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Patagonia - Part 3

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Patagonia - Part 3

We depart from Comandante Armando Tola International Airport (SAWC) in the city of El Calafate.  El Calafate began in the first decades of the twentieth century. Originally, it was simply a sheltering place for wool traders and has developed into an important tourist destination as the hub to visit different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park, including Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chaltén, and Cerro Torre.   The most recent World Altitude Gliding record of 74,333 ft was set near El Calafate on September 2, 2018 by Jim Payne and Tim Gardner in the new Perlan 2 glider (with pressurized cabin).

Lago Argentino is the largest freshwater lake in Argentina, with a surface area of 546 sq miles.  The lake lies within the Los Glaciares National Park in a landscape with numerous glaciers and is fed by the glacial meltwater of several rivers, the water from Lake Viedma brought by the La Leona River, and many mountain streams. Its drainage basin amounts to more than 6,564 sq miles. Waters from Lake Argentino flow into the Atlantic Ocean through the Santa Cruz River.

Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Argentine Patagonia.  The glacier is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile which has a small part of the origins of the glacier. This ice field is the world's third largest reserve of fresh water.

PERITO MORENO Patagonia - By drone in 4K (youtube.com)

The route follows the glacial valleys and lakes southward then jogs east for our first landing at Cerro Guido (SCGD).  This is the jump off point for our flyby of the Torre de Paine.

The Torres del Paine are the distinctive three granite peaks of the Paine mountain range or Paine Massif. From left to right they are known as Torre d'Agostini, Torre Central and Torre Monzino. They extend up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level and are joined by the Cuernos del Paine. The area also boasts valleys, rivers such as the Paine, lakes, and glaciers.   The national park has over 252,000 visitors per year. It is a popular hiking destination in Chile.

Aerial Views of Torres Del Paine (youtube.com)

After the flyby of Torre de Paine we proceed to Puerto Natales (SCNT) and regroup before heading eastward and away from the Andes to Bella Vista (SA73).  The route continues to the east where we overfly the Pali-Aike National Park.

The Pali-Aike volcanic field is a volcanic field along the Argentina–Chile border. It is part of a family of back-arc volcanoes in Patagonia, which formed from processes involving the collision of the Chile Ridge with the Peru–Chile Trench. It lies farther east than the Austral Volcanic Zone, the volcanic arc that makes up the Andean Volcanic Belt at this latitude. There are approximately 467 vents in an area of 1,700 square miles.

We arrive near the entrance to the Strait of Magellan at Rio Gallegos Airport (SAKY).  One more landing at Cullen (SAUV) before we reach our destination Rio Grande (SAWE)


The route is 412nm and an aircraft capable of 200knts cruise is needed.  I plan to fly the SWS PC-12 which should make landings more entertaining.   Our itinerary includes sightseeing diversions and 7 airports/landing strips.  I have included the scattered clouds weather theme which we may use if needed in the flightplan zip.

Flight Plan HERE

Highly Recommended Freeware Scenery

Ranging from medium airports to small dirty strips.  This package contains 98 sceneries, 68 small to medium hand made airfields, and 27 excluded airfields. Plus the former ranch of Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid, and 2 vegetation fix.

Optional Payware  (I have these because I regularly fly in this region and I got them on sale in the marketplace.  They are not necessary for this trip but an option if you like)

Recommend Departure time of 1:00PM local


  •           Date and time: Saturday March 9, 19:00 UTC
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