The complete El Chalten hiking guide
The complete El Chalten hiking guide

The complete El Chalten hiking guide

El Chalten is seen because the trekking capital of Argentian Patagonia. In our trekking information we talk about totally different someday and multi day routes round El Chalten in addition to overview lodging and campsites, talk about our price range and transport to El Chalten.

Do to a multi day hike in El Chalten your choices are to both mix a number of trails and keep within the free campsites to make up a hike to your necessities, we did this and provides particulars on this publish or to do the Piedra del Fraile or Huemul circuit.

The standing of the city as a serious trekking vacation spot is because of the broad number of trekking routes accessible to all health and expertise ranges.There are spectacular views of the 2 most outstanding peaks, Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre whereas tenting and climbing within the park. We actually loved the vibe within the city, everyone is right here to hike. Many individuals do someday routes routes returning to city each night time.

El Chalten Day Hikes

There are a number of trails resulting in the principle viewpoints, every taking between two and ten hours to hike from the city. The paths are properly marked and free maps can be found everywhere in the city. The most well-liked one-day hikes are named after the point of view the place the respective trails finish.

  • Los Condores – period 2 hours
  • Chorrillo del Salto – period Three hours
  • Laguna Capri – period Four hours
  • Cerro Torre – period 6 hours
  • Laguna de Los Tres – period Eight hours
Approaching El Chalten and Mt.Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina
Approaching El Chalten and Mt.Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina

Los Condores, 2 hours

Distance: Three km spherical journey
Problem: Straightforward
Trailhead: Parque de los Glaciares ranger station

This path is a straightforward 45 minutes to an hour stroll from city, straight previous the ranger station for some lovely views of the encircling mountains. It is a good spot to stroll for dawn to see the reflection on the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.  You may stroll to Mirador Los Cóndores, or proceed about 1.5km (15 to 20 min) to Mirador Las Águilas for views of Lago Viedma and Tunnel Bay .

Chorrillo del Salto, Three hours

Distance: 7 km spherical journey
Problem: Straightforward
Trailhead: North facet of city, Av. San Martín

It is a brief, simple hike main right into a hillside of Ñire and Lenga forest to a wonderful waterfall of greater than 20 metres drop. Beginning the hike in El Chalten on the north facet of city, the trailhead to Laguna de Los Tres taking the trail to the correct the whole return hike is 7 km. Driving to the Chorrillo del Salto trailhead the hike is simply about Three km return.

Laguna Capri, Four hours

Distance: Eight km spherical journey
Problem: Reasonable
Trailhead: North facet of city, Av. San Martín

The stroll begins with an incline for the primary 40 minutes or so till you enter the valley of Del Salto river, in direction of Mount Fitz Roy. From the valley you’ve got good views of the Fitz Roy Massif. After strolling for about 90 minutes the highway splits to Laguna Capri (left) or to the Fitz Roy (proper). While you attain Laguna Capri you should have a singular view of Fitz Roy and its surrounding peaks.

Laguna Capri
Laguna Capri

Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre, 6 hours

Distance: 20 km spherical journey
Problem: Reasonable
Trailhead: marked trailhead on Calle Riquelme

It is a lovely lengthy hike to Laguna Torre on the base of Cerro Torre, a shocking mountain (3128m) situated on the border between Chile and Argentina.

It’s a pretty flat and straightforward hike, it’s properly marked even with distance markers. Hardest half is the two km ascent at first and the ultimate ascent to Mirador Maestri, with very uneven terrain. Bear in mind a snack and water.

Laguna Torre on the base of Cerro Torre

The path kicks of with nice views of Cerro Torre after about 30 minutes stroll, the primary kilometer or two is uphill from the place it turns into extra flat and simpler. The hike follows the attractive Río Fitz Roy providing unbelievable views of the river and Torre Massif. While you attain the shores of Laguna Torre with icebergs floating within the glacial lake count on spectacular close-up views of the Torre Massif, not a blue glacial lake the water is muddy, however very good views.

Value it to go all the best way to Mirador Maestri, nice views of the spectacular glacier, watch out some slippery rocks on this final half.

Laguna de Los Tres (Fitz Roy Trek), Eight hours

Distance: 21 km spherical journey (26 km with Piedras Blancas Glacier)
Problem: Reasonable to Troublesome
Trailhead: Parking zone at north finish of Avenida San Martín

That is the longest day hike, the path is identical as for Laguna Capri as much as the break up, beginning with an incline for the primary 40 minutes or so till you enter the valley of Del Salto river. After strolling for about 90 minutes the highway splits to Laguna Capri (left) or to the Fitz Roy (proper). From right here it’s pretty flat untill you attain the mountains for the final hour or so it’s a steep climb gaining 400m in altitude in roughly a kilometer. Watch out on this half, it’s steep with skree and free rocks. You’ve got lengthy days in summer season, so go for it simply take it gradual.

Stingy Nomads at Lago de Los Tres wtih Mt.Fitz Roy on the background
Stingy Nomads at Lago de Los Tres with Mt.Fitz Roy on the background

Laguna de Los Tres might be the very best someday hike you are able to do from El Chalten and is an iconic hike in Patagonia. This hike is also called Fitz Roy Trek due to the traditional viewpoint of Mount Fitz Roy towering above the glacial lakes that conclude the hike.

Go right down to the lake’s shore and proceed to the left, you’ll attain one other viewpoint from the place it was doable to see each Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Sucia one other blue glacial lake.

When you have time the facet journey to the point of view of Piedras Blancas Glacier is value it with nice views of the glacier and a flat stroll there taking about 45 minutes.

Glacier Piedras Blancas, El Chalten
Glacier Piedras Blancas, El Chalten

Glacier Viedma trek, guided tour

Ice trekking on Glaciar Viedma is an superior guided choice, an unreal expertise, however it’s expensive.  The tour firms will take you out Transport to the glacier is by boat, present kitted with crampons and the mandatory glacier trekking gear you go for a guided hike on the ice. Multi-day treks the place you camp on the ice are additionally out there.

El Chalten Trekking

The park is really for everyone with very properly marked trails, pretty flat for many of the routes and there are lots of different hikers on all routes in season.  I don’t suppose a information is important truly El Chalten is a good place to do your first unbiased hike. This isn’t an off the overwhelmed observe place for wild adventurous climbing, however the views are spectacular and we actually loved it, it’s a tremendous place.

For multi day trekking in El Chalten your choices are to both mix a number of trails to make up a hike to your necessities or to do the Piedra del Fraile or Huemul circuit which is named the hardest hike within the area. There are 4 free campsites within the park the place you’ll be able to camp to do a multi-day hike, you’ll be able to see our two day climbing route beneath.

Map of Los Galaciares National park. Our route, first day; El Chalten - Laguna Capri, - camping Rio Blanco. Second day; Rio Blanco - Lago de Los tres - glacier Piedras blancas - Laguna Madre e Hija - Laguna Torres - El Chalten.
Map of Los Galaciares Nationwide park. Our route, first day; El Chalten – Laguna Capri, – tenting Rio Blanco. Second day; Rio Blanco – Lago de Los tres – glacier Piedras blancas – Laguna Madre e Hija – Laguna Torres – El Chalten.

Our climbing route in El Chalten

We mixed climbing routes to a number of the parks hottest websites similar to Laguna de Los Tres , Mirador glacier Piedras blancas and Lago Tore, tenting for one night time at tenting Poincenot. This breaks up the hike and means that you can have a chilll sundown from the campsite at Cerro Fitz Roy and for those who begin early you’ll be able to expertise the well-known glowing orange dawn from Fitz Roy mountain. Give your self time, rise up early sufficient. Carry heat garments for the highest if you find yourself ready for dawn you’ll get very chilly very quick. The entire distance for the 2 days is about 38 km.

We began within the afternoon and hiked the next route :

Day One El Chalten to Campamento Poincenot  11km

Situated outdoors of city, path begins right here, it’s important to register in case you are planning to camp or stroll additional than the viewpoints, registration is freed from cost.

It is a good viewpoint of the Fitz Roy Vary, the stroll right here begins with a little bit of uphill and a few steps however then turns into flat. It was overcast and wet on our first day because of this we noticed virtually nothing on the primary day. The laguna is 4km about 1 hour and 15 minutes’ stroll from the guests centre.

The campsite is situated simply over an hour’s stroll additional. On the best way we might see the glacier Piedras Blancas, virtually at first to the path to Laguna Los Tres. The campsite had a dry bathroom, water was out there at an in depth by river. The campsite was fairly full with some teams being loud till late.

Mt.Fitz Roy, Los Glaciares Nationl park

Day Two Campamento Poinceno – Laguna De Los Tres – Laguna Torre – El Chalten 27km

The lake is spectacular by any requirements, the path begins near the campsite, Campamento Poincenot. Not like the day before today that day we have been very fortunate to have an ideal sunny climate with no wind.

It’s only a 2 or 3km stroll from the campsite, however is a steep climb many of the means. There are two lakes (Laguna De Los Tres and Laguna Sucia) and a glacier you can see on the highest. If there is no such thing as a wind the reflection of the mountain within the lake is superb. Stand up about 2 hours earlier than solar up if you wish to see the dawn from the highest.

Laguna Sucia
Laguna Sucia, the lake subsequent to Laguna de Los Tres

We broke down our tent earlier than summiting and walked up with our full packs and our tent, for those who rise up for the dawn come again and break down your tent after descending, this will even make the climb a bit simpler

  • Mirrador Glacier Piedras Blancas 

This viewpoint is about 2km from the Campamento Ponenot campsite. We had a very nice view of the glacier. We walked right here after coming down from Laguna De Los Tres and had breakfast.

This was a protracted stroll from Mirrador Glacier Piedras Blancas on the finish of the day. It was overcast once more and we didn’t have nice views, however the views of the Torre vary is meant to be good from right here. The view of the lake and it’s glacier was good.

Good views of the Cerro Torre Vary, was our final cease on the best way again.

Extra Mountaineering and Tenting choices.

Our second day on the above route was 28 km, it’s a lengthy day together with a steep ascent to see dawn from Laguna De Los Tres.

Three Day Hike – This route will be was a Three Day Hike by going from Laguna De Los Tres to Laguna Torre on the second day and tenting at Tenting de Agostini one other free campsite at Laguna Torre, leaving 12 km to hike to El Chalten on day 3. We did take into account this, however as a result of we began early on day 2 and have been strolling at an excellent tempo we determined to proceed and end in 2 days.

Some hikers camp at Campamento Poincenot and take the identical route again from Laguna De Los Tres to El Chalten breaking the 24km hike in two and permitting you to see sundown and dawn at Fitz Roy.

Journey insurance coverage for climbing in Patagonia

Mountaineering like all outside exercise includes a dangerous half with the potential of getting an harm (even on a day hike) it’s all the time advisable to have journey insurance coverage that may cowl you in case one thing goes unsuitable. We’ve accomplished many hikes everywhere in the world and by no means had any accidents (besides one time after I misplaced my backpack hitchhiking in Patagonia) nevertheless it’s all the time nice to know that if one thing occurs you’re lined. 

Out of many insurance coverage firms, we advocate World Nomads, they work everywhere in the world and focus on outside actions like climbing.

Take a look at World Nomads Mountaineering Coverage.

Already touring? no downside, you should purchase insurance coverage coverage on-line whereas touring (it takes a few minutes), their coverage may be very versatile it may possibly cowl the entire interval of your journey or solely the climbing a part of it, even when it’s one or two days. Get a quote proper now!

Be aware! At all times be sure to rigorously learn the Phrases and Situations half.

Hike The Humuel Circuit

This 5 day hike round The Huemul Mountain is named one of many hardest and most lovely hikes in Patagonia. This Circuit includes semi technical terrains, such us snow, glaciers and moraines. Its specific elements contain several types of terrains, climbs, flora, and fauna permitting us, in just a few days, to get to know a distant locations, together with a tremendous view of the Southern Ice Discipline. We’ve got not accomplished this hike, however perceive you want some technical expertise and equipment to finish this hike.
With a 60km size, this circuit has from 800 to 1600 mts elevations. Coming into from Rio Túnel Valley as much as Paso del Viento, by The Viedma Glacier up and out by way of Paso Huemul.

You may guide a Four day guided hike of the Humuel circuit right here.

El Chalten Excursions

Don’t really feel like climbing alone? Discover this lovely area with G-Adventures’ El Chalten consultants – Trek by way of the crisp air of El Chalten (with its loopy lovely Cerro Torre mountain) after which to the world close to the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier. In between, marvel on the large sky, huge views, and massive metropolis enchantment of Buenos Aires when you experience a way of private triumph.

G-Adventures Patagonia in depth – hike El Chalten and Torres del Paine, discover Perito Moreno

Listed below are some extra Organised Hike choices. Accompanied by a mountain information for a 16 km trek, you’ll go to the very best views of the Piedras Blancas Glacier and the imposing Fitz Roy Mountain.

Lodging in El Chalten

Hundreds of cyclists and hikers come by way of El Chalten each season and there’s a big number of lodging to cater for each price range from tenting to luxurious lodges. We loved tenting, however it’s good to return to a heat lodge, have your individual toilet and a cushty mattress after a protracted day climbing within the chilly Patagonian climate!

Tremendous consolation – Los Cerros Boutique Resort & Spa, lovely boutique resort with gorgeous views 5 minutes from the path. Our buddies cherished it, educated, useful, pleasant workers, tremendous comfy beds and a jacuzzi kind bathtub with a view. A tremendous breakfast is included.

Destino Sur Resort & Spa de Montaña – 5 Star luxurious, wonderful scores

Mid Price range – Hosteria El Paraiso Alpine-style cabin with panoramic views of Fitz Roy hills, location nice near the bus cease and the beginning of the paths. Good worth for cash.

Backpacker Price range – La Guanaca Good mountain home with hill views,  heated rooms, restaurant, breakfast included. Widespread kitchen services are featured. Good breakfast, large comfy beds.

What to pack for climbing

You’ll discover full packing checklist for climbing and tenting in Patagonia on this publish ↓↓↓↓

Tenting in El Chalten

El Relincho Tenting

A$ 120 ($8) per individual, this was the primary campsite we stayed. Incredible sizzling showers. Very good indoor frequent space for socializing. It has an excellent kitchen (utensils are restricted) in addition to an space to do laundry by hand. Grocery store throughout the highway. In the principle highway. It’s the preferred consequently most costly campsite. By the best way a shared meals part right here was superb (space the place you permit meals you don’t want) many camper vans and vacationers left issues like olive oil, good espresso and so on.

La Torcida Tenting

A$80 ($5.50) per individual, Sizzling showers. Very good indoor frequent space for socializing. Good kitchen. Small, cosy, great spot to satisfy different vacationers. Situated near the beginning of the path.

El Refugio Tenting

A$70 ($4.80) per individual. Situated subsequent to El Rencho. Kitchen. Showers. We by no means stayed right here

Casa de Cyclistas

Donation, legendary amongst cyclists in Patagonia. A woman opened her home to any cyclists to remain free of charge. I spoke to a few individuals, they mentioned it has was extra of a hostel, a enterprise, you should purchase cooked meals A$30 ($2, $32). Just one toilet. An inexpensive ‘donation’ is anticipated for staying right here.

El Relincho Tenting,  A$150 ($10) for a dormitory mattress

El Chalten, cozy but quite expensive little town in Argentinian Patagonia.
El Chalten, cozy however fairly costly little city in Argentinian Patagonia.

Eating places and consuming in El Chalten

Self catering

There are a few supermarkets promoting the fundamentals in El Chalten, we did procuring within the supermarkets and cooked within the campsite kitchen. Get contemporary bread at Panaderia Que-rika

Eating places

El Parador Quick Meals

Superior small, cozy little restaurant, additionally good for take aways. Good handmade and contemporary meals. Good burgers, good soup.

B&B Burger Joint

Burgers, fries and beer – good parts at cheap costs. Scrumptious after a protracted chilly day of climbing. Can get very full, however service was good. Present sport on TV.

Hosteria Senderos

Not low-cost, good restaurant lamb, trout superb steak Bife de Chorizo (you’re in Argentina!)

Che Empanada

Good empanadas, attention-grabbing fillings, superior snack with a beer after a hike or pack a pair as snacks for climbing tomorrow.


Superb waffles, candy or savoury, bit costly however scrumptious.

Transport El Chalten to El Calafate

The closest airport to El Chalten is El Calafate about 220km away, the highway is paved in wonderful situation and the journey takes Three hours by bus, the day by day bus service between El Calafate and El Chaltén works all yr spherical, twice per day morning and night (Three instances in season). The bus journey is loopy costly Chalten Journey or Caltur. You may guide a bus switch from El Chalten to El Calafate right here.

As a result of costly bus tickets many backpackers had their first hitchhiking expertise right here, for those who determine to hitchhike, simply get on the highway early, we had a protracted day of very aggressive hitchhiking right here. We hitchhiked in all places in Chile and Argentina for months, examine our publish Hitchhiking Carretera Austral for extra particulars. 

Getting from Villa O Higgins to El Chalten

To get from Villa O Higgins in Chile to El Chalten in Argentina was an attention-grabbing journey on foot and ferry, we walked greater than 40 kilometers with all our baggage, 2 backpacks and a digicam bag every, it was a tricky hike that may be accomplished in about 2 days. We walked to the attractive glacier El Chico on the best way that was a very nice detour.

Lagunas Madre e Hija, Los Glaciares National park, El Chalten
Lagunas Madre e Hija, Los Glaciares Nationwide park, El Chalten

Packing Ideas for El Chalten

  • Good climbing sneakers similar to KEEN Targhee II Waterproof or extra price range choice – Columbia Granite Ridge makes it extra comfy on the path.
  • Mountaineering poles takes quite a lot of pressure of your knees.
  • There are nice camp websites in El Chalten, pack an excellent tent – the MSR Hubba Hubba NX – it’s very mild (1,3kg), packs small, simple to pitch, waterproof, it’s form is nice for robust wind and it’s sturdy. When you go climbing each occasionally purchase one of many center value vary tents like MSR Elixir, Marmot Catalyst, Hyke and Byke Zion.
  • An inflatable tenting pad works very properly and takes little area.
  • Pack a sleeping bag, for summer season artificial similar to Teton Sport TrailHead is enough, down Vitals Summit 20 is important for chilly climate.
  • Pack a range with Piezo Ignition and cooking set.
  • Purchase sufficient gasoline for cooking in Chile it’s less expensive, Doite gasoline was $Three at most locations in Chile, about $Eight extra north in Argentina and value $15 in El Chalten.
  • most campsites in El Chalten have a communal kitchen for cooking.

Examine our Patagonia Packing checklist for extra gear suggestions.

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