A Hiking Paradise for Backpackers: El Chalten, Argentina

What better than a hiking paradise for backpackers in El Chalten, Argentina in the Andes? Beginning your hike from a small backpacking town called El Chalten. For all you backpackers who may sometime feel like no one understands you when you’re home, El Chalten will make you feel normal to be a backpacker and a hiker!

Let’s start with a hiking paradise for backpackers in El Chalten, Argentina

This small village, a 2.5 hour bus ride from El Calafate, is paradise for backpackers. The village was created in the ’70s to protect Argentina from Chilean invaders looking for land. El Chalten attracts most backpackers because of hiking and climbing opportunities in the area.

There is only one ATM machine in the entire village so make sure to have cash when you arrive. There is one HI hostel, called Rancho Grande Hostel where you can stay at if you don’t plan on camping.

Laguna de los Tres, Fitz Roy

This is the most popular hike from El Chalten. Beginning your hike at El Chalten, you’ll be going up a difficult flight of “stairs” but then get a break by walking on flat land for a few hours. The view is out of the world. The most difficult part of the hike is the last stretch where you’re going up a steep rocky area to get to the Laguna.

Well worth the effort and the view is incredible from up there. You can easily complete this hike in less than 6 hours if you’re somewhat in shape. You can hike it within a day but for more hardcore backpackers, you can hike up with all of your backpacker gear and camp overnight. The trail becomes much more difficult when carrying 40lbs on your back. Well worth the experience though!

Laguna de los Tres, Fitz Roy

Laguna Torre, Cerro Torre

It was a 12 hour hike on the moutain with a guide. The hike begin at 7am and you need to be back to El Chalten sometime in the early evening. It’s a more difficult hike than Laguna de Los Tres. You will caught every type of climat. From sunny, to rainy, to windy, to cold, to snowing. There are a few steep areas where you thought it’s crazy to even be attempting hiking this.

The last stretch, right before arriving on the glaciers, is brutal. It’s a hill with small rocks. Going down to the glaciers isn’t so bad but going back up while your foot in sinking in the rocks and at this point it’s a good 8 hours hiking already, You wish someone to carry you!

Laguna Torre, Cerro Torre

Image via : tripadvisor.com

It’s definitely a physically challenging hike and well worth the price you pay for the tour. The guide is very knowledgeable and once again, the views are awesome. The first thing you should do when get back to El Chalten is to get a beer at the Cervezeria. A tradition for most hikers after a tough hike!

El Chalten is definitely one of the highlights in Patagonia. If you plan to travel to Ushuaia, El Calafate or Bariloche, we recommend you make a 2 day stop in El Chalten. You’ll remember this little town for the rest of your life, guaranteed!

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