ALBUMS & STORIES
El Chalten: The Smoking Mountain
Chalten is a Tehuelche word meaning “Smoking Mountain.” This is the name given to Mount Fitz Roy, a cloud-covered peak in what is now the northern sector of Los Glaciares National Park. This section of the Andes—thick with granite spires, glaciers, rivers, and lakes—embodies Patagonia’s spirit of solitary wildness and adventure.
Here, even the border is untamed. Argentina and Chile have long disputed geographic ownership of the mountains and glaciers. In fact, the Argentine government founded the town of El Chalten in 1985 in hopes of settling the matter. Given the region’s beauty, the squabble is more than understandable.
Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre
Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre are two of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field’s most picturesque peaks. Fitz Roy pierces the clouds at 11,168 feet. Its eastern slope cradles shimmering glaciers and an ice-blue lagoon. Cerro Torre is a white granite shaft jutting 10,280 feet above sea level and standing in a row with three other peaks above 9,000 feet.
Most guests choose to stay three or four nights, although there are plenty of activities to fill a whole week! For hike lovers five nights is recommended.
Our Favorite Hotels
What to do in El Chalten
El Chalten offers activities to suit a full range of travelers. Hiking is, of course, within the most popular activities. Torre Glacier, Piedras Blancas Glacier, Laguna Capri, and Laguna de los Tres are among the most desired treks and hikes. Guided, multi-day trekking programs can be arranged.
Other excursions include:
- Mountain Biking
- Van-led Explorations
- Rock Climbing
- High Mountain Ascents
- Horseback Riding
What is the Weather Like?
El Chaltén has a cool and dry mountain weather, with irregular winds. From October until March, the weather is mainly temperate, with average temperatures between 50ºF and 68ºF. Daily sunlight hours and temperatures reduce starting in March. During the Winter season, the typical Patagonian wind is almost gone. Days are shorter and average temperatures vary between 23ºF and 41ºF. Peak season is the Austral summer—November through March.
These averages are changing, please check extended weather forecasts using your favorite weather app prior to departure.
El Chalten’s closest airport is located in El Calafate. A private transfer from El Calafate‘s airport, 133 miles to the southeast, takes approximately four hours. El Calafate can be reached by air from Buenos Aires in three and a half hours. Occasionally, flights are offered from Ushuaia and Bariloche and vice versa.
Start your journey today
LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our travel designers and let us create a tailored itinerary for you in El Chalten.
How to combine El Chalten
Have some extra time? Here are some options for you to combine with
The Lakes District
The Valdes Peninsula
Tierra del Fuego
Torres del Paine
Albums & Stories
LANDED: the finest in private, tailor-made travel to Latin America and Antarctica.
Smile. You’ve LANDED 🛬