Your day-by-day itinerary
Calafate to El Chalten
At Calafate bus station, you’ll exchange your voucher for bus tickets to El Chalten. The views from each side of the bus are completely different. From the left side, you’ll look out across the shimmering lakes of Lago Argentino and Lago Viedma. From the right, all you’ll see is the lonely, desolate landscape that characterises Patagonia.
Pulling in to El Chalten, the bus will stop at the Visitor Centre where you’ll be given a briefing about trekking in the area. The trails are marked and, at every fork in the trail, the direction, distance and hiking times are clearly indicated.
The bus will then drive to the other side of the village and from here, it’s just a short walk to your hotel. The warm and welcoming guesthouse has rooms with private bathrooms, so it’s great place to rest your head after a challenging trek.
El Chalten & departure
Today, you’ll set off on your Patagonia trek and there are three interesting routes to choose from. If you’d like to take it easy, take the scenic one-hour trail to the Chorillo del Salto waterfall. For part of the way, you’ll follow the wide riverbed against a backdrop of towering peaks and the waterfall is hidden amongst the rocks.
If you’re looking for something more challenging, take the spectacular full-day trek to the foot of the Fitz Roy massif. For the first three hours, you’ll follow the trail past a couple of beautiful bright blue lagoons to the viewpoint. From there, you can continue climbing up, or take the slightly easier option of hiking along the glacier to Hotel Pilar, where you can warm up by the fireplace with a cup of tea.
In the late afternoon, hikers will start trickling from the hills back into the village. El Chalten is a tiny place so you’re bound to meet other travellers and you may well bump into some familiar faces from Calafate or your Perito Moreno boat trip. Before you know it you’ll be cracking open a bottle of red wine and swapping Patagonia stories.
On day 4, this trip draws to a close and you’ll make your way back to Calafate.
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: