Cerro Castillo 4 Day Trekking

In early February 2018 we hitchhiked from Villa Cerro Castillo to the trailhead of the Cerro Castillo trek in Las Horquetas. A signpost at national reserve park entrance reminded us of the 5000 pesos per person entrance fee. In the small house right after the fence, a ranger was waiting for us.

Cerro Castillo National Reserve Entrance Fee Ranger Station
Trailhead Ranger Station

Day 1 – Trailhead to Camping Rio Turbio

After filling and signing the form “statement of responsibility trails of Cerro Castillo national reserve” we were advised by the ranger about the up to date details of the trek. The first day was quite long, 16.07 km but very easy. We walked on well-marked dirt roads, bypassing cows, crossing ankle deep streams and walking mostly through woods until camping Rio Turbio. Meanwhile, it started to rain and got much colder.

Cerro Castillo Trek Cow
Cerro Castillo River
Along the river
Cerro Castillo River Crossing
Ankle deep and cold river crossings
Cerro Castillo Trekking through Rio Turbio Valley
Entering Rio Turbio Valley
Cerro Castillo Trekking Rio Turbio Valley
Rio Turbio Valley
Cerro Castillo Trekking Camping Rio Turbio
Camping in the woods
Cerro Castillo Trekking Rio Turbio Night Sky
Night Sky over Rio Turbio

Day 2 – Camping Rio Turbio to Camping La Tetera

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During the first 4,5km of the total 12,3km on the second-day trekking, we ascended towards the El Penon pass, walked through woods and bypassed smaller waterfalls.

Cerro Castillo Trekking Rio Turbio Valley Mountains
Rio Turbio Valley Mountains, Photo: J.Ruszkiewicz
Cerro Castillo Trekking Wooden Bridge
Small wooden helpers along the way
Cerro Castillo Trekking Waterfall
Wannabe waterfall

El Penon Pass

El Penon pass turned out to be the highlight of the day. To our surprise we found ourselves walking on snow for half an hour while passing the highest point (1676m). Another treat was the stunning panoramic view down the valley from both sides of the pass.

Cerro Castillo Trekking El Penon Pass
Valley view from El Penon Pass, Photo: J. Ruszkiewicz
Cerro Castillo Trekking El Penon Pass Snow
Passing El Pennon on snow
Cerro Castillo Trekking Selfie
Rulers over Cerro Castillo
Cerro Castillo Trekking El Penon Pass
The other side of El Penon pass

After a 4 km descend from El Penon we got to the lowest point. From there it was another 3,3 km hike up to Camping La Tetera. Nearer was Camping El Bosque but we liked to get further up in order to reach Laguna Cerro Castillo earlier on the next day.

Cerro Castillo Trekking to Camping La Tetera
On the way up to Camping La Tetera
Cerro Castillo Trekking Waterfall
Cerro Castillo Waterfall
Cerro Castillo Trekking Stars Night Sky Longexposure
Night Sky over Cerro Castillo, 300s long exposure

Day 3 – Camping La Tetera to Campamento Neozelandes

Overnight the temperature fell below zero. We had put on all of our clothes in order to stay warm and get the sleep we needed. On the next morning, our tent was still frozen from the outside. In order to pack it, I had to scratch the ice off first.

Cerro Castillo Trekking Ice on Tent
Our frozen tent “Cerro Ice Castillo”

Our trusty Trangia alcohol cooker showed some new skills on that cold morning. While boiling water it simultaneously warmed/toasted our breakfast bread from below, genial!

Cerro Castillo Trekking Trangia toasting bread
Boling water and toasting bread with Trangia, Photo: J. Ruszkiewicz

Laguna & Cerro Castillo

Day three started with a short ascend towards Laguna Castillo. A magnificent place where we spend at least one hour to make photographs and take in the tranquil scenery.

Cerro Castillo Trekking Tent Laguna Castillo
Wind exposed camping spot above Laguna Castillo (not recommended)
Cerro Castillo Trekking Laguna Castillo
Turquoise Laguna Castillo
Laguna Castillo and Cerro Castillo
Laguna and Cerro Castillo

Just a bit higher up the hill, a wide panoramic view presented us the whole valley below Cerro Castillo. We could see deep down until Puerto Ibanez and the General Carrera Lake.

Cerro Castillo Trekking Valley View General Carrer Lake
Valley views down to the General Carrer Lake
Cerro Castillo Trekking Distant Mountain Range Panorama
Feeling small in the world, Photo: J. Ruszkiewicz

Descend to Campamento Porteadores

A long and steep descend on rocks followed the stunning views. We had watch carefully not to miss the trail in between the big same colored rock field. Eventually, we got down to the tree line where we continued descending more smoothly to Campamento Porteadores.

Cerro Castillo Trekking Descent
Get down, on the rocks
Cerro Castillo Trekking Happy Views
Happy Trekking
Cerro Castillo Trekking Descent to Campamento Porteadores
Descending to Campamento Porteadores
Cerro Castillo Trekking Nap
Need a nap, Photo: J. Ruszkiewicz

From Campamento Porteadores it was a short hike up to our day goal, Campamento Neozelandes. We pitched the tent, walked up to the nearby river for water and lastly went sleeping under the trees.

Cerro Castillo Trekking Trail Campamento Neozelandes
The trail to Campamento Neozelandes
Cerro Castillo Trekking Trail Campamento Neozelandes
Nice river nearby, Photo: J. Ruszkiewicz
Cerro Castillo Trekking Campamento Neozelandes Night
Camping under trees and stars

Day 4 – Campamento Neozelandes to Villa Cerro Castillo

We slept longer than usual because the last day was going to be much smoother compared to the days before. After morning breakfast and coffee we walked all the way back to Campamento Porteadores. From there the trail continued descending right into a private, barb wired cow/horse ranch area. From there it was a straight even 6 km long walk to Villa Cerro Castillo.

Cerro Castillo Trekking Morning Coffee
Jo is into Mountain Morning Coffee
Cerro Castillo Trekking Highpoint
A long way down/up
Cerro Castillo Trekking Road back to Villa Cerro Castillo
Looking back from below
Cerro Castillo Trekking Bienvenido Sign
Just great and highly recommended!