Hike through alpine meadows to glistening remote lakes
El Chalten is a centre for world class hiking opportunities, the majority of which end on the shores of a peaceful lagoon at the foot of towering spires, reached only by long yet manageable treks. Along the way, the ever-changing scenery of meandering rivers, gentle waterfalls, thick woodland, alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains provides a stunning backdrop. Another popular activity here is horse riding in the valley of the Rio de La Vueltas, the perfect way to sooth your aching legs after those long treks.
Los Glaciares is one of the most impressive national parks in Argentina. The vast reserve that protects around 2,300 square miles of Patagonian Andes includes more than 40 major glaciers. The northern section of the park is dominated by the world famous Fitzroy Massif, which rises 6,000 feet from the glaciers at its base and stands watch over the tiny El Chalten.
The Infamous Cash Machine
El Chalten & Fitzroy - The Infamous Cash Machine
Everything you need to know about the remoteness of El Chalten can be summed up by its cash machine. Yes, just the one solitary machine, which is filled up just once a week and runs out not long after. Although most restaurants and hotels take card payments, it is advisable to stock up on your Pesos in El Calafate, to avoid getting caught short. The empty cash machine is part of a mix of the weird and the wonderful that make El Chalten such a disarming and charming place. The corrugated iron church, the sepia-tinted newspaper covering the walls in one cafe, the bicycle hung from the ceiling of another and the rubbish bin stood idly chatting on the phone are all overlooked by the ever-present chiselled outline of Mount Fitz Roy and surrounded by alpine meadows, hidden lagoons and those endless Patagonian skies.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
El Chalten & Fitzroy - Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
The scenic journey from El Calafate to El Chalten lasts around three hours, skirting first around Lago Argentino and then Lago Viedma. There’s a brief stop somewhere in the middle at La Leona Roadhouse where it is said that in 1905 three strangers spent a few nights during their travels through Patagonia, those being Robert LeRoy Parker, Harry Alonzo Longabaugh - better known as Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid - and Ethel Place, the wife of Longabaugh.
El Chalten & Fitzroy
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