Where to Stay?
El Chalten is a bustling tourist hot spot once the summer months roll around in Southern Patagonia. The heavy tourism season is from December to February and this is when the restaurants, hotels and hiking trails begin to fill up. El Chalten has plenty of lodging options ranging from high-end hotels to backpacker’s hostels. Airbnb or VRBO may not be as easy to come by but cabins are a great option for those trying to have the privacy of their own little home.
Although Chalten has grown significantly in recent years it is still small and easy to traverse by foot. The Avenida San Martin is the main street and the best place to find a supermarket, pharmacy, restaurants and “cervecerias” or brew pubs. Craft beer has exploded in recent years in Argentina and as a result it isn’t hard to find a local brew pub. The problem is some breweries are more established and better than others. On our trip we loved the cozy brewery appropriately titled “La Cerveceria.”
The Hiking Capital of Argentina
El Chalten is the base for most day hikes or day excursions and so it is also a great spot to take a morning, afternoon or day off. The weather can change quickly in Patagonia so it may not be uncommon to end a hike for a late afternoon beer or coffee. Also don’t forget to pack your outdoor gear. The town has outdoor gear outfitters but they will charge elevated prices. If you have the gear be sure to bring it down to the end of the world.
Hiking is the main activity, but those wishing to exert less energy can visit the nearby Lago del Desierto Lake. Many tourists also bike along the Rio de las Vueltas. You will also find locals sitting along the river eating, drink and fishing on a lazy Sunday. A good place to find out about all activities in and around El Chalten is the following website.