Hitting the amazing Patagonian Landscape in El Chaltén
A full day drive brought us to the little mountain village El Chaltén. “Chaltén” means volcano but actually there is none. The name was given by mistake since the clouds surrounding the mountains in this area appear like smoke. The landscape around El Chaltén is simply spectacular and probably the most fascinating one I have seen all over Patagonia. You just open your eyes and what you see is picture-book landscape. I always wanted to travel to Patagonia just too see this and now I’m actually here. What a great feeling!
El Chaltén is situated in the Los Glaciares National Park which has the largest ice cap outside the Antarctica and Greenland feeding the impressive number of 47 glaciers. Also part of the park is Mount Fitz Roy which has multiple very steep peaks which we could already see from a distance when driving into El Chaltén. Because of its steepness the mountain attracts a number of technical climbers who perceive it as one of the hardest mountains to climb.
In the village we stayed in the Pioneros Hostel which is situated at the main road. From there I went for a walk around in the village. It’s really a lovely spot with a number of small restaurants and outdoor shops. I really liked that the village isn’t crowded by tourists and most people I have seen around are backpackers. El Chaltén is not just known for its amazing surroundings but also for its restaurants where you can sample Patagonian lamb and beer brewed in local micro-breweries. I’m not a bear drinker so I didn’t try it but I heard from my fellow travelers it wasn’t too good.