One of the hikes I wanted to do around Ushuaia this time, was to the Laguna de Los Témpanos and the Vinciguerra Glacier. I’d already hiked the first part of this trail with Autumn, JB, Marjorie and Cyril when we went to Laguna Encantada, but really wanted to get to the Glacier – the only one in the region that actually has a glacier tongue.
I let it be known around the hostel that this was my plan, and that other people were more than welcome to join me. I was super-keen for others to join so that a) I wasn’t hiking alone, and b) the cost of the taxi to get there was shared. In the end, there were 6 of us – me, Shane (Aussie), Matan (Israel), Steffi and Hanspeter (Switzerland), and Matthias (Belgium).
It was an absolutely gorgeous day as we hiked along the flat Andorra valley with its mystery wooden structures. My new theory on these things is that they are actually drying racks for peat – given I saw another large stash of them the other day in the peat bog on the way out to Laguna Esmeralda.
Since I was the one that organised the excursion and I had actually done the first part of the hike before, I was the unofficial guide for our group. I steered everyone to the bridge across the river and up through the Lenga forest until we reached the signpost where the track forked to Laguna Encantada and the Vinciguerra Glacier.
This time I took the left-hand fork, which turned out to be much, much easier than the route to Laguna Encantada initially. It was even flat for a long time, if more than a little slippery!
Eventually we did start climbing, and there was a moment where we really couldn’t figure out where the trail went. Up until that point it had been very obvious but, judging by the state of the ground, we weren’t the only ones to wonder which way to go!
We did eventually find the markers (stay low when you think you should go high) and continued on until the forest eventually spilled us out into a clearing with a stream and a waterfall.
We had a short break here soaking in the sun, and then hiked along the stream towards the scree-slope we could see in the distance.
This last part was probably the steepest section of the hike, as we climbed the moraine towards the glacier and its lake.
The view was absolutely worth the effort!
We stopped here for lunch and to admire the view, and ran into some more people we knew from the hostel! Small world 🙂
We hiked around to the right hand side along the river and past some small pools
to reach the glacier tongue itself.
As always, I’m fascinated by patterns in the ice.
Unfortunately, and before we knew it, it was time to turn around and head back to meet our taxi that we’d arranged to pick us up at the start of the trail at a specific time. In hindsight – we should have made this at least an hour later … but it’s hard to judge these things when you haven’t done them before.
So with one last look at the Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier we headed back to catch our ride.
Million thanks to Shane, Matan, Steffi, Hanspeter, and Matthias for sharing this excursion with me! I had a great day with you guys 🙂
This is an awesome hike out of Ushuaia. There are many tour operators in town who offer this excursion, but it is actually very easy to do it yourself with little risk of getting lost (well, except for that one small part – we missed the trail coming back down as well).
Time: 9:30am – 4pm
Cost: 300ARS for the taxi from La Posta Hostel to the trailhead, and another 300ARS back (shared amongst us)
Maximum elevation gain: 550m