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| Estimated reading time: 3 min.|| Pablo Etchevers Jorge González - Cristina Sabaliauskas|
The hiking capital of Argentina, the small town of El Chaltén is a magnificent site to keep walking. A site for lovers of hiking and mountaineering.
|"El Chaltén" is a synonym for mountain, hiking, trekking, sports climbing, outdoors. The town was created in 1985 and ever since its origin, it has been changing according to the features of its first visitors: love for the mountains.|
Thus, the youngest town in Argentina started to develop and today it already has a thousand permanent residents who proudly give account of their role in this community that has been declared the hiking capital of Argentina.
There are plenty of circuits to follow. They all vary in difficulty but offer perfect sceneries that at times seem to be completely different, suitable both for beginners and for the highly experienced mountaineers and climbers.
|An ideal feature about El Chaltén is that its trails start right in the town and there is one for every taste. They may take one, two, three hours and even the entire day. Some even require hikers to stay overnight somewhere on the way and then continue hiking for as many days as they consider necessary.|
The most outstanding trails include: Laguna de los Tres (Lake of the Three) –from where the ascent to the Fitz Roy starts-, the Torre Glacier and the seven-to-ten-day crossing on the continental ice-field, whose photographs portray images that seem to have been taken at the Pole or Antarctica.
But in addition to all this, other trails become the protagonists of this adventure and are visited day after day by hundreds of tourists that dare to go high into the mountain and unveil its hidden nooks.
|No sooner is the town entered than a trail leads visitors to various easily accessed viewpoints. They include the Condors Viewpoint (lying one kilometer away from the city) and the Eagles Viewpoint (situated two kilometers away).|
A little bit more demanding, Loma del Pliegue Tumbado (located twelve kilometers away from the city) and the unbeatable Lake Toro –reached after hiking along fifteen kilometers- are equivalent to a seven-hour-hike approximately for the highly experienced.
|Behind Los Cerros Hotel, one of the most beautiful in El Chaltén, there appears the trail that leads to the Torre Glacier and Lake Torre. This hiking tour demands almost three hours, each minute of which is perfectly justified by the natural wonders appreciated on the way.|
At the end of the town, the signs announce the trails that lead to the base of the Fitz Roy, a place known as Laguna de los Tres.
Other emblematic sites –such as Lake Capri, Lakes Mother and Daughter, as well as Poicenot and Río Blanco campsites, whose beauty is immediately evident for hikers- appear on the way before reaching the abovementioned destination.
|Heading for Lago del Desierto (Lake of the Desert), where it is also possible to go hiking up to the Huemul Glacier, the famous El Chorrillo Fall appears just four kilometers away. After climbing up for fifteen minutes, this path leads to a fall of fresh waters that jump into the void giving shape to a singular pool. |
There are many trails. El Chaltén has everything visitors need to go hiking, as this activity in the hiking capital of Argentina is part of the daily lifestyle of whoever dwells or stays here, regardless of how long they will remain in the town.
With a spirit unlike no other city in the country, El Chaltén offers trails for all tastes. Hikers just need to take them and keep walking.