We spent the last few days in the tiny village of El Chalten in Argentina’s Patagonia region. Celebrating its 28th birthday this year, this ‘young’ village known as Argentina’s hiking capital, has only about 500 residents, but during the summer months (December to March), the population triples. We’re all here for one reason only: to hike or climb the mountains surrounding the village. It is a hiker’s paradise, with trails starting just 50m outside of town, you’re up on a mountain within minutes. Trails range from one to ten-hour hikes and many people camp to awake to sunrises like this one.
The two most famous peaks are Mount Fitz Roy and Mount Torre, which tower over the rest of the Cordillera del Paine mountain range and can be seen from almost all of the adorable cafes and restaurants in the village. They form the perfect backdrop for this truly beautiful place, and the hiking trails that lead straight towards them allow hikers to see remarkable glaciers, glacier lakes, and a jaw dropping mountain scenery.
Fitz Roy is less than half the size of the Himalayan giants, but the sheer granite faces present arduous technical climbing and while Mt Everest sees over 150 people reach its summit every year, Fitz Roy has only one successful climber ascend to the top every year!
So far, El Chalten is our favorite place in Patagonia, and the 27-hour bus ride from Bariloche was definitely worth the pain – we can’t wait to share more about El Chalten with you soon!