While the majority of hikes in El Chalten are full day affairs, that does not hold true for the hike up to Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas.
Considered an easy hike just outside the town center, the trail up to these two viewpoints will give you some awe inspiring views of El Chalten and its surrounding mountains.
You can choose just to head up to the first viewpoint (Mirador de Los Condores) or also make it more of a loop trail by hiking to the second viewpoint (Mirador Las Aguilas) as well.
Read on to learn more about this short hiking opportunity to take part of during your trip to Patagonia.
What's in this article?
1) Hiking Details & Background
The Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas hiking trail takes you up onto a small mountain, just on the outskirts of El Chalten, to two beautiful viewpoint areas.
The viewpoints translate to “condor” and “eagle” as those birds can be found flying frequently around the region.
Be on the lookout for those birds as you take in the views of the famous Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre mountain ranges, the Rio de Los Vueltas river, and plenty other landscape all around.
Below are some helpful hiking details to note about the Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas trail. Since you have two options here – heading to just one viewpoint or to two of them – I will give the hiking metrics for both.
Mirador de Los Condores Only
Hike Length: 2.6 km / 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 130 meters / 425 feet
Duration: 1 Hour
Trail Type: Out & Back
Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas
Hike Length: 4.8 km / 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 220 meters / 725 feet
Duration: 2 Hours
Trail Type: Loop
So, depending on your interest levels & the amount of time you want to spend hiking, you can decide to head up to both viewpoints or just the first one.
I saved the hike for my final day in El Chalten before taking the bus back to El Calafate. Since I just came off of a week of hiking some pretty strenuous trails (listed below), I opted for a nice relaxing morning at the Mirador de Los Condores viewpoint.
However, definitely feel free to head on the longer trail if you want some additional views and to make more of a day out of it.
If looking for longer, more scenic hikes in the region, be sure to check out:
• Read More: An El Chalten Hiking guide. It includes maps, tips, things to know & more!
2) Mirador de Los Condores Trailhead
Just like many other hikes in El Chalten, you can find this trailhead within walking distance of the town center.
Simply make your way by foot south out of town along the main road to Route 23. Just after you cross over the Rio Fitz Roy bridge, you will see the El Chalten APN Visitor Center on the right hand side of the road.
From the visitor center, you will find trailheads to several different hikes around the area. Be on the lookout on the right side of the building for hiking signs to Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas.
Since there are a few different trails that share the same route for a portion of the hike, just pay attention to those hiking signs as you make your way up.
3) Mirador de Los Condores & Las Aguilas Map
Below you can find an interactive Google maps view and a screenshot of the route up to the Los Condores & Las Aguilas viewpoints.
You can see the trailhead pinpointed down, in addition to the two viewpoints. If just visiting Los Condores, you simply will head there and back on the same route. If also adding on Las Aguilas, it will be more so a loop trail.
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5) Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas
From the visitor center, head on the pathway on the right hand side, where you clearly see the trailhead to various hiking trails.
About five minutes after walking past the trailhead sign, you will come across another intersection. To the left will be the trail up to Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas, and to the right will be the trail to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado & the Huemul Circuit.
Follow the trail to the left, where you will come across a clearly marked pathway towards the viewpoint areas.
After making the turn, the trail will now begin to gain elevation the rest of the way through. While it is a continuous uphill, it should not be too demanding for most people.
Along the way up, you will also come across several signboards with helpful information about the area in general. While they are written in Spanish, you can still use your translation skills (or phone app), to read through them.
These signboards, along with the increasingly vaster views, should hopefully distract you from the incline up to the viewpoints.
Just around 0.8 km / 0.5 miles into the hike, you will come across another intersection. To the right will be towards Mirador Las Aguilas, and staying to the left will be Mirador de Los Condores.
Even if you plan on hiking to Mirador Las Aguilas, I would recommend first visiting Mirador de Los Condores, and then looping clockwise to La Aguilas.
This way you can break up the uphill into two parts instead of heading straight up to La Aguilas.
So, after staying on the route towards to the left, it will be just another 5 minutes or so until you reach Mirador de Los Condores.
From the viewpoint, you can enjoy those views of the El Chalten town down below, the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre mountain ranges in the backdrop, and the Rio de Los Vueltas towards the side.
After enjoying the view from Mirador de Los Condores, you can then decide to just retrace your footsteps back down to the parking lot, or continue on the pathway further up to the La Aguilas viewpoint.
I should also note that there is an “Upper Mirador de Los Condores”, that is probably another 5-10 minutes uphill if you want a bit of a more elevated view.
If headed to the La Aguilas viewpoint, you will pass by this secondary viewpoint as you continue along the clockwise trail. After hiking for another 30 minutes or so, you will reach La Aguilas.
From there you will be able to get a similar, but more elevated view from before. This time you also won’t have El Chalten in the foreground as it is blocked by the mountain.
However, you will get views out behind of Viedma Lake and some more beautiful Patagonia landscape.
It is then finishing up the loop heading back to the trailhead. You will pass by the initial Condores – Aguilas intersection, before descending down the mountain.
That will wrap up a hike up to Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas. But there really is so much more that El Chalten has to offer. See below for more helpful information about El Chalten and hiking in Patagonia.
6) Getting to El Chalten
El Chalten is a small town within the Los Glaciares National Park of Patagonian Argentina.
Surrounding the town, you will find some of the most beautiful peaks, lakes & views in Patagonia. Since El Chalten was essentially built to cater to the surrounding landscape, you will be able to walk right from town to the various trailheads (including this hike).
There are two main ways to get yourself to El Chalten – either by bus or by rental car.
Since El Chalten does not have an airport, you most likely will be coming in by bus from El Calafate (home to the closest airport). You can reach El Calafate by plane from major cities like Buenos Aires. The bus ride from El Calafate is relatively quick, taking around 3 hours between the two towns.
There are multiple busses a day, serviced by several companies. Feel free to look through Busbud to see options across many of the companies. Some of these busses stop at both the bus terminal and the airport. You can take a look on the site for the latest schedules and fares for your journey,
A one way ticket will cost somewhere around $20-$25 USD.
Renting a car in Patagonia is also a great option for those that want more flexibility. You can make more of a road trip out of it, visiting several places all along the way.
Depending on where you plan on going, some of the drives may be quite long. However, you will be surrounded by some stunning natural landscapes all around, making the drive a highlight within itself.
Feel free to take a look at Rentalcars.com that has options across several different car rental companies.
7) Where to Stay in El Chalten
El Chalten is home to many different hotels and lodges for visitors. Essentially, everything will be within walking distance from one another. Hotels, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, and the trailheads, are all located within the same general vicinity.
These hotels will sell out during peak season, so be sure to book your accommodation as soon as you know your dates.
Below are some of my top recommendations based on budget for your trip to El Chalten:
Note: El Chalten receives its WiFi connection via a radio connection from El Calafate. This means that you should not expect strong WiFi for most of your visit. Phone signals did not work as well, so be prepared to have limited access to Internet during your time there.
8) Patagonia Weather
From a time of year perspective, the most realistic timeframe to enjoy hiking in Patagonia will be during the southern hemisphere’s summer period. From the months of December to March you will have the best chance to have the most suitable hiking conditions in general.
I visited El Chalten at the end of January / beginning of February. Even though it was the prime time to visit, the weather was very inconsistent throughout my time there. One day would be clear and sunny while the next day would be completely clouded over with snowfall.
When it comes to Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas, the main highlight is to get to see the Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre mountain ranges from the viewpoint areas.
Hiking this trail with clear skies vs. having the mountain range covered with clouds will be two completely different types of experiences. While it is always hard to count on the Patagonian weather, try and save this hike for a better weather forecasted day of your trip.
Also note that the weather can change throughout your time on the trail. Clear skies can turn to clouds and rain, which can then turn back into clear skies.
Weather forecasting is tough enough in mountainous regions, but even tougher in a place like Patagonia. The locals were keen on using Windguru as their best source of truth when it came to weather forecasts.
Here is a link to the free version of Windguru for Fitz Roy (the mountain itself). Upgrading to the paid version will give you more insight and features.
What you are looking for here is low wind speeds, low % of cloud cover, and no precipitation.
9) What to Bring
Hiking in Patagonia is all about layers and proper footwear. Since the weather can turn very quickly, you will want to be prepared for all types of conditions.
In general, I found layering to be the upmost important part of a trip. On all day hikes in Patagonia, I brought along the following layers:
→ Hiking Shorts
→ Hiking Pants
→ Short Sleeve Shirt
→ Long Sleeve Shirt / Sun Hoodie
→ Mid Layer Fleece
→ Puff Jacket
→ Packable Rain Jacket
While layers are important so will be your footwear. You want to be sure to bring appropriate waterproof hiking shoes along with solid hiking socks as well.
Additional day hike recommendations include:
→ Hiking Backpack & Rain cover
→ Water Bottle & Nutrition
→ Portable Charger
→ Hat & Sunglasses
→ Sunscreen & Bug Spray
» Be sure to check out the Hiking Packing List guide I put together that will go through all of it and more.
That about does it for the Mirador de Los Condores & Mirador Las Aguilas trail of El Chalten, Patagonia. If you have any questions or comments about the hike, feel free to add them in below. Also, don’t forget to check out the other Patagonia itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!