- Written by Dan
Mount Fitz Roy Travel Insights
By Mercedes Marks / Photo by Geoff Livingston
Travel advice covering the basics when preparing to travel to Mount Fitz Roy.
When To Go
Mount Fitz Roy is famous for being one of the hardest climbs globally for mountaineers, so optimal conditions are a very important consideration. Pantagonia summer runs from October through March, which is a good time to go. November and December, which experience the least rainfall, are ideal, especially if you are planning to climb the mountain.
The mountain is about three hours away from the El Calafate (FTE) airport, which is serviced by direct flights in most major cities, including Toronto and Vancouver. From El Calafate, the town of El Chalten (and the gateway to Mount Fitz Roy) is a three hour drive. ontreal, and about a thousand from Toronto!
There is a public bus that travels between El Chalten and the airport several times a day, as well as airport taxis that will make the trip.
There is no transit system in El Chalten; the only ways to get around are by foot or by car. While most main roads are paved, many side streets are only gravel, so for extensive explorations, walking the streets is recommended.
What To Do
The most popular activity to do at Mount Fitz Roy is, unsurprisingly, to climb the mountain. It is the climb that draws adventure travel enthusiasts, mountaineers, and thrill seekers to Mount Fitz Roy in droves every year. Standing 3,375 metres tall and with some of the sheerest cliffsides of the planet, this climb is a challenging, but incredibly rewarding. A permit is required to climb Mount Fitz Roy, but conveniently, they are free, and can be obtained at the National Park Centre in El Chaten.
Explore El Chalten
The town at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy is more than just a gateway to visiting the mountain. It’s also a charming small town that is by and large remote from many modern trappings: only the main roads are paved, there is only one ATM in the entire town, and there is no mobile phone reception. For an urban dweller, this might seem like a nightmare, but being a little removed from technology gives El Chalten a charming, personal vibe that makes it well worth a visit. Try local specialties at a family owned bsitro, or take a tour of La Chocolateria Josh Aike, a chocolate factory that tells the stories of legendary hikers and offers booze-spiked hot cocoa.
See the Viedma Glacier
In Los Glaciares National Park you can see the Viedma Glacier, one of 47 glaciers fed by the Andes ice cap (which happens to be the world’s largest outside of Antarctica and Greenland.) The park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its natural beauty, as well as its significant contribution to biodiversity in Argentina.
Hike Mount Fitz Roy
Perhaps climbing sheer granite drops isn’t for you. That’s okay; Mount Fitz Roy welcomes those who prefer keeping their feet on solid ground as well, and still has a lot to offer. There are hiking trails crisscrossing the mountain, and they span broadly enough in difficulty that there is a fit for every level of adventurer. One true boon of hiking through Mount Fitz Roy is that the streams are all fed from the surrounding glaciers, and the water is immediately drinkable–not to mention icy and delicious.
Get Wet and Wild
All of the lakes, rivers, and streams in Mount Fitz Roy and its surrounding areas are glacier-fed, so yeah, they are a bit chilly. But there’s still lots available to do, including kayaking, white water rafting, and fishing. Take on the rapids of the Futaleufu River, or spend a quiet afternoon trying to catch some rainbow trout.