El Chaltén, a newly-founded village due to territory issues with Chile, is growing fast because of tourism. Less than 30 years old, it is the newest town in Argentina. It intends to be the new Bariloche with ski resorts in the winter, trekking, climbing and mountain bike in the summer. It is considered the trekking capital for receiving sportspeople searching for adventure on the two toughest mountains in the world: Fitz Roy and Torre.

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Fitz Roy
Fitz Roy

FITZ ROY (3.375m) has granite walls that attract climbers and hikers from all around the world. The natives called it El Chaltén, which means “smoking mountain”; there is always smoke on the top.

Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre

CERRO TORRE (3.128m) is a steep mountain. When it is foggy and the temperature is low, drops of water freeze and accumulate on the top, like some kind of mushroom that plummets with the weight.

Walking on the streets (all asphalted and with sport shops and handicraft, restaurants and wonderful bakeries), I could see backpackers, travelers and sportsmen from all over the world. There is always someone coming from an adventure or starting one.

Baby guanaco
Baby guanaco

When we arrived we went straight to GUARDA PARQUE to get maps and attend a lecture about local nature and conservation. As the city is new, it has always been eco-friendly. There are rules for the trail, like walking 80 steps away from any river to “do your business” and taking all your garbage. On the first day we got to know the town and did the first trail of Patagonia, 6 km to and from CHORRILLO DEL SALTO, a good warm-up for the next days.

On the way to the waterfall
On the way to the waterfall

AccommodationRANCHO GRANDE HOSTEL – great ambience, we stayed in a double room with bathroom and heating. There is a kitchen, leisure area and a restaurant that receives visitors; it can be pretty fun at night. I had all my meals there, it was good and cheap.

There are no bank agencies and credit cards are not accepted.

The nearest airport is 240 km from El Calafate. On the way there is a single roadside diner called LEONA, nice place for pictures. There is interesting but expensive handicraft. There was a cute baby guanaco, the attraction of the place.[/box]

Translated by Lúcia Maciel
English teacher

© All rights reserved. Pictures and report 100% originals. Photos by Roberta Martins and Leandro Gabrieli.

Author ro martins

Advertiser, tourism content generator, Territorios’s creator, photographer and travel guide. From the last 12 years, reports her travel experiences focusing on culture and ecotourism on her award-winning blog (Best Content Travel Blog at FITUR Madrid 2017).

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