Published: April 7th 2012March 29th 2012
We arrived on an amazingly spectacular sunny day, which we found out is a quite rare in El Chalten. Our bus stopped at the information centre as the town is set in a National Park, where we were greeted by friendly park rangers. He informed us of the standard do´s and dont´s being in a protected area such as; no lighting fires, wee away from water as people drink it, refrain from scaring deer ect ... Also we were informed about all the hikes that are available from the town, which vary from 30 minutes to 4/5 hours. It was late afternoon so we checked our bags in to our hostel and then made our way to the top of a mountain/hill above the visitors centre (The 30 minute walk), where you get great panoramic views of the town and mountain range. We watched the sunset which was very nice, however our camera failed to get any really decent photos as it is allergic to sunlight (which was directly behind the mountains we wished to capture). It got extremely cold as soon as the sun dissapeared, reminding us we were still in Patagonia, so we set back down to civilization and
found a local restaurant and helped ourselves to soup and then a Lamb stew. Yum Yum!
The next day we woke up refreshed and decided to go for the 4 hour hike (one way) to Laguna Torre, which didnt seem as steep as some of the other hikes. Walking out the door at 10am, I said to the hostel owner to have the Man Utd game on at 4pm when I get back he laughed and said he would wait for me. The hike started off rather strenuous, and we managed to get slightly lost after taking lots of pictures, after about an hour of uphill hiking over rocks and sandy/stoney terrain we made it to the first viewpoint. The view was great which gave an overview of a valley and the Mountains in the background. We were delighted to see that the rest of the hike looked very flat, so we walked briskly for just under 2 hours only stopping to sample some glaciar water from a stream (very cold, but refreshing nonetheless). We finally made it to Laguna Torre which was beautiful, a grand lake filled with floating chunks of ice set in front of
huge jagged mountains and vast glaciars. We sat and had our exquisite lunch consisting of a plain pizza base, chocolate bars and bannana. We then made our way back to town very briskly as it was just past 1pm, we managed to stop to get ice cream and get back to the hostel to find the football on and was only 23 seconds in. Great success!!!
The next two days saw the weather turn for the worse so we spent the next day watching films at the hostel and we met friends that evening for drinks. On our final day we managed to walk to a nice picturesque waterfall on quite a windy day, the sun finally came out once we made it there and we enjoyed our lunch sat right by the water.
- It is uncommon in El Chalten to get breakfast at the hostel so we deifnitely reccommend a great bakery, if walking from the bus station you just walk straight down the main road and it´s a blue building at the very end. (Great omlette, milkshakes, pastries and empanadas!)
-There´s a lovely microbrewey that we visited twice, just keep walking up
san martin and you´ll see it on the left
There are more photos below