Trekking in El Chalten: The trails

El Chaltén serves as the gateway to explore various trekking trails in the Fitz Roy Massif area, with the iconic Fitz Roy Mount reigning supreme. Situated on the border between Argentina and Chile, Fitz Roy Mount stands amidst the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, adjacent to El Chaltén village and Viedma lake. Its first ascent dates back to 1952, achieved by French alpinists Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone, marking a significant milestone in mountaineering history. Now, the region offers an array of trekking options, catering to diverse preferences and abilities. The key lies in selecting the most suitable trail for your adventure. Explore the multitude of trekking routes available around the majestic Fitz Roy Mount and immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of Patagonia.


Trekking Trails in El chalten and Fitz Roy area


Trekking Trails to the Fitz Roy Massif

There are many options to enjoy trekking in El chalten area.  But, if you are unfamiliar with mountain walking or uncertain about your physical condition, it’s highly recommended to commence with short walks before embarking on longer hikes.


Trekking to Cascada Margarita (easy)

Duration: 2 hours, Difficulty: Easy
Starting from El Chaltén and heading towards the Laguna Torre footpath, you’ll encounter a brief ascent into a small forest primarily comprised of Ñires Trail. Within minutes, you’ll find yourself ensconced within the forest, traversing a comfortably inclined trail. As the path gains elevation, it straightens alongside the Fitz Roy river, leading to a natural viewpoint perched on a cliff’s edge. From this vantage point, you’ll be treated to a panoramic vista of the Fitz Roy river valley, adorned by Mount Solo to the left, the Adela range, the imposing Mount Torre, and the iconic Mount Fitz Roy to the right. Across the river canyon lies the Margarita waterfall. For those with additional time, continuing on the trail for an hour more unveils the Mount Torre viewpoint, one of the area’s most spectacular vistas.

Trekking to Los Condores and Las Aguilas (easy)

Duration: 2 hours, Difficulty: Easy
Commencing from El Chaltén, cross the Fitz Roy river access bridge and proceed towards the National Park Visitors’ Centre, marking the trailhead. After a brief walk, a small gate leads to the left, as indicated by a sign, followed by a second sign detailing the trail plan. After another half hour, you’ll arrive at the Los Cóndores viewpoint, offering strategic observation of condors in flight between the De las Vueltas river and Fitz Roy river valleys. This newer trail, inaugurated in 2004, features informative signage, enriching the landscape experience. The Las Águilas viewpoint trail, a short journey from the Los Cóndores bifurcation, boasts a gentle slope and unveils panoramic views of the Viedma lake, Cerro Huemul, and Cerro Piramide.

Chorrillo del Salto (easy)

Duration: 2 hours, Difficulty: Easy
Ideal for an introductory encounter with El Chaltén’s natural environment, this pleasant trek meanders through forested terrain along an uncomplicated path. The trail culminates at a charming waterfall and stream, inviting contemplation amidst the native forest. Beginning at the end of Av. San Martín in El Chaltén, adjacent to the Laguna De Los Tres trailhead, you’ll veer right onto the ascending path. Ascending briefly, then descending towards the Provincial Route 41 leading to Lago del Desierto, you’ll encounter a signpost indicating the entrance to the “Bicisenda” (bike trail) and, shortly after, another signpost guiding towards the Chorrillo del Salto path. The final leg of the journey, exclusively accessible on foot, boasts a completely flat terrain amidst low trees, with the distant murmur of the waterfall signaling its approach. Seasonal flora, including the exquisite Magellanic orchid, adorns the path, culminating in the waterfall nestled along the Arroyo del Salto before flowing into the De las Vueltas river. Totaling less than 4 km from El Chaltén, this trek offers a delightful immersion into the region’s natural splendor.

Chorrillo del Salto


Full-Day Trekking Activities in Fitz Roy Massif (moderated to hard)

On the Other Hand, if you’re accustomed to lengthy hikes with elevated levels of demand, we present our more intriguing options: a series of full-day trekking adventures in the Fitz Roy Massif.

Trekking to Torre Lagoon (Laguna Torre) – moderated trekking

Duration: 8 hours, Difficulty: Moderate
From El Chaltén, two main trails lead to Laguna Torre, merging within a brief 5-minute walk. These paths venture into the Fitz Roy River valley, tracing alongside the stream to its source. Within a mere 15 minutes, you’ll reach the first viewpoint, offering a breathtaking panorama of Cerro Solo, the Adela range, Cerro Torre, and Mount Fitz Roy. Along the way, a natural viewpoint provides splendid panoramic vistas of the Adela range, Cerro Torre, and granite needles. The trail passes the De Agostini base camp before ascending the frontal moraine, leading to the Torre Lagoon, often adorned with icebergs. For the best photo opportunities, aim for sunrise when the granite walls are bathed in the morning sunlight, a moment reserved for those who spend the night at the De Agostini campground.

Trekking to Laguna de los Tres – moderated trekking

Duration: 9 hours, Difficulty: Moderate
The journey begins at the end of Avenida San Martín, transitioning from El Chaltén’s urban area to the trailhead. Ascending steeply for the first hour, the path grants access to a natural viewpoint overlooking the De las Vueltas river valley. Continuing along the Del Salto stream towards Mount Fitz Roy, you’ll encounter informative signs and a rocky viewpoint offering an unforgettable landscape interpretation. The trail then leads to the Poincenot Base Camp before ascending steeply to Laguna de los Tres, boasting extraordinary views of the lagoon and De los Tres Glacier. Descending the moraine, you’ll encounter Laguna Sucia and its hanging glaciers, offering breathtaking vistas.

Trekking to Pliegue Tumbado – moderated trekking

Duration: 8 hours, Difficulty: Moderate
Commencing at the Ceferino Fonzo Visitors’ Centre, the trail ascends approximately 1100 meters, culminating at a viewpoint 1500 meters above sea level. Passing through the “Pampa De las Carretas,” you’ll marvel at Mount Huemul, Viedma Lake, and the majestic Andes. The landscape transitions from forest to scrubby vegetation, revealing marine fossils dating back 100 million years. The trail concludes at the summit of Pliegue Tumbado, offering an extraordinary panoramic view.


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Ramiro Rodriguez

25 years working in travel market, as Sales & Marketing Manager in RipioTurismo, Marketing Manager in Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

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