Cerro Castillo
Cerro Castillo
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles49 reviews
Excellent
40
Very good
7
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
1

tumbleweedchris
Richland, WA
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
The listing is kind of vague, but I will assume this is for the Laguna Cerro Castillo hike. This hike starts a short distance from the village. To get to the trailhead, they recommend you have four wheel drive. If you don't, it will probably add 2 km on to your hike. The hike is around 9 miles roundtrip and you pay (16,000 I think?) at the trailhead. The trailhead opens around 7 or 7:30am if I recall properly and you must begin your descent by 4:00pm. They provide a rather detailed overview of the hike before you set out. It was emphasized that the hike is extremely windy, but we must've got lucky because the winds were minimal on our hike. You start through some farms with cows that shriek and some that want to chase you. A bit strange. From there it's all uphill. You will hit a ranger station at the 5 km mark and must present your paid permit to continue. The ranger station has restrooms and a place to fill water bottles. After the ranger station, the path is extremely rocky and basically on the mountain face. Once at the top, the views are spectacular and very much worth the effort. It is a tough hike, but is doable. I recommend walking sticks, which you can easily find in the lower third of the hike. I read there could be flies but we encountered none in early February. I highly recommend this as a stop on the Carretera Austral. We took our time and the hike lasted about 8 hours. You could easily do it faster if you wanted.
Written February 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Juan Eduardo U
Santiago, Chile
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
Casa Cerro Castillo, best lodging on the area, superb!
A great experience, superlative service, unparalelled property -We love it!
Written May 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan and Beck
Sydney, Australia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Patagonia is jam packed full of amazing hiking! Particularly, the Cerro Castillo day hike starting from the town of Villa Cerro Castillo is a great trail. The 3 pronged peaks of Cerro Castillo lends itself to comparison with its more well known 3 pronged counterpart. That would be Las Torres, which we were lucky enough to see on the W Trek. But with less people and hype, we hold this day hike in similarly high regard.

There is a decent amount of information online about the multi-day Cerro Castillo circuit. But we are here to shed some light on the lesser known day hike option.

Getting to Villa Cerro Castillo

The day hike is easily walkable from the tiny town of Villa Cerro Castillo in Patagonia.

If you are planning on travelling Patagonia south to north, hopefully you have visited Río Tranquilo for the incredible Marble Caves. From here, simply organise a transfer at the main bus station. In Patagonian summer as of February 2020, buses depart 8am daily heading to Coyhaquie via Villa Cerro Castillo for $10,000CLP ($12USD). Unfortunately, whether departing the bus earlier at Villa Cerro Castillo compared to the final destination of Coyhaique didn’t seem to change the price. But admittedly we should have questioned more before paying! The bus arrives into Villa Cerro Castillo around 10-11am.

If you are not departing from Río Tranquilo, buses frequently head north from Cochrane to Villa Cerro Castillo on route to Coyhaquie. They should be easily booked with a day’s notice in town. Otherwise, if your trip is north to south, a bus should be easily organised from Coyhaquie to Villa Cerro Castillo.

The Cerro Castillo day hike

The Cerro Castillo circuit is often completed as a 4 day hiking trip. However, we had limited time in Patagonia. This day hike involves walking from the town of Villa Cerro Castillo to the laguna and back, measuring around 15km. It takes 5-6 hours. There is a steep elevation of 1.1km over 7.5km to reach the laguna

There is varying consensus online as to where the Cerro Castillo day hike starts, and whether you have to pay or just jump the fence. As of February 2020, you must pay an entrance fee of $5,000CLP ($6USD) to landowners. This is because the beginning of the hike is on private farmland. You must also pay a separate $13,000CLP ($15USD) to the Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo. The prices are extortionate for a day hike and may well put people off. However we assure you that the hike is worth it!

In peak season, there are actually national park staff who will explain the trail to you before you set off. To be honest, having someone explain how to follow a trail was fairly unnecessary. It’s not rocket science! Nevertheless, the day hike itself is a very demanding uphill affair. There are phenomenal views back to Villa Cerro Castillo and the surrounding mountainous landscape on route to a stunning lagoon below the Castillo mountain.
Written May 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jacob J
Copenhagen, Denmark
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
The (two different!) park entry fees you have to pay makes this an expensive day hike. But you’re rewarded with amazing panoramas on the way plus the most amazing azure blue lake at the top. Even if it’s a bit cloudy and you don’t get a clear view of the mountain top it’s still worth it all! The first and the last part are the hardest! Walking at a decent pace, it took us about 2 1/2 hours to get up and 1 1/2 hours to get down.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Coldings
Copenhagen, Denmark
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
That this is ideal hiking crountry becomes evident even before you take a first step into the backlands. From the Carretera Austral you are offered several miradors which show the Cerro Castillo from different angles. Dramatic peaks, cold glaciers, white rivers and turquoise lakes characterize the CA stretch around Cerro Castillo. Somewhat steep registration fees fo the park but then the rangers also keep track of you and can initiate rescue missions if you deviate too much from your schedule.
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tony M
Melbourne, Australia
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
The trek up to the viwe point is a bit of a slog but well worth the view, not only of the mountain, lake and glacier but also the valley beyond Villa Cerro Sastillo.
I feel the vista around El Chalten is more stunning so not rated at 5 star.
The same can't be said for our accomodation, a tent site at Senderos Patagonia.
Located immediately on the left as you descend into town (if aproaching Villa Cerro Castillo from the south), this place is a real dump and should be avoided. Better to camp further up the road at Laguna Chiguay if the extra distance is not an issue.
Written May 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nan90
Melbourne, Australia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
This walk is about 7-7.5 km uphill all the way. Stay well hydrated and bring snacks. We and many other people had their lunch overlooking the glacial lake which is beautiful. Well worth the walk, but do make sure you are fit enough. Great views of the surrounding area as well
Written March 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

3waytieforlast
Portland, OR
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
short, grueling (when 90 degrees Fahrenheit!) hike, captivating views: Cerro Castillo, glaciers, waterfalls into turquoise lake....
Written February 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pawsnboots
Menlo Park, CA
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Solo
I hiked here the first week of January, and there was no attendant at the gate. I would recommend downloading an offline map, because the entrance is a little confusing. You'll have to hop over a fence. The day hike to the base of the laguna took me 4 hrs roundtrip without stopping, except for 30 min at the base of the laguna. It was extremely windy and cold at the base, but the rest of the hike was super sunny and warm. Dress in layers as the rainy clouds form literally out of nowhere! The giant black horse flies would not stop following me. They also bite you, and it was a little painful at times. I had to run to get away from them, but a new pack would always find me. If you need a map or advice, there's a ranger in town that will give you tips and show you the best routes for a day hike or overnight hikes. I recommend going early (8am) for the day hike to avoid the crowds.
Written January 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bezi
London, UK
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
Allow plenty of time, sunblock and water for this hike. We did the whole thing in around 7 hours including a picnic and a few breaks (it is steep!). It was a hot day with no clouds and there is no shade for a lot of the way. It is pretty much solid uphill from the start and it gets steeper towards the end. We had to go through snow patches and boggy bits so I would definitely take poles if you have them.
There was no horse option when we did it and oddly enough the guy who charges 10k pesos was shut. We heard a rumour that CONAF have taken an issue with him. Probably not surprising as you bypass their check point and at the peak of the season about 200 people a day will do the walk.
There is water from springs on the route, the best one being just after where the horse trail would end if they were working.
Take a packed lunch to eat at the top. The lake was still frozen when we went there but it is still a great view. It's a tough 16km round trip and quite a few people don't make the top either because of the steepness of the hike or because on a hot day it is tiring.
Written December 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cerro Castillo - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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