El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina by Irina Pavelescu

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My husband and I visited Argentina in February and we were lucky enough to go around the country before the Covid19 lockdown was imposed. Our first stop in Patagonia was the small town of El Chalten, also called 'the capital of trekking', due to its proximity to the Andes and famous peaks, such as Cerro Fitz-Roy and Cerro Torre. This little touristy town can only be reached after a 3 hours bus ride from El Calafate airport, were we flew in from Buenos Aires. Our main goal was to hike the very challenging route to Laguna de los Tres, the glacial lake in front of Fitz-Roy peak, so we gave ourselves enough days in El Chalten to ensure we're getting good weather conditions.

Although still summer in the southern hemisphere, the weather changes rapidly in Patagonia, from sunny and warm to windy, cold and rainy. We've witnessed these changes first hand during our first day of trekking and we had to turn back after reaching Laguna Capri, but the moody weather gave me a great opportunity to photograph the already impressive Fitz-Roy in a more dramatic setting. Shielded by clouds and fog, with its bare cliffs covered in snow and ice, the mountain looked haunting against the green surroundings, powerful and lonely at the same time. We’ve spent more than 30 minutes in this spot, soaking in the view and being grateful to visit a place like this. Everything felt so close, due to its size, but was yet so far. A truly magical experience!

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