El Chalten: A little bit of hiking heaven

We were never planning on heading to El Chalten on this trip, but after realising that we’d booked to spend 4 nights in El Calafate with not much happening there, we knew we had to find a way to fill in some time. So we hopped on a comfortable 3 hour bus at 8am and arrived by 11am.

El Chalten is known primarily as a hiking hotspot. It is deemed to be within the famous Patagonia region but does not have a local airport which is why it isn’t quite a touristy as El Calafate. Though walking around we could see that new hotels were slowly popping up everywhere and can imagine that in 10 years time it will be overrun by tourists.

We checked into our hotel and got hiking straight away. Over the 2 days we were there, we did 2 of the main hikes:

Laguna Torre 18km

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After getting off the bus at 11am and checking into our hotel, we quickly made our way to the start of the hike by 12pm. That is a considerably late start for us given most of our hikes start at about 9am. The town of El Chalten was incredibly foggy so we weren’t expecting much for our hike. Much to our surprise, the hike actually started off at a hill which overlooked the city which meant we were literally walking above the fog and managed to get clear skies for most of the journey. The scenery was absolutely stunning. The path was very well marked and technically quite easy. We absolutely loved it!

Monte Fitzroy 16km

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Now there was really no chance we’d have good weather 2 days in a row during off season, but this was no reason to abandon our plans to hike again. This time we were headed towards the famous Mount Fitzroy. We had already decided that based on the weather we wouldn’t do the final part of the trek which involved a steep ascent to the view point because the fog meant there wasn’t much of a view and quite frankly, I couldn’t be bothered. It remained cloudy for most if the day but thankfully no rain. For much of the journey we saw glimpses of a stunning blue glacier in the distance which is what we were headed towards. When we finally arrived, we were amazed by just how blue it was but also how out of place it was, it was the only glacier in sight and was wedged between mountains. This hike was technically a little more challenging than the day before but still very enjoyable.

El Chalten is a hiking hotspot not to be missed. It is definitely worth visiting this town sooner rather than later!

Til next time
Ann & Jason xo

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