What to Do in El Chaltén (When You’re Not Hiking)
When in El Chaltén, hike. But, let’s face it, you’re not going to spend all your time in the mountains. Maybe that inescapable Patagonian wind is howling, or you just want to get a feel for more of this incredible area in Patagonia, Argentina. Luckily, there’s more to do in El Chaltén than conquer Mount Fitz Roy. Here are 5 great things to do in El Chalten beyond the hiking trails.
1. Observe the Viedma Glacier
Perito Moreno might be the most famous glacier in the Los Glaciares National Park, but it’s certainly not the only impressive glacier you can get up close to. If you’re looking for an incredible glacier experience without the massive crowds, consider visiting the spectacular Viedma Glacier close to El Chaltén. You can take a relaxing boat cruise up to the glacier or be adventurous with an ice trek, with both mini-trekking and full day trekking options
2. Refresh with a Beer
The craft beer scene in Patagonia is strong, and even the tiny town of El Chaltén has a few great options to chug a local brew. The cosy La Cerveceria serves their own handcrafted beers, along with great food. Two other great options in town are Don Guerra and La Vineria. Not only will you get to enjoy some local flavours, but these local joints are great places to meet like-minded fellow travellers and exchanges tips on El Chaltén’s famous trails.
3. Visit Desert Lake
For a day out in nature that requires less effort on your part, take an excursion to Desert Lake, or Lago del Desierto. This stunning, secluded lake makes the perfect setting for a day out in nature. You can enjoy a leisurely cruise on the lake, or combine it with a bit of walking if you just can’t get enough of the trekking opportunities around El Chaltén.
4. Rent a Bike
While travelling around Patagonia, you’re sure to meet a few adventurous people cycling the famous Carretera Austral. If you’re inspired, rent a bicycle and hit some mountain bike trails or just cycle around the area for unique views of the breathtaking mountains and Patagonian Steppe. Walking around the town, you’ll find a few options for rentals during high season.
5. Go Fishing
Avid fishermen will know that Patagonia is a top destination for fishing. In El Chaltén, fly fishing in particular is quite popular and a number of companies run fishing excursions. If you’re keen on fishing, there are few spots as memorable as southern Patagonia to cast a line.
El Chaltén’s remote beauty, prime location in the Los Glaciares National Park, and incredible mountain ranges make it a magical place to visit. When you want to give your hiking boots a rest, be sure to explore further with this great things to do in El Chaltén.
For more tours in Patagonia, visit Argentina4u!
By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.