Hiking the Andes
Stretching for thousands of kilometers from the Bolivian border to Tierra del Fuego, where they disappear beneath the sea, the Argentine Andes offer an infinity of options for hikers.
South America’s most famous summit, the “Roof of the Americas” attracts climbers from around the world with hikes ranging from a quick walk to an overlook to multiday treks.
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi has many hikes, but the trailhead for this one near Colonia Suiza lies right on the Circuito Chico bus route from Bariloche. It’s a stiff climb, and the forested trail is unclear in a couple of spots, but the reward is a breather at Refugio López (1,620 meters), which stocks cold drinks and food.
Only a short hop east of El Bolsón, the summit of this Andean outlier reaches 2,284 meters above sea level. The reward is a relief-map view of the entire Puelo valley and the string of summits along the Chilean border and beyond.
Loma del Pliegue Tumbado
It’s not the highest-profile trail in Santa Cruz’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, but the day hike to the shoulder of this 1,550-meter peak offers some of the finest perspectives on Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy, and the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields.
On Tierra del Fuego, only half an hour outside Ushuaia, it’s possible to take a chairlift halfway to the Martial glacier; at that point, a sometimes slippery footpath continues to the glacier’s lip, and when the clouds clear there are panoramic views across the legendary Beagle Channel to Chile’s Isla Navarino.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition