El Chaltén: Spectacular and Accessible Hiking in Patagonia

Glowing turquoise lakes, calving glaciers, and a skyline so exceptional that it became the brand for the outside firm Patagonia. When hiking in Patagonia, you can see it all from the city of El Chaltén, Argentina.

El Chaltén is on the jap edge of Argentina’s Glacier National Park. The ideal trails direct west from town up into the Andes to imposing glaciers and amazing lakes. To the north of El Chaltén is a valley with additional lakes, glaciers, and trails. Only the first 7 miles to the north are in the park, previous that is personal property the place quite a few trails have costs for hiking and tenting. The good information is that the most spectacular lakes, glaciers, and peaks are all in just the park and free of charge.

Laguna Torre Path is a Popular Path for Hiking in Patagonia

Laguna Torre is 7 miles roundtrip and was my favored of all the hikes I did from El Chaltén. (In Chile little lakes and glacial cirques are called laguna, although bigger lakes are called lago). The initial mile of the trail goes uphill through a forest exactly where I noticed wild hares and Magellanic woodpeckers. This is in which you have your greatest possibility of observing the endangered huemul, a deer endemic to Patagonia.

A view of Grand Glacier while hiking in Patagonia.

A check out of Grand Glacier and Peak Poincenot from trail to Laguna Torre. Photograph by Heather Jasper

Past the forest, the path goes through a extensive glacial valley with wonderful views of Grand Glacier and a single of El Chaltén’s most famous peaks, Poincenot at 9,850 feet previously mentioned sea level. Laguna Torre by itself is not the normal glowing turquoise, but the glacial views much more than make up for the absence of color. From wherever the path meets the lake it is only one more 50 percent hour to the Maestri Ignore in which you have wonderful views wanting down on the close of Grand Glacier. Enormous icebergs the dimension of apartment buildings break off and float out into the lake.

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Grand Glacier calving into Laguna Torre.

Grand Glacier calving into Laguna Torre. Picture by Heather Jasper

Laguna Torre is a complete-working day hike but not significantly physically demanding. The closer you get to the lake the additional springs you are going to move alongside the path. The drinking water is risk-free to drink, but I suggest bringing a water filter to sift out bits of sand and glacial minerals.

Mountaineering the Laguna de Los Tres Path

Laguna de Los Tres is even extra well known than Laguna Torre nevertheless also lengthier and more physically demanding. The trail is just about 16 miles roundtrip, and the previous fifty percent mile is a steep slope of free scree. It’s a scramble up the moraine that retains the lake in put. Ahead of that, most of the trail goes via a extensive, flat-bottomed glacial valley.

Laguna de Los Tres.

Laguna de Los Tres. Photo by Heather Jasper

When you achieve Laguna de Los Tres, wander along the shore to the ideal to see dozens of little springs bubble up out of the sand. It is the sweetest drinking water I have at any time tasted, and I didn’t bother to filter it. You are going to have a breathtaking see of “Los Tres,” the a few most famed peaks in the selection: Fitz Roy (11,073 ft.), Poincenot (9,850 ft.), and St. Exupéry (8,392 ft.).

If you stroll left from wherever the trail hits Laguna Torre, you will be taken care of to a magnificent watch from higher previously mentioned Laguna Sucia. The title usually means “Dirty Lake,” and it is the most misnamed lake I’ve at any time seen. The water is pure, glowing turquoise, and many waterfalls leap off cliffs several tales earlier mentioned the lake. This is also a wonderful put to spot Andean condors I saw two as I commenced back again down the trail.

Foods and Drink Although Mountaineering in Patagonia

Like mountain cities in Europe and North The us, El Chaltén has several breweries and restaurants with hearty portions. I experimented with more than a dozen eating places in El Chaltén and appreciated them all. My two favorites ended up La Vinería for the huge hen sandwiches, veggie burgers, and happy hour micro-brews, and La Cervecería Chaltén for the delectable locro, and in-home micro-brews. Locro is a conventional Argentine soup manufactured with white beans, chorizo, corn, pumpkin, and a dozen other ingredients.

If you are on a restricted funds it is very good to know that all the hostels in town have kitchens, and you can simply do all your individual cooking. Make sure you address on your own at least at the time to breakfast at the bakery Lo De Haydee, which tends to make tasty cheese puffs every single morning that locals obtain by the kilo.

Lodging and Tenting in Patagonia

El Chaltén has everything from luxurious flats to cheap hostels and camping. There are two substantial lodges in town, plus a lot of modest motels, hostels, and houses that people today have transformed to Airbnbs. There are two campgrounds in city with amenities for camper vans or RVs. If you would somewhat not snooze in town camping in the national park is free of charge, and there are quite a few non-public campgrounds up the valley north of El Chaltén. You can lease tenting gear in El Chaltén for the identical price tag as a inexpensive hostel.

Begin in El Chaltén when hiking in Patagonia.

El Chaltén in Patagonia. Image by Heather Jasper

If you get there without having a put to stay, quit at the bus station in advance of you commence on the lookout all around town. Every single morning accommodations and hostels notify the info desk at the bus station how a lot of rooms they have obtainable that night. You can choose up cost-free maps and get the title and amount of any area with availability.

Facts About Glacier Nationwide Park

Immediately after you find a position to stay, your very first stop should be the park ranger station. This is a ten-moment walk south of city. It is staffed by volunteers who are as passionate about preserving the indigenous flora and fauna as they are about ensuring website visitors have all the data they require. A short hike qualified prospects from the ranger station to an overlook named Mirador Los Cóndores, which is fantastic for sunset and recognizing condors.

Sunset on El Chaltén from Mirador Los Condores.

Sunset on El Chaltén from Mirador Los Condores. Picture by Heather Jasper

How to Get to Patagonia

The 1st leg of my journey to El Chaltén was a flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate. El Calafate is a enjoyment city that is an outstanding foundation for excursions to lakes and glaciers. Having said that, if you want to hike consider the bus to El Chaltén. You can rent a vehicle in El Calafate, but it is unnecessary. El Chaltén is a quaint, no-quit light-weight city. Not only is anything in city walkable within just a couple of blocks, but you also don’t want a automobile to get to the best trails.

Currency and Exchange Rate

If airfare to Argentina appears to be too high take into account the exchange level and how a lot you’ll shell out once you get there. Every handful of years the Argentine economic climate requires a dive, and the benefit of the US greenback goes by the roof. The very best way to journey on a finances in Argentina is to provide dollars and trade it for Argentine pesos when you get there. The US greenback is typically applied mainly because it is a lot more stable than most South American currencies. To test the recent level search on the web for “dólar blue.” Many Argentine news web sites put up the daily amount, which is different from the formal lender amount. You are going to get considerably far better prices at currency trade outlets than at banking companies.

Content Related to El Chaltén: Amazing and Obtainable Hiking in Patagonia

When You Go Mountaineering in Patagonia

El Chaltén in Argentina’s Glacier National Park provides some of the most effective hiking in Patagonia. The grandeur of the imposing glaciers and breathtaking lakes will make for enough wow moments as you hike the trails. All of this attractiveness is in just the park and free to check out. When you happen to be planning your subsequent outdoor experience, be guaranteed to study some of our favourite climbing spots on Wander. We also have much more ideas for what to see when you investigate South America.

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