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Trekking the Huemul circuit in El Chalten, Argentina 1/2 (Travel Documentary 055)

El Chaltén is the trekking capital of Argentina and I spent more than 2 weeks there to do exactly that: hiking. The Huemul circuit in El Chaltén is a lesser known route for experienced hikers and absolutely worth the efforts as you are able to experience real adventures and see massive ice fields and panoramic views that will blow your mind!

I got to know the swiss Daniel back in the days when I was in Ushuaia – my first stop here in the south. We happened to stay in the same hostel, talked about the things that are next on our list and discovered that we are almost on the same schedule.

Without making any further plans we met again in Puerto Natales and decided to hike the circuit at Torres del Paine together – due to my stupidity of getting of at the wrong bus stop I had to hike the “Q” instead of the “O” so we missed out to hike together.

Finally we planned to do so in El Chaltén (after visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate), prepared for the hike together and started early in the morning for this 4 day hike. First of all we had to register and got some instructions from a ranger as this trail is for experienced hikers only. After we told him where we are from he answered “Oh Germany and Switzerland – you guys should be fine” and started to talk about the trail. The only problem was: for 50% of the circuit there are no marked trails!
Prepared as we are we had a GPS trekking app with a map on our iPhone and already bought a detailed hiking map of the area.

The first day was more or less easygoing and a good way to start this adventure – which began directly on the morning of the second day with a river crossing. There used to be a zip-line but it was broken at the time we where there. So we had to deal with freezing water and wet shoes (well – I had as I didn't bring a second pair of shoes). Anyway the glacier and the view we got from the top of the pass have been totally worth all the efforts!

The journey continues in the next episode with the second part of the adventure near El Chalten in Argentina. Meanwhile checkout the ultimate  Trekking Guide Torres del Paine with all informations needed to experience this awesome park on your own. The park is the next stop if you are heading south from El Calafate.

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Music by Audionautix

The southern patagonian icefield as seen from the paso del viento
The southern patagonian icefield as seen from the paso del viento

Have you been to el Chaltén in Patagonia? Tell us more!

If you have any tips or hints feel free to join the conversation – post a comment below and share your experience!
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My accommodation in El Chaltén was supported by Hostelbookers.com – together with Traveldudes they help me to show you South America on my #HolaGringo trip.
All the content I provide from my travels is completely my own – this goes for opinions and views as well as for recommendations.


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  • I just wanted to thank you for this amazing blog! We are planning our trekking at the Patagonia and it is difficult to find good information. We decided to do the W trek but we just read the notification today that some treks are closed because of a rain, thus it is great to find a back up option in case the situation doesn’t improve in the next two weeks


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