Destination guide: El Chalten, Argentina
El Chalten is a beautiful Argentine town in the south, 450 meters above sea level, at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy and on the shore of the Las Vueltas River. If you like mountain sports, you can go trekking, mountain climbing, rafting, horse riding and fishing here.
At the entrance to the northern sector of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, the pretty village of El Chalten serves the thousands of visitors who make summer pilgrimages to explore the range. It feels like a tourist town, at least in some ways – most buildings are cute, log cabin-like structures, and you’ll see signs in English everywhere.
It environmental consciousness is a big priority – you’ll see recycling bins all around town. Traveler services continue to evolve rapidly: the paving of RP 23 a few years ago has started making way for large-scale tourism.
El Chalten is named for Cerro FitzRoy’s Tehuelche name, meaning ‘peak of fire’ or ‘smoking mountain’ – an apt description of the cloud-enshrouded summit. Perito Moreno and Carlos Moyano later named it after the Beagle’s Captain FitzRoy, who navigated Darwin’s expedition up the Río Santa Cruz in 1834, coming within 50km of the cordillera.
Capilla de los Escaladores, a simple chapel of Austrian design, memorializes the many climbers who have lost their lives to the precarious peaks since 1953.
Purchase your ticket at LAN.com and discover all of the charm that El Chalten has to offer. Buy now