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El Chalten / Calafate combo

Aberdeen, United...
Level Contributor
548 posts
177 reviews
El Chalten / Calafate combo

We are wanting to do a small hike to where you can see Fitz Roy, and we are also wanting to see Perito Moreno. We have 3 nights in El Calafate, but on day 1, we are coming from Puerto Natales, so that will eat a big chunk of the first day, effectively leaving us with 2 full days (in late July - so mid-winter!).

It seems like a bit of a hassle staying in Calafate the first night, then staying in El Chalten, then staying the third night back in Calafate. Not sure how that would work logistically either, with all the tarnsfer times.

Is it possible at all to do Chalten with the Fitz Roy hike as a day trip, to just stay in Calafate all 3 nights, or what would you suggest?


16 replies to this topic
Historic Corydon...
Level Contributor
1 828 posts
165 reviews
1. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

El Chalten is 3 hours from El Calafate.

Perito Moreno is 1 1/2 hours from El Calafate in the opposite direction.

If it were me, to really make it work, once you arrive in El Calafate from PN, you could then continue on to El Chalten. It's a long travel day but is the most efficient option. Do your hike the next day and then return to El Calafate in the evening. Do Perito Moreno on the 3rd day. That way you would have 2 consecutive nights in El Calafate.

This is what I would do if I had your time constraints. We are also going from Puerto Natales to El Chalten in one day.

Hope for good weather in El Chalten.

Edited: 07 March 2018, 15:07
Aberdeen, United...
Level Contributor
548 posts
177 reviews
2. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

Are there enough buses that we could go straight to El Chalten after arriving in Calafate?

Historic Corydon...
Level Contributor
1 828 posts
165 reviews
3. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

Depending on when your bus from PN arrives, you might have a few hours to kill. There are afternoon and evening buses everyday to El Chalten. You can also make reservations with Las Lengas which is a rideshare transport. Might be able to leave sooner with Las Lengas but you can't be sure how long your border crossing will take so I wouldn't make a tight connection.

Level Contributor
3 533 posts
156 reviews
4. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

Hello. I remember that it was difficult to find buses that crossed the border between Puerto Natales and El Calafate last July. Why don’t you contact Cootra (cootracalafate2@gmail.com), Turismozaahj (zaahj@entelchile.net), and Bus Sur through the link below to see if they can offer you a ride from Puerto Natales to El Calafate the day that you want. Sometimes in winter, the buses in the past have only run every other day.


There is usually a Chalten Travel bus at 18:00 from El Calafate to El Chalten. Why don’t you contact them at contacto@chaltentravel.com to see if they can help you?

In July, you will probably see snow on the trails leading from El Chalten. Here is a really nice Youtube video by somebody who hiked these trails in July a few years ago. You can choose CC for closed caption and select English from the settings symbol to the right of CC.


It will probably be too snowy to reach the top of the Laguna de Los Tres trail in El Chalten, but you might be able to hike to Laguna Capri to see Cerro Fitzroy if the trail is not too snowy:


There is a company called Fitzroy Expediciones in El Chalten that offers snowshoe hiking in El Chalten:


Good luck with your planning.

Breda, The...
Level Contributor
5 935 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

If you are going to hike in El Chalten in July, you must be sure you are prepared for it. Make sure you have sturdy walking shoes and are dressed for the cold in layers with a wind- and waterproof outer layer. Stop by the information office of the park rangers first before you set out on your hike. And always always always follow the advice of the rangers. If they have closed down a trail or tell you that the weather conditions are such that you can’t complete a certain trail in 1 day, listen to them and follow their instructions. Also be aware that in late July the sun only rises at 9:30 AM and sets around 6:30 PM, leaving you with only 10 hours of day light.

This post is not to scare you off from going, but to make sure to are well prepared. Better safe than sorry!

Historic Corydon...
Level Contributor
1 828 posts
165 reviews
6. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

My bad, I missed the part about your traveling in July.

Level Contributor
18 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

Hi Daniel, how are you?

Rather than I bus, I may think on a Shuttle, for example Las Lengas http://www.transportelaslengas.com

I may contact you with local direct service providers in Patagonia, with no extra fee, if that helps, just send me a message.



Level Contributor
8 posts
97 reviews
8. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

We did the hike to Fitz Roy this February and it is a lovely hike. However, it is about 10 km there and 10 km back. There are 2 routes, but they are of equal distance. The last stretch, to the view point, is very steep and a little scrambling is required.

It took us 60 yr. olds a full day at a slow speed. You will be doing it in winter when conditions may be unfavourable. To travel from El Calafate to El Chalten and back is about 5-6 hours - if you plan on a day trip for the hike, that doesn't leave much walking time especially as winter daylight hours will be shorter.

Catania, Italy
Level Contributor
24 posts
20 reviews
9. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

Hello, everybody!

By your opinion, is it possible to visit Torres del Paine National Park in one day, depart from El Calafate very early in the morning and return the same day? I'm thinking to rent a car or maybe I can find a local driver to come with us. Thanks!

Asti, Italy
Level Contributor
1 133 posts
127 reviews
10. Re: El Chalten / Calafate combo

Of course no, you need more of 6h (one way) and also to cross the borders, it's impossible to have time for a visit of the park. In any case it'll be very expensive, the ticket for the park and extra fee to rent a car.

If you want you can post on italian forum:


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