El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina


Located 3hrs from El Calafate, El Chalten village is home to the stunningly impressive Mount Fitzroy, and the vertically-sided Torre mountain peak as well as a number of great trekking trails.

El Chalten is the base from which to hike to Mirador del Torres, Cerro Torre, Campamento de Agostini, Laguna Torre, Mirador Maestri, Camp Poincenot, Mirador Glacieres, Laguna de Los Tres, Laguna Sucia and Laguna Capri.

We can include El Chalten into your Patagonian itinerary on its own, but we suggest you combine a stay here with El Calafate and Torres del Paine in Chile.

Note: ExperienceChile.Org will create a custom-made travel itinerary to your specifications. Just let us know.


El Chalten is the National Capital of Trekking in Argentina. In this stunning natural scenery, you have multiple and varied options for walking, climbing, going on excursions and expeditions.

It’s a very small, touristic village located beyond the northern end of Lake Viedma and within the Los Glaciares National Park 200km north from El Calafate. Originally, the indigenous Tehuelche people named the high-jagged peak, now called Mount Fitzroy, as El Chalten, which means “smoky mountain”. Considering that for most of the year Mount Fitzroy is shrouded in mist the “smoky mountain” name is appropriate.

However, the peak was re-named Mount Fitz Roy after Captain Robert Fitzroy of Charles Darwin’s ship “The Beagle” (Charles Darwin being an important and historic scientific naturalist who came to the southern shores of Patagonia), but the name El Chalten was adopted by the settlers as the name of the village.

The main attraction – Mount Fitz Roy, dominates over the village of El Chalten, reaching a height of 3,405m. However, there are a number of dramatic-looking peaks that fill the horizon, but one in particular is awe-inspiring; it is the vertically-sided Torre. This is a jagged-formed mountain, a little like “the Shard building” in London, but natural, reaching a height of 3,102m. In the “foothills” of these towering, snow-topped mountains are lagoons, glaciers and waterfalls interconnected by several trekking trails.

Unlike Torres del Paine, which relies on refugios and hotels to accommodate visitors to the Park, El Chalten is a “working village” that sits within the Glaciares National Park. Therefore, visitors mainly sleep in the village each night and each day will walk one of the hiking trails then return to their same comfy hotel, avoiding the need to camp.

The demand from visiting trekkers has spawned a few restaurants and basic shops in the village, and some of the accommodations provide internet and phone access. The accommodation in the village comprises a few hikers’ hostels, a handful of boutique-style, small hotels, and one “higher-end” hotel. Other than that, the village is far removed from the normal flow of news and communication, even during high season (November-February), and is nearly deserted during off-season (the Southern Hemisphere winter).

El Chalten Visitor Information at National Park Entrance

El Chalten Village Entrance Experience Chile

The park rangers base is located at the entrance to the village and here they provide camping and national park information for visitors. All visitors must stop here and listen to a welcome from the rangers.

For details on the various hikes, both easy and “more serious” as well as our itineraries please see our left-side menu bar.

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