Circuit or three-day route through the Chalten


Last fall we made a three-day route through Chalten (Argentina) touring one of the most emblematic walks in Patagonia. We start with the path to the Torre lagoon at night in the D'Agostini camp and from there we move to the Poincenot camp to later climb the Laguna de los Tres and return to the Chalten via the Capri lagoon. In total 2 nights in the mountains and three great days walking through one of the most beautiful places in Argentina.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

Before continuing to comment on the route, it is important to know that all the routes that start from Chalten (Laguna Capri, Laguna de los Tres, Loma del Pliegue and Laguna Torre) can be done in 1 day without problems. Therefore 95% of mountaineers always sleep in El Chaltén where civilization resides and there are almost all kinds of services. The main reason to sleep in the camps It is to live the mountain and live with the elements. There is no luxury and the experience is very rewarding. Yes, they are free.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

So if you do not want to sleep in a tent, carry a lot of weight and cook your own food, then always try to sleep in the Chalten. If not, the route that we are going to comment next must be done !!!

Basic Route Information

It is a route of 2 nights and 3 days, sleeping in the camps D'Agostini and Poincenot to pass through Laguna Torre and Laguna de los Tres. In addition to these lagoons, you will have the opportunity to see the Capri lagoon and the Madre e Hija lagoons. All this in a circuit of something more than 40 kilometers and less than 2000 meters of unevenness, so it is suitable for all types of audiences with an acceptable physical condition.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

Below we comment on the times, distances and slopes, as well as a description of the days of the route.

Fitz Roy Circuit / Cerro TorreDurationDistanceSlope
Day 1 - Chaltén - Camp D'Diagostini - Laguna Tower - Maestri Viewpoint<5h14.5km+/- 600m
Day 2 - Camp D'Diagostini - Laguna Tower - Mother and Daughter Lagoon - Poincenot<6h14km-500m
Day 3 - Camp Poincenot - Laguna de los 3 - Capri - El Chaltén<7h13.5Km1000m

* Times vary depending on the weight loaded.

Day 1 - El Chaltén - Camp D'Agostini - Torre Tower - Miratri Maestri

  • Distance: 14.5km
  • Weather: <5h
  • Total ascent: 600m

We arrive at El Chalten on the 11:30 bus from Calafate after making a mandatory stop at the interpretation center of theGlacier National Park. Once at the station and after making a final review of our backpacks we begin the route around 12:00 and in the direction of the Torre lagoon.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

From the station there is how 10 kilometres and some 3 / 3.30 hours to the camp D'Agostini and from the latter only 5 minutes to the Torre lagoon. 30 more minutes if we go to the Maestri lookout.

We begin to walk along Güemes Avenue and then along Antonio Rojo Avenue, where at the end you climb up some metal stairs. Once up, turn left until you find Llao Llao street where you can see the exit of the trekking to the Torre lagoon.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

It starts with a strong climb and our heavy backpacks are noticeable, especially since we are cold. Overcoming the steep we pass through the canyon that crosses the Fitz Roy River until finishing with the first viewpoint to Cerro Torre. A wonder, even more when it is making us a great day.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

From there you walk through a valley with little inclination, with the hill Tower always in the background and over unsurpassed forests. At the end of the long forest and the occasional meadow, we will begin to climb again until we find the D'Agostini camp where we place the store and prepare for the night.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

As we had time left, we made our first visit to the Torre lagoon and on the way we marched to the Maestri viewpoint, a place where the wind is always present. Moreover, that day not only blew in the viewpoint, but also in the camp throughout the night and it did not stop raining with intensity until at least 5 in the morning.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

Day 2 - Camp D'Agostini - Laguna Tower - Lagoons Mother and Daughter - Camp Poincenot

  • Distance: 14km
  • Weather: 6h
  • Total ascent: 500m

The next day we get up early and watch the sunrise over Cerro Torre at about 8:30. Later we returned to the D'Agostini camp, had a quiet breakfast and picked up the tent to head for the Poincenot camp.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

From D'Agostini there are about 11.5 km to Poincenot and 450m of unevenness, passing through one of the less crowded places in the area. To take this road we leave in the direction of El Chaltén and about 4 kilometers we will see a turnoff to the left towards the Lagoon Mother and Daughter which we will take.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

At the beginning we will pass through a very leafy area until we find a steep slope of about 270m of unevenness, all continuous and without rest. Always in shade and through a very dense forest. In the end we will reach the first of the lagoons, very exposed to the wind and where we stopped to eat.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

Later we reach the second lagoon and begin to see the Fitz Roy after climbing a slope. The day was wonderful and it was completely clear like the day before. In fact, the views from a meadow below are the best we have seen and are not far from the crossing with the main road between the lagoon of the three and El Chaltén.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

Arrived at the crossing we headed to Poincenot crossing some wooden walkways and the occasional bridge. Once in Poincenot we set up camp and seeing that we still had day for a while we opted to go to the dirty lagoon and leave for the next day the Laguna de los Tres.

Road to Laguna Sucia

The bad thing about going to the dirty lagoon was a mistake because the road was cut in its final section. That made us turn around, enjoy the forest around us and return to Poincenot to dine quietly.

Day 3 - Camp Poincenot - Laguna de los Tres - Laguna Capri - El Chaltén

  • Distance: 13.5km
  • Weather: <7h
  • Total ascent: 1000m

The next day around 8:30 we get up, have breakfast calmly and go up to the lagoon of the Three. From Poincenot there is little more than One kilometer and about 400 meters of unevenness that are easily saved if you do not arrive short of strength. Many of those who come from El Chaltén are exhausted and have to make numerous stops to overcome it.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

Up, about 300 meters from the lagoon we find snow and ice. Not too much but if you had to exercise caution. The cold was intense but assimilable and the high mountain atmosphere was second to none. The bad thing is that bad luck came to an end and Fitz Roy was covered by clouds, a shame. However we had seen it clearly in previous days.

Capri Lagoon

From the lagoon of the Three we returned to Poincenot, we raised the camp and we started walking to El Chalten via lagoon of Capri. The road from the camp is almost flat until the crossing to the lagoon and always the Fitz Roy behind us. Upon reaching the detour the road tilts a little but in just 5 minutes we will reach the lagoon where there is another camp.

Circuit / Route of three days by the Chalten

We make a 5 minute stop and continue to El Chaltén. From here there is about an hour or a little more in continuous way down.

More information: route to the Laguna de los Tres in one day.

Practical data

When should we do this route?

From the end of October to the end of April. These are the best months to do it. The rest of the months we can find snow or even closed sections.

Is the route hard?

It all depends. The difficulty is set by the weight that we carry since there is not much unevenness and there is plenty of time to do it. If the weather is bad, especially with cold and rain, the thing can get complicated, but if we are accustomed to walking on the mountain we cannot classify it as very demanding.

How to get to El Chaltén?

It is reached mainly in bus from Calafate. There are at least two companies that depart from the central station, with at least two daily departures. We can buy these tickets at any local agency, at the same station or even online.

Is it necessary to pay any permit?

No. The route even if you pass through a national park is completely free.

What are the camps like?

The D'Agostini, Poincenot and Capri camps are very basic. They have no cost and cannot be reserved. You just arrive and look for a place to put your store. They only have a few bathrooms and little else. Everything else we must bring from El Chaltén. That is, much more wild and different from what you can find in Torres del Paine.

Is it cold in the camps?

The nights are cold and windy, with temperatures in many cases close to 0 degrees. Therefore it is convenient to go warm and carry good bags if we do not want to be cold. No summer bags ...

Is fire allowed?

Fire is completely prohibited. We can only cook using our infiernillos or camping gas. Therefore we must carry plenty of fuel.

Is there telephone coverage?

There is no coverage in most of the route.

Can we buy food in El Chaltén?

El Chaltén supermarkets are basic. You can find enough things but if we look for something very special it is better to bring it from Calafate.

What clothes to take to the route?

Yes we talk aboutbasic equipment We recommend the following. We have linked some of them so you can see in detail how they are and do not run out of equipment:

  • 65-80l backpack with the material that we do not use in the walk (Sack, thermal and bivouac covers, flashlights, ...,). Water layer for the backpack
  • Winter sleeping bag
  • Basic accessories (knife, compass, ...,)
  • First aid kit
  • Several t-shirts, a pair of socks per day, underwear
  • 1 long pants
  • Fleece lining and Goretex raincoat if possible
  • A Primaloft or feathers for the cold. At night the temperature drops quite
  • A poncho
  • Cap, the head should always go hot
  • Several pairs of gloves for different conditions
  • High boots
  • Crossing poles
  • Water boots (provided by RTS or RMS)
  • Frontal.
  • Solar chargers if possible. There is no electricity
  • Piles to spare
  • Canteen or Camelback with water treatment tablets.
  • Something to read. It gets dark at 7:30 p.m. and from that hour it's all dark
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • An umbrella
  • GPS and flashlight (Victising is the best quality / price) with batteries for several days

Where to sleep once we return to El Chaltén

There are many options to choose from. Here we leave several hotels of all kinds.

  • South Destination: magnificent hotel with very comfortable rooms and first class services.
  • Desert Lake: hotel located in a classic construction of the area. Simple rooms but very correct.
  • Country Family Hostel: economic option and with the possibility of shared rooms.

Excursions to El Chaltén

If we don't have time we can always opt for a tour in El Chaltén.

 Book tour in El Chaltén

More information

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