Chalten Camp is nested within the native southern beech forest, between Río de las Vueltas and a massive granite wall, beyond the crowds and lights. Far enough to feel pristine nature and close enough to the trails and El Chalten, which is only 3km away.
The camp has been carefully designed to maximize the privacy of guests. The sleeping domes are at a 25 or 50 meters radius from the main dome and apart from each other. This ensures that all the domes have privacy and can enjoy the views of the forest and the Fitz Roy. All the Domes are joined by natural trails
There are only 3 double domes and 1 triple dome, all of them built on raised structures within the native forest. A dome is a strong tent, build in a geodesic iron structure, covered with a canvas and insulated with a special material. Each unit is 26 m2, housing a bedroom and a private bathroom. Equipped with a wooden stove, 12 volt electricity, USB cellphone charger, queen size bed, generous blankets and cozy decoration. All the domes have panoramic “windows” facing the Fitz Roy, note that:
The 80 square meter main dome houses a comfortable living room as well as the dining room. With it’s large windows, it is the idea location to relax and unwind, enjoying convivial conversations, reading a book or just a drink next to the fireplace with stunning views of the mountains and the famous Fitz Roy. Here there are 220/110 Volt sockets to charge devices and a dispenser to refill personal water bottles.
Near the main dome, there is a fire pit - the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and stories under the clear southern sky. A few meters away, conveniently located under the beech trees, two picnic tables await to offer great views and the ideal place to have lunch in a calm sunny day. There are also several hammocks around the camp to enjoy a nap, a book or just the landscape.
You can enjoy guided or unguided experiences around the camp or from the El Chalten area, though guided excursions from El Chalten are at extra cost.
Experiences Around the Camp
Mountain Biking - Guided, Easy, 2.5 hours
This activity can be Self-guided or guided. The bending trails that run by the river are easy to ride, offering a 5 km circuit with great views and unspoiled nature. In addition, they have crafted the experience by using bamboo bikes, a great way to minimize environmental impact. They have 5 bikes at the camp and more are available if requested in advance
Birdwatching - Guided or self-guided, Easy, 3 hours
It does not matter if you are a skilled birder or just a beginner, the wealth and diversity of the surrounding landscapes make it a fantastic spot for birding. Start your day and walk through forest by the massive granite wall of the valley, searching for the most distinctive species, like the Andean Condor, the black chested buzzard eagle, the torrent duck, the austral parakeet (the most southerly in the world) and the Magellanic woodpecker (the largest of the Americas).
Hiking in the Valley - Guided, Easy, 3.5 hours
The bending bed of the Río de las Vueltas is considered to be one of the best hiking spots of the surrounding area. This is because the camp's convenient location gives direct access to these trails were you’ll probably not come across any other people. While walking, enjoy a wide range of panoramic views and learn all about the geography: how and when these magnificent structures where formed. At midday, find a protected spot in the woods and enjoy lunch surrounded by pristine nature.
Madsen House and Museum - Guided, Easy, 3.5 hours
Enjoy a gentle walk bordering the magnificent granite wall that leads back to town, and learn all about Andreas Madsen, pioneer and founder of El Chaltén. When entering the home of this pioneer, observe the original architecture of the house, that is still intact a century on. On the walls there are black and white photographs of family life that give an idea of what it was like to live in deep Patagonia in the early 1900s. Before you finish, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with something sweet at Andreas Madsen’s dining room table
Experiences in El Chalten Area
Hiking to Laguna Torre - Self-guided or guided (at extra cost), Medium, 8-9 hours (15 miles)
An easy 30-minute walk from the camp takes you to the trailhead in El Chaltén, where there are two head trails to Laguna Torre ; both paths merge within a 5 minute walk. The trail enters the valley of the Fitz Roy river and follows up alongside the stream to its source. Halfway through the path, reach to “Mirador del Torre” a natural viewpoint with magnificent panoramic views of the Adela range, Cerro Torre and the satellite granite needles. Continue and cross the De Agostini base camp towards the frontal moraine, which ascends until reaching its crest after walking for 15 minutes. From there it is possible to go down to the Laguna Torre, or to continue along the same ridge for another 2 km to the Maestri viewpoint. This lagoon tends to group numerous icebergs on its shore which has fallen off from the front face of the Grande Glacier.
Hiking to Laguna de Los Tres - Self-guided or guided (at extra cost), Medium, 9-10 hours (18 miles)
An easy 30-minute walk from the camp takes to the trailhead that begins at the end of Avenida San Martín. During the first hour of trekking the path ascends steeply up to a natural viewpoint of the valley. As the ñires become more numerous along the way, approximately an hour and a half later reach, a well-marked natural rocky viewpoint with a sign that allows you to interpret the whole unforgettable landscape. The path follows toward Laguna Madre e Hija, to finally arrive to Poincenot Base Camp. From here, and after crossing the Río Blanco and its homonymous campsite, the path ascends steeply for approximately 400 metres until arriving to Laguna de los Tres, which will require more than an hour of effort. The trail finishes at the ridge of the old frontal moraine of Glaciar De Los Tres with an extraordinary view to the granite wall of Mount Fitz Roy and the surrounding peaks. Going down the moraine, and skirting the lagoon to its natural draining point, find a path heading towards another breathtaking viewpoint: the desolate Laguna Sucia and its hanging glaciers
Fishing (at extra cost), Guided, Easy, 10 hours (6-8 hours fishing), November to April (Chinook Feb & March).
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or and experienced angler, a fishing day in El Chaltén will be long lasting memory. These lakes and rivers have been home to Brown and Rainbow trout for several decades and a place of spawning for the majestic Chinook salmon (with specimens that can weigh up to 25 kg). The previous day at noon, have a briefing with you fishing guide to check fishing permits, equipment and other last minutes doubts. All the gear is provided by the guide so, you can choose to fish with fly or spinning rod. At lunch time stop by the Lago del Desierto where a delicious barbecue awaits. Return to the fishing in the lake or take a second chance in the river on the way back to the camp.
River Kayaking (at extra cost), Guided, 6 hours (3 hours in water)
Explore the lush beech forests, multiple curves and massive walls of Río de las Vueltas, getting a complete sensation of wilderness while enjoying spectacular views of the Fitz Roy and its satellite spires. This experience is for people with good fitness but not necessarily with experience in kayaking. Upon arrival to the start point, your kayak guide awaits to give a short informative talk before providing all the required gear. Once equipped, the guide will give you the necessary training to acquire basic rowing and safety techniques. Start practicing in the calm waters of Laguna Cóndor, before paddling downstream surrounded by native forest, mountains and glaciers, with unique views of the Fitz Roy massif. Halfway to El Chaltén, stop to recover energy and have lunch before continuing kayaking. The descent ends at Chalten Camp, in a convenient shallow water beach; meters away from your private dome
Rock Climbing Lessons (at extra cost)
From novice to veteran climbers, El Chaltén offers a wide range of alternatives to enjoy a perfect climbing day. After breakfast, meet your private rock climbing instructor to have a brief conversation of your needs and expectations. With this as a guideline, the guide propose a plan for the day, taking in count weather condition and the nearby climbing spots. Once the plan is set, start hiking to the selected climbing area where the instruction takes part and the equipment is presented. After a complete safety talk and emergency protocols the instructor teaches the basic notion of the practice before making the first try to the climbing routes. The experience is tailored to each group, for this reason is possible to walk back to the camp to have lunch and rest a little, or just enjoy a box lunch in the climbing route area. After some 5 hours of adventures return to the camp.