A magnet for hikers and lovers of mountains, the village of El Chalten is flanked by the snowcapped peaks of the mighty Fitz Roy mountain range.
Mountaineers come from around the world to climb the 3440m (1,1283-feet) Fitz Roy peak, while hikers follow mountain trails to backcountry campsites and hilltop lakes.
El Chalten is not only a climbing and hiking hub, it’s also Argentina’s newest town, founded on October 12, 1985. The isolated little town takes great pride in its pristine surroundings and natural environment.
The hiking season is December to March. Rug up, as even in summer the peaks can be covered in cloud and it can feel like a cold and wet winter’s day. Due to the increasingly wintery weather, the town shuts down from April to October.
Depending on your level of hiking experience, you can hike to the Fitz Roy lookout in under two hours, or to the blue waters of Lake Capri. Other moderate hikes include Chorrillo del Salto and Piedra del Fraile.
Longer hikes up to four hours each way wind to the Rio Blanco waterway, Laguna de los Tres and the Maestri lookout. Guided walks for advanced climbers take to the glacier for ice climbing.
El Chalten is in Santa Cruz Province, beside the Vueltas River in Los Glaciares National Park. El Calafate is 220km (136 miles) away to the south.