El Chalten and Torres del Paine. wow.

Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 01:57 PM
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El Chalten and Torres del Paine. wow.

Just back from El Chalten and Torres del Paine. Loved it! Trying to figure out how to get back. ◡̈

We flew into Buenos Aires and then on to El Calafate. Didn't spend long in El Calafate... but a few days in El Chalten. Hiked to - and camped at - Laguna Capri, Poincenot, and Laguna Torre. Sunrises and Sunsets were spectacular from camps. It was dry, but COLD (below freezing camping).

Visited Perito Moreno glacier. Could have spent longer there. Would love to try a boat expedition.

Drove to Torres del Paine - stayed at Pampa Lodge (Rio Serrano area). Lovely hotel. Weather not as good, but views amazing. Did puma tracking and have some great shots ...

Highly recommend it. Any q?
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 03:53 PM
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Have editors put a trip report icon on your list. Glad your trip was so successful!
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 11:40 PM
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Hi surfmom. We're going to Argentina in July, the off-season, and plan to fly into El Calafate from Mendoza. We're thinking of spending one day exploring the Glacier Perito Moreno, including taking a boat to get up close to the glacier. We're also hoping to get to the Glaciarium, an ice museum with an ice bar. That would be one day, and we're wondering if we should take the long (12-hour, I think) bus tour up to El Chalten. We'd be hoping to take an easy hike or two in the area and go into the town, which is supposed to be pretty dead in July. We've heard that the winter is very cold and windy in the area. What do you think? Would it make a good day trip in the middle of winter? Thanks for any input you can provide.
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Old Apr 25th, 2023, 05:42 AM
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I would not do a day tour to El Chalten, the ride is too long. I certainly wouldn't do it in winter, I went in early spring and had very good weather one day and very bad weather the second. Rather than doing that, take another tour to some of the other glaciers - see https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...more-glaciers/

I thought the Glaciarium was a waste of time, but I had no interest in the ice bar. Otherwise it was mostly an education in global warming, about which I was already convinced.
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Old Apr 27th, 2023, 07:21 PM
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I agree with thursdaysd about the day tour - it would be a really long day, and honestly, the amazing thing about El Chalten is hiking into the park. In a car, I think it was 2 1/2 - 3 hours - I would imagine it might be longer on a bus. So that is half the day - allowing you 5-6 hours to eat, get organized and hike. The problem with the hiking is that the first bit of the hikes you don't see much and is most of the elevation. So you may end up at a point where you've hiked the hard part, don't see much, but have to turn around due to time.

I don't know the weather, but I know in Torres del Paine, one of our guides actually told us that winter is much calmer, with less winds. Colder weather, but calmer. Wondering if that also holds true in El Chalten? Is there any way you could do an overnight in El Chalten and do some hiking then? (we camped 3 nights in that area, so were up near Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre for both sunrise and sunset.)

We loved our day to Perito Moreno and I think if you can get out on a boat, that would be fantastic. As to the glaciarium, we also did not do it. We didn't have a ton of time in El Calafate - other than using it for point in and out - and I didn't want to go inside to learn about glaciars - I'd rather go see them!

everyone knows how good the beef and lamb is ... but what was a surprise for me was how good the chocolate was. everywhere. yum.

good luck!

(have you figured out a currency strategy? we carried crisp $100 bills and exchanged them as needed. We used visa as much as possible and got the MEP rate).
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Old Nov 24th, 2023, 03:46 PM
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When you drove from El Calafate to Torres del Paine: Where did you rent the car? Did you have any issues crossing the border into Chile? What route did you use? Where did you drop the car after the Torres?

Did you consider going into Torres del Paine by going into Chile at Cerro Castillo? It looks like a side door entry and very convenient. I'm considering renting a car in El Calafate and using it to access Torres del Paine from there.

There's a day trip tour that you can take by minibus from El Calafate, through Cerro Castillo, and into the park. It sounds like good sightseeing but it's like a 15 hour day with 8 hours of driving. Did you hear anything about that?
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