El Chalten is a small relaxed mountain village in Los Glaciares National Park the Patagonian region of southern Argentina. El Chalten nicknamed “The Trekking Capital of Argentina” and it is also a gateway to see the famous Mount Fitz Roy. Depending on how much trekking you want to do, you shouldn’t spend less than 3 days here.
How to get to El Chalten
There are daily flights from Buenos Aires to El Calafate (3 hour flight), which is the nearest airport.
El Calafeta is a transportation hub so from there, you can take a bus to El Chalten, which takes about 3-4 hours (215 km.).
What to do in El Chalten
- Hiking! You can either do multi day hikes or several day hikes (3 days 2 nights) to see Cerro Torre & Fit Roys.
- For day hikes, the recommended trails are Laguna De Los Tres (26 km., 8 hours, medium) and Laguna Torre (24 km., 6 hours, easy).
- If you can only choose one though, you cannot miss Laguna De Los Tres trek. It’s absolutely stunning with an amazing viewpoint of Mt. Fitz Roy and its surrounding granite peaks in a close distance. I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest hike, but it’s definitely worth the effort!
- There is no need to get a tour guide as the trails are well marked so it’s easy to follow the trails and go on your own pace.
- However, if one needs a guide, there are several tour companies that arrange this for both private and small groups.
El Chalten Price
There are currently 3 bus companies that operate on this route with several departure times daily.
You can either buy the tickets in advance on their websites or buy at the bus station. The ticket costs about $25 one way.
Where to stay
Book a room in the village of El Chalten and use it as your base camp to your daily hikes into the mountains nearby. There are a number of hotels and hostels located in the town. Most of them are just minutes away from the trailheads.
When is the best time to go
The best time to trek is from October to April. Most of the hotels/hostels and restaurants are closed off season.
Why should El Chalten be on my bucket list?
This should be on everyone’s bucket list because the scenery was just breathtaking the whole time since we started at the trailhead, and it kept changing every hour or so, but the real payoff was when we went up to the top.
The turquoise color of the water, the granite peaks in the background and the cloudless blue sky just took my breath away. We were lucky to be there on a sunny day. We did not want to leave. It was very special.
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