El Chalten







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.

San Pedro Claver

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.

Cartagena San Filipe Colombia

El Chalten is the trekking capital of Argentine Patagonia and it attracts hikers and nature lovers from around the world. Many of the hiking trails can be taken independently from the edge of town. Expert guides help unveil the landscape and help guests spot camouflaged wildlife.

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
  • Kayaking
  • Fly-fishing

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.

Getting There

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.

Extensions to Torres del Paine, in Chilean Patagonia can be easily arranged.

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. 

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