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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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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Sally Dodge
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • 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.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Juliet Ellwood
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Millie Davies Mono
    Millie Davies - Travel Expert

    Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

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