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El Chalten & Fitz Roy
El Calafate and Perito Moreno Parque Nacional Los Glaciares Ruta 40

Getting there is more than half the fun!

Though only 134 miles from El Calafate, it takes about 3 hours over [aved and all weather roads at an average speed of 30 to 40 miles per hour, depending on the road and the winds.

En route from El Calafate to El Chalten there is one and only one "refreshment" stop, which is open only "in season" October through Easter.

Set within sight of imposing Fitz Roy and with a backdrop of snow capped peaks, El Chalten is a new town, dating only from 1985. Originally a military outpost, today it is growing rapidly and great efforts are being taken to see that it grows up with a charm and character befitting to the spectacular but remote setting. There is an atmosphere of "frontier" and stories of the original pioneers are captivating.

Accommodations are varied. Several small B&B style lodgings are available in town, such as Hosteria Senderos and the larger, more modern, more upscale Los Cerros. Anither option just outside of town is El Puma. Small restaurants and only a couple of gift shops round out the tourism oriented infrastructure.

PAT-hlsngfrs-horses.jpg (7839 bytes) Estancia Helsingfors (total of 8 rooms) is across Lago Viedma, within sight of the Viedma Glacier, only 150 km from El Calafate and the same distance by road from El Chalten. It can be accessed by boat (on a good weather day) from nearby El Chalten. Estancia Helsingfors is tourist oriented and offers nature oriented activities.

The main attraction is Cerro Fitz Roy (3,405 m), part of a granite massif which also includes peaks of Cerro Torre (3,128 m), Poincenot (3.076 m), Egger (2,673 m), Guillaumet (2,503 m), Saint-Exupery (2,600 m), Aguja Bifdia (2,394 m) and Cordon Adela (2,938 m).

The main activities are hiking and mountian climbing and just plain ole' gawking at the spectacular scenery. While El Chalten prides itself on its mountaineering opportunities, there are several walks that begin easy, move to moderate and then on to challenging, but you can enjoy the views all along the way and stop when ever you wish and your efforts not be wasted.

Bring along rain gear and always be prepared for the winds and the temperatures with mountains, glaciers and winds.