How to get to El Chaltén

Learn about the different ways to get to the Argentine Capital of Trekking, at the foot of the mythical Cerro Chaltén. A trip to the heart of the Southern Argentine mountain range.

To Patagonia

El Chaltén is located in the province of Santa Cruz in the Argentine Republic, in the southern region of Patagonia. The landscape of this region is dominated by the endless plains of the arid steppe, where the two largest lakes in the country are located. To the west the steppe abruptly clashes with the vertical granite walls of the Andes. Of all the mountain peaks, the Chaltén Mount stands out for its height and unmistakable silhouette, about 11.171 feet high, clearly visible more than 60 miles from the air or the route.

The usual is to arrive by plane to El Calafate International Airport and from there by land the last 125 miles to El Chaltén.

Flights from Argentina

The closest airport is the International Airport Cte. Armando Tola, at 125 miles from El Chaltén. The flights arrive mainly from Buenos Aires, on direct flights of approximately 3 hours. The airlines that operate with El Calafate are Aerolíneas Argentinas, Austral and LATAM Airlines.

See flight schedules

Connections with El Calafate

Domestic flights with stops or Non- stop from the most important airports in Argentina:

AEP (Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, Buenos Aires)
EZE (Ezeiza, Buenos Aires).
BRC (Bariloche, Río Negro).
COR (Córdoba, Córdoba).
REL (Trelew, Chubut).
USH (Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego).
RGA (Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego).
RGL (Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz).

There are also flights from several airports in Argentina, with one or more stops, for example:

SLA (Salta, Salta).
IGR (Cataratas de Iguazú, Misiones)
MDZ (Mendoza, Mendoza).
ROS (Rosario, Santa Fe).
MDQ (Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires).
CRD (Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut).

There is another airport located in the city of Río Gallegos, capital of Santa Cruz, at about 280 miles from El Chaltén. From Río Gallegos you can arrive to El Chaltén by bus via El Calafate (there are no direct buses to El Chaltén).

Transfers from the airport

From the Airport to El Chaltén you skirt the Argentino and Viedma lake, by a paved route in excellent conditions.

Direct to El Chaltén, 125 miles

By private transfer. It is approximately 2.40 hours ride.

Via El Calafate, 147 miles

By Shuttle Bus or taxi to the city of El Calafate (20 minutes ride). From there, take a bus, hire a private transfer or rent a car.

To El Calafate, 13 miles

By Shuttle Bus or taxi. You arrive in 20 minutes.

Private transfers

Mini-buses, off-road vehicles and cars from and to the Airport and other points of interest in Southern Patagonia.

See private transfers

Daily busses

Regular transport service from the El Calafate bus terminal, and from El Chaltén to the airport and El Calafate.

See busses

Arrive by bus

The only way to arrive here directly by bus is from the city of El Calafate or from San Carlos de Bariloche (Rio Negro), but it also possible to travel from other locations in the Argentine or Chilean Patagonia making one or more combinations.

From Río Gallegos to El Chaltén via El Calafate

Total travel distance 323 miles

Section 1: From Río Gallegos to El Calafate passing through La Esperanza travelling along the Provincial Route Nº 5, the National Route Nº 40 and the Provincial Route Nº 11. Travel distance 190 miles (4 hours). Transport company Taqsa.

Section 2: From El Calafate to El Chaltén travelling along the National Route Nº 40 and the Provincial Route Nº 41. Travel distance 133 miles (3 hours). Transport companies CalTur, Chaltén Travel and Taqsa.

From Puerto Natales (Chile) to El Chaltén via El Calafate

Total travel distance 251 miles

Section 1: From Puerto Natales to El Calafate passing through La Esperanza. Travel distance 217 miles (5 hours). Transport companies Cootra, Turismo Zaahj

Section 2: From El Calafate to El Chaltén travelling along the National Route Nº 40 and the Provincial Route Nº 41. Travel distance 133 miles (3 hours). Transport companies CalTur, Chaltén Travel and Taqsa.

From Punta Arenas (Chile) to El Chaltén via Río Gallegos

Total travel distance 482 miles

Section 1: From Punta Arenas to Río Gallegos. Travel distance 162 miles (3 hours). Transport company Buses Barría and El Pingüino SRL. Empresa de transporte: Buses Barría y El Pingüino SRL.

Secion 2: From Río Gallegos to El Calafate passing through La Esperanza travelling along the Provincial Route Nº 5, the National Route Nº 40 and the Provincial Route Nº 11. Travel distance 190 miles (4 hours). Transport company Taqsa.

Section 3: From El Calafate to El Chaltén travelling along the National Route Nº 40 and the Provincial Route Nº 41. Travel distance 133 miles (3 hours). Transport companies CalTur, Chaltén Travel and Taqsa.

From San Carlos de Bariloche to El Chalténn

Total travel distance 899 miles

Direct: From San Carlos de Bariloche to El Chaltén travelling along the National Route Nº 40 and the Provincial Route Nº 41. Travel distance 899 miles (18 hours). Transport company Chaltén Travel.

From Puerto Madryn to El Chaltén via Perito Moreno

Total travel distance 934 miles

Section 1: From Puerto Madryn to Caleta Olivia travelling along the National Route Nº 3 passing through Comodoro Rivadavia. Travel distance 339 miles (8.40 hours). Transport company Tramat.

Section 2: From Caleta Olivia to Perito Moreno passing through Las Heras along the Provincial Route Nº 43. Travel distance 191 miles (4:10 hours). Transport company TAQSA.

Section 3: From Perito Moreno to El Chaltén travelling along the National Route Nº 40 and the Provincial Route Nº 41. Travel distance 404 miles (10 hours). Transport company Chaltén Travel.

Arriving by car

There are two main routes to access the area of El Chaltén, the National Route Nº 3 along the Atlantic coast which is the busiest (paved entirely) and the National Route Nº 40 parallel to the Cordillera de los Andes (with sections of gravel). The most popular option is to drive along the National Route Nº 3.

From Buenos Aires travelling along the National Route Nº 3

Total travel distance 1637 miles

The route is always heading South going through the towns of:

Bahía Blanca.
Puerto Madryn.
Comodoro Rivadavia.
Cte. Luis Piedra Buena.

In Piedra Buena you should turn West to take the Provincial Route Nº 288 (passing through Tres Lagos town) then the National Route Nº 40 and finally the Provincial Route Nº 41 to El Chaltén.

Distance table

The following are distances travelling by car, they refer to the combination of usual routes or with better conditions. Since there is more than one possible combination to travel the distances may change

Town Province Distance

Tres Lagos

Santa Cruz

78 mi

El Calafate

Santa Cruz

133 mi

Gobernador Gregores

Santa Cruz

185 mi

Cte. Luis Piedra Buena

Santa Cruz

214 mi

Puerto Natales

XII Región (Chile)

261 mi

Paso Cancha Carrera

Santa Cruz

277 mi

Río Gallegos

Santa Cruz

286 mi

Perito Moreno

Santa Cruz

404 mi

Puerto Deseado

Santa Cruz

460 mi

Caleta Olivia

Santa Cruz

520 mi

Comodoro Rivadavia

Chubut

565 mi

Ushuaia

Tierra del Fuego

642 mi

Puerto Madryn

Chubut

836 mi

San Carlos de Bariloche

Río Negro

897 mi

Mar del Plata

Buenos Aires

1572 mi

Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires

1637 mi

Cataratas del Iguazú

Misiones

2407 mi

La Quiaca

Jujuy

2523 mi