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El Chalten & El Calafate

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El Chalten & El Calafate

Hi there :)

We're planning our month long trip to Chile & Argentina and I have all but done the planning. I was hoping someone could offer some advice though on El Chalten and El Calafate. We have seven days for these two places and so we will be flying to El Calafate and I was then going to go straight up to El Chalten. From there, there seems to be more day long walking options and so I was going to spend five nights there and two nights in El Calafate, which will give us a day to do the glacier tour. We won't have our own car (although I may change my mind on this).

Are we doing El Calafate a diservice and should we stay there longer. We mainly like doing day hikes hence the choice of staying in El Chalten a bit longer plus we don't want to feel like we're constantly on the move (we will have previously spent to nights in Bariloche and two nights before that in San Martin de los Andes).

I would welcome any feedback. The other issue I should mention is if we do do 5 nights and two nights it means we would need to get back to El Calafate on Christmas Day!

Many thanks in advance :)

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: El Chalten & El Calafate

The itinerary you mention is perfect. Perito Moreno is the only reason to stay in Calafate. If you want to do something different you can also visit Bosque Petrificado with it's petrified trees and dinosaur bones. It's half way between the 2 towns but I don't think you can go there on your own. Ask a tour operator in town if you're interested.

Buenos Aires...
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2. Re: El Chalten & El Calafate

Hola Samkirk,

I agree with Emonton, as I think your itinerary is perfect.

Maybe the only change I would do, why not to stay in El Calafate on day of arrival?

You can stay in Calafate, that afternoon (if you arrive in the morning) visit Laguna Nimez, a beautiful bird sanctuary really nice to visit in the afternoon and spend good two hours there.

Next day in the morning you can visit Perito Moreno Glacier.

On the same day, you could take the bus to El Chalten in the afternoon (in high season there is a bus at 18hr when most of the tours end in El Calafate at around 16 hr).

From So in this way you would be arriving in El Chalten on day 2.

Spend the night there and then you could use one day for each of this options:

. Laguna de los Tres full day trekking

. Cerro Torre full day trekking

. Lomo del Pliegue Tumbado full day trekking

. Go by car and come back by bicycle from Lago del Desierto (full day)

. Mirador de las Aguilas and Mirador de los Condores (half day walk)

. Reserva los Huemules (private reserve about 1/2 hr from Chalten, beautiful).

. Piedra del Fraile refuge and Laguna Polone (lovely, and one of the less transit walks).

The first three options are the most popular ones, you can decide whice others you would add.

Then, on the way back, you can be dropped off at the airport in El Calafate.

In this way you would also spend Christmas in Chalten, that I think is much more romantic!

Have a lovely day,


Say Hueque

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3. Re: El Chalten & El Calafate

Hi Veronica

Many, many thanks for the information. Apologies it's taken so long to reply (I thought I had done to be honest). Anyway, I took your advice and have changed the visit to El Calafate and El Chalten around. Thanks once again.

Kind regards


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4. Re: El Chalten & El Calafate

Many thanks and apologies for the delay in saying thanks!

5. Re: El Chalten & El Calafate

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