BEST WAY TO SPEND A RAINY DAY
I strongly suggest booking at least a week in El Chaltén because the weather is so unpredictable. A sunny and clear day can truly be a gamechanger when experiencing this hiker haven. We spent a total of nine days here (Lagos Del Sur Apartment), and only had three to four days of sunny weather. After our epic trek to the Fitz Roy (blog post here!) we woke up the next day with terrible weather. The four of us didn't waste a minute. We pulled out the deck of cards, sipped hot chocolate liquor, and cooked family-style meals. When the rain let up for just a few hours, we hiked the short trails near town. I recommend hiking Los Condores and Las Aguilas trails if you’re looking for a quick hike to view El Chaltén from above. These are such incredible hikes that will only take about one hour each. Also, if you're looking to capture the golden Fitz Roy peaks at sunrise, these are the lookouts that will make that happen!
BEST HIKE WITH A VIEW IN EL CHALTEN
On our final day with Bobby and Michelle, we decided to end it with a bang and hike 11 miles to Pliegue Turnbado Mirador. It’s a diverse trail with various ecosystems from the trailhead to the summit of the mountain. We first started out in green rolling hills beside a river until we eventually reached a dense forest. While following the trail winding through the forest, we were protected from the snowflakes fluttering around us.
After about two hours into the hike, we reached an elevation above the treelike and followed a snowy path up the mountain. The first mirador that we came across was views overlooking Torre Lago down below. It was pretty amazing to see the exact place that we had camped just a few nights prior beside the lake (blog post here). We found the perfect rock to unpack our lunches and fuel up for the epic climb to the summit.
The final leg of the hike (which we saw many people neglecting) is totally worth it! There’s a large, snowy peak that will take you an hour to conquer hiking straight up. Once you reach the top, the views are the best in El Chaltén! We were incredibly blessed to have all of the clouds dissipate the moment that we reached the top, and we could see 360 degree views all around us.
We soaked up these incredible views for about an hour and sat in silence, reflecting on our amazing time in Patagonia. Bobby, Michelle, Corinne, and I are an amazing traveling duo together! I couldn't imagine a more perfect week trekking, camping, cooking, singing, dancing, playing cards, and bonding with each other. These two are truly kind-hearted legends and we can't wait to travel with them all around the world in the coming years!
OUR LAST DAY'S ADVENTURE IN EL CHALTEN
The last hike that Corinne and I squeezed in during our final day was following a trail just outside of town to a nearby waterfall. This is an easy hike, only three kilometers outside of town, that follows the beautiful river. The moment that we arrived at the waterfall, I was actually pretty amazed. It was well above my expectations because no one in town or any travel website ever talks about it! My guess is that there are so many trails around El Chaltén, that not many people hike to the falls. This was the easiest hike that we experienced in the area, and will only take about three hours total. It's the perfect hike to fit in during a rainy day or resting after a long trek.
Corinne and I had extremely high expectations for Patagonia because so many people talk about this region during our travels throughout northern South America. We were also worried about the high prices during this time period because we knew that it’s the most expensive area in the continent. While it's true that lodging, food and transportation are comparable to the United States or Europe, we both believe that every experience was worth it. We definitely recommend spending no less than two weeks in Patagonia, and we're both extremely grateful for having the chance to spend an entire month in one of the most incredible places on earth. We will be talking about these experiences for the rest of our lives!