It is impossible not to do the excursion to get to know the Lake of the Desert from the city of El Chaltén. Famous for its history, this lake has a lot to show to those who want to know it.
From the city of El Chaltén, we take our vehicle and arrive at the end of the town, where the path begins that begins to border the Río de las Vueltas, until after 37 kilometers it brings us closer to the famous lake, a historical place that was undoubtedly the origin also of this small town.
In 1965, during a routine reconnaissance, a group of Argentine gendarmes found a clandestine settlement of Chilean carabineros a few kilometers from the lake, which led to a dispute between the two countries. It was one more episode in the conflict between brother countries, which led to the creation of El Chaltén.
In addition to history, the lake has a wide variety of tourist attractions to get to know, where its nature prevails, which can be seen through catamaran navigation.
From the jetty, we left and began to discover the different shores of the lake, while we navigated the 45 minutes that separated us from the National Gendarmerie detachment.
A small pier welcomed us, along with a dozen gendarmes who were carrying out their usual tasks and whom we had the pleasure of greeting before embarking on a mini trek to the top of a small hill that showed from its height the beauty of the lake and the silhouette of the Fitz Roy.
Back at the pier where we began the excursion, we greeted the occasional companions of this adventure and started walking towards a sign that indicated the existence of a small glacier no more than an hour’s walk away.
Thus we began the ascent towards the Huemul glacier, which is reached after walking for almost an hour. It is a different ascent to everything known; It is a forest with exceptional characteristics that at times makes us feel inside the movie The Lord of the Rings.
The Huemul Glacier is beautiful wherever you look at it and its beauty lies not only in its eternal ice or snow but also in its surroundings that make those who arrive capture part of its beauty in images.
An emerald-colored lagoon serves as the base. Windless days mirror the silhouette of several snowy peaks that seem to rest in their calm waters.
After several well-deserved minutes of rest, we began to return and return to the same path that led us there. The well-marked trail is steep and requires some strenuous walking, but it is not difficult if you walk it conscientiously and regularly.
On the way back we had time to try to catch some trout in the Río de las Vueltas. We saw them, but unfortunately, they didn’t take our flies, so after trying several times we decided to give up.
The Lake of the Desert and everything that surrounds it is truly spectacular. A visit that cannot be missed if we are getting to know El Chaltén and that will make us love this very Argentinean place.
Returning to El Chalten and following the path that winds through the Las Vueltas River, you will come to a sign indicating the presence of a memorable place: the Chorrillo del Salto waterfall.
This small work of art of nature perplexes those who dare to park and walk the short fifteen minutes it takes to reach this small waterfall or waterfall.
The river is boxed to such an extent that a significant slope causes its waters to fall into the void (hence the nickname “jump”) and rush towards a large pool of fresh and clean water, forming a small lagoon of green waters, where you can see some rainbow trout eating insects.
An ideal place, a few kilometers from El Chaltén, to end this attractive excursion to the famous Lago del Desierto.