Chalten Day Hikes

Returning each night to a choice of comfortable hotels in El Chalten, these routes take 4-8 hours. Most trails are well marked and some people choose to hike these independently. However guides offer more than just safety and navigation - they'll help you find the best vantage points and leave you with a rich sense of the region's climbing history, geography and culture. 

Laguna de los Tres

This is arguably the best viewpoint in the national park and 'los tres' refers to the 3 peaks that you'll be able to see: Cerro Fitz Roy, Cerro Poincenot and further in the distance Cerro Torre.

You can trek from Chalten as a there-and-back route retracing your steps however it's much better to drive out to Hosteria Pilar and set out from there. This is a 22km route, ascending approx 800m and taking around 7-9 hours if you take your time to enjoy yourself and take it all in. The route starts on a forest path with views across to the Piedras Blancas glacier, and then you have a steep ascent up to the Laguna itself - a great place to stop for lunch if conditions permit. The descent takes you to the wonderful Laguna Capri which also offers great views up to the massif.


Laguna Torre

On this hike, you ascend a perfect glaciated valley up to the Laguna Torre with its wonderful views of Cerro Torre and the glacier. It's an easier hike than the Laguna de los Tres, normally done over 5-6 hours and covering 20km, ascending 250m-350m depending on whether you continue up to the lookout point Mirado Maestri.

Laguna Torre 1

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Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

Loma roughly translates to 'hill'; as opposed to the dramatic mountain peaks surrounding it, but nevertheless some 1,000m above the town of El Chalten.

This trek takes you to the south of the Fitz Roy massif offering a different perspective on the mountains, as well the view south to the Lago Viedma. Although the altitude gain is significant the route is relatively easy going. You should allow 6-8 hours depending on how far up you go, and is around 16-18km round trip. Keep an eye out for the fossils!

Mirador del Pliegue Tumbado 2

Piedra del Fraile

To the north of Fitz Roy lies the Electrico Valley and Piedra del Fraile is a charming little refugio and campsite. This is a gentle hike through the forest with little climbing involved but affords a great view of the vast Electrico Valley and the Marconi Glacier in the distance.

Camping Piedra del Fraile

Ice hiking on the Viedma glacier

Another great option for a day trip would be head to the Viedma Glacier to try out some ice hiking for the first time. Whilst you can do this on the Perito Moreno glacier, this glacier just a few miles from El Chalten offers a much wilder and remote opportunity to don the crampons and get up close to the crevasses.


Map of Chalten peaks, glaciers, campsites and lodges

Find glaciers, lagunas, peaks and trekking landmarks on our interactive map of El Chalten and Fitz Roy

Harriet says

Multi-Day Treks: Mt Fitz Roy

Camping overnight after longer days of trekking, you'll find great rewards - off the beaten track routes, views out across the Patagonian Ice Cap and new perspectives on the Fitz Roy mountains. These can be tackled in any order or direction but these are the four main areas/routes...

The Fitz Roy and Torre loop

You can combine the treks to Laguna de Los Tres and to Laguna Torre into one trip using either the Poincenot or Thorwood campsite, taking in the Madre & Hija lagoon as well. This is a great two-day hike and with a third day with a guide, you can cross to Pliegue Tombado as well via Paso Agachonas a more challenging a remote route.

Cerro Torre

Huemul Circuit and Paso del Viento (south)

This route isn't really accessible for the day hikers, therefore you can expect a much more remote experience as well as views over the Patagonian Ice Cap itself. Cerro Huemul stands at nearly 2,700m and this route circumnavigates the mountain and takes you up to Paso del Viento on the edge of the Ice Cap, and then along the edge of the Viedma glacier and lake. It's a 60km+ route with some tough climbs and terrain and normally done over 4 days with 6-8 hours each day. 

Paso del Viento

Pollone and Electrico Valleys (north)

The Electrico valley leads up to the other major access point to the Patagonia Ice Cap, the Marconi Pass. The Piedra del Fraile campsite is a nice staging post along the way, and as you progress further up the valley the landscape changes dramatically: witness the giant glacial boulders of the Pollone Valley and the other-worldliness of Lago Electrico, at the base of the Marconi glacier's terminal moraine. A 2-3 day hike here will give a real sense of the vastness and remoteness of the Patagonian Andes

Rio Electrico Bridge

Lago del desierto and Refugio del Diablo (30km north)

To the north of El Chalten lies Lago del Desierto with a 20km trail around its eastern edge north to the frontier. There's also a trail to the north west up to Refugio del Diablo which offers 1-2 days very much off the beaten track and a good option for people spending a night or two at Lago del Desierto's lakeside lodge.

AA View of Desierto

Los Glaciares Tours & Hiking Fitz Roy

Fitz Roy Trekking (with supported camping)

Combine Fitz Roy with Torres del Paine

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