There’s no doubt the small town of El Chaltén has incredible scenery. Located about three hours from the city of El Calafate, it is known as the hiking capital of Argentina, with the trail to Laguna Torre as a hard-to-beat spot.
The trailhead is easy to find and begins with a gentle uphill walk through native beech forests. The Fitz Roy River flows alongside, and just 15 minutes into the hike, you’ll come to the first viewpoint over the Cascada Margarita waterfall. The hike continues uphill for a couple of hours, until the final ascent up the steep moraine that arrives at the Cerro Torre Mirador lookout. From this point you can see Cerro Solo, the Adela range, the 10,000-foot, near-vertical Cerro Torre with its distinctive surrounding “mushroom” of snow and also Mount Fitzroy.
To get closer, continue to the DeAgostini base camp. After about another 15 minutes in, you will come to Laguna Torre itself, which sometimes has icebergs floating in it.
The weather is very turbulent in this area, and snow is possible even in summer. Photos of the sunrise over the spires are especially sought after, because of the astounding colors.