Patagonia Pt. 4: El Chaltén

El Chaltén, Argentina is a small mountain village in southern Patagonia and a great base camp for some of the region’s most spectacular day hikes. My guidebook calls El Chaltén a “backpacker’s paradise”; however, by the time Jeff, Katie and I showed up in mid-April, it was kind of a ghost town. Katie aptly pointed out that the local grocery store was stocked ala Soviet Russia. A lot of the eateries and hostels had shuttered for the season, which we all thought was weird because — as I’ve mentioned several times now — we couldn’t imagine a better time to be there. Not too hot, not too cold…beautiful fall colors…

Still invigorated following our ice trek adventure in El Calafate, Jeff, Katie and I were anxious to get some serious hiking under way. We booked a place in El Chaltén called Hosteria El Paraiso for five nights, and (once again!) Katie was a major trooper for agreeing to shack up with us.

We went on three major, day-long hikes while down in El Chaltén, each of which was incredible in its own right: Lago de Los Tres, Laguna Torre, and Piegue Tombado. I had initially intended to describe each hike in great detail — the weather, the scenery, the overall experience — but I don’t have tiiime for that, especially now that I’m a MONTH (!) behind on the blog. So instead I’ll just post some pics, because we both know that’s what you’re here for anyway!

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Trying to stay warm at the summit of Laguna de Los Tres (note glacier in the background)
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Katie, blending in with the fall landscape
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Katie and Jeff on the Laguna Torre hike. Or Laguna de Los Tres…we can’t remember…
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Fresh snowfall for our final hike — Piegue Tombado
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View of the snow-capped mountains from Piegue Tombado hike
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Cheesing at the summit of Piegue Tombado

Oh, and we ran into our friends Allie and Nick, whom we met while in El Calafate! We caught a meal with them before they jetted off for a month in Buenos Aires:

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Katie, Allie & me at dinner
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