El Chalten

El Chalten sits at the base of Mount FitzRoy and on the edge of the South Patagonia Ice Cap. From your hotel in El Chalten you can walk straight out onto hiking trails around Mount FitzRoy, or use it as a base for 3-4 treks up to passes overlooking the Ice Cap, or 8+ day expeditions onto the Ice Cap itself.

Here we'll help you find out about the key hikes and landmarks in the area, how to get there, where to stay and more.

Trekking options from El Chalten

El Chalten guide and info

When to visit

The best time to visit is between October and March, Patagonian summer, when you'll enjoy more daylight and better conditions to get into the mountains and up to the Ice Cap.

Also see our guide to weather in Patagonia, with monthly temperature wind and rain charts for nearby El Calafate.

How to get there

El Chalten is served by the nearby airport at El Calafate (FTE), and most visitors to El Chalten visit the incredible Perito Moreno glacier en route.

The journey from El Calafate to El Chalten takes about 3 hours. You can use a public bus (several each day), or we usually travel with Las Lenguas who a stand at the airport.

To find our more about flights to Calafate see our guide to getting to Patagonia.

Things to do

El Chalten is a mecca for climbers wanting to scale Mount FitzRoy and its surrounding peaks. It also offers some wonderful trekking around those peaks in the Los Glaciares national park, and is the base for many expeditions onto the South Patagonia IceCap.

Find out more about trekking in El Chalten and Patagonia Ice Cap expeditions.

Where to stay in El Chalten

El Chalten offers huge range of accommodation options. We've got four recommendations for hotels in El Chalten, and you can check availability and prices across many others. 

But if you don't want to stay in town, then here are some other options you might consider:

  • camping at Piedra del Fraile
  • This colonial style lodge north of town can provide a great base for hikes up towards the Marconi Pass and the hike to Lagua de Los Tres. 
  • A charming wilderness lodge on the edge of Rio de Las Vueltas about 20km north of town offering mountain biking and kayaking and great views of FitzRoy.

Onward travel

Most people visiting Chalten choose to cross the border and head to nearby Torres del Paine in Chile. There are also trips that visit El Chalten and Torres del Paine.

The back way into El Chalten

The Quetru Crossing - the back way from Aysen to Fitzroy

This is so much more than just a border crossing. After sailing through the turquoise blue of Lago O'Higgins (the deepest lake in South America) you will enjoy an easy trek in remote and untouched forest, surrounded by native Lenga…

8 Days


The Quetru Crossing - the back way from Aysen to Fitzroy

Map of the main landmarks around El Chalten

See glaciers, peaks, lakes, lodges and more on our interactive map of El Chalten and Fitz Roy:

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