El Chalten, the mecca of trekking in Argentina

El Chaltén

El Chaltén is a small town of only 13 blocks that is located at 3 hours by bus from El Calafate and is the entrance gate of the trails to Mount Fitz Roy and other parts of the National Park. The town has all the necessary services for trekking lovers: equipment hiring, accommodation, meals to carry out, etc.

  • Chorrillo del Salto Trail: low difficulty – 500 meters
  • Cóndor and Águila Viewpoints: medium difficulty – 1km
  • Loma del pliegue tumbado Trail: high difficulty – 10 km
    • Pampa de las carretas: 3 kms
    • Pliegue tumbado viewpoint: 8 kms
    • Loma del pliegue tumbado: 10 kms
  • Laguna Toro Trail: High difficulty – 15 kms
  • Fitz Roy Trail: Medium/High difficulty – 10.2kms
    • Río de las Vueltas: 0.7kms
    • Laguna Capri: 4kms
    • Fitz Roy: 4kms
    • Poincenot: 8kms
    • Laguna de los tres: 10.2kms
    • Piedras Blancas Viewpoint: 10.1kms
  • Laguna Torre Trail: Medim dificulty – 9Kms
    • Cascada Margarita: 0.7kms
    • Mirador del torre: 2.5kms
    • Bifurcación Madre e Hija: 5kms
    • De Agostini: 8kms
    • Laguna torre: 9kms
El Chaltén
On the way to the trails
El Chaltén
El Chaltén

As I had only one day for visit the trails and I did not have any clothing, equipment or trekking experience, the park rangers recommended the Condor and Águila Viewpoints and halfway to the Fitz Roy Trail:

Condor and Águila Viewpoints

When getting off the bus the park rangers give us a detailed explanation of the trails, security and the park; after this you can begin to climb the path to these two viewpoints. The climb is not easy; in theory the difficulty is medium but for me I had no experience in trekking was complicated.

Rangers' office
Rangers’ office
Camino al mirador Cóndor
Path to Condor viewpoint

On the way to the viewpoints there are signs with information about the life of the condors so the road becomes very educational and interesting. At top of the hill we have a panoramic view of the town and if you are lucky you will see some condor.

Vista al pueblo de El Chaltén desde el Mirador Cóndor
Town view from Condor viewpoint

With respect to the Águila viewpoint, it is about 30 minutes from the Condor viewpoint and it difficulty is also medium. Upon arrival, you have a view of the steppe and Viedma Lake in the background.

Path to Águila viewpoint
Path to Águila viewpoint
Path to Fitz Roy
Sendero al Fitz Roy

This trail is the most important and also one of the longest in the area of El Chaltén. If you want to see the Fitz Roy you do not need to get to its base, Laguna de los Tres; you can see it from a viewpoint located 4 km from the start of the trail.

Path to Fitz Roy
Path to Fitz Roy

Something very important to take into account is the whether because of the mountain is hidden when the day is cloudy and the trekking itself is extremely difficult under the rain, cold and wind of Patagonia.

Path to Fitz Roy
Path to Fitz Roy
Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers
Path to Fitz Roy
Path to Fitz Roy
Capri Lagoon
Capri Lagoon
Path to Fitz Roy
Path to Fitz Roy
Path to Fitz Roy
Path to Fitz Roy

Important:  Is not necessary to buy Los Glaciares National Park ticket for use the paths.

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