The tiny village of El Chalten comes to life in the summer months as travelers from all parts of the world are drawn to the nearby natural wonders. The biggest draw for tourists to the area is the northern section of Los Glacieres National Park and perhaps the most famous Andean mountains Mount Fitz Roy. The majority of the people that wander the streets of El Chalten during the summer months are tourists, both foreign and Argentine. However, despite the touristy nature of the village it has still managed to somehow maintain its quaint and quiet feel.
Things to do in El Chalten
To say that there isn’t a lot to do in the town of El Chalten itself is a lie. There is absolutely nothing to do. The draw of this town is due to the nearby nature of which is some of the most beautiful in the world. There are number of options in the area for hiking, cycling and horseback riding both within and outside the National Park. Those who are up for more challenging treks can head into the national park to hike one of the many trails. Camping gear is available for rent in town. For the very adventurous there is also many opportunities for rock climbing.
Where to Eat in El Chalten
The eating options in El Chalten are all quite expensive. Even the prices at the small grocery stores are very inflated. On the one night I went out for a meal before trekking I went to Parrilla mi Viejo, which had pretty simple, but tasty, food for about 10US$.
Where to Stay in El Chalten
While in El Calafate I stayed at the Albergue del Lago which was packed with hikers and was a great place to meet up with hiking buddies. I’ve also heard good reviews for the Condor de los Andes hostel. **Note** In the summer months you absolutely need a reservation as many places book up well in advance.
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