Photo of El Chalten

About El Chalten

Close to the Chilean border, El Chalten, whose name literally translates as ‘Smoking Mountain’, sits in the middle of the Los Glaciares National Park. This peaceful mountainous village is particularly popular with climbers, hikers and all who appreciate great scenery, and it's for good reason that it's known as the hiking capital of Argentina. Barely 400 people live here year round, and it's only been part of Argentina since the mid 1980s. Consequently the available beds for visitors are limited, and in many cases the hotels and hostels are quite basic. However, there are still a couple of quite special places to stay in and around El Chalten (see below), and we’ve selected the best places both in the village itself, and in the national park. They all provide great bases for exploring the this spectacular area.

Although there are a few restaurants, bars, supermarkets and shops in town, it's very much a jumping off point for hiking and exploring the ice fields and glaciers, and there are quite a few hiking gear suppliers, both for purchase and rent.

It's also no great surprise that, in this glacial region, the weather can be challenging! For the best weather with more sunlight and less rain, aim to visit between October and March. In October you'll hit the beginning of Spring, while the incredible colours of Fall appear from mid-March. However remember that this is a busy little place, so if you want to guarantee a bed in one of the best places to stay in El Chalten during peak season, you'll need to book well ahead.

The best places to stay in El Chalten

For a remote luxury lodge

  • A half hour north of El Chalten, at the foot of Mt Fitzroy, Explora El Chalten is a spectacular property with stunning views of the Marconi Glacier. Rooms are beautifully designed for maximising views of their surroundings, and the hotel offers great food and a spoiling spa, as well as local guides and expeditions to lead you into the wilderness. Rates are all inclusive here, and at the top of the range.

  • Further north up the same road, about an hour's drive from El Chalten and next to a stunning glacial lake called Rio Canadon de los Toros, Aguas Arriba Lodge is the height of secluded luxury. Beautiful alpine architecture and warming food make this the pick of the bunch.

For a chic stay in the village

  • Don Los Cerros Boutique Hotel is a comfortable and quiet spot in the village with traditional decoration and a great spa in which to soothe tired legs after a day out hiking. Large windows throughout the hotel give great views of the surrounding mountains.

Budget family friendly hotels

  • Hostería Kaulem is an excellent little Patagonian boutique set back from the main street but only a few minutes walk to all the restaurants and the start of all the main hikes in the area. Clean, comfortable rooms at good rates, and very family friendly.
  • If you have a bit more to spend (but are still looking for good value), check out the Hotel Lunajuim. They offer decent regional cuisine and colourfully decorated rooms with eclectic artworks. There are triple rooms for families.

For Hikers

  • Hosteria Senderos is a popular stop-over for hikers about to set off. It boasts large and well appointed rooms, big breakfasts and a great vibe. Like the two hotels above, it also has family friendly split level suites..

  • If you feel like spending a bit more, and appreciate more in the way of facilities, the Destino Sur is one of the best places to stay in El Chalten itself. The rooms are fairly simple but clean, many with great views of Fitzroy mountain. It's close to the centre, handy for restaurants, and near to the start of the hiking trails. Best of all, they have a pool and small spa with hot tub and steam room — nice after a long hike.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.

Travel Information

  • The nearest airport is El Calafate airport (some 215km to the south), which is served by all major Argentinian airports.
  • Best time to visit — It is undoubtedly best to visit El Chalten during its summer months (December to March) when not only is the weather warmer, but the days are longer. However don't expect hot days — they peak at around 16°C and the nights will be chilly.
  • For car hire enquiries, we recommend you check out our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in El Chalten

Best Hotels in El Chalten

  • Hostería Kaulem El Chalten (Santa Cruz) 5 rooms from £82

    Active Holiday  -  Set within a beautiful national park there are plenty of activities local to the hotel, including cycling to hiking
    Local exploring  -  The hotel is perfectly located for exploring in Chalten, both in terms of natural wonders and the local town
    Back to Nature  -  Retreat to nature at this hotel, set in verdant gardens against the backdrop of the Patagonian mountains
    Kayaking  -  Do a kayaking excursion on the Las Vueltas river; ask your hosts for local boat hire
    RestaurantGardenViewsNo pets

    This boutique hotel is located in El Chaltén, Argentina. Rooms are cosy and inviting, with wooden floors and homely soft furnishings; book a private apartment for self-catering facilities. Browse the hotel art gallery before a drink at the bar; a great base for exploring the beautiful national park. See More

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  • Lunajuim El Chalten (Patagonia) 24 rooms from £106

    Local exploring  -  Located within easy walking distance of amenities and attractions, this hotel is a great base for local exploring
    Families  -  Book a triple room for a family stay; the hotel is happy to provide cots for younger children
    City Style  -  With simple, bright interiors, this hotel has lots of local Patagonian style
    Great walks  -  Explore the Los Glaciares National Park on a long walk; ask at the hotel for recommended routes
    RestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    This charming guesthouse is located in El Chaltén, part of the Argentine Patagonia. Rooms are inviting and homely, with comfortable beds, quality linens and eclectic artwork; book a triple room for a family stay. Sample regional cuisine at the restaurant before drinks at the bar; a welcoming hotel. See More

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  • Hosteria Senderos El Chalten (Santa Cruz) 21 rooms from £133

    Active Holiday  -  Set at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy, this hotel is perfectly located for a hiking or cycling holiday
    Families  -  With split-level suites available that can accommodate children, this hotel is good for families
    Back to Nature  -  Located within a breathtaking national park, this hotel makes a great retreat to nature
    Kayaking  -  Explore the famous seven lakes of Patagonia with a kayaking trip; enquire with the hotel for recommended providers
    RestaurantViewsParkingNo pets

    This hotel is nestled at the foot of Fitz Roy Mountain in the Los Glaciares National Park. Rooms feature wooden floors, comfortable beds and crisp linens; book a suite for split-level living, great for families. Dine at the restaurant or have drinks at the wine bar; a charming, quiet nature getaway. See More

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  • Hostería El Pilar El Chalten 10 rooms from £140

    Back to Nature  -  Set within the breathtaking grounds of the Los Glacieres National Park, this hotel is a great nature retreat
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love this intimate hotel and the cosy, romantic suites; unwind by the fire after a day out walking
    Active Holiday  -  With a unique location close to the Fitz Roy, this hotel is perfect for a walking holiday
    Sights nearby  -  Walk down to the Río Blanco, a beautiful river that runs close to the hotel
    RestaurantGardenViewsNo pets

    This charming hostería is located within the Los Glaciares National Park, 20 minutes outside of El Chaltén. Guestrooms are simple and elegant, with wooden floors, heritage furniture and mountain views. Unwind by the wood-burning fire after a day's trek to the Fitz Roy; an authentic country retreat. See More

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  • Destino Sur El Chalten (Santa Cruz) 36 rooms from £160

    Back to Nature  -  Set in the breathtaking landscape of the Argentinian Patagonia, this hotel makes a fantastic retreat to nature
    Active Holiday  -  With Cerro Fitz Roy close by, there are lots of activities to keep guests entertained for an outdoors holiday
    Families  -  With larger rooms available to accommodate children, this hotel is great for families
    Great walks  -  The hotel lies on a number of marked walking routes; walking is a great way to explore the Patagonia's natural wonders
    SpaRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    This hotel is set in Chaltén, in the Argentine Patagonia. Rooms have wooden floors, homely, cotton linens and artisanal goodies in the snack bar; book a premium room for extra living space. Book into the hotel spa or use the hot tub before drinks by the fireplace. A charming, back-to-nature retreat. See More

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  • Don Los Cerros Boutique Hotel El Chalten (El Chaltén) 44 rooms from £186

    Views  -  Don Los Cerros Boutique hotel boasts stunning views of the surrounding valley and Fitzroy Mountain.
    Active Holiday  -  From boat cruises to hiking there's plenty to do in the nearby surrounds.
    Restaurant  -  Don Los Cerros Boutique Hotel's restaurant serves both traditional Patagonian and International dishes
    Full of character
    RestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    A charming boutique hotel framed by snow-capped mountains. Brightly decorated rooms are traditional in style. Glass doors lead onto private terraces to sit and enjoy the view. Based in Argentina's hiking country, spend days in the great outdoor, then relax in the spa. An adventurer's haven. See More

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  • Explora El Chaltén El Chalten 17 rooms from £890

    Outstanding location  -  Located in the Southern Ice Fields of Patagonia, the planet’s second-largest freshwater reserve
    Back to Nature  -  Total peace and tranquility in a remote location, surrounded by magnificent scenery
    Spa  -  A spoiling spa with outdoor hot tubs with views to die for
    Views  -  Glorious mounatin views from every angle

    A spectacular property for those who love nature and trekking, with stunning views of the Electric Valley and the Marconi Glacier. Patagonian cuisine with local produce and a spoiling luxury spa greet the weary explorer. A rejuvenating stay for those seeking privacy and silence. See More

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