Entrance to El Chaltén

El Chaltén is a small tourist town in south western Argentina that’s located on the northern edge of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and is known as the Capital Nacional del Trekking. It’s one of the many spots people go to access some of the most popular trails, glaciers, and glacial lakes in Argentinian Patagonia. We spent our few days there doing two hikes, and enjoying our first real taste of Patagonia.

HIKES

The first hike was on the Senda al Fitz Roy, a trail head named after the Fitz Roy mountain. This was a 10.2 km hike up to the Laguna de los Tres and took around seven hours to complete. The hike was long and the weather didn’t fully cooperate during the hike out, but the views of the Fitz Roy were completely worth it. The weather improved on our way back to El Chaltén, and we were able to capture some beautiful pictures of the area and the mountains.

Glacial outwash plain

Group hike on Sendero al Fitz Roy

Samuel at Laguna de los Tres

Fitz Roy as weather clears

The second hike that we completed was to the Laguna Torre and was 20 km long. This hike was relatively flat, and we had much better weather, leading up to an amazing lunch spot with views of Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre.

Wooded trail on Laguna Torre hike

First view of snow caps

Through the fields and over the mountains

Rio Fitz Roy

Boardwalk through the forest

Sydney on the end moraine

Laguna Torre and Cerro Torre

BIRDS

During the hike to the Fitz Roy, we saw some of the areas well known birds. The first bird was the Southern Crested Caracara and is part of the falcon family.

Southern Crested Caracara

The second bird seen during the hike to the Fitz Roy was the Magellanic Woodpecker. This woodpecker is very large (~16 inches) and is easy to spot with a bright red head.

Magellanic Woodpecker

During our hike to Laguna Torre, we spotted several smaller birds, the first of which was the Rufous Collared Sparrow. This sparrow is found all over South America and was one of the most common birds we saw during our trip.

Rufous Collared Sparrow

The second bird that we spotted was the Black Chinned Siskin, which is similar to the goldfinch in North America.

Black Chinned Siskin

The next bird was similar to a robin, but darker and a bit smaller, and is called the Austral (Magellan) Thrush.

Austral (Magellan) Thrush

The final bird we saw was the Chilean Flicker, which, unlike its many relatives, has no red markings.

Chilean Flicker

2 thoughts on “El Chaltén: 17-19 Nov 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s