The minuscule town of El Chaltén is composed of a couple main streets with a handful of dirt roads veering off on either side. At the end of these streets are the trails that everyone comes to explore, yet that does not mean your only cheap option to sleep is in your tent. Thanks to the explosion of tourism here, many comfy, well-equipped, and lively hostels are popping up all over El Chaltén, and we run down the list of the best ones.
In the native tongue, Aylen-Aike is a combination of the words ‘ember’ and ‘warm place’, so you can expect to be comfy and toasty in this hostel, and that is one of the reasons it is often booked up. Sturdy, soft bunk beds available in four, six and eight bed dorm arrangements are available, as well as a cheap breakfast option if you are looking to quickly fill up and head out the door in search of some mountains.
They label themselves a bed and breakfast as they offer boutique private rooms, but they also have six-bed dormitories separated for men and women. Located right off the main street you have one of the modest grocery stores in town close to your doorstep, as well as the start to the Fitz Roy trail, and the inside has a layout that doesn’t make you feel like a guest, but instead, right at home.
Rancho Grande make everything easy for you during your stay in El Chaltén. Shuttle services, tour and trail information, onsite café, and 24-hour restaurant, the only thing you need to go outside for is the wilderness. Also a great location next to other restaurant and bar options, and only a few hundred metres from the Salto de Chorillo trail and start of the Fitz Roy.
Entering the front door, seeing the beautiful lounge area, hearing the peaceful background music and feeling the relaxed vibe, you may be expecting a large cost to stay here, but the terrific dorms are at a competitive rate relative to the rest of town. Big wooden bunks to rest undisturbed, kitchen to prepare pre- or post-trail meals, and a relaxing area to mingle with other travellers and trekkers.
It’s not hard to find peace and quiet in El Chaltén as the town is very small, however if you like to be quite secluded, even in a town this small, then Hostel Kaiken is a great option for you, as it is located in the corner of El Chaltén, which is still only a minute walk from the main centre. This family-run hostel has only four bedrooms, three of which are four-bed dorms, and the other is a private room, so you will never be in the hectic revolving door of travellers checking in and checking out.
Battle through the blustery winds powering through the streets and enter the door of Los Viajeros, and once the door shuts, the wind stops. At least that’s what it feels like as this quiet, relaxing hostel is a great place to get away from the sometime harsh conditions, and to rest, refuel, and recharge. Smack dab in the centre of town, the location is perfect, with dorms and private rooms available, and even satellite television, which is a treat after months on the road.