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!

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

Katie, Allie & me at dinner

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