El Chaltén, Argentina 🇦🇷 Gringo's Guide
Part #2 from my trip to Patagonia...
El Chaltén, Argentina was a city of contrasts for me. Well, more like a town of contrasts. Hard to say a town filled with 1,500+ people is a city.
The hiking in El Chaltén is some of the best in the world.
Te lo juro.
You can go on three amazing hikes just by stepping outside your front door while in the town. Legit just walk outside and you’ll be at the base of some amazing trails within minutes.
Fitz Roy and the Laguna de Los Tres was absolutely amazing. Well worth the grueling trek to the top. One of the most stunning sites I’ve ever seen. Just look…
El Chaltén, Argentina is a town…a small one to boot. The place isn’t modern. The Internet often doesn’t work. You won’t find many amenities in town. Hell, there’s not even a gym to get a solid upper-body pump at.
So while it’s an amazing place to trek around at, the town is horrific if you work online, like to lift weights, and desire some semblance of modern amenities.
Oh, and outside of a few cervecería, there’s legit no nightlife to be found.
Zip. Zlich. Nada.
Which was perfectly fine most of the time, as a night of rumba was the last thing on my mind after hiking 7-8+ hours in a single day. I wanted food. Lots of it. Then sleep.
Me point is don’t expect to find much in El Chaltén outside of stunning nature and world-class hiking. Come for the hiking and treks, stay for the…
Err, just come for the hiking.
Enough of my fluff. Overall, I had a great time in El Chaltén overall and would highly recommend the place for hikers looking to get there fix.
How to Get to El Chaltén, Argentina
El Chaltén is legitimately in the middle of nowhere.
A small mountain town of 1,500+ people in Argentinian Patagonia, this isn’t an easy place to get to. In fact, there’s really only one way to get to El Chaltén:
Via El Calafate.
There is a bus from Bariloche that travels to El Chaltén, but it takes nearly 19+ hours on a bus. Not my cup of tea. This bus seems to be seasonal. If for some reason you want to ride in a bus for 19+ hours, click here for more information about Bariloche-El Chaltén.
For the rest of us, taking a flight to El Calafate and then getting a transfer to El Chaltén is far more preferable. You’ll find direct flights to El Calafate from these airports:
AEP (Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, Buenos Aires)
EZE (Ezeiza, Buenos Aires)
BRC (Bariloche, Río Negro)
COR (Córdoba, Córdoba)
ROS (Rosario, Santa Fe)
REL (Trelew, Chubut)
USH (Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego)
Most of these flights cost less than $50-200 USD one-way and take anywhere from 1-3 hours in the air. Once landing in El Calafate, you’ll have two options to get to El Chaltén from the airport.
You can either take the tour shuttle that runs at specific times each day or get a private taxi.
I opted for the private taxi upon landing in El Calafate. We arrived in El Chaltén about two hours after leaving the airport. Pretty quick.
Taxis from the airport have space for four people and luggage. The bus from El Calafate airport to El Chaltén tends to run 2/3 times per day. So you may be stuck sitting in the airport waiting for a bit.
The cost is $20 USD from what I recall, and the bus leaves at 8 am, 1 pm, and 6 pm. So plan flights accordingly.
If you’re in a group of 2-4 people, it’s far better to take a private taxi. While it costs a bit more, the ride is quick and you won’t have to waste time waiting around in the airport.
Renting a car is another option for anyone looking to get to El Chaltén, but I didn’t look much into it. Seeing as El Chaltén is in the middle of nowhere, that ride is going to be a long one no matter where you’re arriving from.