#8 best hiking town is …

El Calafate, Argentina

All hikers plan, one day, to travel to southern Patagonia. Towers of Paine photos entice.

And anyone who hikes Paine, should also hike Fitz Roy, Argentina.

Hikers have a choice to base themselves out of Puerto Natales, Chile or El Calafate, Argentina. Though you may find yourself stopping in both, El Calafate is the better choice.

El Calafate is a small town in Patagonia, Argentina. …

… an important tourist destination as the hub to visit different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park, including the Perito Moreno Glacier (one of the most visited in the world) and the Cerro Chaltén and Cerro Torre.

… In the last census 6,143 permanent residents were counted

You could argue that El Chaltén, Argentina’s “national trekking capital“, about 220km from El Calafate, is an even better base town.

On the other hand, there are large grocery stores like Diarco in El Calafate. The shops in Chaltén in 2019 were still very limited. We couldn’t get instant mashed potatoes in Chaltén, for example. Pick up your provisions in Calafate.

And Calafate is about half way between Paine and Fitz Roy.

More interesting photos tagged El Calafate, Argentina.

More information on Wikitravel – El Calafate.

Our favourite hike hikes out of El Calafate:

Paine Circuit (Torres del Paine), Chile

Huemul Route, Fitz Roy, Argentina

• Around Monte Fitz Roy (Los Glaciares), Argentina

These are the most famous, but there are many more “best hikes” in the Patagonian Andes. Ground transportation is the biggest challenge in this part of the world.

Best months are December to March.

7 Replies to “#8 best hiking town is …”

  1. Actually, ground transportation is very easy. There are multiple buses per day from El Calafate to both Puerto Natales (with connection to Torres del Paine) and El Chalten (for Fitz Roy). El Calafate itself is not a very good hiking town, since the parks are a few hours away. But it’s a nice enough place, and the Perito Moreno glacier is awesome. Still, I’d pick El Chalten or Ushuaia as the Patagonian representative for best hiking town.

  2. Don’t get me wrong, I loved El Calafate as well. Just not for hiking. It’s certainly the most pleasant Patagonian city, except for maybe Ushuaia.

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