty levels and a few tips.

Jump to:
Patagonia in Chile
Deep South (3 hikes) | South (4 hikes) | North (2 hikes)

Patagonia in Argentina
Deep South (3 hikes) | South (2 hikes) | North (2 hikes)

Where to: Chilean or Argentinian Patagonia?

The landscape is fairly similar in both countries, and both offer great multi-day hiking trails. There’s no high altitude in that particular area; so no need to count with acclimatization on either side.

Water is widely available from glacier lakes and rivers and it’s drinkable, as is the tap water throughout the area. Just in case, we had a water filter with us; but other visitors were drinking directly from rivers.

Pros and cons of Chilean Patagonia


possibility to sail among the fjords, truly a memorable experienceservices (accommodation, transportation, food) are more expensive in Chile
low-cost airlines reach Patagonia from several cities throughout the countryentrance fee to all the national parks (about twice as much for foreigners as it is for Chileans)

more multi-day hikes overall

cost for campsites, as wild camping is forbidden in most of the national parks

no road connection between the Southern and Northern sides; ferry or plane needs to be planned


Pros and cons of Argentine Patagonia


easier to travel to and through, as the Ruta 40 road stretches along the whole areafewer multi-day hiking routes
entrance fee to national parks is much lower, when not completely freeonly a few hot spots for trekking activities

cheap or even free campsites; wild camping possible

no low-cost airlines in Argentina, flights to and from Patagonia are expensive

rules are more loose (which doesn’t allow us to be disrespectful but to enjoy ourselves more)

Already organising your trip? Find out how to plan a trip to Patagonia in 2022


Best multi-day hikes in Chilean Patagonia by area

Deep South Patagonia in Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, the most famous Patagonian landmark is located near the town of Puerto Natales. All the routes in Torres del Paine can be hiked without a guide, trails are very well marked. The entrance ticket and accommodation are the most expensive of all Patagonia National Parks though; but the views are also the best, in my opinion.

Traveling further south, you’ll find Chile’s share of Tierra del Fuego and the Navarro island with Puerto Williams as the gateway town and Alberto de Agostini National Park.

Torres del Paine: O circuit — 8 days

O circuit Torres del Paine Chile
O circuit in Torres del Paine National Park

The O trek is the longest multi-day hike in the park and probably the best hut-to-hut hiking route in Patagonia. It offers the most varied views of the area: snow-capped mountains, glaciers, mountain lakes, and rivers. The O circuit covers the complete W trek route and usually takes 8 days; although fast walkers manage to shorten it to 7 days.

Wild camping is prohibited and campsites must be booked in advance. Also, there are no shops along the way. The cheapest variation is of course to bring your own tent and your food for the entirety of your stay. But it’s also possible to rent a hut or a tent and a sleeping bag each night, and get your meals on-site. All these add up rather quickly though.

Read our post about the O circuit to discover more info on the itinerary, reservations, highlights & practical tips

Our opinion: the O circuit in Torres del Paine is the perfect multi-day hike for those who want to spend time in nature as opposed to running through the sites; and for those who want to avoid crowded trails, as the back of the O circuit is less frequented (but not empty either). Of course, since it’s a longer route, your backpack will surely be heavy with food and gear.


Entrance to the park:36,400 CLP / 49 USD – check up-to-date prices on the official CONAF website
Camping (8 days in your own tent):101 USD (when booked directly at the campsites: Vertice and Las Torres)
Difficulty:difficult ★★★★☆

Torres del Paine is of course on our list of best National Parks in Chile.


Torres del Paine: W trek — 4 days

W trek Torres del Paine Chile
Campsite on W trek in Torres del Paine

A shorter but more popular multi-day, hut-to-hut hiking trail in Torres del Paine, usually done in 4 days. The entire route of the W trek is covered by the O circuit, so the W kind of “joins” the O circuit. The views are jaw-dropping: mountain lakes, glaciers, snowy mountain tops, and various ecosystems of flora.

Same as with the O circuit, the campsites and the entrance ticket need to be booked in advance. In the high season (especially January-February) the trail gets pretty busy, so preferably visit it in shoulder season: November-December or March-April.

Our opinion: the W trek in Torres del Paine is a good choice for those who are lacking the time needed for the O circuit. You’ll still enjoy amazing views but run the risk of bumping into crowds on the trails and campsites. Your backpack will be lighter because you’ll carry less food, and that’s definitely an advantage.


Entrance to the park:36,400 CLP / 49 USD – check up-to-date prices on the official CONAF website
Camping (4 days in your own tent):50 USD (when booked directly at the campsites: Vertice and Las Torres)
Difficulty:moderate ★★★☆☆


Navarino island: Dientes de Navarino — 5 days

This adventurous, challenging multi-day trek is at the southernmost point you can get in Chilean Patagonia. It’s indeed nicknamed the “southernmost trek on earth”. The gateway city is Puerto Williams, on the island of Tierra del Fuego, and it can only be reached by ferry.

I won’t lie, it’s very cold here, and the weather can be adverse. It often snows, even in summer; then the trail signs are not visible and a GPS is essential. You can wild camp or pitch your tent at the suggested spots, but there’s no infrastructure. So be prepared with your own tent and food for the duration of the 5 days. Check this post for a photo journal of the trail.

Our opinion: it’s a challenging hiking route for most people. Good preparation, reliable tent, waterproof gear, GPS, and a decent amount of food are necessary.


Entrance to the park:free, since it’s not a national park
Camping (4 days in your own tent):free
Difficulty:hard ★★★★★


Southern Patagonia in Chile (along the Carretera Austral)

The Carretera Austral is a legendary road in the Chilean Patagonia, something like Route 66 in the USA. It stretches along most of Patagonia –except at the northern and southern ends– and is surrounded with many awesome parks. Traveling along Carretera Austral and stopping for multi-day hikes is rather easy with public transportation.

Lago del Desierto border crossing between Chile and Argentina

At the very end of the Carretera Austral is the town of Villa O’Higgins, named after the Chilean Libertador in the independence wars. It offers a great crossing-over hike to Argentina and the town of El Chaltén, which is probably the preferred base for hikers in Argentine Patagonia.

The hike can be done both ways. But during the pandemic, it’s necessary to check whether the border crossing is open (do that on the Chilean official site or on the Argentine site).

The whole trek involves a ferry boat to/from Villa O’Higgins, a hike at the feet of Mount Fitz Roy and across the border along the Lago Desierto lake (or instead of the lake, an optional ferry). You can only visit between Oct-Apr as the ferry isn’t running outside of this period.

Our opinion: this border-crossing trek is great if you intend to visit Patagonia both in Chile and Argentina. It offers a different and rewarding angle on the iconic Fitz Roy and the surrounding, calming lakes.


Entrance to the park:free, since it’s not a national park
Difficulty:moderate ★★★☆☆


Traveling from the south, the first national park in Chile is the newly-formed Patagonia National Park, which was born in 2018 from the union of two former natural reserves (Tamango and Jeinimeni). As we were trekking in Chilean Patagonia, this national park was a nice surprise to our wallets; compared to other Chilean national parks, it’s less expensive and more focused on nature.


Patagonia National Park, Tamango Reserve sector: Las Aguilas trail — 2 days

Tamango Patagonia National Park Chile
Patagonia National Park, Tamango sector

Tamango sector is a really beautiful area with a lot of lakes, especially charming when dressed in autumn colours. The entrance is an hour walk from the town of Cochrane, there are no shops or restaurants within the park.

Various hikes are available from this entrance, mostly day-hikes with different lengths. There’s also a 2-day hike starting on the Las Aguilas trail and continuing onto other trails. The path climbs up to the highest point, with a campsite on top, and then goes down to the lakes.

The ‘campsite’ is pretty bare, there’s no toilet or services. It’s more like an area where you can overnight, so bring your own tent and food.

Our opinion: the ‘Las Aguilas’ trail is a relatively easy multi-day hike, the only difficult part being the steep uphill at the start of the route. Given that it’s a 2-day hike, with little need for food, your backpack should be relatively light. The park is not well known, meaning very few people tread its trail, and the entrance is quite cheap. Perfect for those who enjoy solitude on their hikes!


Entrance to the park:8400 CLP / 12 USD (check up-to-date prices on CONAF’s official site)
Camping (1 night in your own tent):free
Difficulty:easy ★☆☆☆☆


Patagonia National Park, Jeinimeni sector: Avilés to Jeinemeni hike — 2, 3, or 4 days

Jeinimeni Reserve is the northern part of the Patagonia National Park and is only reachable by car, taxi, or hitchhiking if you’re very lucky (it’s a side road with very little traffic). It’s a real backcountry proposing a multi-day hike, with only one campsite; but wild camping is allowed within the park. The trail has multiple route options that take either 3 or 4 days to complete.

Our opinion: a great trek if you have your own car, as otherwise it’s difficult/expensive to reach. Once in the park, there’s real solitude and beautiful, untouched landscapes.


Entrance to the park:8400 CLP / 12 USD (check up-to-date prices on CONAF’s official site)
Camping (1 night in your own tent):free or 6000 CLP / 7 USD
Difficulty:difficult ★★★★☆


Cerro Castillo National Park: Horqueta trail — 4 days

Cerro Castillo Chile
Cerro Castillo National Park

Next in line when traveling southwards comes Cerro Castillo, with an interesting pinnacle-like peak resembling a castle (hence the name Cerro Castillo, “castle hill”). This linear multi-day trek stretches throughout the whole park and goes through two windy passes (that can be dangerous in strong winds). The highlight is a glacial lake, that is a mountain lake born from a glacier.

The gateway town is Villa Cerro Castillo, which lies higher than the surrounding towns. So if it rains, there’s a big chance there’s snow up there and the hiking routes are closed. This happens often in the shoulder season, so better have a backup plan just in case. To be fair, when trekking in Patagonia, always have a backup plan!

Our opinion: Cerro Castillo offers a beautiful hike, especially in autumn. Campsites are a bit rustic, you’ll need your own tent and food. And because of the wind and the difficult terrain, it’s recommended to bring hiking poles. Keep in mind it may be closed in the shoulder season (Nov-Dec, Mar-Apr), and it’s definitely closed in the wintertime. Check conditions beforehand on the park’s Facebook site


Entrance to the park:29,000 CLP / 35 USD (check up-to-date prices on CONAF’s official site)
Camping (3 days in your own tent):included in the entrance fee
Difficulty:difficult ★★★★☆


Northern Patagonia in Chile (along the Carretera Austral)

As we travel north on the Carretera Austral, other beautiful national parks catch our eyes, like the Queulat or the Puñihuil. But unfortunately, these only allow day visits. So the next multi-day hikes await us in the very north of Patagonia, at the Los Lagos region. This area is near the town of Puerto Montt, where an airport and several long-distance buses serve hikers.

Cochamó Valley: Cochamó – Paso el León Traverse — 5 days

Cochamo Valley Chile
Cochamó Valley. Image by Luis Alfredo from Pixabay

This linear hiking trail at the very north of the Carretera Austral links the town of Cochamó to the Argentine border at Paso el León. The whole trek takes 5 days; but it’s also possible to stop at Lake Vidal Gormaz and make it only a 2-3 days hike.

The landscape consists of Valdivian forest, bare granite rocks of the Andes, the Vidal Gormaz lake, waterfalls, and the Manso river to cross either on foot or on a bridge.

There are campsites along the route, which must be booked in advance. You can book on this site. Bear in mind that Cochamó Valley is not part of a national park, and as such, there’s no rescue service. So only experienced mountain hikers should attempt it.

Our opinion: this is a little-trafficked trail on a wet terrain, so prepare for muddy conditions. The best is to go in the summer (Dec-Mar) when rain is the least likely (although still a little likely, mind you).


Entrance to the park:free, since it’s not a national park
Camping (5 days in your own tent):~34,000 CLP / 41 USD
Difficulty:moderate ★★★☆☆


As an alternative exit (or entry) to this trail, you can cross to Argentina at the Paso Manso border crossing. During the pandemic, check if the border is open, here (CL) or here (AR). From Paso Manso, there are buses to the towns of El Bolsón and Bariloche, which also offer several beautiful multi-day hikes.


Chiloé National Park: Playa Cole Cole trail — 2 days

Chiloe national park 2-day hike
Hiking in the Chiloé National Park in 2018.

The Chiloé National Park is different from all other national parks on this list: it’s accessible all year round; it offers easy access to the trailhead and easy routes; and a mix of coastal views and the magical, Lord of the Rings atmosphere of the wetland forest (“tepual”).

This linear hike starts at the park entrance of Cucao and leads to the wild beach Cole Cole, where hikers camp or stay in huts. More info here (in Spanish), and on Conaf’s leaflet (also in Spanish).

Our opinion: Cole Cole offers an easy and rewarding hike to the beach, trekking through various landscapes. Easy, flat terrain and accessible all year round. The park entrance attracts families but then you’ll find less people.


Entrance to the park:5400 CLP / 6.5 USD (see up-to-date prices on CONAF)
Camping (1 night at Cole Cole in your own tent):2000 CLP / 2.5 USD
Difficulty:very easy ☆☆☆☆☆

We visited Chiloé in 2018 and it quickly found its place in our hearts. Read our post to learn why.


Best multi-day hikes in Argentinian Patagonia by area

Deep South Patagonia in Argentina

Tierra del Fuego, the “Fire land”, is where the land ends. The island is shared between Argentina and Chile, but the Argentine side is more easily accessible. It is a hikers’ paradise in itself, offering almost 60 trails alone in the Tierra del Fuego National Park! A few of them are multi-day hikes so let’s go through them.

In fact, Tierra del Fuego is one of our favourite National Parks in South America.

Tierra del Fuego National Park (Image: Murray Foubister, via Wikimedia Commons)

Tierra del Fuego: Sierra Valdivieso Circuit — 4 days

A circuit hike in a remote area near Ushuaia, that’ll lead you through a tundra terrain. It showcases lagoons, stony mountain slopes, and the ever-present snow-capped mountains of the Andes.

It’s possible to visit without a guide but you’ll need a reliable GPS and some hiking experience. Wild camping near a river or anywhere suitable is accepted. Best time to go is Dec-Mar, during the Patagonian summer.

Our opinion: Sierra Valdivieso is definitely a challenging trail due to the spongy, swampy terrain and lack of signalization: good shoes and a reliable GPS are necessary. The views and the feeling of remoteness are very rewarding though.


Entrance to the park:2100 ARS / 18 USD
Camping (in your own tent):free
Difficulty:difficult ★★★★☆


Tierra del Fuego: Montes Martial Circuit — 3 or 4 days

The most famous trek in Tierra del Fuego circles around Ushuaia and the Glaciar Martial. This medium difficulty multi-day hike is ideal for those wanting to get an introduction to Patagonia’s Tierra del Fuego; it offers the signature feeling of remoteness coupled with a nice variety of landscapes.

The path crosses forests and lakeshores and gives a picturesque view upon the Beagle Channel. There’s a possibility to summit Mt. Tonelli too. Note that you’ll need your own camping equipment to camp by the lake.

Our opinion: the Martial trail is an all-rounder hike for those who don’t have more time to explore Tierra del Fuego, or for when the weather is too bad for more challenging hikes.


Entrance to the park:2100 ARS / 18 USD
Camping (in your own tent):free
Difficulty:moderate ★★★☆☆


Tierra del Fuego Crossing — 7 days

Probably the most hardcore hike in Tierra del Fuego. It dives into real remoteness, through steppe landscape; goes through 2 long passes; and follows the Beagle Channel along its 80-km length.

Carrying all the camping equipment and food for 7 days is in itself a real challenge. So only hikers with backcountry hiking experience should attempt it. Despite being one of the toughest Patagonian hiking trails, it’s still possible to do it without a guide.

Our opinion: it cannot get more remote than this in Tierra del Fuego! Therefore good preparation is necessary, both physically and mentally, in order to attempt this crossing.


Entrance to the park:2100 ARS / 18 USD
Camping (in your own tent):free
Difficulty:hard ★★★★★


Southern Patagonia in Argentina

Southern Patagonia in Argentina, also called Patagonia Austral, encompasses the biggest part of Ruta 40 and showcases such icons as Mount Fitz Roy (a popular destination for climbers as well), and Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. The best location to choose as a base is El Chaltén, which serves as the gateway town to Los Glaciares.

By the way, the Perito Moreno is on our list of best day-treks in South America.

Los Glaciares National Park: Laguna de los Tres — 2 days

Patagonia mountain landscape
Laguna de Los Tres. Hiking landscape in Patagonia. Image by Monigocan from Pixabay

It’s the most famous trek in Patagonia Argentina, as it allows a close glimpse at the majestic Mount Fitz Roy. The trail starts directly from the town of El Chaltén and ascends to Laguna de Los Tres.

That’s an 8-10 hour hike that can be done in a single day. But many choose to attack the final ascent on the 2nd day before dawn, to see Fitz Roy, on the background of Laguna de Los Tres, in a beautiful sunrise light. If you wish to do that, sleep at Poincenot camp.

Our opinion: this certainly is a heavily-trafficked trail, with a peak in visits between Dec-Feb, the Andean summer. In order to avoid crowds, opt for shoulder season: Oct-Nov or Mar-Apr.


Entrance to the park:2525 ARS / 21,50 USD
Camping (in your own tent):free
Difficulty:easy ★☆☆☆☆


Los Glaciares National Park: Huemul Circuit — 4 days

The second trail in Los Glaciares is the Huemul Circuit, a less popular and more demanding one. This is due to more severe weather conditions (like winds up to 100 km/h), and the considerable must-have safety equipment needed (such as ziplining equipment) to attempt this hike.

Less traffic means there’s no help nearby if you end up in trouble. So only experienced mountaineers should consider this hike. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful route starting at the edge of El Chaltén, offering views of the Southern Patagonian ice field.

Our opinion: the winds and weather conditions can make the Huemul trail very challenging, so it’s not recommended for less experienced mountaineers. In fact, we haven’t done it ourselves. Better check this post for more details.


Entrance to the park:2525 ARS / 21,50 USD
Camping (in your own tent):free
Difficulty:hard ★★★★★


Lago del Desierto border crossing between Chile and Argentina — see above in Chile

Northern Patagonia in Argentina

Between Los Glaciares and the northern town of Esquel, there are no national parks nor multi-day hiking trails in Patagonia Argentina. Northern Patagonia is also called the ‘Lake District’, as it offers a landscape dotted with turquoise lakes on a snow-tipped mountain backdrop. At Esquel, the first national park is Los Alerces.

Los Alerces National Park: Lago Krugger trail — 2 days

This 34km return multi-day hike in northern Patagonia leads to Krugger lake in the western part of the park. The trailhead is reachable by walk from the small town of Villa Futalaufquen. Wild camping is allowed all along the trail, or a hut at Krugger lake welcomes those who get there quick.

The park is open all year round, but for the warmest weather, it’s recommended to visit Oct-Apr. Outside of this period, the trail can be closed due to severe weather.

Our opinion: Los Alerces offers a pleasant hike among pristine lakes with a mountain backdrop. There is not much hiker traffic, so it’s absolutely perfect to blend into nature without much risk. Visit this post (in Portuguese) for more info.


Entrance to the park:1820 ARS / 15.5 USD
Camping (in your own tent):N/A
Difficulty:moderate ★★★☆☆

Los Alerces National Park is part of our selection of favourite national parks in Argentina.


Continuing on the Ruta 40 to the north, we reach the somewhat bigger town of Bariloche. It sits at the border of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, and offers several multi-day hikes, in a real Patagonian manner.

Nahuel Huapi National Park: Nahuel Huapi Traverse – 5 days

Nahuel Huapi national park
Hiking in the Nahuel Huapi National Park

It’s a little-trafficked, hut-to-hut hike that crosses the most beautiful points within the Nahuel Huapi National Park, and runs partially on the trails of the other hikes. The route is not difficult, except on day 3, where the trail is not well marked; a reliable GPS is therefore necessary.

During the 5 days, indoor accommodation or camping is possible at 4 shelters, namely: Refugio Frey, Refugio Jakob, Refugio Laguna Negra, and Refugio López.

Our opinion: if you hike only one trail in the Lake District of Patagonia, it should be this one. Varied vegetation of Valdivian forest, mountain lakes, rocks near the snow line. It’s not as remote as the Deep South but it’s certainly beautiful!


Entrance to the park:1820 ARS / 15.5 USD
Camping (in your own tent):N/A
Difficulty:moderate ★★★☆☆

Are you staying in this area? Check out more multi-day and day hikes around Bariloche


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Who am I?

Anna is a world citizen, an avid traveller, a passionate environmentalist and a digital nomad. Writing about her year backpacking through South America, she tries to encourage everyone to discover this beautiful continent as a traveller or a digital nomad and pass on her love for responsible travel.

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