Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre surely are among the most visited places in Patagonia.
The village of El Chaltén was founded on October 12th in 1985 to establish Argentinas claim (competing with Chile) to this part of land. Still today the borders between the two countries are not definitely set. On hikers maps there is no border and if you want to do some extended hike to the back-country, you’ll be well advised to carry your passport in the backpack, for even on the big glaciers you might run into a border control.
In El Chaltén – in summer about 1500 inhabitants – you don’t notice anything about this. El Chaltén consists mainly of tourist and expedition agencies, hiring and/or selling services and equipment. Of course there are bars and restaurants too, as well as two or three small supermarkets, a campsite and, most important of all, a filling station.
Fitz Roy (originally El Chaltén – Smoking Mountain) is to be seen already from far away, if not – as its name pretends – hidden by clouds.