At the northern tip of Los Glaciares National Park, at the foot of the Mt Fitz Roy granite massif (3.405 m above sea level) and the Mt Torre massif (3.128 m), may be found the small village of El Chaltén, Argentina's youngest town, founded on October 12, 1985.
This city numbers barely over 40 families and some 300 inhabitants and, during the southern summertime, which is the best time to visit this area, its population increases, and its visitors blissfully contemplate the superb views of mountain peaks, giant massifs and permanent ice fields.
The roads to El Chaltén from Calafate include Provincial Route N° 11 (in the northern part of the area), National Route N° 40, and lastly Provincial Route N° 23.
These are some 220 kilometers of roads that offer magical views of glaciers, hidden lakes, livestock farms, Lake Viedma and the overpowering presence of Mt Fitz Roy.
This mountain's unmistakable profile is always capped with a cloud, mistaken for volcanic fumes by the tehuelche Indians, whence they called it Chaltén (meaning "volcano).
El Chaltén is one of Argentina's prime climbing spots. It is also an ideal place for horseback and foot trekking, as well as sailing, and for communing with nature in all its beauty. It has a wide tourist offer. A mere 32 kilometers away one can visit the historical Lake Del Desierto.
Marked pathways enable visitors to easily access high mountain scenery. Tours are available to Lake Torre, Blanco river, the Fitz Roy base camp, Lake De Los Tres, Lake Capri, Chorrillo del Salto, etc.
Most of the excursions leave from the village, and one does not need to be an expert to use the clearly-marked tracks. However, if one leaves the prearranged pathway, there is a risk of losing one's way amid all the beautiful views.
The granite spikes of Torre and Fitz Roy peaks offer an imposing and spectacular panorama when combined with the Viedma, Upsala and Moyano glaciers that empty into Lake Viedma, 106,000 hectares in area.