El Chaltén is a must-visit location for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts. In the Patagonian Andes, a little mountain community in southern Argentina is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and convenient access to some of the best trekking routes in the world. A stunning backdrop for any outdoor activity is provided by the Fitz Roy mountain, which towering over the community.
Attractions in El Chaltén
Fitz Roy Mountain is a must-see for tourists and one of El Chaltén’s key attractions. Hikers love to make the journey to the mountain’s base because it provides breathtaking panoramas of the surroundings. The Laguna de los Tres, a glacial lake with a sweeping view of Fitz Roy, is another well-liked destination. Likewise, Cerro Torre rises as one of the other main highlights of the area.
How to get to El Chaltén
It is pretty simple to get to El Chaltén; the nearest international airport is El Calafate, which is only two-three hours away by bus or vehicle. Regular bus services that can be scheduled in advance run from El Calafate to El Chaltén. El Chaltén can easily be reached by car thanks to efficient road connections from El Calafate and other close cities.
– Airplane: You can fly to El Calafate International Airport and then drive the final 200 kilometers to El Chaltén.
– Self-drive: The access route to El Chaltén is one of the newest in the nation and is in good condition. The route was paved in 2003, and it is fully signed, double-handed, and free of potholes. National Route 40, Provincial Route 11, and Provincial Route 23 are the routes. Everything is paved. If you like self drive tours, we invite you to see our Patagonia Road Trip!
– Bus: Everyday shared buses run between El Calafate and El Chalten. Additionally, hotels in El Calafate offer shuttle service to El Chalten. There are two routes you can take to take a bus from El Chaltén to Bariloche. Explore for two days and one night starting at El Chaltén, or take the bus to El Calafate and then another bus to Bariloche (24 hours trip).
Eating and drinking in El Chaltén
El Chaltén provides a wide range of dining and drinking options for guests. The area is home to a number of eateries that provide both domestic and foreign food. “La Chocolatería” is one of the best places for chocolates and cakes, ideal when you finish a full day hike. “Rancho Grande” is great to get some beers and to enjoy their fabulous “milanesas” for dinner. Other restaurants offer lamb, traditional food, and other dishes. Likewise, there are some Cafés, Bakeries, and Ice Cream shops where you can enjoy your afternoons!
Where to stay in El Chaltén
From luxurious resorts to hostels that are affordable, travelers have a variety of lodging choices.The most premium hotel is Explora Patagonia (luxury option), followed by 4* choices such as El Pilar, Destino Sur, Los Cerros, and Chalten Suites.
Then, between 3* and 4*, other suitable alternatives rise as favorite among travelers, for instance Poincenot, Senderos, Puma Lodge, El Paraíso, Pudu Lodge, and El Alamo.
Non-conventional rural hotels (or shelters) are also a nice choice for the outskirts of the town, such as Estancia Bonanza, Refugio Cagliero, and Refugio Laguna Condor. Following the non-conventional style, Patagonia Eco Domes is a good choice for glamping, even though many people rather prefer to rent tents or hire private tours with camping in the heart of the mountains.
Best time to visit El Chaltén
The summer months of November (Spring) through March are the ideal time to visit El Chaltén since the weather is pleasant and bright, and the trails are well-maintained. Winter weather can be chilly and rainy, and the routes may be covered in snow, making trekking more challenging. However, visiting El Chaltén in winter could also be a wonderful experience!
Expeditions and trekking in El Chaltén
With different options of trails leading to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Patagonian Andes, El Chaltén is regarded as a trekking heaven. The Fitz Roy journey, which leads to the mountain’s base, and the Laguna de los Tres trek, which leads to a glacier lake with a panoramic view of Fitz Roy, are two of the most well-liked treks. For those seeking a more difficult experience, alternative treks and trips can be arranged.
We invite you to read our articles:
Also to check some of our best trekking tours:
Check other tours and all about trekking in our Patagonia Hiking Section!
Other excursions & activities:
Other excursions and activities available in El Chaltén include boating on the Lago del Desierto, rafting on the Rio de las Vueltas, and horseback riding through the Bonanza Estancia
Mountain biking is another option for exploring the surrounding nature, and the region also offers fly-fishing and rock-climbing activities.
General information about El Chaltén
Can I get internet connection in El Chaltén? Yes, however the signal is typically sporadic and not very powerful.
Can I find ATMs in El Chaltén? Since there is just one ATM and it occasionally runs out of money, we advise carrying cash with you to prevent this.
How long should I spend in El Chalten? – In order to complete two full days of trekking exploration, we advise staying at least 3 nights in El Chalten. Longer stays are recommended.