El Chaltén

Argentina’s trekking capital, El Chaltén, is a popular haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking opportunities abound for both advanced and beginner trekkers. Just an hour’s walk from the town center will have you trekking in Los Glaciares National Park, with views that range from great glaciers to towering rocky summits and rolling forests. Founded in 1985, the town got its name from the Tehuelche word meaning “mountain that smokes,” thanks to the clouds that persistently crown the great peaks of Mount Fitz Roy. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse on your drive into town, or on a clear morning. We highly recommend the Laguna de Los Tres hike, a full-day trip that rewards you with a picture-postcard mountain lake and the snowy backdrop of Fitz Roy peak.

The weather in Patagonia is famously hard to predict. However, the best time to visit El Chaltén is around the southern hemisphere’s summertime. El Chaltén can get crowded during the peak months of December through February, so we recommend visiting during the shoulder season months of October, November, March, and early April for optimal weather and fewer crowds.

Our favorite accommodations in El Chaltén

Other areas to explore