Want to get you soul renewed? El Chalten is the best place to visit for the same! The pure energy and mountain air of this place energises one, inspiring to develop a new love and respect for nature. An experience of unspoilt nature opens all senses up, and one can trek along the trails of the magic forest, stopping at viewpoints to get a good glimpse of the beautiful mountains and glaciers. Here’s all you need to know about El Chalten’s best timing, accommodation options, attractions to visit and essentials to be kept in mind while planning.
Best Time to Visit El Chalten
There is no ‘best’ time to visit El Chalten per se, since the weather all-round the year is unpredictable. However, the period of Southern Summer i.e. between late December and late December offers not only more hospitable weather but also extended daylight hours.
Things to do in El Chalten
Of all the things to do in El Chalten, physical adventures are of most popular among tourists
Known as the trekking capital of Argentina, El Chalten offers numerous trekking expeditions, both self-guided and guided by a professional instructor. Tourism in El Chalten is popular mostly because of its scenic treks. The following trekking expeditions are offered, accompanied by their timing and difficulty level-
Chorillo Del Salto
Difficulty Level: Easy and Time: 3 Hours
Mirador Del Torre
Difficulty Level: Easy and Time: 3-4 Hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate and Time: 7-8 Hours
Laguna De Los Tres
Difficulty Level: Moderate and Time: 8-9 Hours
Ice Trek Cagliero Glacier
This hike combines trekking trails and walking with crampons on the Cagliero glaciers. While this trek might be challenging and long, it is a firm favourite amongst those into adventure. This trek is best enjoyed in the months of October-April.
2. Fishing Excursion
This activity includes fly-fishing and full day spinning excursion at Lago Del Desertio and De las Vueltas river. This activity is relatively easy and very enjoyable. This activity is best enjoyed in the months between November and April.
3. Visit the La Leona Petrified Forest
Visiting this site provides a one-to-one experience in witnessing an amazing reservoir of petrified trunks and fossil bones, set against an impressive eroded landscape. This excursion is relatively easy, and takes eight hours to reach from El Chalten. This activity can be best enjoyed in October-April. The forest is one of the most popular tourist spots in El Chalten, so expect a crowd
4. Go Mountain Biking from the Lago del Desierto
Cycling along this scenic route from the lake to El Chalten lets you always have a tailwind! This activity might be a little exhausting, and can be best enjoyed in the months of October-April.
5. Kayak at the Lago del Desierto
This lake of turquoise water provides a beautiful backdrop for enjoying a beautiful kayak ride, providing breath taking views of hills and glaciers. Rowing in this lake is definitely an enjoyable activity. Kayaking is relatively easy, and takes nearly 3 hours to be completed from the Punta Sur Shore. This activity can be best enjoyed in the months between November and March.
6. Go Horse Riding in El Relincho
Enjoy riding through this Patagonian steppe! This activity is a firm favourite amongst those looking for some adventure. It is easy in nature and can be best enjoyed in the months from November to March.
7. Raft in the De las Vueltas River
Rafting in this river is a half-day excursion, where fascination and adrenaline blend together to provide a wonderful, memorable experience. The difficulty level of this activity is moderate and takes nearly 3 hours to be completed from El Chalten. The raft is ideal for some El Chalten sightseeing.
8. Lake Tour and Trek of the Vespignani Glacier Reserve
While the lake tour is relaxing and calm, trekking along this reserve is of medium difficulty. On this tour, one gets to look over the Vespignani Glacier and Cerro Chalten. This excursion can be best enjoyed in the months between October and April.
Places to Stay in El Chalten
Places to stay in El Chalten include a wide variety of hotels, inns, cabins, apartments, bed and breakfasts, hostels, budget lodges, mountain lodges, mountain houses, mountain refuges, campsites and glamping options. The best hotels in El Chalten include:
- Kalenshen Hotel
- Lunajuim Hotel
- Poincenot Hotel
- Posada del Aguila Inn
- Senderos Inn
- Posada y Cabanas El Barranco Inn
- Rivendel Cabin
- Aguas Arriba Mountain Lodge
- Posada La Base (Budget Lodge)
- Inlandsis Bed and Breakfast
Restaurants and Bars in El Chalten
The restaurants and bars in El Chalten are clear evidence that the most varied palates will also get satisfied in these places. Some of the best options include-
1. La Vineria Grill
The La Vineria Grill, overlooking the Fitz Roy Mountain Range, offers the most traditional Argentinian cuts. It also has an enormous collection of the most important wines in the country. It is the ideal place to experience definitive El Chalten nightlife.
2. La Vineria
La Vineria features more than 200 wine labels, along with a fine selection of craft beers. One gets to enjoy a range of exquisite Argentinian wines accompanied by a Gorumet Picada.
3. La Chocolateria “Josh Aike”
This homemade chocolate factory is a must visit for those with a sweet tooth. Visit Josh Aike for tasting its delicious sweets, homemade pizza, or mouth-watering fondue.
4. Domo Blanco
Domo Blanco is a hub for craft ice-cream. Along with the different flavours of gelatine, this space for ice-cream creation offers a generous serving of warmth and cordiality.
Some additional good options for eating out include Ahonikenk Fonda Patagonica, B&B, Bourbon, Brown Sugar and so on.
At the heart of Patagonia, El Chalten offers not only some of the most adventurous things to do, but also provides for a comfortable stay and an opportunity to relish homemade, delicious food. The warmth and comfort provided by this place makes one feel at home, away from home! Thus, for a fun-filled vacation, far away in the lap of mother nature, plan a trip to El Chalten.