El Chaltén village, Cordon del Bosque mountains, Rio de las Vueltas, Argentina, Patagonia.
El Chaltén is a frontier tourist town in the southern Andes mountains, Argentina, South America. Glacier clad peaks of the Cordon del Bosque mountains rise up the valley of Rio de las Vueltas (River of the Turns) to the north. El Chaltén was built in 1985 by Argentina to help secure the disputed border with Chile. The nearest airport is 220 km south at El Calafate. Chaltén comes from a Tehuelche (Aonikenk) word meaning "smoking mountain" (explained by frequent orographic clouds). The foot of South America is known as Patagonia, a name derived from coastal giants, Patagão or Patagoni, who were reported by Magellan's 1520s voyage circumnavigating the world and were actually Tehuelche native people who averaged 25 cm (or 10 inches) taller than the Spaniards.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download