Reasons to hike in El Chalten
World Class Day Hikes
There are few places in the world where you can sleep in your choice of hotel, fill your pockets with pastries, hike straight into the mountains and be sat under a glacier straining your neck to see the top of towering pinnacles in time for lunch. El Chalten's day hikes are simply world class.
Wild Unexplored Valleys
The Tunel, Electrico and Diablo valleys are largely unexplored and you can visit these on either a multi-day hike or day hike from El Chalten. You'll see gnarled Lenga forests, hanging glaciers and climb to get unique views of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre without any of the crowds that you will find on the Fitz Roy and Torre day hikes.
Flora and Fauna
Whether you stick to the most trodden trails or disappear into the undergrowth you are bound to see magellanic woodpeckers, caracaras and chucao. If you are really lucky you'll see a huemul deer. There are Lenga and Nirre forests abound and they are magical. Underfoot there are Calafate shrubs (bearing fruit in the Autumn), yellow orchids and all manner of other dainty flowers.
Proximity to the Ice Cap
Whether it's a view of this impressive expanse of ice or to pitch yourself against the wind and extremes by taking an expedition across the Ice Cap you are after, you can reach the Ice Cap after a couple of days walking.
The Town of El Chalten
El Chalten is a hiking, mountaineering and climbing hub with gear stores, bakeries, waffleries and two breweries. What else do you need to make a happy hiker?
The famous viewpoints of Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre are mesmerising, but try to make the time to get a little more off-the-beaten-track as well.
What our customers think
Highlight was waking up to see Mt Fitz Roy, bathed in the glory of the morning sunrise, with a surreal deep golden reflection, in a cloudless blue sky. It happened to coincide with my brother's birthday, which was an added bonus, and a priceless birthday gift at the same time.
Parag UK January 2017
Hiking in El Chalten was beautiful. Even though we had heard that the hikes we did were very popular, we were still surprised about the sheer amount of people hiking.
Sandra, French Polynesia February 2017
Hiking in Los Glaciares
Day hiking from El Chalten
Los Glaciares National Park is home to the magnificent Fitz Roy Massif and more glaciers than any other region in Patagonia. The park is renowned for its day hiking - from your …
Multi-day hiking in Fitz Roy
Immerse yourself amongst the well-known climbing peaks of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, sleeping under the stars in overnight campsites along the way. Marvel at the mighty …
When Mount Fitz Roy appeared out of the clouds where I would have expected to see sky, my jaw dropped - no wonder the tehuelche people worshipped this peak!
Harriet Pike Trekking, Mountaineering & Cycling Specialist
Our Top Trips
Discover Mount Fitzroy, Cerro Torre and the quieter trails of the Electrico valley spending two nights in the depths of the Fitzroy range unzipping your tent to magnificent…
A small, cosy lodge on the shores of Lago del Desierto serves as your base for a 6-8 hour hike to the famous Laguna del Los Tres, a visit to Perito Moreno glacier and a number of optional day excursions…
A moderate intensity trek between established campsites, carrying minimal gear but with two tougher days in the middle as you cross the Rio Fitz Roy by zipline, climb to look down on the ice field from the high Viento Pass…
Hike the two main trails in Los Glaciares National Park with a warm and comfortable hotel to return to in the evening. Visit Perito Moreno Glacier and the surrounding fjords on a boat trip. This is a flexible itinerary and…
FAQs about Hiking in El Chalten
The very minimum that we recommend in El Chalten is three nights so you have a chance to see the peaks and do the two main day hikes. With five nights in El Chalten or camping in the Fitz Roy range you are more likely to get a sighting of the main peaks and enjoy some off the beaten track hikes. Experienced trekkers looking to really get under the skin should spend a week to ten days in the area.
A guide is not entirely necessary on the main trails close to Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, but is advisable so that you can learn about the history of the culture and mountaineering, and will mean that you will be shown flora and fauna that you might otherwise miss on your own. In peak season, guides book up ahead of time so it is advisable to book before you get to El Chalten.
You can camp in the park or there are a wide range of different hotels in El Chalten. See our El Chalten Hotels page.
El Chalten has shops where you can buy new gear or rent gear. It is advisable to bring your own boots and rucksack because you are likely to get a much better fit than those on offer in El Chalten. For technical treks, good quality gear is available form local trekking and mountaineering guides.
Explore more of the region
Los Glaciares National Park
The massive South Patagonian Ice Cap feeds the many glaciers that give Argentina's most famous national park its name. Hikers and climbers flock to the hub towns of El Calafate …
Torres del Paine and Fitz Roy Hiking
These tours combine our two favourite trekking spots in Patagonia: the Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares national parks. They involve either the classic W-Trek or…
Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno is Patagonia's most accessible and most famous glacier. Visitors can witness the vast frontage of the glacier (some 5km wide and nearly 60m high in places) just a …
Hiking in Patagonia
The abundance of world class hikes in Patagonia puts it firmly at the top of most trekkers lists. From the ice and granite pinnacles of Paine and Fitz Roy and extreme of the ice…
Patagonia is a vast and varied region, with a wealth of things to see and do, a range of places to stay and a limited transport network.
Why not let us do the hard work for you? Our team of experts will work with you to design a 2–3 week adventure to your exact requirements, from hiking and horse-riding trips to wine-tasting tours and undiscovered lodges.
We’ll work around your budget and arrange flights, transfers and buses, to create your perfect trip.