South America Travel Guides

Hiking Guide Cerro Torre & Mt. Fitz Roy Trek in El Chalten

Wanderführer Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre
Wanderführer Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre

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The Monte Fitz Roy Trek in El Chalten is the most beautiful hiking trail in southern Patagonia apart from Torres del Paine. Use this hiking guide and trek the national park Los Glaciares on your own with the hiking trails and info provided below.

Find my full video guide on El Chaltén at the bottom of this post!

Hiking Guide Cerro Torre & Mt. Fitz Roy – Quick Navigation
(click to get to the related chapter)


1) Get in, money, best time

Depending on how much time you have: if you do Backpacking in South America the long-distance bus is the cheapest but slowest option, via plane it's much faster.
The nearest airport is located in El Calafate which offers direct flight connections to Buenos Aires regularly – use tools like Skyscanner to find the best deal for you.
From El Calafate you can go by bus to El Chalten in about 2,5h. But: use the time in Calafate to withdrawal money as you'll find only one ATM in El Chalten which often runs out of money in peak season.
The best time for trekking in El Chalten is in summer – the season starts in October and lasts until April. Before and after the season most hostels/hotels and restaurants are closed.


2) Accommodation

You should definitely stay in the relaxed village of El Chaltén rather than the busy and more touristy El Calafate. Though the Internet connection is bad and most Hostels don't offer breakfast it is much more enjoyable and you're right at the starting point for all treks.
I stayed at the Hostel Aylen Aike on my first visit and highly recommend it for budget travelers as the owner is awesome and loves helping you out in planning and organizing your treks or even climbs – the hostel offers small and big dorms and is nicely located.
During my last visit I stayed at Lo de Guille, a family run B&B (one of the few places in El Chaltén which offers a basic breakfast). Very friendly staff & affordable prices, comes with a locked storage room (to use when you are trekking) and a kitchen for everyone to use.
In case the Aylen Aike or Lo de Guille is booked out for your dates make sure to check out the other Hostels listed on Hostelworld or have a look at the El Chaltén overview page on Booking for other options such as B&B's and Hotels. I highly recommend booking in advance as spaces fill up quickly during the hiking season!

Cerro Torre
Cerro Torre

3) Cerro Torre Trek (24km, 6h, easy)

This is an easy day hike where you don't have to be an experience hiker – take some sunscreen, water and food. After around 3h you'll be at the Laguna Torre.
The starting point is located south-west of El Chalten next to the river Rio Fitz Roy. The trail is well marked and ascends smoothly from El Chaltén. After around 1h you'll arrive at the viewpoint “Mirador Torre” form where you are able to see the towers for the first time. Follow the trail downhill and through flat terrain following the signs “Laguna Torre” until you arrive at the lagoon.
You made it – enjoy the view! From here you have 2 possibilities to get closer to the glacier: left across the gravel or right to the viewpoint “Mirador Meastri”.


4) Monte Fitz Roy Trek (26km, 8h, medium)

The most beautiful trail gets you close to the Monte Fitz Roy, the destination is called “Laguna de los Tres”. You should start at dawn in El Chalten to avoid the day tourists from Calafate. Be prepared as the trail is pretty tough at the end!
The starting point can be found in the north-west of El Chalten and is hard to miss (big signs). From there the only way is up, after 1h you reach the viewpoint “Mirador Fitz Roy” (left hand side). Continue after a little break and follow the signs to the Camp “Poincenot”.
After a flat section you'll arrive at the camp which you have to cross – then you cross some small rivers and get to the final and steepest part (use the chance to fill your water bottle at the river). Follow the steep trail over huge rocks up to the lagoon.
Isn't it beautiful up here? Enjoy the view and use the chance to go to the small hill left hand side of the “Laguna de los Tres” to see another one: the “Laguna Sucia”!

Monte Fitz Roy
Monte Fitz Roy

5) Circuit Trail Fitz Roy & Torre (34km, 2 days, medium)

Due to the well marked hiking trails you can easily connect both treks to a multi-day itinerary with camping.
Day 1: Follow the instruction in 4) and leave your equipment at the Camp Poincenot before heading up to Laguna de los Tres, enjoy your day up there and spend the night at the camp.
Day 2: Take it easy in the morning and head in the direction of El Chalten, shortly afterwards you'll get to a junction which you have to follow right to “Laguna Torre”. The distance to Laguna Torre is about 7km, easy doable in around 2h – the trail leads you through flat terrain passing Laguna Madre, Laguna Hija and Laguna Nieta. At the next big junction you keep right and arrive at Laguna Torre at lunch.
If you want you can extend for a 3rd day by camping at the nearby Camp “De Agostini” – or you head back to El Chalten (3h).


6) What to wear & equipment

Believe it or not: Outdoor equipment is very expensive in South America – therefore I recommend buying the equipment before leaving!
Everything you need is listed in this Patagonia Packing list based on my experience in El Chalten and the other parts of Patagonia.


My video from El Chaltén

As usual I produced a video about my time in El Chaltén – I show all the treks mentioned in this article:


More Patagonia guides

If you want to explore more spots in Patagonian make sure to check out my related articles:

Laguna Sucia und Fitz Roy
Laguna Sucia and Fitz Roy

Have you done the Monte Fitz Roy Trek?

Have you been to El Chaltén yourself? Do you have any recommendations and tips regarding Trekking in El Chaltén you want to share with us? Feel free to put them into the comment section below!

Disclaimer: This article contains Affiliate Links for services and products I’m using on my travels – therefore I can highly recommend using them. By using this links you won’t pay any additional fees!


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  • Thanks for the great info! Do you know how many Km from Camp Poincenot to Camp de Agostini? Thanks!

  • Thank you so much for all the info!!! it is so good! probably the best travel blog I have come across so far!!!! so useful!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks for all the info Steve. It’s very helpful. I’m planning on going to Patagonia for 10 days in mid-September. I realise this is a little outside the ‘Summer months’. Do you think there would be any problems doing this?

  • hey steve! what time of the year were you in chalten? im heading there mid april and just wondered what weather to expect? some blue skies?? *crosses fingers*

    • Hi Daniel,

      weather in Patagonia is unpredictable. I was there in March both times and got lucky with the weather. I’ll cross my fingers for you ;)

  • Thanks for the info! Going there at the end of April/beginning of May – very exciting! One question on hikes and treks – is it ok and is it safe to do it on you own (travelling with a friend, so 2 people) or do you need to buy daily excursions every day (and if so, any recommendations on tour companies and appox prices of tours)?

    • Hey Tatjana, it is totally fine to do the day hikes in Chaltén on your own as they are well marked. You can buy maps in town and also ask at the information center if you need any further information!

  • Hi, I want to do a 2-day hike from June 3 – 6. Is that a good time to do fitz roy.? also, do you recommend a guided tour if I want to do something overnight?

  • Thank you so much for all the useful info re: Chile!

    Any idea if Campamento Poincenot requires advance (or any at all) bookings?

  • Hi, Steve! Just found your info and this video is great! I’m wondering how long the hike is from El Chaten to Laguna de Los Tres and Mt Fitz Roy. It doesn’t look like it took you guys 2 days. Can you break it down in hours? Thank you so much!


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