El Chaltén & El Calafate

Patagonia is known for its extreme weather. One day in Patagonia can see 15-20cm of snow, followed by high winds, and can close with warm sunshine and a clear sky, melting all the snow away. We experienced these extreme changes in weather in El El Chaltén and in El Calafate, two Patagonian towns in Argentina. In El Chaltén we did an 18 km (11 mile) hike in and around Mount Fitz Roy. It was a beautiful trail, but the weather was marked largely by heavy, low clouds that gave us rain, snow, and wind, before the skies opened toward the end of the day and offered us some sunshine. This is the reason by locals never check the weather – they know to dress in layers and expect anything throughout the day. They say it isn’t proper Patagonia if there isn’t wind.

In El Calafate we took a day trip to see the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the many glaciers in the Patagonian ice field. Our day started out with a snowstorm, but by evening we were in t-shirts on our way to dinner, the bright sun setting only after 10pm.

El Chalten 18km hike.
Stopping at a stream during the 18km hike at Glacier National Park.
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Piedras Blancas, Glacier National Park in El Chalten.

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The sky opens and the rain clears at the National Park in El Chalten as we near the end of the hike.
Snowy morning at Perito Moreno Glacier, 2 hours away from El Calafate.
Snowy morning at Perito Moreno Glacier, 2 hours away from El Calafate.
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Perito Moreno Glacier, 250 sq km in size, and 47 sq km larger than the capital city of Buenos Aires.
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The glacier has a total ice depth of 170 meters.

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The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that is growing.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that is growing.
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The very same afternoon on the drive back from the Glacier to El Calafate.

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Blue skies and melted snow on the way to El Calafate.

 

2 thoughts on “El Chaltén & El Calafate

  1. Tony Sena

    Hi Amanda, Happy New Year! Glad you’re having a great time. Really enjoy reading your articles and seeing the beautiful places you’re visiting. The photo’s and descriptions are incredible.

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