Hostería El Pilar is located in De las Vueltas river valley 17 km away from El Chaltén (Province of Santa Cruz) where Eléctrico river flows into De las Vueltas river. It is a privileged place since it is far from the most frequently visited attractions of the area and a starting point for many paths. It possesses a very special magic since it is surrounded by the Andean-Patagonian forest.
Since it was built, in 1994, El Pilar receives visitors from all around the world who are tempted by the possibility of living the Patagonia in a different way. For everyone, our doors are open. We all are readily willing to guide our guests during their stay so that everyone may live, in their own way, the energy of nature.
Upon entering we perceive a warm and cosy climate where creaking wood may be heard burning in the great main chimney. The bar, the dining room, the library are all of free access to guests, who will feel as if they were at home.
Using Hosteria El Pilar as your base, you can explore the myriad of hiking trails that weave throughout the Fitzroy massif. Popular with outdoor enthusiasts worldwide, some of these trails are particularly recommended. Daily breakfast is included and served at the lodge. Boxed-lunches and dinners can be arranged by the staff according to your needs.
It is important to know that in the hostel and surroundings we do not have a Wi-Fi, TV or cell phone signal. Far from being an inconvenient, it represents an opportunity to connect with other activities and specially with nature.
The country house has 10 very comfortable rooms, each with its private bathroom.
Piedra del Fraile
The beginning of the trip is on foot or following a path to the west. Progressively the arid slopes lead to the typical Patagonian forest of the area where the Nothofagus (Lengas, Ñires and Colihues) are predominant. After crossing the Río Blanco, from where there is a beautiful view of the Fitz Roy, if the weather allows, starts the climb bordering Eléctrico river which descends from Electrico lagoon.
The path enters the thick Nothofagus forest which later becomes less dense as it gets higher. During the trip you will have magnificent views of Andes Mountains, views of the different granite peaks which characterize the area and a view of Marconi Path, doorway to Continental Ice fields.
Laguna de Los Tres
Leaving the country house you follow a path bordering the Río Blanco. It is a solitary path which allows you to have a better perception of the different sounds of nature. After travelling for 2:30 hours, you arrive at the Camping Site “Río Blanco”. From there on, the path is zigzagged in order to compensate an irregular escalation of 500 meters before reaching the De los Tres lagoon.
The path ends at the edge of the moraine with a fabulous view of the lagoon and the icebergs on one side and, on the other side, the forest, El Chaltén and the Viedma lake at the back. This is the closest view of the Fitz Roy granite wall and its peripheral needles. Going down the moraine you may follow the path which surrounds it where you may appreciate the beauty of the Sucia lagoon and its icebergs.
You may return to the country house on the same path or descend towards El Chaltén passing through Capri lagoon.
Piedras Blancas Glacier
Leaving the country house on the path that borders Blanco river, after 45 minutes you will find a great view of the Piedras Blancas glacier, one of the lowest of the area. If you wish to approach the iceberg and its lagoon you should continue on the same path until the camping site Poincenot and from there cross the Río Blanco to access the area of the iceberg.
You go on down the same path until you reach the creek Piedras Blancas which descends from West to East and is one hour walk away from the Camping Poincenot. You then retake the path bordering the river on its right margin and cross it almost where it commences and you finally are at the lagoon and closely appreciate the ice fallings.
Del Desierto Lake & Huemul Glacier
Leaving El Pilar by car or bus, travelling north, always bordering the De las Vueltas river. After an hour you arrive at the south point of Del Desierto lake where the walk starts.
The path enters the forest. After travelling for 45 minutes upwards you arrive at the lagoon of Huemul glacier. From there you have a beautiful view of all the Valle del Río de Las Vueltas with the Viedma lake at the back. Huemul glacier is an iceberg which lies in Huemul lagoon, a lagoon of dark blue waters typical of the icebergs area.
Andreas Madsen, who was a countryside worker of Danish origin, arrived in Buenos Aires in 1901. He became a member of the Limits Commission with Chile and cooperated with the Perito Moreno. He built his first cottage, made of wood and furs, alongside Viedma river.
His interest in learning and knowing, his desires to find new horizons, his virtues as an artist, his high moral values and his great passion for nature immortalized in literature a model of a pioneer who left in the Patagonia his seeds of development and prosperity. At present, it is possible to visit the cottage where he lived by crossing De las Vueltas river by cable carriage.