Mount Torre and Fitz Roy or Chaltén - Photo: Jorge Nestor González
In addition to being the youngest town in Patagonia, El Chaltén
is a dreamed-of place with cultural diversity. A great deal of foreigners visits this site due to its ideal natural conditions for lovers of outdoor activities, especially hiking.
Considered the Argentinian capital of hiking, several trails start at its very streets and get deep into the impressive surrounding mountains, such as the Fitz Roy, the Poincenot or the very particular Mount Torre.
The latest national census has established that there are over a thousand steady denizens but the number multiplies remarkably from November thru May, due to the huge amount of visitors who come along to enjoy the summer months.
It lies 212 kilometers away from El Calafate, a distance covered in less than 3 hours, as the new road is in excellent condition. During this journey, visitors will get past some sites worth photographing.
The surroundings of El Chaltén combine the magic of nearby glaciers, the hidden ponds, sky-blue Lake Viedma and the mystical presence of Mount Fitz Roy. From the village, visitors may spot its imposing unmistakable summit, almost always covered by a cloud the Tehuelche
people misread as smoke, a slip that gave origin to the native name of the hill: “chaltén”, which stands for “volcano” or “smoking mountain”.