El Chaltén Travel
Perfectly placed to make the most of the Los Glaciares National Park, El Chaltén is an adventure-lovers dream.
Sitting firmly in the shadow of nearby Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy, El Chaltén is very much the gateway to these two hiking hotspots and the wider region. All manner of walking trails and trekking routes surround this largely purpose-built town, with a decent selection of hotels, restaurants and quaint bars offering a well-earned meal and evening of leisure, following daytimes spent exploring some of the highlights of northern Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.
Known for its abundance of sweeping panoramic viewpoints, varied hikes and high-altitude lagoons, El Chaltén throws up some of the best outdoor activities in Patagonia. Day walks to Laguna Torre, Laguna Capri and Laguna Los Tres provide a range of difficulty levels and scenic lookouts, with the latter offering unrivalled views of the spectacular and ever-popular Mount Ritz Roy. The beauty of El Chaltén lies in its simple dedication to outdoor exploration, hiking and biking, with the town as good as closing down completely during the winter months and attracting thousands of walkers during the summer.
Whether an expert climber and casual hiker, and everything in between, the trails and treks around El Chaltén will have something for you, guided or otherwise. A variety of terrain, from the verdant grasslands of the Fitz Roy valley to a baron, rocky expanses in the Hielos Sur ice fields, precipices and steep mountain inclines abound for what is an area enjoyed by those of all ages, levels of physical fitness and bravery! Back in town, a well-run selection of sporting outlets, good-time bars and international eateries accompany the mostly modest and functional accommodation options, meaning less time is spent dwindling in the hotel and more enjoying the endless adventures of the surrounding hills.
Hike to Laguna de Los Tres
For those fit enough to make the climb, a 3 to 4 hour walk in each direction, crossing forested trails, open plains and more than one steep incline, the hike to Laguna de Los Tres is an absolute must. The various viewpoints throughout the trek are memorable enough, many providing increasingly clear and elevated panoramas across the valley as you go, though the real highlight is, of course, the impossibly blue water of the lagoon, beneath a backdrop of Mount Fitz Roy towering above.
The Ice fields of Hielos Sur
Certainly more suited to experienced hikers and real enthusiasts, the southern Patagonian icecap of Hielos Sur, between Chile and Argentina, serves up an enviable range of picture-perfect moments and real hiking adventure.
Chalet drinks and evening fare
A true highlight of the outdoor life to be found in and around El Chaltén is, believe it or not, the moment when each day of activity comes to an end, rewarding yourself with a well-earned cold drink and hot meal! Having spent the day conquering dizzy heights or rambling treks, El Chaltén’s range of cosy restaurants and fun bars are the perfect place to relax and unwind, resting weary legs after a day exploring this famous landscape.