The natural beauty of Patagonia’s landscapes has attracted tourists from all over the world, since the very discovery of the American continent. Our planet is a unique reserve in which all kinds of miraculous landscapes are compactly located in different parts of it, similar to the landscape views of all stone planets known to us: glaciers, deserts, volcanoes and mountain ranges mesmerizing with their fantastic nature. Among the representatives of such fabulous beauty of alien landscapes, most tourists call the mountainous Patagonia on the border of Argentina and Chile.
Visiting card of Patagonia
The most famous image of the mountain range of Patagonia is associated with its main natural attraction – the Fitz Roy peak, like the fangs of a fabulous dragon of incredible size, sticks out of the mysterious rocky surface of the Torre Valley.
At the same time, the Torre Valley itself is an equally famous point of attraction for tourists from all over the world. In addition to lovers of active tourist recreation, this valley and the Salto El Chorrillo waterfall annually attract professional photojournalists and amateur photographers with their unprecedented beauty. And these are not empty words, because having made a long journey to another continent, having spent several days on the road in various types of transport and having covered an impressive number of kilometers with a backpack in the mountainous terrain, you will be fully thanked by the landscapes of Patagonia of amazing beauty, which cannot be contemplated in any place the Eurasian continent. Among the characteristic and main features of Patagonia:
- Mystical rocks;
- Relic glaciers.
It would seem that such cold power is not capable of igniting sophisticated travelers and outright romantics with love for itself, but it is precisely in this incomprehensible feeling of alien beauty or the original conservation of our planet in the early periods of its development that the main feature of reserves and natural attractions in the vicinity of El Chalten lies …
For most tourists, the starting point to the famous National Park of Glaciers (Los Glaciares) and Tierra del Fuego begins with the small town of El Calafati, where you can comfortably spend the night in one of the many hotels and quite decent hostels, and put yourself in order after a long journey and gain strength before the climactic journey to your destination. El Chalten is about three hours away by car, which is about 220 km from El Calafati, and this path will seem very insignificant to you in comparison with the general road, and the outlandish landscapes of Argentine Patagonia will fill the boring road with a lot of impressions.
El Chalten village and weather
The village of El Chalten itself is quite young and was built only thirty years ago as a pillar outpost of Argentina in the territory disputed with Chile. To stimulate the development of the settlement, it was decided to develop tourism in the region, which today gives us the opportunity to enjoy the Planet of Patagonia. A visit to all territories of the reserve is absolutely free and you only have to choose a route based on your capabilities, desires and degree of physical fitness.
Don’t forget about the weather. The mountainous area around the world is famous for its meteorological unpredictability, which means that you should be prepared that you will have to spend a lot of time in the park in order to fully enjoy all the colors of the alien mountain landscapes and natural landscapes. If the weather conditions do not please you today, do not hope that tomorrow the weather will improve and you will be able to fully enjoy the track, so you can spend your entire vacation in the hostel. It will be much more effective to use the services of the El Chalten Tourist Information Center, which will provide you with a detailed weather forecast for several days on its information boards completely free of charge, detailing the time of day and the parameters of meteorological phenomena. It should be noted that the reliability of such forecasts today is very high, which means it is trustworthy, and if it says that the weather will improve by noon, feel free to plan tracking, even if it is pitch dark outside the window in the morning.
The developing tourist town is not deprived of a variety of accommodation and accommodation options for every taste and budget, including:
- Campings for tents.
It should be noted that in the vicinity of El Chalten there are free tent campsites, which will save you about $ 25 for two, provided that you have a tent and the necessary tourist equipment. The presence of hostels of different cost and level of service allows you not only to find accommodation with comfort and profit, but also to make interesting acquaintances with your like-minded people from all over the world, from whom you can get a lot of interesting information and tips regarding visiting reserves and attractions. Also, do not hesitate to inquire about the specifics of hiking in the valleys and mountains, the hostel owners and the local population, whose good-natured hospitality will allow you to share experiences and useful tips for an unforgettable hike.
Gifts of nature
The flora of Patagonia is quite rich in delicacies in the form of berries, such a gastronomic acquaintance with the local nature will leave the most vivid impressions and forever impress in your memory the outlandish charm of the overseas continent. You should not lose your vigilance in eating all the gifts of nature indiscriminately, the most logical thing would be to get acquainted with all edible wonders at home using the endless information field of the worldwide network. Among the most common berries, experienced tourists distinguish the following three:
- Calafate berry (Berberis microphylla);
- Vodyanik or Diddle-dee (Empetrum rubrum);
- Gaulteria (Chaura or Prickly Heath) (Gaultheria mucronata).
You will find complete information with the image on the Internet, it is only worth noting that almost all plants in the reserve are used by the local population as raw materials for jams, juices, spices and various hot drinks, which you simply must taste and fall in love with them forever.
Trekking and overnight camping
We recommend arranging an overnight stay during trekking in organized campsites, which are located in sufficient numbers in the reserve and provide quite acceptable comfort and a minimum set of services, while there is also the possibility of accommodation in special houses. But an individual overnight stay in unprepared places can turn into unpleasant consequences in the form of an attack by predatory spiders and other inhabitants of mountain ranges and valleys. Mountaineering campsites have quite picturesque and pleasant places for tents, sheds with tables and benches for eating and chatting with like-minded people. In addition, these points can be a starting point for a hike to the picturesque Piedras Blancas glacier and the Huemul glacier.
Most of the hiking trails in the vicinity of El Chalten are well landscaped and marked for convenient and safe tracking, which will seem boring to sophisticated tourists, however, if you are a beginner and value your safety, this approach to tourism will obviously not be superfluous and will leave only warm and vivid impressions.
Hotels in Chalten on the map