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El Chaltén

El Chaltén, has 370 inhabitants and is a small village located at the confluence of Fitz Roy and "De las Vueltas" rivers, on the north border of Los Glaciares National Park. The area is totally "new" from every point of view; geologically speaking, it is one of the latest formations of the continent because it took its present shape after the retreat of the ice masses (ten thousand years ago).

EL CHALTÉN - FITZ ROY


On the other hand, it is one of the "youngest" human settlements of the country, because it was founded on 12th October, 1985, as a way of stating our sovereignty over this region, which was in dispute with Chile.

Since then, El Chaltén is the meeting place for trekkers and climbers from all over the world. Every year they come here attracted by Mount Fitz Roy (Chaltén), Torre and the chain of mountains that surround them. This "relationship" started in 1782, when Captain Antonio de Viedma saw the mount for the first time, mount that the Tehuelches (the native people of the region) named "Chaltén". In their language this term means "the smoking mount", due to the clouds that always surround the peak.
In 1834, the mount was seen by Robert Fitz Roy and Charles Darwin, when they were sailing up River Santa Cruz. In 1877, Francisco Moreno saw it from a closest point. He also changed the mount name for "Fitz Roy", in recognition of the detailed study carried out by the British marine.

After that time, especially along the 20th century, the exploration of the region was carried out by mountaineers as Alberto De Agostini and the estancieros who settled here. Most of them were Europeans who came from Punta Arenas (Chile). They came at the beginning of the century attracted by the gold rush; in spite of the fact that they didn't achieve their expectations, they fell in love with the area and became into the first permanent inhabitants. Nowadays, the streets of the village carry their names, as a way of paying tribute to their effort and bravery.

The most important peaks of the Fitz Roy/Chaltén Range are: Saint Exupéry (2,558 m), Poincenot (3002 m), Fitz Roy (3405 m), Mermoz (2732 m) and Guillaumet (2574 m). Three glaciers flow from this range, they are: Sucio, De los Tres and Piedras Blancas glaciers, which originate three glacial lagoons.

OPPORTUNITIES IN THE VILLAGE
IN THE SURROUNDINGS
TOURIST ESTANCIAS
All the estancias offer accomodation, meals and excursions (fishing, horseback riding, navigations, etc.

El Chaltén