Located 220 km northwest of El Calafate, El Chaltén is considered to be the trekking capital of Argentina. This charming village is surrounded by lakes, lagoons, mountains and glaciers allowing for a wide spectrum of outdoor activities. Unguided hikes are common as the trails are free, well marked and easily accessible. There finally is cell phone reception, with Movistar & Personal, and there is one ATM in town.
The two most predominant peaks are Fitz Roy (3,405 m) and Cerro* Torre (3,128 m). They represent a challenge for both recreational trekkers and for expert mountain climbers. An excellent glacier trek is also available on Cerro Torre.
For those needing a break from the challenging hikes, another great way to experience the surrounding beauty is by horseback. Otherwise, you can take a boat excursion to the shores of Viedma glacier, where a short hiking path allows you to get up-close and personal with the glacier.
About 40 km north of El Chaltén you will encounter Laguna* del Desierto, a tranquil lake surrounded by forests, various trekking trails and a hanging glacier. Culture wise you should do the daily 3 o’clock tour to El Chaltén’s pioneer Estancia Cerro Fitz Roy.
Chile crossing: ask about the 130 km trip to Villa O’Higgins at the end of the Carretera Austral in Chile via boat and bus, bicycle, horseback or on foot.
More handy info about El Chaltén via the app: elchalten.patagoniaapps.com.ar.