Following the previous days adventure, we were feeling a little battered and bruised, so what better way to spend the day than another 22km hike to visit Laguna Torre and the Glaciar Grande. Kinder than the day before, this hike only required a rise of 250 meters, so at least it would be slightly gentler on our tired limbs.
El Chalten turned on the nice weather for us again, and despite some cloud cover, we were still treated to blue skies on our walk. A lot flatter than the day before, we walked through long stretches of autumn trees next to the running river.
After a couple of hours of similar landscapes, we took a final scramble up a rocky hill and we were looking down to Laguna Torre and ahead to Glaciar Grande. While not as impressive as the day before, still an amazing view.
For the brave of heart, you can walk another hour and look directly at the glaciar from the Mirador Maestri. We did set off for this lookout, but the increasing winds put an end to this adventure. With only a small section of walkway, and sheer drops on either side, we decided to enjoy the view from the safety of solid ground.
After heading back into town and having another tasty meal at La Cervereria, we had just enough energy to take the quick walk (5kms round trip) to the Los Condores viewpoint just outside of town in the hope of seeing a nice sunset. It wasn’t to be, we only had a little bit of red before the darkness. But we didn’t mind, we’d had a fantastic couple of days in this magical part of the world.
El Chalten has been one of the highlights of our trip so far. A small town with a lot of heart and energy, it’s the perfect location to enjoy nature and the Patagonian landscapes.
And as it turned out, the hiking wasn’t to stop there. Our next stop from El Chalten was Bariloche, but getting there was trickier than we’d thought. The bus we’d planned on taking was actually a 48 hour trip. So looking around at our options, we read about a cargo ship called the Navimag, which sails up the coast for 4 days through the Chilean Fjords to Puerto Montt, where we could then get the bus across to Bariloche. The idea of getting a cargo ship through the fjords was too tempting, so that’s the way we decided to go. The ship left from Puerto Natales, and it turned out we had a few days to kill before it departed. So what else could we do – we decided to trek the W in the Torres National Park. We were looking forward to more hiking, but were very nervous about the weather after our last experience there. Fingers crossed, or fingers frozen I guess.
El Chalten Details
When we visited: 3 nights end of March 2014.
How we got here: 4 hour bus from El Calafate
Where we stayed: Los Alamos. A fantastic young family run hostal – almost hotel. Great breakfast and our room had a small bath, which was amazing after a long days hiking.
Food & Drink recommendations: La Cervereria – one of the best meals we’ve had on our trip. Also some of the best beers and huge glasses of wine, plus bottomless pots of popcorn with your drinks.