Best Hiking Trails in El Chalten , Argentina (Patagonia)

El Chalten is considered the Trekking Capital of Argentina for a reason. Every traveller you meet in this cute town is in his hiking boots, carrying a pole, dressed in their trekking attire and ready to hit the trail.

El Chalten is full of beautiful trails. It has something to offer for everyone, be it a novice hiker or a professional one. But choosing which hike suits you best based on your interest, duration and hiking experience can be pretty daunting. So here are our recommendation on best hiking trails in El Chaten, Argentina (Patagonia)

1) Laguna de Los Tres / Mount Fitz Roy

Total Distance – 26 Km (to the summit and back to the town)

Time Taken – 9 to 10 Hours

Difficulty Level – Medium

This is the most beautiful and hence the most popular trek in El Chalten. This hiking trail offers the best view of Mount Fitz Roy and the surrounding glaciers. This can be done within a day but those who want to take it easy can also camp on the way. There are free camp sites available on the trail. The trail is a moderate uphill trek and goes through the forest and open fields. It offers magical views of El Chalten itself, lagoons around and Mount Fitz Roy.

The last couple of kms appear as a steep climb and this is where it could get a bit challenging, especially if the weather is not in your favor. However, the climb is totally paid off once you reach the summit and see Laguna de Los Tres and Mount Fitz Roy on its backdrop.

 

Laguna de Los Tres – Summit

 

Laguna de Los Tres – Summit

 

On the way to Laguna de Los Tres  summit

 

On the way to Laguna de Los Tres – Summit

 

On the way to Laguna de Los Tres – Summit

 

2) Laguna Torre / Cerro Torre

Total Distance – 24 Km (to Laguna Torre and back to the town)

Time Taken – 7 to 8 Hours

Difficulty Level – Easy

The other famous trail in El Chalten is Cerro Torre or Laguna Torre. This is an easy day hike, no hiking experience is required for this trail. But trail is really beautiful. You will witness panoramic views of the Cerro Solo, Cerro Torre, the Adela range and Mount Fitz Roy. Trail is full of surreal waterfalls and fresh water rivers where you can stop for a quick picnic breaks.

 

 

Laguna Torre Trail

Laguna Torre Trail

 

Laguna Torre Trail

 

3) Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

Total Distance – 24 Km (to the summit and back to the town)

Time Taken – 10 Hours

Difficulty Level – Difficult

This is one of the more difficult trails in El Chalten. Most of the trail is uphill but trail is again very scenic full of picturesque mountains, waterfalls, alpine flora and lagoons. Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the whole National Park. You will be awestruck appreciating the gorgeous valleys of Fitz Roy, Lake Viedma and Patagonia steppe.

Loma del Pliegue Tumbado Summit View

 

Loma del Pliegue Tumbado Trail

 

Loma del Pliegue Tumbado Trail

 

Loma del Pliegue Tumbado Trail

 

4) Los Condores and Las Aguilas

Total Distance – 6 Km

Time Taken – 1.5 to 2 Hours

Difficulty Level – Easy

This is the shortest and easiest trail in this area. You can enjoy the stunning view of the town, Lake Viedma, Laguna Torre and Mount Fitz Roy from these 2 viewpoints. The trail starts from the same place and split halfway. If you are short on time, it is a perfect hike to plan for half a day.

Los Condores and Las Aguilas – Trail

 

Los Condores and Las Aguilas Trail- El Chalten Town View

 

Los Condores and Las Aguilas Trail

 

Los Condores and Las Aguilas View Point

 

5) Chorrillo Del Salto

Total Distance – 2 Km

Time Taken – 1 Hours

Difficulty Level – Easy

This is another easy hike near the town. It is just 8 km away from the town. It goes through the forest along the mountain. At the end of this trail you will witness a stunning waterfall.

Chorrillo Del Salto- Waterfall

 

Chorrillo Del Salto Trail

 

Chorrillo Del Salto Trail

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Important tips

  • All the trails are well marked in El Chalten, so there is no need to hire a guide. It can be easily done on your own.
  • Pack your lunch on all your day hikes, as nothing is available on the way.
  • Carry 2 to 3 liters of water. There are fresh water lakes along the trail, just in case you run out of water.

 

How to get there?

The nearest airport to El Chalten is in El Calafate. You can take a shared cab from the airport to reach El Chalten. You will find companies offering shared cab at the airport itself. It takes 2.5 hours and costs around 50 USD. (Bonus Tip: Don’t blink an eye on your way, as you are entering the highway to heaven).

 

Where to stay?

Stay in El Chalten town. Almost all the trails are at the walking distance from the town. For the trails where the starting point is a bit remote, all the hotels/hostels provide transportation to the starting point at additional but reasonable cost (approx. 10 USD). A wide range of accommodation is available in town from 20 USD backpack hostel to a 100 USD luxury hotel. We stayed in Kospi Posada Bed & Breakfast for 25 USD per person. It was pretty decent and all the necessary facilities were available.

 

How much time to spend in El Chalten ?

3 to 4 days is good time to get the feel of hiking in Patagonia. All the 5 trails recommended above can be done is 3 days (if pushed) to 4 days (comfortably).

 

Budget

For 3 days trip our suggested budget is 300 USD PP.

Break up is as below:

Accommodation 75 USD PP (@25 USD PP per Day).

Food 75USD (@25 USD PP per day). Food is not cheap here and not many options are available but you can reduce the cost drastically by cooking it in your hostel kitchen. Most of the hostels/hotels provide such an option.

Transportation (from El Calafate airport to El Chalten and back) 80 USD.

Transportation within the city – 20 USD (in case you don’t want to walk to the starting point of a trail).

All the hiking trails are free of cost.

Miscellaneous – 50 USD.

Total 300 USD PP for 3 days

Author: Low Cost Travellers

19 Comments

  1. Your pictures are amazing 😀 – I really want to explore Patagonia, I was in South America last year, I spent 6 months out there but I want to do a single trip to Patagonia. This post will come in really handy when I do so, just bookmarked it 😀

    1. thanks Medha
      yes we did all the treks..we love hiking 🙂
      we were in Argentina for 12 days..in El chalten i think 3 to 4 days..

  2. This post was amazing!!!! So many beautiful pictures of all your hikes. Patagonia is on our list, but probably won’t go for awhile. When we do go though, we will know exactly what trails to hike. One of my favorite pictures was Loma del Pliegue Tumbado with the Summit View. Gorgeous!!!

  3. amazing and absolutely breathtaking pictures, certainly you have a good equipment for taking the pictures and professionals!

  4. The treks in Patagonia look amazing, I was lucky enough to visit Argentina back in July. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it down to Patagonia. Hopefully one day I’ll get down to that area, as I would love to do a hike. Thanks for sharing.

    Lennae xxx
    http://www.lennaesworld.com

  5. Simply amazing… Awesome pictures, breathtaking environment. Never considered Argentina in one of the places I want to visit but now you want to make me put it into consideration.

  6. Honestly, I’m not a huge hiker, but these photos of yours make me want to go. They are absolutely beautiful. My family is from Costa Rica and I also speak Spanish, so I’ve seen some amazing places in Costa Rica. I would LOVE to visit Argentina!

  7. These trails sound so amazing. I wish I could just go an hike some of them. Argentina is definitely one my bucket list and these trail just made it on the list too. Beautiful!

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