At El Chaltén, we grabbed our hiking poles and set out along one of the easiest trails, ideal for beginners in the hiking adventure. Our destination: Lake Capri.
At the end of the town
, a sign announces the ascent to Laguna de los Tres
(Lake of the Three), the nearest spot that may be reached before climbing up famous Mount Fitz Roy, a challenge only attempted by professional climbers. There is another sign showing the way to Lake Capri, where the first camping site to spend the night is located. While staying there, hikers plan other circuits to make new discoveries.
Less than two hours separate Lake Capri from El Chaltén, but the trail is so interesting that it is one of the most popular among visitors. The path features a certain degree of difficulty during the first stretch, as it is necessary to climb. We realized we were gaining height as we advanced. We could see the small town of El Chaltén behind and all its surroundings. Mountains, a valley that serves as an entrance and, to one side, the famous De las Vueltas River, which winds around up to the spot where it runs parallel to the town that keeps growing everyday.
The trail narrowed down and got us inside a forest where we could appreciate all kinds of species, among which the lengas
stood out. The clearings amidst the vegetation let us spot various mountains and peaks, some of them covered with snow, as well as small creeks and water bodies that we crossed with the help of footbridges.
We came across other hikers who were coming from the opposite direction and they gave us a hint that we were very close to our target. The presence of a couple of woodpeckers drumming on tree remains captured our attention towards this worthy gift from Mother Nature. We were the protagonists of a magical moment, especially when the birds became aware of our presence and did not stop their task, trusting that this time the presence of man would not damage them in any way.
We started to make out several igloo tents in the clearings. We were there. The famous Lake Capri looked stunning from all points of view. Its crystal-clear blue waters and some huge rocks in the background invited us to continue traveling, but that was not our plan. To one side of the camping site, there is a natural viewpoint that turned out to be perfect to eat the snacks we had been given at the hotel when we let the staff know that we would go hiking. Lake Capri is a real paradise. The decoration provided by the neighboring mountains, Mount Fitz Roy among them, turns this into a perfect circuit to start hiking around the trails of El Chaltén.