The most direct route is flying to Buenos Aires and continuing on to El Calafate from where, during the summer time, buses leave several times a day to El Chalten. There is a bus service that goes directly from the Calafate airport to Chalten. If space is not available take a shuttle to the bus terminal in El Calafate (15km) and the bus from there.
Chaltén is a small prospering village that lies at the trailheads to both Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, at an altitude of 400m. Services such as campgrounds, youth hostels, hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, gear shops, post office, ATM, internet and phone are available. Self sealing butane cartridges (for Jetboil) are available in many of the gear shops, and clean burning fuel for MSR like stoves (paint thinner: solvente) is available in the gear shops and hardware stores.
Most of the Chaltén Massif, except for a small portion, is located in the northern part of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. This park was created in 1937 and covers an area of 600.000 hectares that was declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO. The intent of the National Park is to protect the area, and therefore before venturing into the park it is necessary to check with the park officials to be aware of regulations and restrictions. To protect and preserve the local forest, fires are prohibited within the park. If you intend to climb in the park, it's important that upon arriving to Chaltén, you register at the ranger's headquarters, where you will be issued a climbing permit at no charge.
Until five years ago climbers stayed in “basecamps”, located 1.5 to 2 hours walking from town. Since, thanks to the availability of services in town, as well as close to 200 bolted sport pitches around town -on top of world class bouldering-, and to minimize impact and erosion within the park this has been discouraged. Being able to have quick access to internet is also a big plus, as it allows you to keep track of the weather forecast and make the most of your vacation.
Most climbers stay in campgrounds or rented rooms in town from where, when the weather looks promising they hike to advanced camps such as Niponinos, Paso Superior, Piedra Negra, etc.
For those visiting the northern part of the massif be aware that the Río Eléctrico valley is private and that in Piedra del Fraile you will be charged for camping (if you stay there) or for right of passage if you continue on. In early 2010 that fee was around 10 US dollars.
Shuttle Buenos Aires EZE - AEP
Ves Patagonia Shuttle
Calafate airport - bus terminal
Calafate bus terminal - Chalten
Calafate airport - Chalten
Parques Nacionales Los