7 Best Things To Do In El Chalten, Argentina

By Before You Go / October 31, 2022

El Chalten is a small village located in Los Glaciares National Park, but it is filled with lots of fun activities and adventures that will get your adrenaline pumping!

Are you planning a trip to this small village? Then here are 7 things to do in El Chalten, Argentina. Please be sure to stay until the end to discover the breathtaking activity at number one.

Number 7: Hike The Laguna De Los Tres Trail

Indeed, there are loads of activities to catch up with in this adventurous village, but you may want to get started by hiking the Laguna De Los Tres trails to Cerro Fitz Roy.

This trail is one of the most popular hiking venues for tourists visiting the Santa Cruz province, and it’s evident in the number of people lining up to go over the hill towards the mountain everyday.

But then, you must note that this activity is not for the faint-hearted. This is because the 21km round-trip is sure to test your fitness and endurance levels. However, if you can pull through, you will undoubtedly find the view at the base of Mount Fitz Roy rewarding and satisfying.

Tourists who have managed to make it all the way to the end of the trail have confessed that it is worth every step, and it will be a mistake not to prioritize this activity when you get to the village.

To beat the traffic and avoid the large crowds that often gather along the trail, you may want to step out as early as 7 am. Between the excellent views, the sweats, and the dirt, this 8 hours experience is one you do not want to miss.

Moreover, if you don’t think you are fit enough to make the entire trip, you can hike to the Fitz Roy Viewpoint instead. It is just 4km away and promises an equally exciting view.

But if you are bent on reaching the famous mountain base, you also have the option of breaking up your trips as there are campsites along the trail where you can take a break to get refreshed.

Number 6: Take A Trip To Lago del Desierto

If you ever need a break from the seemingly dry lowlands in El Chalten, then you should consider taking a trip to the evergreen Lago del Desierto. This is one of the great wonders in the Patagonia region, but many tourists tend to miss it because it is a little further away from the village.

There’s no denying the loads of fun activities jam-packed in the village, but if you are like me, you may desire a break from the broad brown dry lands after some days. Well, you are in luck because the desert lake is just 37km away, so you may want to consider getting a rental car.

The desert is a 2 hours drive on the rough roads and is even accessible with a bike. You can also take your time to admire the view along the way by stopping to rest in the roadside accommodations.

However, the main highlight is the lake and its beautiful scenery. You will find this landscape most impressive, with green lands, beautiful blue rivers, colorful birds, and mountains. A day at the Lago del Desierto is one you shouldn’t omit from your list of things to do in El Chalten.

Number 5: Hike The Glacier Huemul

One thing you can be sure of during your stay in El Chalten is that you will enjoy the best hiking experiences. The village is blessed with some of the best hiking destinations in Argentina, but you wouldn’t find many as impressive as the Glacier Huemul.

Tourists visiting the village from far and wide often have a hike to this natural resort among their top priorities, and rightly so too.

Looking to stretch your legs and test your physical fitness? You may want to join a team of active hikers and make your way up the hill. The Glacier Huemul is only one of the several glaciers you can visit in Los Glaciares National Park, but it sure promises a grand experience you will enjoy.

With an elevation of 200 meters, the trail of over 1.6km from the desert lake offers you and your travelling companions a view of several incredible sceneries to keep you motivated on your way up.

However, these paths pass through private property, and you’ll need to pay a fee of about 300 pesos, which is an equivalent of $5, to gain passage. Regardless, you can rest assured of an experience worth every penny.

Number 4: Take A Trip Across The Petrified Forest

Surely, you must have heard of the famous Petrified Forest on the outskirts of the Los Glaciares National Park, in the area between El Chalten and El Calafate.

If you haven’t, perhaps this is your chance to get acquainted with one of the most impressive petrified woods in Argentina.

The trip is often a lot shorter from El Calafate. But if you have a day to spare, you can take on this adventure from El Chalten to enjoy the fun-filled experience it promises.

Also, The forest can only be visited on an organized tour, so you may want to book your place with the group earlier.

Once you complete this process, you can join the tour into the forest to enjoy the view of petrified trees and centuries-old dinosaur bones along the forest trails.

You also do not have to worry much about accommodations as there are plenty of inns for tourists to spend the night and get back on track the next day.

Number 3: Go Ice Climbing On The Glacier Viedma

El Chalten is known for its many tourist attractions, including several awe-inspiring glaciers. Many tourists prioritize a tour to these glaciers, and the fantastic views are worth all the attention.

But do you know there’s more you can do than just admire the exciting glacier landscape at the national park? Yes, there is, and you may want to take your experience up a notch by joining a crew of ice climbers at Viedma.

The Viedma Glacier is located just outside El Chalten village, in the city of Viedma, and it is one of the most famous ice-climbing destinations in Argentina.

If you think you are fit enough and fancy your chances at climbing, then you are up for an experience of a lifetime, making your way up the icy Viedma Glacier. Just step out and experience a different type of hiking that is sure to take your breath away.

You’ll need full ice-climbing gear for this activity, which will be provided to you by the tour guides. Once you have strapped on your crampons, the tour guides will escort you down to the lakeside, where you will begin your adventure.

What’s more? Even if you are new to the concept of ice climbing, you can still join in on the fun, as the friendly guides are always willing to help beginners get their game on.

Number 2: Hike The Cerro Torre

The Cerro Torre is the tallest of the four mountains in the Patagonian region of Argentina, and as expected, it is the most exciting to hike.

Well, you already know that hiking is an activity you cannot avoid in El Chalten, whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure.

So, why not make it a worthwhile experience by tromping up the Cerro Torre with fellow tourists? This is a highly physical activity, but one you would certainly enjoy if you are fit enough to join the hiking party.

Number 1: Visit The Chorrillo del Salto Waterfalls

El Chalten is nicknamed the trekking capital of Argentina because of the many hiking destinations in the area.

But, once again, there’s more to this adventurous village than the glaciers and mountains, as it has many other attractions, including a famous waterfall.

The Chorrillo del Salto waterfall, located in Ruta Provincial 23, is one of the natural wonders in South America. So, it is, no doubt, one of the best places to visit in El Chalten.

The waterfall is surrounded by fantastic scenery, but the water itself is superbly sparkling, making it the main attraction. Of course, it is hard to look beyond a jaw-dropping 20-meter fall of sparkling clean water.

This waterfall is fed by the melting glacier accumulated from the Fitz Roy. It is not just an exciting sight to behold, but the sound of the water splashing into the river beneath is also bliss to the ear.

Indeed, visiting the Chorrillo del Salto is certainly non-negotiable if you want to make the most of your visit. You can access the waterfall via a walking path from the city or drive to the car park only 500 meters away from the river. 

There you go, then; the top things to do in El Chalten to spice up your stay.

Which of the attractions in this video do you like the most? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.