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.

The Cerro Torre Mountain, photographed during family vacation travel in Argentinian Patagonia.

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 an ice-blue lagoon.

Fitzroy stream running through a lime green field in Patagonia, looking towards El Chalten in the distance

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.

El Chalten is the trekking capital of Argentine Patagonia. Many of the hiking trails can be taken independently from the edge of town.

Expert guides can also be arranged, unveiling the landscape and helping guests spot camouflaged wildlife.

Man overlooking Cerro Torre in El Chalten Argentina

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, as can fly-fishing, kayak, mountain bike, and horseback trips.

El Chalten attracts hikers and nature lovers from around the world. Peak season is the Austral summer—November through March.

A private transfer from El Calafate‘s airport, 133 miles to the southeast, takes approximately four hours.

Autumn leaves on the trees of El Chalten, Argentine Patagonia, photographed on private guided expedition

LANDED arranges personalized travel to El Chalten and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.”

Wallace Stevens


Could not have been more pleased.  This was the trip of a lifetime for our family.  Thank you!

S. Gentry, San Clemente, CA


If you’re planning to travel, go with LANDED. You won’t be disappointed.

H. Sandler, Katy Perry Tour Manager


The whole rhythm of the trip was perfect, and leaving one place for the next worked perfectly. This trip definitely made me want to experience other great spots in South America.

S. Ecenia, Knoxville, TN


The locations were amazing. Your on-the-ground team was fantastic–knowledgeable and accommodating. Beautifully organized.

J. Cormier, New York, NY


The best guide I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. Top notch talent.

T. Hill, Fort Worth, TX


You were a great help in planning–ensuring that I was staying at the right places and enjoying the type of activities we love–and the follow up was incredible.

C. Leavitt , New York, NY


Exactly the bonding and sharing experience we’d hoped for. The rhythm, variety, and tone was spot on. With effective listening skills, you built a good picture of what we wanted–more complicated than “just” luxury. The result was a great trip, one made just for us.

G. Holschuh, Brussels, Belgium


Excellent attention to detail. You listened carefully, asked the right questions, and customized with just the right balance. Superb guides. We felt relaxed and pampered all the way. You’ll plan our next trip.

M. & J. Siegel , New Rochelle, NY


Not a single thing on the itinerary that we would change.  The guides were knowledgeable, friendly, and prompt.  The hotels were beautiful, the food delicious and the pace of the activities was perfect for us.

B. Baltes, E. Rockaway, NY


In short, our trip was amazing. Thanks so much for your constant assistance and thorough planning.

H. Liroff, Minneapolis, MN


The planning, service and execution of the trip was flawless – thank you!

R. Hayek, San Francisco, CA


LANDED was helpful and knowledgeable, making our trip a memorable one.  I will use your services in the future as I continue to explore Central & South America.

A. Reynolds, Tucson, AZ


Your patience with my questions and concerns during the planning stage was remarkable.

W. Sibley, New York, NY


You actually got to know us, which made it possible to know just what we like. You promised the best trip ever and you kept your promise.

B. Furstenberg, Roxbury, NY


Your recommendations were well thought out. We thoroughly enjoyed our honeymoon. Thank you!

C. Venezia, New York, NY


LANDED is the ultimate. You helped us make the most out of a week’s time.

F. Greenberg, New York, NY


We zip-lined, rafted, sailed, and surfed. The contacts were professional and courteous. We don’t want to be back at work. Thank you for all of the work you did to set up this trip.

M. Marrocco, Dallas, TX