About the day hikes

Almost all the trailheads start in the town of El Chaltén, something of a hiker's mecca right in the Fitz Roy range. One of the delights of hiking here is that you can spend each day exploring all the different viewpoints, lakes and mountains and return each evening to a comfortable hotel in this welcoming, lively mountain town.

The popular Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Torre treks are not to be missed, but there are also a number of other, gentler trails to explore close to the town. Allow a little extra time in your itinerary to ensure that Patagonia's unpredictable weather doesn't prevent you from seeing the peaks.

Day Hikes

Laguna de Los Tres: Mount Fitzroy

This route provides arguably the best viewpoint in the national park. Los Tres (The Three) refers to the peaks of Cerros Fitz Roy, Poincenot and Torre, all of which can be seen in the magnificent 360 degree views from the shores of the lake.

While it can be done as an out-and-back hike from El Chaltén, it's a more interesting day if you get transport to Hosteria Pilar and start on a forest path from there. You'll then begin with views of Piedras Blancas glacier, before a steep ascent to the lake, returning to El Chaltén past the beautiful Laguna Capri.

Duration: 22km/13.7 miles, 7-9 hours

Laguna de Los Tres, El Chaltén, Patagonia, Argentina

Laguna de Los Tres

Laguna Torre: Cerro Torre

A reasonably gentle hike up a perfect glaciated valley to gain wonderful views of Cerro Torre from the lake. The climb is only 250m, or 350m if you continue on up to the Mirador Maestri lookout point.

Duration: 20km/12.4 miles, 5-6 hours

Laguna Torre, Los Glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina

Laguna Torre

Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

Loma roughly translates as 'hill', but this route still takes you some 1,000m above the town of El Chaltén. The effort is worth it for a completely different perspective on the mountains, and the views of Lake Viedma as it loops south around the Fitz Roy massif.

Although the altitude gain is significant the trail is relatively easy going and you can always cut a couple of kilometres off the end. The rocky terrain is a great place to find fossils.

Duration: 16-18km/10-11.2 miles, 6-8 hours 

Hike to Pliegue Tumbado, Los Glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina

Hike to Pliegue Tumbado

Explore El Chaltén day hikes with Swoop

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Sydney says

The only thing better than hiking all day is hiking all day and then taking a hot shower, slipping into comfortable shoes, and going out for a delicious Argentine dinner. Day hiking in El Chaltén gives you the best of both worlds - all the wonders of nature with all the conveniences of town when you return.

Sydney Miller Patagonia Specialist

Los Huemules Reserve

Los Huemules Reserve is a 5,800 hectare private reserve north of El Chaltén. It was created in the year 2000 to preserve the ecology of this area, and has mostly been left to grow wild in the hope that huemules, foxes, magellanic woodpeckers, condors and puma will find sanctuary there. There are a number of trails of varying difficulty.

Although you don't get the spectacular views that you will get from Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Torre, these hikes are special because of their solitude, exploratory nature, the pristine landscape and diversity of species within the reserve.

El Chalten Day hikes

Piedra del Fraile

To the north of Fitz Roy lies the Electrico Valley, where a gentle hike winds through forest paths, bringing views across the valley to the distant Marconi Glacier. A rustic refugio and campsite can be found at Piedra del Fraile itself. 

Duration: 8-9 hours

Piedra del Fraile campsite

Piedra del Fraile campsite

Shorter Hikes

  • The Condores Viewpoint overlooks the town of El Chaltén and lends itself to spectacular panoramic views of the massifs of Torre, Fitz Roy and the Valley of the Vueltas River.
  • The Huemul Glacier can be combined with a boat trip on Laguna del Desierto to get you close to a glacier in just one hour of walking.
  • The two main day hikes can be cut short for less intrepid hikers. The Laguna Torre hike can be shortened to just reach Mirador del Torre, where you still get the views of Cerro Torre. Laguna de Los Tres can be shortened by stopping at Laguna Capri for good views of Mount Fitz Roy.
Views of Chaltén from the Huemul Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

Views of Chaltén from the Huemul Glacier

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What our customers think of Day hiking from El Chaltén

Day hiking from El Chaltén trips scored 4.4/5 from 232 reviews

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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.

Travelled: January 2017

Parag - UK

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Los Huemeles reserve was a particular favourite...we only passed 2 people all day!

Travelled: December 2016

Rachel - UK

Scenic views of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Glenn Gruner - USA

What was your most memorable moment? Hiking to the base of Fitz Roy. The views, weather, and quietness was truly unbelievable! Read the full review

Travelled: October 2022

Alex Nikle - USA

Hiking to Lagos De los Tres to see Mount Fitz Roy. It was an incredibly beautiful and clear day. Also, Perito Moreno Glacier was quite memorable. Read the full review

Travelled: March 2022

TJ Devine - USA

We had great weather and clear skies. The trekking was more than I imagined. Beautiful trails and views. It's truly an amazing place. The trekking lives up to the reputation. Read the full review

Travelled: March 2022

TJ Devine - USA

Go to El Chalten!! It was totally worth the extra leg of travel. Don’t be intimidated by the hike lengths. You find that extra gear when surrounded by the scenery. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2022

Alexander Miller - USA

Seeing Mount Fitzroy almost completely free of cloud was probably my most magical moment. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Jacky Wu - United States Of America

Amazing experience. Accommodation excellent, the 2 best guides we've ever had and the area breathtakingly beautiful. Juli and Pablo our guides looked after everything. Their explanations of what we were doing, their timings, making sure we had everything, their walking pace for our group and Juli organising some delicious snacks for our border crossing, every detail was covered. Not only that, they were extremely knowledgeable and fun! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2018

Lena Altinger - Australia

I really enjoyed El Chalten – it's a great size for a trekking type town and a fantastic base from which to explore the surrounding areas. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2018

Amil Patel - United Kingdom

El Chalten is special. Although a remote town, we (as outdoors people) felt at home with the vibe and the people. The popular hiking trails were well-maintained, but we were very glad to have our guide lead us on the lesser-travelled paths as there were areas we would have had a difficult time determining our way.

Travelled: November 2017

Sarah and Jason - Colorado, USA

Overall El Chalten was my favourite place! I hiked every day and it was very easy to find the routes and they all led to stunning viewpoints.

Travelled: February 2017

Hannah - UK

Making it to Laguna De los Tres, jumping in the frigid waters and camping with the range in sight. Incredible! Read the full review

Travelled: October 2016

Nic and Julie Iannarone -


What day hikes can I do in the Fitz Roy range?

Illustrated Guide

FAQs about day hiking in El Chaltén

  • How hard are the day hikes in the Fitz Roy range?

    The three main day hikes are challenging with 20 km (14 miles) of hiking, and each climb up to 1000m. The steep climb on scree at the end of the Laguna de Los Tres hike is particularly tough, especially in bad weather, so you do need to be comfortable hiking for a full eight hour day.

    The main hikes can all be shortened, but if you're looking for more of a relaxed hiking experience there are many alternatives just outside of El Chaltén. Aguas Arriba Lodge, a short drive north of the town, is a great base for some of the alternative, shorter hiking in the region.

  • What do I need to carry on day hikes in El Chaltén? Do I need to carry water?

    Layering is key: pack a base layer, thermal mid layer and a waterproof outer layer. Wear good waterproof walking boots with ankle support and carry a 30 litre day pack with an extra layer, water bottle, a sandwich from the bakery in El Chaltén and your camera - don't forget the sun cream! 

    You only need a one-litre bottle of water, you can fill up from streams along the way.

  • Do I see more if I camp rather than staying in El Chaltén?

    The campsites are very basic, with just a long drop toilet, but they do allow you to get views of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre at sunrise when they will glow pink and orange. By camping you can also walk shorter distances each day and still get to the main viewpoints or explore some of the less well-known valleys close to the Ice Cap. See our Multi-day hiking page for more. 

  • How do I get to El Chalten?

    El Chaltén is a three hour drive or bus from El Calafate airport and town. We suggest most people take the bus because it is comfortable and fast. There are also some overland ways to travel to El Chaltén which you can see on our How to get to Los Glaciares map.

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​A climb​ing and hiking​ mecca​;​ El Chalten is the ​heart of​ Los Glaciares ​National ​Park. The town lies within the park's boundaries, making it possible to enjoy adventurous day hikes to some of its best spots (such as Laguna de Los Tres and Glacier Torre) before returning to El Chalten at night to eat, relax and sleep in a comfy bed.


Ready to plan your Patagonia adventure?



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Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



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Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure, we can help.