What to do in El Chaltén?

El Chaltén, nestled near the Chilean border, stands as Argentina’s hiking hub. Trekking and hiking in El Chaltén rank among the premier activities in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia. Are you considering a visit to El Chaltén? Our travel guide covers the finest pursuits, practical tips on transit, accommodation insights, and optimal times to venture.

El Chaltén is globally renowned as a hiking and trekking haven, drawing adventurers and nature aficionados from across the globe.Chances are you haven’t stumbled upon this locale before, but as you map out your Patagonian voyage, it’ll swiftly become a prominent fixture.

You needn’t journey far to savor the majestic mountainous allure, for the majority of trails commence right in El Chaltén. Visitors can opt from an array of day hikes or multi-day trekking paths.

The trek you choose hinges on your financial plan, physical fitness, and appetite for adventure. If hiking is a new pursuit for you or you seek to push beyond your customary travel style, you might wonder if El Chaltén offers more than just trekking. While traditional tourist activities such as biking or horseback riding are available, hiking takes center stage in this locale.

The breathtaking, serrated peaks towering above vividly azure lakes serve as the primary drawcard, and missing out would be regrettable. Certainly, you can indulge in the town’s tourist amenities and bask in its invigorating outdoor ambiance, perhaps with a beer or steak in hand.


Activities in El Chaltén

El Chalten is a small village that is the base for different activities. Of course trekkings and trekkings, but also other great options you can choose:

Trekking activities in El Chaltén

One of the most iconic treks in the region, leading to the base of Cerro Fitz Roy. The trek can take a full day and offers breathtaking views of glaciers, lakes, and rugged peaks.
Laguna de los Tres is another option. A challenging but rewarding trek that takes you to a stunning viewpoint overlooking Mount Fitz Roy and its surrounding peaks.
Laguna Torre is Another popular trek, offering views of Cerro Torre and its glacier. It’s a slightly easier trek than the Fitz Roy trek but equally beautiful.
There are many other options to enjoy trekking in the area from 2-hour activities.



Visiting Lago del Desierto

Visiting Lago del Desierto offers a serene and picturesque experience amidst the natural wonders of Argentine Patagonia. Located in the Santa Cruz Province, near the border with Chile and about 37 kilometers northwest of El Chaltén, the lake provides breathtaking views of the Patagonian landscape during a scenic drive of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours from El Chaltén. Once there, boat tours can be taken to explore the lake and its surroundings, as well as hikes of varying difficulty levels to enjoy nature. Visitors can also fish for trout, enjoy a picnic on the shore, and relax amidst the tranquility of the setting. Dressing in layers and bringing waterproof clothing is recommended due to the unpredictable weather of the region, especially during the summer months (December to February), which is the optimal time to visit the lake. In summary, a visit to Lago del Desierto promises an unforgettable experience immersed in the breathtaking landscapes of Argentine Patagonia.

Lago del Desierto, from El chalten


Other adventure activities: kayak, mountain bike and horseback riding

In El Chaltén, exploring the stunning landscapes of Argentine Patagonia is made possible through horseback riding, mountain biking, and kayaking. Horseback riding ventures lead riders through breathtaking scenery, including verdant forests, towering peaks, and picturesque valleys, guided by local experts who share insights into the region’s heritage and wildlife. Mountain biking enthusiasts can tackle thrilling trails that wind through rugged terrain, renting bikes from local outfitters and opting for guided tours for added expertise. Kayaking offers access to pristine lakes and rivers, with guided tours ensuring safety and providing instruction amidst the majestic mountains and glaciers. Lake Viedma, a favored kayaking spot near El Chaltén, invites paddlers to navigate icebergs and secluded bays, while glacial lagoons and rivers promise encounters with diverse wildlife and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Whether on horseback, bike, or kayak, El Chaltén beckons adventurers to immerse themselves in its boundless outdoor opportunities amidst some of the planet’s most remarkable landscapes.


El Chaltén offers endless opportunities for photography enthusiasts. From dramatic mountain peaks to crystal-clear lakes and glaciers, the landscape is a photographer’s dream.
Sunrise and sunset are particularly magical times for capturing the beauty of the Patagonian landscape, so be sure to have your camera ready.

Birdwatching and Wildlife Viewing

The region is home to diverse wildlife, including guanacos, foxes, condors, and numerous bird species. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to spot Andean condors soaring high above the mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for other wildlife sightings as you explore the trails and landscapes of the region.

Rock Climbing

El Chaltén offers excellent rock climbing opportunities for both beginners and experienced climbers. The challenging granite peaks attract climbers from around the world.
If you’re new to rock climbing, consider hiring a guide or joining a climbing tour to explore the area safely.

Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

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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