Hiking Argentina – Mirador de los Cóndores y Águilas – El Chaltén

The Mirador de los Cóndores and the Mirador de las Águilas (the Condor and Eagle viewpoints) are two of the three relatively short hikes around El Chaltén in Argentina (the 3rd one is out to the Chorillo del Salto).  Most travelers to the region only stay a couple of days and so tend to do these hikes plus one or two of the longer ones.  However, even though I stayed 8 days on my first visit to El Chaltén in 2015, I didn’t get around to hiking up to these viewpoints.  

On this trip, I arrived in El Chaltén 3 days before the departure of the South Patagonia Icefield Expedition with Serac Adventures and Swoop Patagonia.  Having just hiked for 5 out of 7 days around Ushuaia, and given the fact that I had a massive blister on the back of one foot, I was keen to take it a little easy in the lead-up to the expedition.  However, on my 2nd day in El Chaltén, the weather was so unbelievably amazing, I just had to head out.

As I followed the well-worn path from the National Parks office towards the Mirador de los Cóndores, I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no wind, the sun was shining brightly and there were only a few clouds in the sky – a true miracle in these parts!

Path to the Mirador de los Cóndores with Cerro Fitz Roy in the background - El Chaltén - Argentina

The trail to the Mirador de los Cóndores. You can see El Chaltén below and Cerro Fitz Roy in the background

The trail up to the viewpoint is short but quite steep, and I imagine quite an effort for the majority of people who hike it.  But the views over El Chaltén and the mountains are incredible!

Mirador de los Cóndores with Cerro Fitz Roy in the background - El Chaltén - Argentina

The amazing view from the Mirador de los Cóndores

On my last visit, I had 8 days of cloud and rain.  I never saw the top of Fitz Roy and barely managed to see the top of Cerro Torre, so it was a real treat to be able to relax on the rocks and take my time admiring these spectacular mountain ranges.  Yes, it looks like a single range – but the Cerro Torre range actually sits behind the Fitz Roy range.

Closeup views of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from the Mirador de los Cóndores - El Chaltén - Argentina

Closer views of Cerro Fitz Roy (top), Cerro Torre (middle), and nearby glacier (bottom)

After spending about 2 hours stretched out on the rocks listening to Nanook (my favourite band at the minute – from Greenland of course), I decided to hike out to the Mirador de las Águilas so that I could enjoy more of the afternoon.  It takes less than half an hour to walk between the two and given that there’s not a big altitude gain, it is quite a nice stroll.

Trail to the Mirador de los Águilas - El Chaltén - Argentina

Trail to the Mirador de los Águilas. The viewpoint is on top of the rocks you can see to the left

From this viewpoint, you have a similar view of the mountains – but this time without El Chaltén in the foreground.

View from the Mirador de los Águilas - El Chaltén - Argentina

View from the Mirador de los Águilas

There is also a view over Lago Viedma (unfortunately the Viedma Glacier is hidden) and the Patagonian steppe.   

View of Lago Viedma and the Patagonian steppe from the Mirador de los Águilas - El Chaltén - Argentina

View of Lago Viedma and the Patagonian steppe from the Mirador de los Águilas

Another couple of hours soaking in the sun here before heading back to town made for a perfect “active rest” afternoon before the big adventure!

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