Wednesday, January 11, 2012

El Chaltén, Argentina

El Chaltén is one of Argentina’s lesser-known tourism spots. That’s probably because it’s fairly inaccessible – it has no airport, and the fastest way to get there is a slow 3½ hr bus ride on unsealed roads from El Calafate. El Chaltén was built in 1985 as a way of helping to secure a disputed border with Chile. Today however it’s raison d’être is solely tourism: it’s located at the northern end of Los Glaciares National Park near the mountains Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, making it a hotspot for hikers, climbers, mountaineers and anyone who just wants to enjoy the ridiculously amazing scenery. The most popular thing to do in the El Chaltén area is hike or climb Cerro Fitz Roy, but there are more hiking opportunities than you can shake a stick at, so bring your walking boots (and poles, don’t forget the poles). Some say that the mountains and glaciers here are the equal of those in Torres del Paine national park across the border in Chile.

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