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El Chalten

(4.3/5 based on 7,000+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: nature, sightseeing, historic sites
Nestled up against the hills of the Los Glaciares National Park, El Chalten serves as one of the nation's most bustling hubs for hikers and backpackers heading out into the wild landscape of southern Patagonia. Built only in 1985 as leverage in a border dispute with Chile, El Chalten has since transformed into a tourist hub thanks to its proximity to both the Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountain ranges. Thousands of foreign visitors flock to the small town each year, and things to do in El Chalten universally involve expeditions into the dramatic surroudings, with plenty of tour operators offering options of varying length and difficulty. Back in town, the infrastructure revolves around keeping visiting trekkers happy, fed, and well equipped for adventure. Plan your tour of El Chalten and Argentina travel itinerary using our Argentina tourist route planner.
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Where to stay

Thanks to the city's small size, almost all of the accommodation options in El Chalten are within easy walking distance of anything of note in town. Most "hotels" are in fact cozy alpine-style lodges catering to international visitors, and tend to be on the pricier side due to their upscale amenities. Alternatively, you can stay in one of the many campsites outside town, though weather here can be harsh. During the high season in January and February, you'll need to book at least a month or two in advance as lodging fills up fast. Keep in mind that El Chalten depends heavily on seasonal tourism for its income, and many hotels and lodges, particularly smaller, family-run affairs, close down during the winter off-season. On the flip side, many of those that remain open offer lower winter rates.
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