- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
To my mind El Chalten has some of the most beautiful scenery in Patagonia and is an absolute must see for anyone who is travelling in voyage Argentina. Just the calm, relaxing atmosphere of the village is enough to leave you with good memories. Then, it's very easy to organise your walks, treks or climbing activities from the village because it's right by the Los Glaciares National Park.
I thought everything was very well organised there. The information centre at the park's entrance has all the necessary information, including a map of the region with all the possible walks and their level of difficulty.
The walks and treks are through incredibly beautiful countryside. First for me was a day long walk to the magnificent Laguna de Los Tres, a lake with ice blocks floating on its surface, surrounded by mountains and, in the background, a glacier dominated by the peaks of Cerro Torre.
Did you know that El Chalten is the newest village in Argentina? It was only created in 1985. It welcomes walkers from all over the country, as well as lots of foreigners who are walking round South America.
When you arrive at the village by road you have no idea that the surrounding countryside has breathtaking peaks...and lots of them! There is only one way to go and see them: on foot. All the trails leave from the village, you don't need a car.
I was lucky enough to go trekking on Torre Glacier. It's a 12 hour trip which is tiring but definitely one of my favourite athletic trips: walk in the mountains, zipwire over the Rio Fitz Roy and then a walk on Torre Glacier with the aid of crampons. An unforgettable experience in a spectacular natural setting that I would unhesitatingly recommend to any one who enjoys trekking.
El Chalten is very charming! Mont Fitz Roy dominates the collection of little wooden chalets so that when you arrive the view is quite exceptional. There were condors turning above our heads, and strong winds were blowing the clouds into strange forms.
There are lots of small hotels and it is nice, when the evening arrives, after you've had a good walk in some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, to warm yourself up in front of the fire in one of area's small, typical restaurants. The atmosphere is calm, gentle and relaxing. Definitely something to do during atrip to Argentina!
If you like climbing or trekking you'll love the place. The trails leave from the village and most of them are accessible to most people. There are lots, so ask about them to find out which you prefer - the lakes are emerald coloured and with Mont Fitz Roy in the background, everything is really beautiful. Don't forget your cameras!
When you arrive in El Chalten you have to go to the Tourist Office (they automatically stop there) for a short introduction to the area's flora and fauna...For example, they told us that with a bit of luck we might see a puma. Keep your eyes open!
I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt thatEl Chaltén is situated in the most beautiful part of Patagonia.
As with most people who end up here during a trip to Argentina, I came to this little, out of the way place for its numerous hikes. They're suited to all levels and cover varying distances. Whether you head to the Chorillo del Salto Falls or the Capri and Los Tres Lagoons, there's something for everyone. For my part, I chose the stunning Torre Lagoon and Glacier. Experienced climbers have the choice of the legendary Fitz Roy or Cerro Torre mountains.
I suggest you stay for at least two days, so as to make the most of an incredible landscape that will leave you with many a happy memory.