El Chalten

Hiking capital of Argentina

Every year, thousands of people from around the world come to El Chaltén to hike, climb and see world-class scenery. In this small town in Argentinian Patagonia, visitors can walk down the street, enter the national park and easily embark on spectacular hikes. This album captures five days of scenery in February during an unusual time of warmth, sunshine and little wind.

The hiking town of El Chaltén with Cerro Fitz Roy, or Cerro El Chaltén in the indigenous Tehuelche language. El Chaltén means “peak of fire,” or “smoking mountain.”

The 9km hike to Laguna Torrre, crosses panoramic grasslands, and leads to a glacier-filled lane and the stunning rock needle of Cerro (mountain) Torre.

The Laguna De Los Tres trail offers spectacular views on the 10 kilometer hike to the high alpine lake.

The climb to the two lakes at the top is steep (400 m gain in the final kilometer ) but the views are well worth the effort!

The 10 km hike to Lomo del Pliegue Tumbado offers views of the town of El Chaltén, and winds through open fields and forests until it reaches exposed, craggy peaks.

Hikers do need to be aware of the wild cows! And the winds, for which Patagonia is so well known (time-lapse video on the next page).

Outings also include shorter hikes, including to a nearby waterfall. Perfect for a hot day.

Climbers take on the cliffs across town, and also ascend the massive peaks of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.

At the end of the day, visitors can wander back into town to select among top-notch restaurants that serve Patagonian specialties along with Argentinian wine and beer.

With all of the climbing, hiking and variable weather, there are grave risks. This small chapel honors those who have lost their lives in the mountains.

We loved our time in El Chaltén! Instagram: @BethRoseAK #travel #adventure #hiking #nature #places #wilderness