Traveling from Chile Chico, Chile to the Argentinean part of Patagonia isn’t as easy as it should be.
You can get a taxi from Chile Chico to the border of Chile. This cost us about $5. The next small section to Argentina is a no man’s land. Be prepared to walk to the checkpoint, this is about 5 km (3 miles). No taxi’s or ride services go into this area since it is border crossing.
In the 1.5 hrs, it took us to walk, only 6 cars passed by. We tried to hitchhike, but nobody stopped. We are thinking it’s because no one wants to deal with a stranger in their car at a border checkpoint.
Once you cross, you’ll get to Los Antiguos, Argentina. This is the place where the bus stop is that took us to El Chalten.
For bus tickets, we recommend that you go to the actual bus station. There were tickets online, but we had questions so we held out. We knew there was an 8 pm bus that leaves every day and that’s about it.
When we arrived at the bus station, they had a promotion going on, so we got the tickets for $25 per person less than we saw online. Plus, they have what is called an “OPEN TICKET.” It basically means you can leave from any of the towns, at any of the times listed. We bought those for $10.
El Chalten is a lively city and a great hub for hikers. There are a few different hikes you can do, but we focused on Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy.
The hostels run a little more than what we are used to paying. However, we found a hotel called “Destino Sur Hotel & Spa” that cost us $50 per night, including a great breakfast. We originally booked 2 nights and wanted to book 2 more. Brock asked if they would keep the price we had paid online and they agreed. The hotel has different seasons. We were there in midseason, so prices can vary depending on when you go. This seems to be the case with all hostels/hotels in the area.
Cerro Torre was 19 km (11 miles) roundtrip. You’re hiking to see a beautiful lagoon surrounded by the Andes Mountains. The entire hike was not very difficult. There were some points where you had a gradual incline, but it wasn’t strenuous. I’m not much of a hiker and I thought it was fine. This took us about 6 hours.
We’d definitely recommend bringing some snacks to enjoy at the lagoon. We were only there for 5 minutes because the winds were so strong and the snow started to fall. The weather obviously varies depending on the time of year you go. The only thing guaranteed is that you’ll have an amazing view and get to see one of the most beautiful hikes in Patagonia.