El Chalten, trekking capital of Argentina on the way to Mount Fitz Roy

Always on the famous Route 40, El Chalten is famous for Mount Fitz Roy. This is the steepest peak of the world with a height of 3405 meters, only 220 kilometers from El Calafate.

The town of El Chalten is very recent (founded in 1985) and really small. It can go in 15 minutes from one end to the other. Despite the presence of a school and a gym that could imply a local life, the city is home mainly cafes, restaurants and hostels. Closing half of April to October during the lowest season.


El Chalten Fitz Roy

I spent two full days during which I did some “walks” from 8 hours each to explore the Los Glaciares National Park and Mount Fitz Roy!

Trek Laguna de Los Tres

This is the trek that allows you to get closer as close to the Cerro Fitz Roy, see its base. A magnificent lagoon with crystal colors. It is considered a difficult trek due to the last hour. More than steep slope to reach the lagoon whose path is strewn with snow and ice.

Trek laguna de los Tres

North of the city begins the course. 3 hours of “flat” in the middle of the forest. We are in autumn and the trees have their dress of red, yellow and green leaves. A beautiful array of colors so rich that it contrasts with the almost stony and dusty ground. We cross bridges made of boards and tree trunk. A camp is nestled halfway.

Trek laguna de los tres

Trek laguna de los Tres

After 1 hour, you reach the first lookout point which gives you a spectacular view of Mount Fitz Roy and what we expect! It sounds near and far at once. Still in the forest, is still hard to imagine that in just two hours, one can walk on the snowy peaks that we see on the horizon. On the right, below, we see the Fitz Roy glacier at the base of hill.

Mont Fitz Roy

After three hours of walking, we finally arrived at the last step, the most difficult! There is even a sign indicating the difficulty of the climb. I am with two more Australian athletes and none of us is a joke, looking up to the top. Ok, now we know; Tomorrow, we will have pain !!

Trek laguna de los tres

And it left for one hour to blow, suffering and marvel at the same time. The more one gains height, the more the view is spectacular. We begin to see the snow here and there, then the path becomes totally covered with ice. It’s slippery, there is the 3-meter vacuum slope on our left. I limit dizzy! Finally we see the top of this hill and the tip of Mount Fitz Roy makes us the eye. Here it is, more than 15 minutes of effort and we are!

Trek laguna de los Tres

Mont Fitz Roy

Trek laguna de los Tres

A lagoon of a clear light blue. The water surface is covered with a very thin layer of ice. Mount Fitz Roy, majestic overlooks everything. The sun is shining, and the reflections on the wall and on the water embellish everything.

Lagune de los tresLagune de los tres et Mont Fitz Roy

An hour break, a good picnic and go again in the opposite direction. The first hour, downhill this time, it is not an easy task because of the snow and ice. And it must be said, it has still filled legs! A detour of 10 minutes by the Lagoon Capri and we end the last hour in welcoming this difficult day, as they say, “We had pain in the A** …! “.

Back at the hostel, no one will pray to go to sleep early after a good Argentinian steak; Some comfort after the effort!


Other treks

For lovers of walking and nature treks, El Chalten is full of more or less difficult treks. After the most spectacular of Mount Fitz Roy and its lagoon Los Tres, it is interesting to that of the Torre Lagoon at the base of Mount of the same name. The course of 3 hours one way, takes you to the base of a glacier that juts into the lagoon where chunks of ice float.

You can also walk the four kilometers from the center to see the waterfalls Salto del Chorillo or south of the city at Mirador de los Condores, just one hour and a half walk go ad back.



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