El Chalten is an epic adventure destination for travelers visiting the Santa Cruz region of Argentina.
It’s a small town that sits at the base of the Fitz Roy range, a beautiful and rugged collection of mountains.
Surrounded by stunning landscapes, El Chalten is home to some of the best hikes in the region.
This post will give you the insider scoop on the best hikes in El Chalten.
There’s no better way to get to know El Chalten than a walk to the Condor Lookout.
This easy walk takes no more than an hour one-way and covers 2 km out and back.
The trail begins right before the entrance to the village. As you ascend, you’re rewarded with incredible views of the mountains and Lake Viedma.
Start hiking this trail early in the morning, before sunrise is recommended!
Enjoy the sight of pink-hued skies as the sun moves over some of the most stunning mountains in South America.
The hike to Laguna Torre is undoubtedly one of Argentina’s best hikes.
The trail begins at the northern end of El Chalten, and depending on how far you go, a moderate trek will take you around six hours.
Approximately 2 km of steep incline leads into some lovely grassy meadows where you’re rewarded with your first stunning view of Cerro Torre.
As you walk along the river and through the forest, a beautiful lake at the glacier base awaits you at Laguna Torre.
Throughout the trek, you can enjoy spectacular views.
Hike up the steep, narrow trails to Mirador Maestri for the ultimate lookout with picturesque views of the lake and glaciers.
You can easily reach this waterfall in just a few minutes from town, making it a perfect hike to squeeze in if you are short on time in El Chalten or if you’re looking for a more relaxed stroll.
The path runs parallel to Ruta 41 on the hillside, and the trailhead begins at the north end of town.
Getting to the stunning waterfall requires less than a mile of easy trekking.
Once you make it to the trailhead, a sharp incline will lead you to a stunning valley with views of Mount Fitz Roy.
It takes less than two hours to walk from here to Laguna Capri, passing through a forest of ire and linga trees.
Take a dip in the waters if you need to cool off. With Fitz Roy visible on the horizon, it’s a lovely spot to pitch a tent and camp out for the night.
Piedra Del Fraile is fantastic for those looking for the road less traveled.
Boasting spectacular views of Aguja Mermoz and Aguja Guillaumet, Piedra Del Fraile puts you in touch with nature. Wind your way along Rio Electrico and through enchanted lenga forests.
Those with a sense of adventure can continue straight ahead, trekking a rough trail to Piedra Negra. For climbers looking to ascend El Chalten, this is a popular basecamp.
It’s also possible to continue through the valley and on up to Lago Electrico. If you’re still looking for more, continue to Rio Polloneand Glaciar Pollone.
Loma del Pldamientos Tumbado is a lesser-known hike that can be equally amazing as the more popular trails above.
It’s a wonderful escape from crowds and a great way to see a very different area.
Take the first left at the first junction toward Laguna Toro, just south of El Chalten’s ranger station.
Overlooking the town from a hillside, you’ll pass through grassy fields with grazing cows as you climb through the forest, and eventually, you’ll spot the mountain ranges.
Emerge from the forest and be greeted by a vast meadow with breathtaking panoramic views.
Although it might be tempting to spend the day here, the best is yet to come! Venture on to Mount Loma del Pldamientos Tumbado for picturesque views of the Rio Tunel Valley.
If you think this path looks familiar, you’re correct! This is the same path as the one for Laguna Capri.
This trail is recommended for more experienced hikers. It begins with a steep ascent for the first hour until you reach the valley of Del Salto river.
Due to its challenging pass and rugged terrain, this route is not recommended for beginners.
Adventurous trekkers can start from the visitor center and head towards Rio Tunel; trekkers who are afraid of getting lost may consider joining a group tour instead.
After a four-day climb, you can stay at the campsite at Laguna Toro or Laguna Ferrari.
Rest as much as you can because you’ll have a 2 km trek back to base camp, which is usually the most exhausting part of the journey.
There are fewer crowds on this hike; it’s an excellent alternative to some of the more popular ones.
It’s an excellent alternative to classic El Chalten routes that can be completed in a day.
As you climb the hills and admire the wildlife, you’ll get views of Mount Fitz Roy and Torre from this scenic route, two of El Chalten’s top highlights.