Even though it is one of the largest national parks on the continent and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Argentinian park is often overshadowed by its more famous Chilean neighbour, Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. Although hordes of tourists flock here every year to see the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier located west of El Calafate in the southern section of the park, many hikers tend to overlook all it has to offer, often assuming it is a destination for climbers. The towering sheer granite peaks of Cerro Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre and their cohorts regularly attract seemingly suicidal mountaineers willing to wait for months in a base camp for a weather window to challenge the rock spires. But hikers will find this a much gentler spot, where easy day hikes pay off with spectacular scenic rewards for relatively little effort.
Regarded as one of the most classic hikes in the park, the trail to Laguna Torre is easily accessed from the town of El Chaltén. The prize at the end? The sheer ramparts of Cerro Torre where icebergs that have calved off the glacier at the base of the mountain can often be seen floating in the lake. Although visitors must travel by road to reach El Chaltén, the drive across the Patagonian steppes along the shores of Lago Argentino and Lago Viedma is one of the highlights of the trip, with the peaks of the Fitz Roy Range dominating the horizon on the approach to town.