Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to all your questions about your trip to El Chaltén

Plan your trip

It is an active tourist destination, accessible to all. All activities are carried out in a stunning mountain environment, mostly protected areas..

El Chaltén is the Argentine Capital of Trekking, so people who enjoy it the most are passionate for outdoor activities seeking places of extraordinary natural beauty and love practicing mountain sports.

But because the tourist village is located in a valley at the foot of the mountains, even those who do not wish to do trekking can live the unforgettable experience of knowing one of the most beautiful places in the world, either from the town itself or in any of the possible hikes.

See what to do in El Chaltén.

El Chaltén is a summer destination, with a season that goes from October to April, but you can visit it at any time of the year since the National Park remains always open, buses arrive every day and self-guided activities can be done all year round. Choose the date that suits you:

Tourist season: it begins in October and ends normally in April. The highest number of visitors is registered during the summer - December to March - with its maximum peak in January. During this season with the warm weather and the longest days of the year, you can do all self-guided and organized activities.

Winter: from June to September, the weather is cold and the days are short, excursions do not operate during this time of the year and some sections of the self-guided trails can be closed due to the accumulation of snow or mud by thawing. The majority of services do not work but some hostels, cabins, apartments, markets and stores remain open. Winter snow and tranquility attract those who seek a different and more intimate experience with Patagonia.

May to September: they are "intermediate" months where it is possible to carry out a great number of self-guided walks since the weather is not too cold but most of the excursions do not operate. Some accommodation and restaurants remain closed. Walk on the trails, contemplate the landscapes from natural viewpoints or spend the night in campsites is a much quieter experience than in the months of the tourist season.

More information on how to get to El Chaltén.

From 3 to 10 days. It depends directly on how much you enjoy the activities and your experience in the mountains:

Beginner: 3 to 4 days. If you are one of those people who do not go out much to the mountain and you are not sure how long to stay in El Chaltén, you will need at least three days to be able to do some short or medium treks and some half day or full day excursions. You will also want to have time to get to know the delicacies offered by the tea house, bars and restaurants, as well as visit the souvenir shops.

Enthusiast: 5 to 7 days. In this segment is where most travellers are. Surely you will want to make several trekking circuits, spend the night in campsites or refuges and make the most wanted excursions. Either way, you'll want to come back for more!

In love with the mountains: 7 days or more. If trekking is your thing it will be very difficult to say goodbye to El Chaltén. You will need at least a week to be able to do so many activities and you will always find excuses to return.

See what to do in El Chaltén.

El Chaltén has a cool and dry mountain climate, with intermittent winds.

It is said that in Patagonia it is possible to experiment the four seasons in one day because of its unpredictable weather. It can be defined as follows:

Spring-Summer: from October to March, the climate is mostly mild, with average temperatures that range between 10ºC and 20ºC; on very hot days the temperature can reach 30ºC, although at night it can easily descend to 10ºC or less, especially in the valleys.

Autumn: during March there is a clear decrease of daylight hours, the temperature drops and April can register below zero conditions. During this period this wonderful season is reflected especially in the forest coloured with different shades of red, ocher and yellow as the leaves of Ñires and Lengas fall. The weather is more humid and it is when intermittent rains can be expected.

Winter: during June, July and August the weather is cold, with short days and with little or no wind. Temperatures oscillate between 5ºC and -5ºC but very cold days of -15ºC or less can be recorded, especially in the valleys.

August-September: hey are the windiest of the year, and they can also be quite rainy, with average temperatures of 5ºC. During the second half of September you see the gradual increase of sunlight hours and the first spells of splendid days of sun.

More information about the climate and current weather conditions.

NO. Unlike the Southern Zone of Los Glaciares National Park ( where the Perito Moreno Glacier is located) no entrance fee is required.

PYou can enter freely and free of charge to all the trails starting from El Chaltén. There are footpaths located outside the National Park on private property where you will have to pay an access fee, as in the cases of Laguna Azul and Laguna Diablo in Estancia Los Huemlues or the Huemul Glacier Trail in Lago del Desierto.

NO. Access to the Northern Zone of Los Glaciares National Park remains open all year round.

In the winter months -from June to September- the access of the trails can be made impossible by the accumulation of snow or mud by thawing so you should always inquire about trail conditions before starting your trek in the Visitor Centre of Los Glaciares National Park.

See Visitor Centres.


NO. You don’t need to have any experience in trekking, mountaineering, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, etc.

n fact, the vast majority of activities are concentrated in the self-guided trails, which are well marked and preserved so that you feel safe at all times.

For longer or demanding treks it is advisable to have a good physical condition. Only in the ascents or expeditions it will be necessary to have some experience in climbing or trekking.

OF COURSE. Always take them with you!

Depending on the age, you should take certain precautions:

BABIES: cwith a baby carrier backpack you can enjoy with your family short or medium length treks of low difficulty; in the market there are baby carriers available in various formats and for different ages and weights.

PRESCHOOL CHILDREN: hey can go along with you on short, easy treks, make sure you respect the frequency of their rest stops, hydration and take special care never to leave them alone.

SCHOOL CHILDREN: you can do almost all treks and excursions with them but if they are not use to walking in the mountains take special attention that they respect the safety and care regulations of the National Park.

Some excursions have a minimum age, such as rafting, kayaking, etc.

IT DEPENDS. In some cases it is not necessary.

Only in cases with limited places it is recommended to book ahead as early as possible.

Make your inquiry directly to the Travel Agencies and Tourist Service Providers of the National Park.

YES. There are activities for everyone!.

It is possible to do horseback riding, fishing trips, car or bicycle rides, etc.

Know everything you can do in El Chaltén.

NO. All organized activities stop operating from April - May to September - October.

But you can do the authorized treks within the Los Glaciares National Park (free of charge). It is winter so keep in mind that during this period snow may fall and some stretches may be inaccessible.

As for the Services, you will find open some accommodation (mostly cabins, hostels and apartments), markets and grocers to stock up on food; the restaurants normally remain closed from May to September.

Know everything you can do in El Chaltén.

In the base campsites within the National Park, on private campgrounds in El Chaltén and on private campsites along the De las Vueltas river valley..

More information about campsites.


YES. It is one of the newest route in the country:

The route has been paved in 2003, is double-hand, without bumps and perfectly signposted.

El Chaltén has the following services, organizations of interest and public institutions:

ATMs (Red LINK of Banco Santa Cruz SA).
Visitor Information Centres: Municipal Tourism and National Park Tourist information centre.
Community Health Centre with general medical attention and ambulance services.
Post Office (Correo Argentino).
Fuel (Social Supply Module with Petrol and Diesel Oil).
Garage for mechanical aid.

Public administration:
Municipal government: Executive Department, Deliberative Council and Juzgado de Faltas.
Police station, Fire station, National Gendarmerie and Naval Prefecture.
Civil Registry and Justice of the Peace Court.
Kindergarten, primary and secondary school.

“Comision the Auxilio Fabio Stedile” (professional volunteer rescue team for high mountain climbing).

See Institutions and Organizations of El Chaltén.

El Chaltén is a very young and developing town, so some facilities do not exist yet:

Hospital (the nearest district hospital is in El Calafate).
Banks and Money Exchange Agencies.
Cinemas, Theaters, Cultural Centers, Auditoriums or Convention Centers.

YES, both in the public and private sectors:

Municipal Gymnasium (with indoor football field, basketball, volleyball, field hockey) and Doyan of Taekwon-Do ITF.
Club Andino: with a large climbing covered wall.
Club Patagonia Austral.
Club Social y Deportivo El Chaltén.

See Institutions and Organizations of El Chaltén.

ABSOLUTELY. The tap water in El Chaltén is of excellent quality.

Public and Private Transport

YES. From El Calafate the buses operate daily through out the year, including holidays and festivities. From October until March, there are usually 3 or 4 daily departures and many others return. During the winter, it runs at least one daily frequency, both outward and return

Read more about bus service and schedules.

NO, but the buses returning to El Calafate leave passengers at the airport.

At the Comandante Armando Tola International Airport there is no bus terminal so you must take your regular bus line in the town of El Calafate, 25 km from the airport. To go from the airport to El Calafate there is a shuttle service in minibus with departures after each arrival. If you want to come directly from the airport to El Chaltén you can choose from a shuttle bus, a minibus or remis, or rent a car.

Ask for private transfers by Shuttle bus, minibus or remis from the airport or El Calafate.

YES, of course.

In El Chaltén there are several companies that offer private transfers by car or minibus. Therefore it is possible to go to and from the airport, El Calafate and other destinations in the region and in Chile. Unlike public transport, private transfers allow you to start the trip and finish it at the agreed time and place, as well as making photo stops during the trip

Ask for private transfers by Shuttle bus, minibus or remis from the airport or El Calafate.

YES. The options to get to El Chaltén are by bus, minibus, taxi, own or rented vehicle.

Since most tourists come from afar, the busiest route in the area is from the international airport nearby El Calafate. Travelling by the scenic National Route 40 and Provincial Route 23 is an attraction in itself for its panoramic views of the steppe, lakes and Mountain ranges. You can also arrive from other destinations in Argentina from the north (eg Bariloche or Los Antiguos) through National Route 40 or from the Atlantic coast (eg Puerto Madryn) through National Route 3

More information on how to get here.


The best thing is to have the right equipment to fully enjoy the treks and other activities.

In short: comfortable footwear, underwear layer, warm and waterproof clothing and sun tan lotion.

Learn how to dress in the mountains.

YES.. Although practically all the accommodations and excursions companies accept credit and debit cards, some small businesses still do not like restaurants, bars, stores, etc.

NO. It is not possible to book a place in advance since the base camps in the National Park are free of charge and with latrines as the only service for campers. Given the generous space for campgrounds, you will always find a place to put your tent. Visit the National Park Visitor Centre for more information when you arrive.

In camp sites located on private property (such as Lago del Desierto) you will find services and you will have to pay for your stay or entry.

More information about Camp sites.

There is no problem. In all the excursions people will be attentive to your lifestyle, you just have to indicate what your diet is. In El Chaltén you will find restaurants, bars and take-away shops with options for vegetarians, vegans or with restricted diets such as celiac; there are also stores that sell natural products.

NO. You must park on private camp sites inside or outside El Chaltén.

More information about Camp sites.

YES. The Aeropuerto Internacional Comandante Armando Tola is the closest to El Chaltén, 200 Km away and 25 from El Calafate. The other international airport of Santa Cruz is located in the capital city of Río Gallegos, 450 km from El Chaltén.